Start-a-Business 101

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Start-a-Business 101 will guide you through every single step to plan and launch your new business. You will become a knowledgeable entrepreneur, confident and ready to start a business you love.  

12 lessons, 78 videos (10h 37m), 40+ tools

What you’ll learn in Start-a-Business 101

You will learn exactly what to do at every single step of starting a business. You will be able to start a business you love, earn an excellent income and become your own boss.

  • You will learn the business skills, the strategies and the insights to start a business.
  • Even if you are a beginner you will quickly learn how to start a business and understand how to make it successful.
  • You will learn all aspects of starting a business including finding a great idea, creating your business model, writing your business plan, getting financing, doing marketing, and making sales.

 

  • This course is a complete step by step roadmap for creating a business from scratch. Because we cover the entire process and explain everything carefully, you do not need any prior knowledge or experience to take this course.
  • You’ll get over 40 templates, worksheets, samples and checklists that will save you time and guide you along your business journey.
  • You’ll learn from startup expert Bob Adams who has started over a dozen successful businesses, including one that he started in his basement apartment with just $1,500 and sold for $40 million. Adams has a Harvard MBA, has written 17 business books and created 52 business courses.
  • Discover how to find a great business idea. You’ll learn how to generate, evaluate, and validate ideas. We’ll also give you 400 of our favorite ideas.
  • Learn how to tell if a business idea is really any good. And also learn how to determine which is the very best business idea for you.
  • Learn how to take your business idea and turn it into a successful business.
  • Discover how to find the best target market for your business and why it’s important.
  • Learn how to make your business stand out from the competition and continuously attract customers like a magnet.
  • Learn how to create a powerful, short business plan.
  • Explore over a dozen practical ways to finance your startup and how to approach them.
  • Learn how to create budgets, make financial projections and create the accounting statements that you need for your business.
  • Find out how to develop a marketing message that will stand out and be noticed.
  • Discover free and low-cost ways to land customers including our favorite 50 “guerilla” marketing ideas that the instructor has used for his businesses.
  • Learn how to build a presence on the Internet including creating your website, showing up in Google search results, using social media and more.
  • Find out how to make sales in person, on the phone, by email and by networking.
  • Discover how to find a great name that will serve as a built-in advertisement for your business and the commonly used types of names that you should avoid.
  • Determine how to choose the best legal entity and how to register and get permits for your business.
  • Discover how to launch a business as fast and for as little money as possible using the concept of “MVP” – minimally viable product.
  • Learn how to start a business on a shoestring budget and with no experience, including a case study of one of the instructor’s first businesses.
  • Find out what you need to know about starting a business in your home or part-time.
  • Discover the 10 top secrets that determine business success.
  • Avoid the costly mistakes made by most first time entrepreneurs.
  • Get expert one on one advice and answers to your questions from the instructor anytime you get stuck.
  • Increase your ability to succeed by getting direction and advice from startup expert Bob Adams.
  • You will become a knowledgeable and confident entrepreneur who knows exactly what to do at each step of starting a business.
  • Try this course free for 7 days. You can get unlimited access to Start-a-Business 101 and all other BusinessTown courses for free for 7 days.

Start-a-Business 101 is a complete program for starting your own business

Everything you need to know. This course will take you step by step through every single aspect of starting a business. You will quickly learn the skills, the strategies, and the insights you need to start a successful business.

Find a great business idea. You’ll get our proven 6-step method for finding the perfect business idea for you. You’ll learn how to generate, evaluate, and validate ideas. Plus we’ll give you 400 of our favorite business ideas.

Turn your idea into a profitable business. We’ll take you through every step of starting a business from finding your idea, to turning it into a solid business model, to making your first sales and profits.

 

Attract customers without spending a lot of money. You’ll discover a lot of free and low-cost ways to land customers. From simple “guerilla” marketing tactics to the latest in digital marketing, you’ll learn every way imaginable to pull in customers, even on a shoestring budget.

Start small and grow as fast as you want. Start-a-Business 101 will show you how you can start small, even part-time if you prefer, and build a highly successful business. You don’t need a lot of time or resources – but you do need to make the right decisions on key issues – and this course will show you how to do it.

