Getting Started

The Art of the Start

Serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Guy Kawasaki, discusses the importance of "Making Meaning". Guy has discovered that the start-ups that set out to Make Meaning will probably make money, and the companies that set out to make money will probably not make money or meaning. ACP also recommends Kawasaki’s best-selling book, The Art of the Start.

  1. IBM SME Build Your Own Business Toolkit
    1. Organization: http://us.smetoolkit.org/us/en/content/en/758/Organization
    2. Business Plan: http://us.smetoolkit.org/us/en/content/en/612/The-Business-Plan
    3. Licenses,Permits & Business Names: http://www.myownbusiness.org/business_permits_license/index.html
    4. Accounting & Cash Flow: http://us.smetoolkit.org/us/en/content/en/83/Accounting-and-Cash-Flow
    5. Finance: http://us.smetoolkit.org/us/en/content/en/83/Accounting-and-Cash-Flow
    6. Estimating Start-Up Costs: http://us.smetoolkit.org/us/en/content/en/1980/Small-Business-Start-up-Costs
    7. Budgeting and Forecasting Calculators: http://us.smetoolkit.org/us/en/category/1776/Budgeting-Forecasting

 

  1. How To Write An Executive Summary: http://acp-usa.org/sites/default/files/WritingExecutiveSummary.pdf
  2. The Nuts & Bolts of How To Write a  Great Business Plan by Whitman School of Management: http://acp-usa.org/sites/default/files/NutsandBolts.pdf
  3. John Renehan’s “Importance of Finding Advisors” at Cornell: (video)
  4.  SCORE (Small Business Mentoring and Training): http://www.score.org/index.html
  5. Patriot Express Loan for Veteran-Owned Businesses: http://www.sba.gov/content/express-programs
  6. “The Freemium” (video)
  7. Department of Veteran’s Affairs Help for Veterans Starting their own Small Business: VetBiz.gov
  8. Department of Labor’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization: http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/osdbu/
  9.  The Art of the Start (video)
  10. Choosing the Right Projects (video)
  11. The Lean Start-Up (video)

10. Small Business Administration: http://www.sba.gov/

11. The NYTimes “How To Register a Start Up”: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/business/smallbusiness/01sbiz.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1313690297-mIhTxBsXgJa7mBbBVtfFng

12. The NYTImes “How To Create an Advisory Board”: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/18/business/smallbusiness/18sbiz.html

Roughly one-third of veteran applicants to the ACP program have expressed an interest in small business development and entrepreneurship. ACP believes that the traits of a returning veteran - leadership, tenacity and ambition - are the same traits required to be a successful business owner. 
For these reasons, ACP has created a Small Business Resource Center where you can find a variety of resources that can help you get started - from business plan templates, lectures from top CEOs, to small business calculators and budgeting tools. Many of these resources are courtesy of our friends at IBM; others are a collection of articles and videos from publicly available sources such as Stanford University's Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders lecture series. 
We'll be continually updating the Resource Center, so please visit regularly and feel free to offer suggestions of topics or resources that you'd like featured. Email info@acp.org with questions or suggestions. 
The Art of the Start
Serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Guy Kawasaki, discusses the importance of "Making Meaning". Guy has discovered that the start-ups that set out to Make Meaning will probably make money, and the companies that set out to make money will probably not make money or meaning. In this series of clips from Stanford University, Kawasaki discusses how to Make Meaning and other necessary elements in creating a successful start-up.After you’ve watched the clip, download the first chapter from Kawasaki’s best-selling book, The Art of the Start. In this chapter, you’ll learn the GIST (Great Ideas for Starting Things) of starting a business: Make Meaning; Make Mantra; Get Going; Define Your Business Model; and how to Weave a MAT (Milestones, Assumptions, and Tasks).Serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Guy Kawasaki, discusses the importance of "Making Meaning". Guy has discovered that the start-ups that set out to Make Meaning will probably make money, and the companies that set out to make money will probably not make money or meaning. In this series of clips from Stanford University, Kawasaki discusses how to Make Meaning and other necessary elements in creating a successful start-up.
After you’ve watched the clip, download the first chapter from Kawasaki’s best-selling book, The Art of the Start. In this chapter, you’ll learn the GIST (Great Ideas for Starting Things) of starting a business: Make Meaning; Make Mantra; Get Going; Define Your Business Model; and how to Weave a MAT (Milestones, Assumptions, and Tasks).
IBM SME Toolkit for Veteran-owned Businesses

