Website of the month: Help for budding entrepreneurs

 The Journal brings you a new column this month, to help businesses that are in the process of starting up as well as those already up and running, with a look at great websites dedicated to promoting business development. Each month, The Journal taps the resources of the business advisors at the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau to find out which websites they turn to for business information.  

Linked to Entrepreneur magazine, www.entreprenuer.com is a magazine-style website that is crammed full of interesting features, video links, blogs, columns and ads, all geared up to promote better business practices.
 
The home page brings you all the links to a variety of interesting articles. Featured articles on this particular viewing include ‘How to respectfully terminate employees’, written by Michael J. Lotito, a partner at Jackson Lewis LLP. Lotito advises to strive for objectivity and leave emotions behind, while at the same time employers should try and create a bridge with the individual and point out that while the employment relationship did not work out, the employer appreciated their service (essential for the continued good reputation of the company.)
 
The website’s ‘Financial Fitness Centre’ provides browsers with a whole host of practical finance tips to help your business keep running through the current recession, with specific pointers on managing cash flows, ways to actually grow despite the downturn as well as how to start up during a recession.
 
Move along the tool bar to the ‘Ask Entrepreneur’ section and you will find some creative answers by industry experts to everyday business queries. For example, a small business owner who gives guitar lessons was searching for ways to creatively advertise their services. The expert then reeled off a succession of further websites that would assist the business owner with their creative-thinking process, as well suggesting great ideas himself, such as putting on a show at a shopping mall to highlight the services on offer and generate new business.
 
Moving further to the right on the horizontal top tool bar and click on ‘Go Forward’ for some incredibly useful ideas for young businesses to grow. ‘Charting your business timeline’, for example, makes business owners think about exactly where they should be focusing their energies while still ensuring that they retain the big picture. ‘Reaching these startup milestones’ is another important article for new business, in which it is suggested that the first six months of any new business should be the defining process and could have its ups and downs; the one year to 18 months mark is where new businesses ought to be reaching profitability, and finally the three to five year point is the point at which the business needs to evaluate its strategic growth.
 
‘Business Ideas’ is another useful section, with new ideas generated all the time for start-ups. This particular viewing covered businesses as diverse as setting up a hot dog cart to setting up your own nanny placement service.
 
An entire section is also devoted to franchises, how to find them, the top 10 growing franchises, franchises by category, as well as articles such as ‘Eight franchise ownership myths’ (apparently the idea that there is no freedom in a franchise and that the company dictates everything is just a myth), as well as making franchise relationships work and an article on environmentally friendly franchises.    
 
Browse the vertical menu on the left of the screen and you will find hundreds more tips and pieces of advice, including steps to starting your own business, growing your business, sales, advertising, and other business opportunities.
 
With so much information readily available at your fingertips it would almost be a crime not to browse this invaluable website if you are contemplating starting your own business.

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