One of the things I’m loving about today’s Web are the many excellent entrepreneur-run blogs that are resources for small business owners.
Kelly Anderson of the blog Start-Up Princess recently compiled a list of recommended blogs for small business entrepreneurs. Many of them (not all) are by women. All are worth checking out.
If you are not already a regular reader of these blogs, be sure not to miss:
- Wendy Piersall’s Sparkplug CEO (formerly eMoms at Home) for her home based business perspective.
- The blog Entrepreneurs-Journey, written by Yaro Starak. He focuses on providing business advice for the online entrepreneur. Kelly highlighted the post he wrote on earning $9,000 a month from a board game. Creating thinking.
- Michele Miller’s Wonderbranding, a site focused on marketing to women.
- Newspaper Girl by Janet Meiners who unravels the mystery around affiliate and Internet marketing.
- Mom 4 Life, written by Heather Ledeboer, focuses on the many roles women/moms play in today’s world.
In addition to reviewing Kelly’s entire list of blogs, take some time to scout around the Start-up Princess site. She has a long listing of interviews conducted with entrepreneurs that are worth reading. Check out the interview of Jory Des Jardins, the co-founder of BlogHer, the annual blogging conference for women bloggers that’s grown phenomenally popular.
You’ll find tips and advice, too. One article in particular really resonated with me: Creating a Sticky Note business plan. For those who are visual thinkers the process is perfect. When you think of a business plan most visualize a formal bank document — instead, this exercise allows for free thinking and moving ideas around.
Start up Princess even provides the opportunity for entrepreneurs (Princesses) to meet up with mentors (Fairy Godmothers) and share business and life balance tips for success. It’s more a community than a straight blog.
More in: Women Entrepreneurs
There are some really great sites on the list that offer a lot of valuable info. The Startup Princess has a really good article about licensing products. How to start, what you need….. Very helpful for beginners who have no clue where to start to get their products licensed.
I checked out the site with the sticky note business plan but it doesn’t work for me as she formulated it. I thought the point was going to be conciseness: if you can’t say it in a few sticky notes then it isn’t worth saying. I’m a believer in the importance of concise communication. Ronald Reagan as president of the United States refused to read any memo over one page in length. Perhaps a bit overboard for the leader of the free world but I like the concept.
I think Deborah’s point about that approach being for “visual thinkers” is the key.
It strikes me that the sticky note business plan is almost a brainstorming and idea generation/ prioritization method.
Me, I have to approach a plan in a more linear fashion and do detailed financials. So the sticky note approach probably wouldn’t work for me, either.
But I certainly can see the appeal to some people, especially if you’re new to business planning. And as Tim Berry (creator of Business Plan Pro software) says, the important thing is to start somewhere and work it into your business processes.
Kelly King Anderson
Anita and Deborah,
What a lovely, generous post! Thank you so much for recommending the Startup Princess blog and community. We relaunched our site in April as an online magazine so we appreciate this kind mention as we strive to inspire and help more women entrepreneurs. You humbly didn’t mention that I listed Small Biz Trends as one of our favorite reads, you are an amazing resource I recommend all the time!
Paula, thanks for the plug for our post about how to license, here’s the link http://startupprincess.com/wordpress/how-to-license-a-product/
Joe, I appreciate the comment here and also on the sticky note biz plan post, I agree with Anita that really it’s a starting point, particularly great for us creative types. I was overwhelmed by the first biz plan I wrote a few years ago, I would have preferred to have started with a sticky note version and then moved to the formal plan as step 2. Right now I’m working off a sticky note BP for Startup Princess and it’s been fine because I don’t need to show a formal one to investors, it’s just for me and my partner, it works great! I highly recommend it especially for startups.
Didn’t Startup Princess recently get a design facelift? It looks much nicer than I remember it.
I love the concept of The StartUp Princess. . . entrepreneurs are princesses and mentors are fairy godmothers. It’s quite appealing to women. And it adds a nice dose of humor to the subject and is very cute, too. I really like the concept there.