Get proven strategies and insider advice. You’ll get the exact same methods that the course instructor, Bob Adams, used to build one successful business after the next. He will show you how to avoid problems. And he’ll show you what to do each step of the way – so that you start your business right.

Learn from the startup expert. Course instructor Bob Adams started over a dozen successful businesses. Many of his businesses he started without related experience and on budgets under $2,000 – including one that he sold for $40 million. Adams has a Harvard MBA, has written 17 books on business, and has taught 52 business courses.

Get personalized advice. You can get expert advice and personalized answers to any business question directly from Bob Adams by posting it on our interactive Discussion Board.

Templates, worksheets, and 40 other tools. Start-a-Business 101 includes over 40 tools that will save you time and guide you along your business journey.

Learn how to start a business in just a few minutes a day. If you watch just one video lesson (7 minutes average) a day, you will complete the course and become a knowledgeable entrepreneur, ready-to-start a business, in about 10 weeks. Or you can binge-watch the entire course in one weekend. It’s up to you!

Who is this course for? This course is perfect for anyone thinking of starting a business who wants to know exactly what is the best practice at each step of the business journey. With Start-a-Business 101 you won’t have to guess what to do next. And you won’t have to wonder if you are doing things right. You will be able to make the best decisions for your business decisively and confidently. 

Start a business you love! With Start-a-Business 101 you can start a business you love, become your own boss, earn more money, and live the life of your dreams.

Try this course free for 7 days. You can get unlimited access to Start-a-Business 101 and all other BusinessTown courses for free for 7 days.

Start-a-Business 101 compiles in one place all the lessons that you need to learn how to start a business. Some of these lessons are also included in shorter courses.

You’ll get templates, worksheets, samples and checklists to help guide you along

The 40+ tools included in this course will save you time, keep you organized and help you get your business up and running as rapidly as possible. 

Popular tools include:

  • Ultimate Startup Checklist, 18 pages
  • 300 Best Business Ideas, 111 pages
  • Marketing Plan Under $2k, 12 pages
  • 50 Guerilla Marketing Tactics, 8 pages
  • Business Idea Evaluation Worksheet 
  • One page Business Plan Template
  • Sales Presentation Templates 

Try BusinessTown free for 7 days

Watch a sample video from the course

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Start-a-Business 101 Content

You will learn how to think like an entrepreneur and identify the critical issues for succeeding at business. You will also learn that starting a business may be easier than you think, and that often starting a business part-time or from home may be the best choices.

Included is The Ultimate Checklist to Starting Your Own Business. This 100-point checklist will walk you through all the steps of getting started so you know exactly what to do at any given time. 

(31:27, 7 videos, 1 checklist)

You will discover 45 different ways to generate great business ideas. You will learn how to choose the perfect business idea for you. You will find out how to make sure that the idea is viable. You will get our take on 400 of our favorite, practical and proven business ideas.

Included are 3 worksheets to evaluate, rate and validate business ideas. You will also get a case study showing you exactly how to find the best idea for you.

Also included are the 111 page ebook, The 300 Best Small Business Ideas, and the instructor’s case studies, How I Started a Successful Business with No Money and No Experience and Example of Using the 6-Step Approach to Choose a Business Idea.

You will also get 2 guides, 21 Easy-to-Start Part-Time Businesses and 42 Home-Based Businesses You Can Start Today.

(1:05:16, 11 videos, 1 ebook, 3 worksheets, 2 case studies, 2 guides)

Many small businesses struggle and never realize their true potential because they fail to develop a competitive advantage.

In this lesson, you will learn how to analyze customers and competitors to find the best possible “position” for your business in the marketplace and build a strong competitive advantage.

You will learn the critical secret for determining your best target market. And you will learn how to truly “differentiate” your business so that you don’t directly compete with the other players.

Included are worksheets to help you find your target market and explore ways to differentiate your business. You will also get the instructor’s case study How I Successfully Differentiated My Business in a Crowded Marketplace.

