According to the latest statistics, startups across industries fail at a rate of 90%. This means, out of every 100 businesses that start in any given year, only 10 will survive (and fewer will thrive). Now add the spectacular uncertainty brought about the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s anybody’s guess what’s going to happen to startup futures now. But if there is one thing that we all know about startups is that they are founded by dreamers and risk-takers. With resilience at their cores, these individuals learn, know when to pivot, and are resourceful beings.
Since unemployment is on rise and many people are thinking about starting their own businesses, we have collected these resources to boost your entrepreneurial spirit and help you take your startup to the next level successfully:
1. Webinars For Startups (YouTube)
When you are starting a new business and do not have any concrete knowledge of what the first step should be, the pitfalls to avoid, and what technical wealth you’ll need, these webinars emerge as your most generous treasure troves.
Conducted by industry experts and established businesses, webinars provide you with actionable advice, great business tips, and sometimes practical help, too, in the form of presentations, slides, and free resources.
So, before you take your first step, here are a few really useful webinars that will guide you in various stages of your startup journey.
Offered by Yale School of Management, this webinar talks about the crucial period where you know you have a killer idea but lack the information or the tools to make it a reality. Watch this to know what’s next after the idea.
To grow your business exponentially and innovate aggressively, this is the webinar to pay heed to. It talks about creating technology business models that can impact billions of people.
Specifically designed to educate business-owners on how best to adapt to the changing economic and consumer landscape amid the pandemic.
To familiarize yourself with remote working and to overcome remote work challenges, this webinar is for you.
Shares insights, knowledge, and strategies to expand your business better and remain relevant to your core market.
2. Graphic Design & Branding Solutions:
Graphic design and branding give your idea a visual appeal. Through graphics and design, you give a face and feel to your idea, aka brand. And it’s achieved through well-designed and intentioned graphics. Every symbol, icon, color palette and font mood you choose must have an intention behind it. They all need to tell a story and add their part in the wider narrative of the brand itself.
The resources below cover a wide range of graphic design needs, both practical and inspirational. Through these resources, you can find out the latest trends, news, updates, and tips. You can also get in touch with expert designers from around the world and give your idea cultural finesse.
The best, latest, and most enduring web design trends compiled in one place. If you are looking for web design inspiration, ideas, or way forward, this is the place to go.
You want your startup to have a distinct identity and character? Logos are your best friend. DesignMantic is an easy, browser-based DIY logo maker with tons of great visuals to help you design your first logo.
Premium and featured vector icon sets for your websites, social media, and folders. Available in SVG, PNG, CSH, and AI format.
This color scheme generator helps you pick out colors for your brand and graphics in a more strategic and insightful way.
It is a free treasure trove of high-end, professionally-crafted Original photography. Whenever you require stock photographs, head to this site.
3. Social Media Tools:
Startups need to have an active and thriving social media presence. According to sources, millennials are a $24 trillion market and Gen Z accounts for around 40% of all consumers in America. And where do millennials and Gen-Zers hang out the most? Social media, of course.
But social media can be an overwhelming place for new businesses. You need to be aware of engagement metrics, analytical tools, ad standards, and most importantly, have familiarity with the enterprise end of all social media apps. The resources we are sharing below help you navigate these confusing waters with more confidence.
A popular social media planner to increase engagement. It helps you schedule your posts on several social media sites simultaneously. It comes with robust analytical tools, custom reports, and other features that make managing your social media a breeze. 14-day free trial.
Flexible and smart scheduling of content on social media sites. Real-time analysis of campaigns. Team management for your staff. Offers scalability. 30-day Free Trial
Short on engaging content ideas? This is a great place to start. You cannot only discover new content ideas but also get in touch with social media influencers to boost your content and benefit from platform insights to help you strategize better. 7-day free trial.
Social media feeds are incomplete without videos. Videos generate the most engagement and conversion. Animoto helps you create and share videos, and also make web-based presentations. Free option available but with the Animoto logo on videos.
Sort out your news feed by from a variety of online sources of your choosing. Only consume what you prefer. A great organization tool to remain updated on matters that matter. A free plan is available with limited features.
4. Entrepreneurship And Mental Health
Founding and managing a startup is never an easy task. According to a study, 49% of entrepreneurs suffer from at least one form of mental health condition. But coupled with the added and novel pressure of the current circumstances brought on by the Covid-19 crisis and the ongoing situation, it’s pretty clear that mental health needs to become a priority for entrepreneurs.
Below, we are sharing some resources that will help you with the knowledge, information, support, and ways to manage your mental health better.
A non-profit that provides professional mental health aid in the form of prevention services, early diagnoses, intervention, care services, and research and education.
