Starting a company today is both harder and easier than ever before. It is more challenging because a larger number of opportunities have been capitalized on, and a greater number of people appear to be trying. It is easier, though, because more resources are available and the world is more global. This means you can hire (or sell to) someone from outside the country with greater ease.
If you are thinking of starting a company, then one of the best steps you can take is capitalizing on the countless resources. You can now find support through all of the logistical steps needed to start a business. Plus, you can learn tactics by reading stories from founders about success and failure that can teach quite a bit.
Here are the 5 best of these resources that can get you off the ground and on a great path with your new business:
1. YCombinator How to Start a Startup
Y Combinator has been home to a plethora of successful companies including Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe. They are widely cited as the most successful accelerator due to the ways they push and support their batches.
Y Combinator, consequently, has a lot to teach future entrepreneurs. They have turned starting a business into a bit of a science that they have fine-tuned over the years. They share these learnings and approaches with every company that walks through their doors.
Luckily, they want more companies to be started. Being a part of YC involves much higher levels of intensity and support, but they have also created online resources for aspiring entrepreneurs.
The best of these resources is their How to Start a Startup video series. In this twenty hour-long video series, they bring together the best in their craft to talk about running a business. Facebook vice president of growth marketing Alex Schultz talks about growing your business, Airbnb founder Brian Chesky talks about company culture, and much more.
These videos explain what you really need to think about and focus on when starting a company from every aspect. You can jump around based on your most needed topics or you can decide to watch all of them. It is a great intro for starting a company no matter how much (or little) experience you have initially.
To officially start a business, there are important legal measures to handle. In the past, these were a burden for founders due to the cost, money, and challenge of which choices to make. Stripe Atlas has made the process easy. They provide all of the legal and technical resources you need to get a business off of the ground, and they do so at a very reasonable price.
Using Stripe Atlas will allow you to spend less time worrying about the frustrating logistics that come with starting a business and instead put your energy towards the harder problems.
In addition to the logistics, they offer other startup-help advice. Exploring their site and resources is very useful.
3. Read books and personal accounts.
There are great pieces of content in addition to Startup School that can help you manage your business. Some of the best books include Zero to One, The Lean Startup and The Hard Thing About Hard Things. They offer both practical advice as well as ideas of the bigger picture and what it actually takes to run a successful company.
There are also helpful websites that share personal accounts of founders. IndieHackers (owned by Stripe) is a great example that shares stories of small business owners. The site explains, in detail, how many founders got their businesses off the ground. This will offer you practical advice on getting going as well as motivation that you can do it.
One big challenge in starting a business is determining your software stack. How are you going to build your product and offerings, and what software will you use to support you? These are tough choices because there are thousands of different software products out there all claiming to be the best.
It is also a very important choice because effective software can save you time and money, while ineffective software can cost you greatly. Choosing wrongly at the foundation of your company can cause real issues as you scale. Sometimes making changes down the road can be extremely challenging and time-consuming.
Platforms like StackShare, Siftery, and G2 Crowd can help you choose your stack. They give real reviews on software products and share the stacks of other successful companies. They can even help you determine what might be best for your company depending on your needs.
5. Social communities.
Starting a business can be emotionally draining. It requires significant hours of work and often high levels of stress. There are many challenges involved in each step and doing it on your own makes it that much harder.
Luckily, today, you can take advantage of social communities as a resource. Even if you are starting your company in a remote location, you can communicate with other entrepreneurs online through communities. These include HackerNews, StartupNation and the countless Slack groups for founders.
In these groups, in addition to the support, you can get real advice. You can discuss the problems you are facing and share stories with others who have tackled similar obstacles.
Entering into these communities will not only give you an added level of support and advice, but it will likely increase your energy towards the project at hand. Seeing how many other people around the world are doing what you are doing as well as their passion for their respective projects is inspiring.
Find what works best for you.
The ultimate key to maximizing all of these resources is finding what works best for you. The five above are the most immediately helpful, but there are countless more. Think about the type of support you need as a founder and then take advantage of online resources to get that support. When you are faced with challenges, you no longer have to solve them on your own. You can, instead, capitalize on all of the existing information and support on the web.