Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Where Can You Go for Business Advice?


Unless you've run a start-up, from the ground up, it's helpful to lean on others who've been down that road before. Where do you find these folks who can advise you and point you to the resources you'll need to start and manage your business?
PlanetEureka.org is a good place to start. The U.S. Department of Commerce / Manufacturing Extension Partnership operates the site, which lets you post and search for innovations, as well as put out requests for innovations. It's free and very slick, in the best sense of the word. State business licensing/registration divisions offer pretty good help. You can farm networks such as LinkedIn for information that's directly related to your business -- and it's likely that you'll find more than one person who's willing to talk. Here's an easy one: Go to Google and search for groups and associations related to your profession, then get involved -- you'll meet people with similar interests and objectives. Also, try SCORE, a nonprofit association that educates entrepreneurs and fosters the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. And you might spend a moment checking out Vistage International, which bills itself as "the world's foremost chief executive leadership organization."

HOWEVER… my suggestion is to take a close look at the University of Michigan's Center for Entrepreneurship(CFE). Primarily it aims to help the University's students, faculty and staff to pursue entrepreneurial achievements "that improve people's lives, drive the economy and help innovators bridge the gap between inventor and the business." But you'll find that the Center is receptive to anyone with an entrepreneurial bent but no one to set them straight.

Check out the CFE website. You'll find resources galore.

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