(19:00, 3 videos, 2 worksheets, 1 case study)

You will learn step by step how to create a one page business plan, which will help guide your business to success. A one page plan is ideal for a very simple business or for the first stages of planning a larger business.

Included is a template and a sample plan. (If you wish to create a more complete business plan, check out our course, How to Create a Business Plan, which is also included with BusinessTown.)

(6:27, 1 video, 1 template, 1 sample)

Every business, no matter how small, needs its own unique marketing message that clearly and succinctly delivers its value proposition. In this lesson you will learn exactly how to create a powerful unique marketing message for your business.

You will also learn how to develop a one page marketing plan. Plus you will discover 50 of the instructor’s favorite no cost or low cost guerilla marketing tactics. You will also learn how any business can easily get free publicity.

Perhaps most important of all, you will discover the instructor’s #1 secret for achieving marketing success and avoiding costly marketing failures.

Included are a worksheet for creating your marketing message, a template and sample for a one page marketing plan, a worksheet for 50 guerilla marketing tactics, a template and sample press release, and the case study, Marketing Bob’s Rent-A-Bike.

(49:13, 5 videos, 2 worksheets, 2 templates, 2 samples, 1 case study)

This lesson will simplify and explain in very easy-to-understand language how anyone can get started in marketing online. The instructor will first explain how to do very basic and free online marketing – such as how to build a highly effective one-page website and how to get the website to show up in search engine results.

Many more advanced topics are covered as well such as email marketing, blog writing, social media, and online advertising.

Included are worksheets for planning, designing and creating your website, search engine optimization, 50 blog post ideas, and 50 creative online marketing ideas.

(2:21:42, 8 videos, 4 worksheets)

Even in today’s digital age, making sales often involves a personal touch at some point in the process such as in-person, over the phone or by email.

If you’ve never done it, selling might sound scary! But as the instructor explains, anyone can learn to sell – and he explains how to do it with clear, step by step instructions and specific examples.

He also explains alternative ways to attract clients without cold calling and how to get your first customers.

Included are templates and worksheets for getting lots of leads, making sales presentations, and writing effective emails.

(1:37:27, 10 videos, 1 worksheet, 3 templates, 2 samples)

You will learn about many practical ways to finance your startup or new business including bootstrapping, friends and family, angel investors, venture capitalists, banks, online lenders, merchant cash advances, SBA loans, four types of crowdfunding, government and private grants, and more.

Plus you will learn how to create accounting and financial statements and projections including income statements, balance sheets and cash flows.

Included are templates and samples for all financials, plus the case study of how the instructor combined seller financing, bank financing and friends and family financing to buy a business.

(2:11:51, 21 videos, 6 templates, 6 samples, 1 case study)

In this lesson you will learn how to create a really good name for your business that will serve as a built-in advertisement for your business and pull in customers for years to come.

You will learn how to determine the best legal entity for your business (such as sole proprietorship, LLC or corporation). And you will learn how to register and get permits for your business.

Included are a worksheet to evaluate potential names for your business as well as the instructor’s case study, Why I Repeatedly Changed the Legal Entity of My Business and What You Can Learn From It.

(1:02:18, 10 videos, 1 worksheet, 1 case study)

Why do some small businesses fail while other very similar businesses become tremendously successful? In this lesson you will learn about the top 10 key success factors that you must absolutely do your best job on to make your business as successful as possible.

You will also discover the concept of “MVP”, or minimally viable product, and how you may be able to apply this concept to your situation to get a “bare bones” version of your business up and running with absolutely the least amount of money and time as possible.

(19:02, 2 videos)

Instructor

Bob Adams

Serial entrepreneur, Harvard MBA and founder of BusinessTown

In this course, Bob Adams shares the same strategies that he used to build over a dozen successful businesses. Bob shows you exactly what to do at each step of starting a business.

Bob has mastered the art of starting businesses with very little money, and making them highly profitable.

For example, Bob started his book publishing company in his basement apartment with just $1500 and no related experience. He built it into one of the largest independent publishers in the US, achieving industry-leading profit margins. He later sold this business for $40 million.