With everything closed down, the Ginger app provides you access to mental health professionals online. Behavioral therapy, counseling, and coaching that’s proven to reduce symptoms of various mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress.
A link directing you towards TED Talks videos that focus on various forms of mental health issues, mental health awareness, and ways to deal with them effectively.
A mental health resource list maintained by an entrepreneur. Links to books, podcasts, videos, articles and so much more to guide you towards better mental well-being.
A mental health resource guide designed for business owners. Get the latest news, updates, information, and knowledge to help overcome mental health issues.
5. Remote/Work From Home Tools
A lot of startups begin from home but eventually, they grow up and move out. Unfortunately, startups being born during Covid-19 may not enjoy such luck. Remote work is becoming a norm for many businesses – big and small – so consider yourself in the growing majority now. Thanks to technology, though, a lot can be managed even remotely when you put your mind to it and keep working.
The resources we are listing here have been the go-to tools for businesses during the Covid-19 lockdown. As the economy returns to a semblance of normal, companies are relying on these remote work tools for employees that have decided to continue working from home.
We are all familiar with Skype. It is free video calling software that many are still using. Sure, a lot of people have moved to Zoom but if you run a small company and want simpler features, Skype can still be your thing.
For companies and consumers alike, Zoom has become a poster child for its sleek video conferencing software. The app is easy to use, with nifty features that are free, and amazing video call quality. This link includes beneficial tips that make remote work a breeze.
A handy guide of resources, tools, and tips to help companies and employees learn the ways to adapt to a remote work future.
Using these emergency kits, works are now able to remotely access their devices spread across multiple locations. The kits also include access to features like virtual meetings, conferencing, and events.
Slack is a focused and organized approach to email and messaging. With this remote meeting guide, you learn ways how to manage remote meetings better and get the most productivity out of them.
6. Freelance Platforms
No matter your reason for looking into freelancing platforms – perhaps you want a side hustle, or are looking to hire new talent – freelancing platforms allow you to get things done more quickly, simply, and smartly. With more people bidding or applying for the same project, you get the chance to pick the best talent for the most affordable price.
For freelancers, these platforms allow the opportunity to improve their skill set, enjoy flexible working, and sometimes earn even more than a regular, full-time job.
Below are five of the top-performing freelancing websites that connect talent with the market and create win-win situations.
The site works on the bidding model so when you post a job you have the chance to see who has bid the lowest keeping in mind the service level you require and then hire accordingly. You only pay when you are 100% satisfied with the work.
The site is a favorite of freelancers and boasts of having some of the top-of-the-range clients like Airbnb and Microsoft. The service is free to register but if you are a new freelancer, you may need to pay a nominal fee to apply for jobs.
As a freelancer, display your best work to the public so a potential client can hire you by directly contacting you. No need for prolonged back and forth.
Toptal is unique in the sense that it claims to have the top 3% of the world’s best freelance talent. Whether you want to be a part of that top 3% or want to use a few of them for your projects, Toptal is the place to be.
Unlike Upwork, PeoplePerHour is free for freelancers to join and apply for jobs. And has fierce competition. Also, in addition to per-hour jobs, it allows you to post your fixed-price projects if you want to go that route.
Breakdown – Taxes For Freelancers:
Finally, here is a useful resource on taxes for freelancers — this is definitely something you should think of if you plan to start working as a freelancer.
7. Tips On Capital Raising & Crowdfunding In Challenging Times
Raising capital and crowdfunding is always the biggest hurdle faced by any new startup. Convincing people to part with their hard-earned money in hopes of better returns is not an easy task. But it’s going to be even more difficult in the present scenario. The thing that will pull you through, however, is your ability to adapt and pivot.
Below are some crowd-funding resources and capital raising options that are still active and responding to the changing social landscape by opening up doors for unique ideas that provide solutions to present problems, startups that are being founded by marginalized social groups, and supporting ventures that have enjoyed least support in the past.
The most popular crowd-funding resource available. It connects investors to business ideas with the most potential. Lay out your idea clearly in front of them and see the backers lining up to get involved. But it has an all-or-nothing funding model, so be careful.
Focused on women entrepreneurs. Not only capital-raising is available but new founders can get coaching, connect to a growing community of female entrepreneurs, and fund other startups. Available for founders in 23 countries.
If your startup is about consumer brands and products, CircleUp is the best place to check out to get initial capital. It offers flexible capital solutions such as equity or credit or both. And also connects you to a vast network of other entrepreneurs, investors, and experts.
Fundable has a Flat Fee option which makes it great for startups as you’re not paying any substantial chunk of your funding to the platform. But if your fundraiser is unsuccessful, you’ll still have to pay that fee. So use this platform if your startup is expanding or your risks are managed.
