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5 Great Sites for Starting a Business

There's plenty of help out there for start-ups--so take advantage.

Want your business to succeed? Then you've got to pave the way to success, step by step. Not sure where to start? Here's a list of resources that will help you take the first steps toward successful planning and management decisions that will last the lifetime of your business:

  • Center for Business Planning: Go here for a library of resources and links to hundreds of sites offering information on business planning. You can read award-winning business plans, evaluate your marketing plan and sign up for a free business strategy analysis.
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    BizStartUps.com is another great place for tons of start-up information.
  • ChamberBiz: Visit this network of state and local chambers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a list of resources and numerous tools to help you start, manage and expand your small business.
  • SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives): SCORE is an organization made up of volunteers who have been there, done that. You can request to work one-on-one with a mentor in your area, or simply go online and submit a question via e-mail.
  • The Small Business Administration (SBA): Download and guide yourself through a self-paced business plan, including separate sections for marketing, finances and management. You'll also find tips for your start-up and help with budgets.
  • U.S. Online Business Advisor: This site offers one-stop access to information on federal laws and regulations, taxes and workplace issues.
Plan Your Future
You might know you want to be an entrepreneur, but you don't necessarily have it all figured out when it comes to planning for college and selecting a path to entrepreneurship. Good news: Streaming Futures has just launched a free online program to help teens with career planning and college preparation through live, interactive interviews with career professionals.

Each month, host Joel Holland, founder of Streaming Futures, will interview a professional from a different career--everything from technology to politics--and webcast the interview live over the Internet. Teens will have the opportunity to interact with the interviewee and ask questions, and all interviews will be archived on the Streaming Futures site for those who wish to access past interviews.

The interviews are scheduled to begin this month. For more details, visit the Streaming Futures Web site.

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