Bob has written 17 books and created 52 courses that have helped over one million entrepreneurs worldwide. 

 

Hi there! I’m Bob Adams. I’m a Harvard MBA serial entrepreneur. I’ve started over a dozen businesses including BusinessTown, the go-to learning platform for starting and running a business.

I’ve authored or co-authored 17 books on business. I’ve also created 52 online courses for entrepreneurs which you can stream on BusinessTown.

I am so excited that you are considering starting (or perhaps already have started) your own business! For me starting and building my own businesses has been incredibly awesome!

I’ve made a lot of money, created cool products, delivered valuable services, provided employment for others, built some great companies and had one heck of a lot of fun and fulfillment along the way!

I started with nothing. Nobody handed me money or an existing business. Yes, I did get a Harvard MBA – but many of my businesses I started before I ever set foot in a business school classroom.

Most of my businesses I started in my home on a very small budget. I have shown repeatedly that you can start your business small and grow it into a highly profitable enterprise.

When I was 19 and on summer vacation from Carleton College, I started my first business with just $1,000, Bob’s Rent-A-Bike. I had little money, no experience and of course no business plan. In short, I had no idea what I was doing.

My father was appalled. Don’t do it! – he said. It won’t work! Get a real job.

To be honest I was scared the business would fail and I would look like an idiot. But I went ahead and started it anyway. Bob’s Rent-A-Bike was a big success. And I’ve been starting and running my own businesses ever since then.

The flyers for my first business

were rather crude – but they worked!

Another summer I started a house painting business, College Painters. The closest thing I had to experience was that I had painted some model trains and once I even painted an old row boat.

I started this business with virtually no money. I even had the first customer advance us cash so that I could buy paint and brushes.

This is a great example of how easy it can be to start your own business. I made profits from the very first painting job even with no experience.

A few years later I decided to start a book publishing company, Adams Media. Again, starting small was a given because I only had $1500 to invest and I was still a full time student. Like most of my other businesses I had no prior related experience.

I started Adams Media with $1,500 and

sold it for $40 million. 

My first book was a guide to local companies for job hunters called, The Boston Job Bank. Using all my low cost marketing ideas, I quickly turned this book into a #1 local bestseller.

I went on to publish many more books, growing Adams Media into one of the largest independent publishers in the US, before selling it for $40 million.

Once I was in your shoes, not sure what to do or how to get started.

But eventually through years of struggle, and trial and error, I discovered what worked in business and what did not work.

Fortunately you will not have to struggle through years of trial and error. That’s because on BusinessTown you can learn from myself and other experts what works in business and what doesn’t. We will give you the recipe for business success.

We will show you the same proven strategies that we have used to create one successful business after the next. You won’t have to guess what to do. You will be able to avoid the common and costly mistakes made by new entrepreneurs.

You don’t have to be a genius, a tech wizard or a business school graduate to succeed in business. You don’t need any business background at all. But success is going to come a lot easier if you first learn the important business fundamentals and keys to success. These are presented in the online courses at BusinessTown.

BusinessTown offers over 130 short courses for entrepreneurs. Our most popular courses include Start-a-Business 101, How to Create a Business Plan and How to Find a Business Idea. You can try BusinessTown for free.

Then like me, after you get your business up and running, you can enjoy the entrepreneurial lifestyle. It’s not just a wild crazy dream – you can do it. Here’s how my lifestyle changed since I’ve become an entrepreneur.

I control my own schedule. I get plenty of time for family, friends and doing the things that I like.

When I started out I lived in a small basement apartment. Well now I live in a 17 room classic brick manor home complete with a movie theater room, a complete gym, a home office, a wine cellar, my model train room, multiple garages, extensive gardens, a coy pond and a tennis court.

Being an entrepreneur means I work when and where I want including from one of my vacation homes on Cape Cod and the island of Nantucket. I also get to travel the world frequently and meet fascinating people.

Being my own boss means I have a lot of time to have fun and hang out with friends and family. I especially enjoyed being able to coach my kids in soccer in the middle of the afternoon during the week.