Perhaps the most popular for socially-driven startup ideas. Has a keep-what-you-raise funding model. May not be the most suitable for traditional startups but if you convince people the charitable or social worth of your idea, it’s a great platform that delivers.
8. Startup Blogs For Entrepreneurs And Founders:
A whole of being a founder is about researching the next step after you conceive the initial idea. It involves talking to other entrepreneurs, getting market insights, gathering information, knowing the pitfalls, and creating strategies. All of this becomes possible thanks to the countless business and Startup blogs maintained by industry experts and successful entrepreneurs who know what to do right.
Below are our top five picks for startup blogs and online magazines that help new business owners figure out what’s going on.
The site is an endless mine of useful intel on anything to do with startups. From funding advice to growth and expansion strategies, and from technology updates to expert discourse on brands and branding, you’ll find everything here.
This site is for exploring ideas, perspectives, and discussions. If you want to dive deeper into a certain topic, Medium is going to help you do that. The platform has categories expanding from relationships to startups. Choose what you are into and uncover the layers.
It’s all about entrepreneurship, business, and business management. Especially focused on small-scale businesses. It publishes region-focused editions so you can get the most specific and locally relevant knowledge when you browse.
A very straight-forward platform that helps new businesses take roots and grow. It also allows advertisers to reach its audience so you have the added opportunity to connect to your potential audience in a more direct and engaging way.
Great for startups that are into technology, design, innovation, and creativity. Like the Entrepreneur magazine above, it also has a print (subscription-based) as well as an online version. The platform not only has articles but podcasts and videos too.
Your startup strategy is woefully incomplete if you haven’t thought about or invested in robust cybersecurity. No matter the scale of your startup, you’d be showing your inexperience as a business-owner if you launch your idea without enough protection saving it from potential threats. According to a 2019 report by Verizon, 23% of cyber breach victims were small and medium businesses.
Therefore, invest in cybersecurity as if our life depends on it because it does (at least your startup’s life). There are tons of affordable and powerful cybersecurity options out there for new and expanding businesses. We are sharing the top five of them below.
It’s a password generator that not only generates strong, randomized passwords that are successful against hacking but also remembers those passwords so you don’t have to. It also saves your digital records like insurance cards, Wi-Fi keys, and offers safe sharing options.
It is an enterprise-oriented password storing solution. It stores your entire existing password in an encrypted form and generates you a single password to access them all, and even that is encrypted. The service offers a 30-day free trial.
One of the best antivirus software on the market. Great fit for small businesses. Offers multi-layered security and is easy to set-up. Supports both Android and iOS. Has affordable pricing.
Great for internet security. Offers easy to install options and has a cloud-based support model. It gives strong endpoint protection and works well on PC, Mac, and mobile. May be a bit pricier than other options on this list but worth the cost. Comes with a free trial, though.
Powered by Symantec, it is a focused security suite with powerful endpoint protection and works against a myriad of security threats such as ransomware, malware, and other security breaches. Easy to use for everyone so the whole team can install it without any help needed.
10. Startup Books/eBooks
While startup blogs and similar resources are great for updated information on what’s going on in the startup world, there is something that only books can provide: detailed and in-depth explanations and discussions covering different areas of the same problem in a single read.
Below we are sharing our favorite five books on multiple topics that will be of interest to startup founders and small business owners. These books cover areas such as technical knowledge, basic information, hiring and management advice, and even inspiration and motivation.
279 Days to Overnight Success by Chris Guillebeau:
A brilliant read for bloggers and founders who want to grow their reach. The writer shares personal case study and practical examples to help you navigate startup waters more effectively.
Startup Guide by Harvard University:
A favorite of entrepreneurs, this book is a high-level guide and talks about real issues and questions that arise when working on tech startups.
Getting Real by Base Camp:
Best for startups that are into software design and programming. The book offers practical insights, expert advice, and contradictory point of views so you can learn to analyze your options better. To instill a take-charge attitude in your leadership style, consider this book a godsend.
Getting from Employee 5 to 50 by Rob Long, John Christopoulos, and Eleni Kourmentza:
Founding a startup may be difficult but expansion is trickier. This book helps you figure out how to expand your team and polish up your HR and recruitment skills.
50 Startups That Failed by Thomas Oppong:
In need of inspiration? The writer interviewed 50 startup founders who talk about the reasons why their startups failed. It’s a great book to learn about the pitfalls of entrepreneurship and plan better.
Over to You
Being a startup founder is exciting. In these challenging times, it can even be an opportunity to start a business that you’ve been trying to do for many years. Through this helpful guide and resource-center, we hope to help you achieve your goals, and figure out your way out of this maze better. Hopefully, this guide provides you with tools that make your journey a success.
All the best, and see you on the other side of this.