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30 ways starting a business is easier than ever

  • Blogging

    Blogging isn’t just for cooking websites and essayists. Maintaining a blog on your company’s website can provide helpful information for customers, display your business’s progress, and boost your site’s SEO rankings. The Guardian has tips for developing a house style, setting a regular schedule, and tracking your readership.

  • Remote co-founders

    Think of classic co-founding stories and you might picture two lone entrepreneurs working together in their garage. That certainly still happens today, but thanks to the internet, co-founders no longer have to be in the same city or even the same country. Kuba Filipowski, a remote co-founder of NetGuru, wrote that the biggest challenges he faced as a remote co-founder were communicating, setting up the right tools to get in touch with co-workers, and making sure everyone felt included.

  • Online job postings

    Classified ads are a thing of the past. Today's entrepreneurs now post job openings on Indeed or LinkedIn. The latter even lets you search through the profiles of individuals you might want to recruit.

  • Online marketplace

    Now, there are more ways than ever to sell products online. For folks making crafts, art, clothes, and home goods, there’s Etsy, which supports virtual shops on their website by taking a small percentage of profits. Squarespace, a website-building service, has simple templates for businesses setting up customizable digital shops. E-commerce platforms like Shopify also let business owners set up online stores.

  • Free and cheap ads

    Advertisements used to be the domain of newspapers, billboards, and the radio. Social media brings those ads closer to customers than ever and lets companies target a specific audience. Sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube offer inexpensive options for posting ads to customers who might be outside your network. There are also plenty of options lingering from the Web 1.0 era, including banner ads and Google's Pay-Per-Click ad program.

  • Easy-to-design websites

    You don’t need to know code or hire a web designer to have a beautiful website. Many web-hosting companies such as Wix and WordPress have drag-and-drop capabilities, templates, and other easy-to-use tools to make the process super easy. Squarespace also has easy options for entrepreneurs trying to set up their own online shops.

  • Customizable business cards

    Custom business cards are only a few clicks away. If customization is important to you, Moo and Vistaprint let you design your own cards. For people who just want a straightforward design, stick with one of their pre-formatted templates.

  • Free online courses in business management

    There’s a lot for first-time business owners to learn. Luckily, there are plenty of free online courses. Y Combinator offers a free online course for start-ups with more than 1,000 minutes of content from a class taught at Stanford University. The Small Business Association also offers an online course specifically for young entrepreneurs, which covers everything from franchising to micro-loans to business structures.

     

  • Instant message services

    Trying to coordinate with co-workers and co-founders can be tricky, especially if team members work remotely. Unfortunately, scheduling calls or attending tons of check-in meetings also sucks up valuable time for a busy company founder. That’s where instant message services come in. Slack, Google Hangouts, and other instant messaging platforms help you cut down on unnecessary emails, phone calls, and meetings.

  • Start-up cost calculators

    How does an entrepreneur know the price tag for starting a new business? This was once the domain of spreadsheets, guesswork, and costly financial advisors. However, there are now free tools to calculate this online, including one offered by the Small Business Association.