Business Start Up Tools

BPlans.com
A solid business plan can be your key to getting the financing you need or to attracting investors to your small or home-based business. This site offers help with writing that business plan, as well as plans for advertising, marketing and Web strategy, including free sample plans. They also sell the stand-alone business planning software that was used to generate all the sample plans on the site. The site features business resources covering starting a business, marketing, legal advice, and more. There’s a monthly newsletter with tips and advice about business planning.
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Interactive Business Planner New!
A free online business planning tool produced by the Canada Business Service Centres (CBSCs). Available in both English and French. The CBSCs also offer a weath of additional free information for businesses starting up in Canada.
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My Own Business
This is a free comprehensive and highly recommended 12-part online course for those interested in starting their own business. Topics covered include business plans, insurance, financing your business, marketing, expanding your business and more. The course is available in both Spanish and English. The site also features discussion forums and a free newsletter. Excellent first step for those contemplating a home-based business.
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PlanWare New!
This page lists several free business and financial planning aids, including Biz-Plan, a 65-page Word-based business plan guide and template. Site also offers white papers, articles, online tools, and for-purchase business and financial planning software.
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PowerHomeBiz.com
Information, tools and resources for starting, managing and growing a home business, including articles, e-books, and a checklist for starting a home-based business. Caveat: be a little cautious on some of their "sponsored links": the last time I was out there, they had one that appeared to be for an envelope-stuffing "opportunity". The actual content of the site is useful and informative, though, and worth your time if you’re starting out a new home business and need some guidance and direction.
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Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
Do you feel you could benefit from some outside advice? You can get high-quality (yet free!) e-mail or face-to-face business counselling for small business owners, from volunteer retired business executives. A resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
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