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Small Business Forms, Contracts & Agreements. Laid-off to CEO: 6 Steps to Building Your Business. Back in November 2008, I was laid off from a job that I hated.

Laid-off to CEO: 6 Steps to Building Your Business

At a time when everything seemed uncertain, there were two things I was absolutely sure of. First, I absolutely love everything about marketing. And second, I wanted to start a company of my own. I also knew that I was going to have to bootstrap a service-based business because I didn’t have a lot of money to invest in creating a product. This is how I went from being laid off to a 29 year old CEO of a marketing firm. Identify a skill that adds value After I was laid off, I realized that I needed to perfect a skill that adds value to the business community. Chances are, you already have the skills to contribute to an organization or consumer. The one caveat that I would add is make sure that you absolutely love the skill that you bring to the table. Learn how to sell… and copywrite Once you’ve identified or mastered your skill, you must learn how to sell it. Don’t worry about putting together a huge marketing plan at this time. Rules.

13 Business Books That Will Blow Your Mind. Having never taken a business class in college I find that I read and listen to a lot of business books to round out my education.

13 Business Books That Will Blow Your Mind

The books usually aren't "How to Manage Your Cash Flow" but rather get me to rethink the way I run my business, which--despite no business classes or diploma--continues to be in business 13 plus years after I started it. In that time, here are 13 of the books that had the biggest impact on how I run my business (in no particular order): Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink: If you supervise anyone in your business, this book is a must read. It shows that what science knows about motivation, business isn't putting into practice. In fact, many of the incentives we create can actually de-motivate our employees. The Knack: How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham: I wanted to have at least one book that was dedicated to small business and the entrepreneurial spirit.

Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH) HOW TO WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN Countless books, websites, and software makers can advise you on how to write a business plan.

Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH)

The following sites can help you get started. Creating an Effective Business Plan [AmEx Small Business] Basic, solid, and quick primer on buffing the basics – even offers advice via email – and includes a small self-test to see how well you have retained the lesson. Business Plan Building, Section by Section [] From strategizing marketing to perfecting your executive summary, gives valuable section-by-section pointers Small Business Administration Business Plan Workshops[] Very basic, but also very free, training webinars to help you shape a successful business plan BUSINESS PLAN SOFTWARE If you want the help, and do not mind the price tag, you may be interested in checking such products out.

Jian Software PC World gives it a best buy rating – $100 gives you access to their well-reputed Business Plan software (among other products)