The IBM SME Toolkit for Veterans is a comprehensive capacity-building tool for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. Throughout the ACP Small Business Resource Center, you will find links to training sessions in the IBM SME Toolkit. This first section, Deciding on a Business, is designed to help you figure out what is the right type of business venture for you. After you've decided what type of venture best suits you, read the following article to learn how to find a niche within your market. Market segmentation - or finding a niche - allows you to avoid competing on price with big-box retailers

 

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IBM SME Toolkit: Deciding on a Business

The IBM SME Toolkit for Veterans is a comprehensive capacity-building tool for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. Throughout the ACP Small Business Resource Center, you will find links to training sessions in the IBM SME Toolkit. This first section, Deciding on a Business, is designed to help you figure out what is the right type of business venture for you. After you've decided what type of venture best suits you, read the following article to learn how to find a niche within your market. Market segmentation - or finding a niche - allows you to avoid competing in price with big-box retailers.

IBM's SME Toolkit - Deciding on a Business

The Lean Start-Up

Eric Ries discusses the "Lean Start-Up" business model at Stanford University in this hour-long video clip. The basic framework is: build, measure, learn. 

Choosing the Right Projects

In this 2-minute clip from Stanford University, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer discusses how Microsoft decides which new ideas to fund and how to sift through the rest.


Business Plan

The Nuts and Bolts of Great Business Plans

In this how-to guide for writing a great business plan, provided by the Whitman School of Management, you will find detailed information on how to clearly and concisely write each section of your business plan. You’ll also learn to think about the bigger picture for your start-up.

The Nuts and Bolts of a Great Business Plan From the Whitman School of Management

IBM SME Toolkit: Business Plans

This section of the Toolkit provides a comprehensive guide to writing your business plan.

IBM SME Toolkit - Guide to Writing Your Business Plan

Get Feedback Where You Can

Jeff Hawkins, Founder of Numenta, encourages entrepreneurs to involve people in their problems and to solicit as many qualified opinions as they can in this 2-minute video clip from Stanford University.

Writing a Compelling Executive Summary

Last but certainly not least, Guy Kawasaki offers pointers on writing an Executive Summary that makes your audience want to read the rest of your business plan. The Executive Summary should be written last, and it is the most important component of your business plan.

Writing an Executive Summary

 


 

Organization

IBM SME Toolkit: Organization

The Organization section explains differences in types of business organizations. After deciding which business structure is right for your venture, read more about licenses, permits, and business names.

IBM's SME Toolkit: Organization

IBM's SME Toolkit: Business Licenses, Permits, and Business Names

New York Times Small Business Guide

After you've decided the right type of organization for your venture, read the NY Times article below to learn how - and why it is necessary - to register your Start-up. Another important step for Start-up ventures is creating an Advisory Board. Find tips from the NY Times on how to choose members for your Board in "How to Create an Advisory Board."

New York Times Small Business Guide

How to Create an Advisory Board

 


 

Finance

IBM SME Toolkit: Finance

The IBM SME Toolkit offers a training section on Accounting & Cash Flow as well as a section on How to Finance Your Business. In the Toolkit, you will also find budgeting calculators and a template to help estimate Start-up Costs.

IBM SME Toolkit: Accounting and Cash Flow

IBM SME Toolkit: How to Finance Your Business

IBM SME Toolkit: Estimating Small Business Start-Up Costs

IBM SME Toolkit: Budgeting and Forecasting Calulators

Patriot Express Loan

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the SBA’s Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative for veterans and members of the military community wanting to establish or expand small businesses. Visit http://www.sba.gov/patriotexpress/ to learn more about this program.

The Freemium

At Revenue Bootcamp, Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine, discusses how the internet has made so many things free and publicly available and whether or not this is a good thing for business. Anderson examines the new way to make money in the digital age - the ‘Freemium’. He says many companies have successfully adopted this new business model. The Wall Street Journal uses a Freemium: they give away the most popular content online, and then monetize the niche.