As much as women entrepreneurs strive to be treated with the same brush stroke as men from a positive perspective, sometimes it’s nice to give in to the feminine side and as Chris says, it is a fun approach to a serious concept. Starting a business isn’t for the weak-hearted. I’m in the land of creativity this week: Chautauqua Institute, http://www.ciweb.org and have used the sticky note concept to envision a new direction for a portion of my business. It isn’t a traditional format and doesn’t fit neatly into the P&L categories, but I’ve loved the flexibility and visual aspect.
Joe, your comment about one page communication is right on. Although I struggle with being concise, I have to remind myself of the purpose of the communication. If you just want to wet their appetite for more – one page is more than plenty.
With the sticky notes, I have just written short phrases and bullet pointed lists that will trigger a thought in my mind as I review later.
The exercise has been fun and since I did it using watercolor paints along with sticky notes – it is quite colorful. More like a Vision Board.
I followed the link on “how to write a sticky note business plan” and then clicked on the link to Christine Kloser’s (Love Your Life Publishing) site Conscious Business Coach. I wonder if she has read Craig Biddle’s book, Loving Life? http://glenallenpress.com/loving-life/
The SCORE Association which has been helping small businesses since 1964, recently launched a blog specifically for women entrepreneurs (womensblog.score.org), as well as a Web site (www.score.org/women). The bloggers are women business mentors who all of years of experience. Each month there is also an expert guest blogger. This month it’s personal finance guru Daria Dolan. I think this blog would be worthy of adding to your list.
The Startup Princess is a great resource for women entrepreneurs. It has a lot of good features and I enjoyed reading the site. Another great resource that I came across is a blog called the The Queen’s Diaries, it’s a ongoing blog about the everyday challenges of women entrepeneurs. It really provides great insight on the ups and downs of owning a business.
The address is: http://thequeensdiaries.blogspot.com/
My name is Heather Allard, aka, The Mogul Mom. I actually wrote the article on How to License a Product for StartUp Princess readers. I’m so glad it’s been well received.
I love the StartUp Princess site–it’s a great resource for women entrepreneurs.
I have to agree about the Sticky Note Business Plan–when I first read about it, I thought it was a business plan on ONE sticky note. Now that’s my kind of plan, since I tend to jump right into a business without much planning. I recently sold my first business (www.2virtues.com) for a six-figure sum–which was quite lucky for me since I never had ANY formal business plan and did a shoddy job (at best) of record keeping.
So…now that I’m onto my Next Big Idea with The Mogul Mom, I thought, hmmm…I better write some kind of plan. I can tell you now that I would NEVER be able to complete a sticky note business plan that involves SIX poster boards. Six sticky notes, maybe. With 3 kids under 8 years old, my attention span ain’t what it used to be.
But kudos to those of you who DO have the attention span and foresight to complete a SNBP. More power to you.
If you’re wondering what The Mogul Mom is, it’s a place for mom entrepreneurs to come and find information, resources, ebooks (in Fall 2008), consulting and more. I’m the type of person who likes VERY SPECIFIC information, and that’s what I aim to provide for my readers. My Coaching by Email program is like a conversation—you can ask me questions, request referrals or brainstorm ideas with me. Really, almost anything goes. I feel that Coaching by Email is better than telephone consulting because you get to keep all the emails and refer back to them when you need to—you don’t have to frantically take notes or be afraid that you’ll miss anything.
Anyway, I just wanted to weigh in on the SNBP, thank you for reading my licensing article and tell you a bit about The Mogul Mom.
Keep up the great work, Kelly…StartUp Princess rocks.
I was introduced to Start Up Princess back in June and it was JUST what I was looking for. Kelly Anderson has done a great job of creating a place for women business owners and builders to get together. The articles are informative and cover such a wide range of subjects. I only wish I had found Start Up Princess sooner!