STARTUP & BUSINESS RESOURCES
We thought it might be helpful to create a list of useful resources that you can always come to for all your entrepreneur and business needs. We will add to this resource page as we learn more. Please feel free to bookmark it for your reference. Cheers and enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. We put together this list of useful resources based on our experience with them.
MOST RECOMMENDED TOOLS
Here are the most recommended resources we would like to share with you. We use them because they help us achieve our entrepreneurial goals, and we are confident you’ll agree too.
Bluehost: Most of our websites are hosted on Bluehost because it also offers optimized hosting for WordPress based websites. In addition they provide fast customer support via chat and phone to help you solve any issue. We highly recommend hosting your first website with Bluehost. You can even host multiple websites on Bluehost. Watch our step-by-step guide on how to setup a blog.
OptinSkin: It is a great plugin for your website to implement email opt-in forms for collecting email addresses. With OptinSkin you can start with a list of pre-defined opt-in forms and continue then to experiment with and compare the results of different designs. We use it at the bottom of our posts and partly on the sidebar and have seen great increase in our subscriber rates.
ConvertKit: It is easy to use and offers useful features like list segmentation, automation, tagging, and reports. It’s great for bloggers and helps you deliver more targeted email campaigns.
StudioPress Themes: A very good theme creator is StudioPress themes from Copyblogger which uses the Genesis framework for their themes in order to deliver faster website load speeds. According to Mashable, the Genesis framework is the “best of the best” among premium WordPress theme frameworks. Cleverism is build based on a StudioPress theme using Genesis which helped us halve our website load speed.
WEBSITE HOSTING & BLOGGING TOOLS
- Bluehost: Most of our websites are hosted on Bluehost because it also offers optimized hosting for WordPress based websites. In addition they provide fast customer support via chat and phone to help you solve any issue. We highly recommend hosting your first website with Bluehost. You can even host multiple websites on Bluehost.
- WebSynthesis: If you are expanding with your website and looking for more optimized hosting specifically for WordPress and your budget is more flexible, we would recommend you to try out Synthesis hosting from Copyblogger.
- StudioPress Theme: A very good WordPress theme developer that helps you get a beautiful website which loads even faster.
- ElegantThemes: ElegantThemes offers almost 90 wounderful WP themes for different purposes: blog, eCommerce, Multimedia and many other themes.
KEYWORD RESEARCH & SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
- Market Samurai: The number one tool for keyword research available that helps you find profitable keywords for acquiring tons of traffic.
- Seo Book Keyword Suggestion Tool: Another awesome keyword research tool, with tons of information and metrics to compare and select the perfect keywords.
- Seo Keyword Ranking: An excellent tool to keep track of the keywords you’re working on. Excellent interface and really easy to use.
EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS & MARKETING
- ElegantThemes: ElegantThemes offers not only wounderful WP themes, but also several very useful plugins. Our most favourite are email subscription plugin (Bloom Email Opt-Ins) and Social Media Sharing plugin (Monarch Social Media Sharing).
- Aweber: The internet’s most powerful email opt-in service and email marketing/broadcasting tool.
- OptinSkin: A tool created by Glen Allsop to help us more easily embed email opt-in forms onto our website. We use it specifically at the bottom and the sidebar of our articles.
GETTING HELP FROM OTHERS
- Upwork: Here you will find freelancers in different areas starting from IT and programmers to web designers, transcriptionist, data scientists, and sales people.
BOOKS FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Our ebook “How to Find a Million Dollar Business Idea” describes a step-by-step process for coming up with a great business idea and how to make it happen. Furthermore, you will learn about more than 200 business ideas you can start today with limited investments.
Our ebook “Business Plan Guru” describes a step-by-step process for writing a thorough business plan that will help your define and understand your business, as well as provide convincing arguments for your future investors. The 160-pages ebook describes how to write the executive summary, the business summary, analyze your financial statements, and provides an additional list of supporting documents for your business plan.
BOOKS FOR FINDING AND TESTING BUSINESS IDEAS
When you want to understand how to build, test and scale your business model, then we highly recommend reading these books.
- Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
- The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
- The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
- The Business Idea Factory: A World-Class System for Creating Successful Business Ideas by Andrii Sedniev
- The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
- Rework by Jason Fried
STRATEGY BOOKS FOR ENTREPRENEURS
These books will help you understand how to outplay your competitors by optimizing your strategic positioning. Most know Michael Porter and his books on corporate strategy which is a great tool for positioning your company. But there are so many other great books out there which we wanted to share with you.
- The Entrepreneurial Mindset: Strategies for Continuously Creating Opportunity in an Age of Uncertainty by Rita Gunther McGrath and Ian MacMillan
- The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker
- The Sources of Innovation by Eric von Hippel
- The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.
- Competitive Strategy and Competitive Advantage by Michael Porter
- Getting real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application by Jason Fried
- Do More Faster: Techstar lessons to accelerate your startup by David Cohen and Brad Feld
MARKETING BOOKS FOR ENTREPRENEURS
How do you find a product market fit? Which advertising channels are most efficient? What do customers really want? These are one of the most important questions related to marketing which will be covered in the following great books.
- Moonlighting on the Internet by Yanik Silver
- The Marketing Playbook by John Zagula and Richard Tong
- Marketing High Technology by William H. Davidow
SALES BOOKS FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Most people are afraid of sales. But sales can be fun, if you know how to pitch infront of clients, know what they want and how to persuade them.
- Predictable Revenue: Turn Your Business Into a Sales Machine by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler
- What Great Salespeople Do: The Science of Selling Through Emotional Connection and the Power of Story by Michael Bosworth, Ben Zoldan, and Michael T. Bosworth
- Sollution Selling: Creating Buyers in Difficult Selling Markets by Michael Bosworth
- The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing: A Guide to Growing More Profitably by Thomas Nagle, John Hogan, and Joseph Zale
FINANCE & ACCOUNTING BOOKS FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Accounting is the language of business, so every entrepreneur should at least understand the basic accounting principles. Here are some awesome books on understanding accounting, corporate finance as well as mergers & acquisitions.
- Investment Banking: Valuation, Leveraged Buyouts, and Mergers and Acquisitions by Joshua Rosenbaum and Joshua Pearl
- Accounting Made Simple: Accounting explained in 100 pages or less by Mike Piper
- Term Sheets & Valuations: A Line by Line Look at the Intricacies of Term Sheets & Valuations by Alex Wilmerding
BOOKS ON STARTUP LAW
If you start your company, you will have tons of legal stuff to consider. What type of legal entity should I use? Do I need a patent for that? Should I protect my brand name? These books shall help you find the right solution for your business.
- The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Business Law by Constance E. Bagley and Craig E. Dauchy
BOOKS ON VENTURE CAPITAL
At some point in time, you might need some external financing for your startup. Venture capitalists are providing cash, advice and contacts. But there are also pitfalls with using a venture capitalist. Learn the most important concepts used in venture capital and the do’s and don’ts so you are prepared for raising money.
- The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capital by Andew Romans
- Mastering the VC Game: A Venture Capital Insider Reveals How to Get from Start-up to IPO on Your Terms by Jeffrey Bussgang
- Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson, and Dick Costolo
BOOKS ON CULTURE AND HUMAN RESOURCES
You might start your company with your friends. But soon, you will realize that you will need some employees as workload and funding increases. At this point it is important to build your company culture to attract and retain talent. These and more related topics are covered in the following books.
- The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First by Jeffrey Pfeffer
- Strategic Human Resources: Frameworks for General Managers by James N. Baron and David M.Kreps
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t by Jim Collins
BOOKS ON STARTUP STORIES
If you want to learn how other successful entrepreneurs made it or what mistakes other entrepreneurs did, then these books are a must read. You definitely should read them, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur and don’t make the mistakes others did before you.
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Like a Virgin: Secrets They Won’t Teach You at Business School by Richard Branson
- The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
Please feel free to suggest other great tools and books that helped you to grow personally and professionally.