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5 Great Sites for Starting a Business

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

By Amy Rauch Neilson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Want your business to succeed? Then you've got to pave theway to success, step by step. Not sure where to start? Here's alist of resources that will help you take the first steps towardsuccessful planning and management decisions that will last thelifetime of your business:

  • Center for Business Planning: Go here for alibrary of resources and links to hundreds of sites offeringinformation on business planning. You can read award-winningbusiness plans, evaluate your marketing plan and sign up for a freebusiness strategy analysis.
    ClickHere is another great place fortons of start-up information.
  • ChamberBiz: Visit this network of state and localchambers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a list of resourcesand numerous tools to help you start, manage and expand your smallbusiness.
  • SCORE(Service Corps of Retired Executives): SCORE is anorganization made up of volunteers who have been there, done that.You can request to work one-on-one with a mentor in your area, orsimply 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 withbudgets.
  • U.S.Online Business Advisor: This site offers one-stop accessto information on federal laws and regulations, taxes and workplaceissues.
Plan Your Future
You might know you want to be anentrepreneur, but you don't necessarily have it all figured outwhen it comes to planning for college and selecting a path toentrepreneurship. Good news: Streaming Futures has just launched afree online program to help teens with career planning and collegepreparation through live, interactive interviews with careerprofessionals.

Each month, host Joel Holland, founder of Streaming Futures,will interview a professional from a different career--everythingfrom technology to politics--and webcast the interview live overthe Internet. Teens will have the opportunity to interact with theinterviewee and ask questions, and all interviews will be archivedon the Streaming Futures site for those who wish to access pastinterviews.

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

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