Everyone needs a hobby! I’m a little crazy about my model trains! They completely occupy one of the largest rooms in my house. I have 8 scale miles of track complete with scenery such as mountains, cities and harbors. I can operate up to 10 trains at once.

The best thing about being an entrepreneur is not the money, the big houses, the luxury cars or the fancy vacations. The best part is being able to do work that you truly love!

To actually get paid to do work that you really enjoy doing – it’s very cool! It’s also neat to be your own boss. To be in charge of your own destiny. To be the star of your own show!

I’m always learning new things. Being creative. And meeting interesting new people.

I love being an entrepreneur – and I think you will too!

I love my work! I’m always learning new things and meeting really interesting people.

To actually get paid to do work that you really enjoy doing – it’s very cool! It’s also neat to be your own boss. To be in charge of your own destiny. To be the star of your own show!

I’m always learning new things. Being creative. And meeting interesting new people.

I love being an entrepreneur – and I think you will too!

Businesses that I Started Myself

1. Online courses – BusinessTown
2. Book publishing – Adams Media*
3. Business software – Adams New Media*
4. Online job platform – CareerCity.com*
5. Magazine publishing – Careers Group*
6. Job fairs – Premier Job Fairs*
7. Job listing publication – JobBank*
8. House painting – College Painters
9. Tourist maps – Nantucket & Cape Cod Maps*
10. Classified advertiser – St. Paul Greensheet*
11. Bicycle rentals – Bob’s Rent-A-Bike
12. College newspaper -Spectrum
13. Used boat sales – Bobby’s Boat Yard
14. College directory – for Simmons College
15. Employment Agency
16. Rowboat building
17. Handyperson service

*Denotes businesses that I sold. Most of these businesses I started with less than $2,000 including Adams Media Corporation that I sold for $40 million. Many of these businesses I started from my home and part time.

To learn about the strategies I used to succeed in my businesses check out my courses including Start-a-Business 101, How to Create a Business Plan and How to Find a Business Idea. You can start streaming these courses and all the other courses on BusinessTown for free.

BusinessTown founder Bob Adams’s courses & books have been featured in:

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Frequently asked questions:

BusinessTown is an e-learning platform built for people interested in starting and running a business. 

On BusinessTown, you get unlimited access to 130+ business courses taught by real successful entrepreneurs and highly skilled experts. You also gain access to 50+ business tools and to our discussion board, where you can get expert answers to your business questions.

No matter what you want to learn or where you are on your business journey, there is a course for you. 

Marketing, ideas, financing, planning, naming, how to get started… BusinessTown covers everything you need to start and run your business right. 

The courses are available anywhere, anytime, on any device, and you can take them at your own pace. 

Create your BusinessTown account to get started and try BusinessTown free for 7 days. 

BusinessTown includes unlimited access to 130+ business courses taught by real successful entrepreneurs and highly skilled experts.

You also get full access to 50+ downloadable tools like worksheets, templates, and samples, and to our discussion board where you can get an answer to any business question you have. 

BusinessTown is $19.95 per month. It provides unlimited access to all 130+ courses, all tools, and our discussion board, where you can get expert answers to your business questions.

We offer a free 7-day trial. If you decide that BusinessTown is not for you, then just cancel within 7 days of starting your free trial and you will not be charged at all.

If you wish to cancel your BusinessTown account, you can do so through your account page under the Billing section. 

If you have any questions, email us at bbisson@businesstown.com. We are more than happy to help!

BusinessTown includes 130+ courses on all business topics: Getting started, business ideas, business plans, strategy, marketing, websites, social media, online advertising, finance, accounting, leadership, sales, legal issues, home-based businesses and more!

Looking for a business idea? Why don’t you check out our course How to Find a Business Idea. 

Do you need help creating your business plan? We’ve got you covered. Take a look at our course How to Create a Business Plan.

Do you want to be walked step by step through the entire process of starting a business? Check out our ultimate course, Start-a-Business 101. 

Are you not sure that you are ready to start your own business? Consider our course, What It Takes to Start a Business.

Are you looking for financing for a new or existing business? We offer 5 courses on financing a small business. We suggest you start with the course, How to Finance Your Business.

