In my role as editor at FreelanceSwitch, something I see a lot is freelancers interested in taking their business a step further – trading in their status as a freelancer and sole trader in order to start a company or firm in their profession. I also personally know of a lot of people who have never been freelancers, but were just recently professionals in the corporate world and are now looking to run their own businesses because they don’t have a job anymore. Good information and knowledge is vital to improving the success of any endeavor, and here are eight websites that will inform and educate you on the subject of startup companies.
1. The Netsetter
The Netsetter is a fairly new, but very interesting and informative blog aimed at a particular subset of startups with its very own culture, needs and ways of operating – that is, web-based business. The Netsetter is run by Collis Ta’eed, who is a very successful web entrepreneur himself, so you can trust the advice you get from here. Since web-based business is what most of you reading this will be interested in I recommend starting with The Netsetter.
VentureBeat is a blog for those who are interested in private business and venture capital. It doesn’t so much teach you how to run a business as it does provide information that might inform your decisions – as the site itself says, VentureBeat’s mission is “to provide insider news and data about the entrepreneurial and venture community that is useful to decision makers.”
3. How to Change the World
How to Change the World is the blog of Guy Kawasaki who is a well-known figure in the online community of entrepreneurs. The blog covers everything from generating buzz for your business and products to what you should and shouldn’t include in your resume.
4. Men with Pens
Men with Pens is actually the website of a US & Canadian copy and design business, but their blog is incredibly informative and covers everything from business to marketing and the kind of copy you should be using. What I love most about Men with Pens? It’s one of the few blogs that doesn’t sugarcoat every single post so much that it takes ten times longer to read. (That’s a legitimate concern. This is a productivity blog!)
5. Venture Hacks
Venture Hacks, a blog with the tagline “Advice for entrepreneurs” just in case you weren’t clear on why it made the list, is an interesting read. Unlike most business blogs, it can probably be characterized by a certain amount of brevity and morselization that is still intellectual and useful. It provokes thought rather than filling in all the blanks for you and draws your attention to good information and interesting news.
6. The Startup Lawyer
If there’s one type of advice to prize above all others, I think it’s legal advice. I don’t mean to say that legal advice should always dictate your actions because sure, you’ll sometimes fly in its face and do the opposite of what your lawyer told you to, but the knowledge is invaluable. The Startup Lawyer is a blog that combines that most important type of advice with the topic of startups. What could be more useful?
7. Independent Street
Independent Street is a Wall Street Journal blog, yet another case of old media trying to get into new media. This particular blog is, of course, aimed at entrepreneurial types and start-ups. It seems to me that half of everyone on the web has written off traditional media sources, but I think there’s still a lot they have to offer (in fact I think the quality of print journalism is usually much better than what you get online). By reading blogs like this you can be sure not everyone you take advice from thinks Twitter is the key to your marketing plan.
Inc. is an interesting website aimed at small businesses and entrepreneurs. I enjoy it because while many blogs look at the subject from a point-of-view mired in the start-up phase, Inc. provides a more business oriented perspective that it sometimes seems is only adopted by big business. If I had to describe the content, I’d call it “strategic editorial” – it’s not step-by-step practical but it’s useful to get you thinking about where to go next.