Do you want to learn about marketing? Because it’s so important, we offer over 30 courses on sales and marketing. Consider starting with the short course, Developing Your Marketing Message.

Want to learn about marketing online? We offer 5 courses on creating websites, 6 courses on digital marketing and 5 courses on promoting through social media. To get started we recommend the course, The Complete Guide to Digital Marketing.

Looking to get inspired and learn how other entrepreneurs succeeded in starting and growing their businesses? We offer several courses on this including, How to Succeed as a Woman Entrepreneur.

Do you already have a business and are looking to improve it? We have several courses on this topic. Try starting with the course, How to Boost Profits.

No matter where you are on your business journey, there is a course for you.   

On BusinessTown you have access to 50+ downloadable tools like worksheets, samples, and templates to help you start and run a business. 

Our most popular tools include:

The Ultimate Startup Checklist, 18 pages 

The 300 Best Small Business Ideas ebook, 105 pages 

The Complete Business Plan Template, 29 pages

Complete Sample Business Plan, 35 pages 

Sample Marketing Plan Under $2k, 12 pages

One Page Marketing Plan Template

One Page Sample Marketing Plan

50 Guerilla Marketing Tactics Worksheet, 8 pages

Business Idea Evaluation Worksheet 

8 Basic Steps to Making the Sale Template

Sales Presentations that Your Customers Will Love Template

Sales Presentation Sample Dialog

50 Ways to Generate Endless Sales Leads Worksheet 

Cold Calling Script Template and Sample

Emails that Land Sales Template and Sample

Voicemails that Get Callbacks Template and Sample

Income Statement Templates and Samples

Balance Sheet Templates and Samples

Cash Flow Templates and Samples

Calculate Depreciation Template

Key Financial Ratios Sample

How I Started a Successful Business with No Money and No Experience, Case Study

Key Questions to Select the Best Business Idea Worksheet

Validate Your Business Idea Worksheet

Using the 6-Step Approach to Choose a Business Idea Case Study

21 Easy-to-Start Part-Time Business Ideas Guide

42 Home-Based Businesses You Can Start Guide

Why I Repeatedly Changed the Legal Entity of My Business, Case Study

Evaluate Customer Segments and Competitors Worksheet

Differentiate Your Business from Competitors Worksheet

How I Differentiated My First Business in a Crowded Marketplace, Case Study

Creating a Press Release Template and Sample

Marketing Bob’s Rent-A-Bike, Case Study

Planning, Designing and Creating Your Website Worksheet

Search Engine Optimization Worksheet

50 Blog Post Ideas Worksheet

50 Creative Online Marketing Ideas Worksheet

Evaluate Potential Names for Your Business Worksheet

How I Financed Buying a Business Case Study

Cover Letter to Seek Financing Sample

Collection Letter Samples

The Four Quadrant Theory of Time Management Graphic

BusinessTown courses will show you how to start your business right and grow it into a highly successful enterprise. 

You will learn from highly experienced entrepreneurs and experts who have been there and done it. You won’t have to learn by trial and error. You won’t have to guess what to do next. BusinessTown courses will guide you through your entire business journey.

Even if you are a beginner you will quickly learn how to start a business you love. If you already have a business, BusinessTown will show how to grow it and make it better.

By just watching one video lesson a day (about 7 minutes average) you can quickly ramp up your business knowledge. No matter where you are on your business journey, there is a course for you taught by an expert on BusinessTown.

What would you like to learn more about today? Starting a business? How to find a business idea? How to write a business plan? How to do your marketing? How to build an online presence? How to get financing? How to prepare financial statements? BusinessTown has courses that cover all these topics and hundreds more.

So if you want to become a smarter entrepreneur and start and build a successful business, you’ll want to start streaming the courses on BusinessTown today.

Copyright © 2021 BusinessTown LLC. All rights reserved. BusinessTown ® is a registered trademark of BusinessTown LLC.

Unlimited access to all BusinessTown courses. 7 day free trial. Then $19.95/month. Cancel anytime.

Unlimited access. 7 day free trial. Then $19.95/mo. Cancel anytime.