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Bootstrap Your Biz to Start-up 400 Tools to Get Your Biz Up and Running for Less Than $100 ! By Kristi L. Jackson

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Copyright Š 2012 Disclaimer All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review.

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Table of Contents

About the Author .........................................................................1 Introduction .................................................................................2 Getting Started ............................................................................3 The Bottom Line ...........................................................................4 Business Planning ........................................................................5 The Bottom Line ...........................................................................5 Organization & Systems ...............................................................7 The Bottom Line ...........................................................................8 Documents and Communication ..................................................9 The Bottom Line .........................................................................10 Contracts ...................................................................................11 The Bottom Line .........................................................................11 Marketing ..................................................................................12 The Bottom Line .........................................................................13 Social Media...............................................................................14 The Bottom Line .........................................................................14 Public Relations .........................................................................15 The Bottom Line .........................................................................16 Connect, Meet, Present ..............................................................17 The Bottom Line .........................................................................17 Ding! Ding! Ding! Total Spent $10 ..............................................18

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About the Author While most young girls were engaged in play with dolls or dress-up clothes, Kristi Jackson was setting up for business. For as far back as she can recall, Kristi imagined herself running her own business. As a child, she hadn’t yet decided into which industry she’d delve or how exactly to chart her course. What the young school girl did know was (a) she wanted a desk; (b) she wanted to earn her own money; and (c) she wanted to make her own rules. Kristi graduated from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in Computer Information Systems in the midst of the dot-com fallout. She relocated to Houston, Texas, and searched, unsuccessfully, for a job within her field of study before she decided to move forward into real estate, the industry she’d always found so intriguing. After over 7 years in the real estate industry and becoming a Broker, Kristi realized that a deeper level of education that was convenient, affordable, and inclusive wasn’t readily available to women in business. Hence, the birth of Women CEO Project in August 2010. Women’s CEO Project, a venture through which she is developing a virtual community of women business owners in the U.S. and abroad and offers its members virtual training and seminars, and local networking to inspire collaboration and accelerate business growth and profitability. In Bootstrap Your Way to Startup, Kristi shares all of tools she’s found along the bumpy road to a successful startup. In the Bootstrap Your Way to Start-up webinar and virtual Training- over 100 more tools and a Step-by-Step Workbook are given- make sure to check out upcoming events here www.womenceoproject.com to register for the next webinar.

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Introduction Do you want to start your own business? Taking that first step can be intimidating. Maybe you’ve put off becoming an entrepreneur because you think you don’t have the money, the tools, or the time to start a business. Got $100? Bootstrap Your Way to Startup will provide you with over 400 tools to get your systems up and running within the next 7 days—with $100 or less. Although you eventually you may need inventory or investment money, the tools in this book will help get you started now within a limited budget. I have done all of the research and put everything in one convenient place—this book—for you! All you need is access to a computer with an internet connection. I’ll keep a tally of our spending at the bottom of each page, and you can check our math! 7 days, $100 or less! Here we go!

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Getting Started So you’ve decided that after many weekends and evenings working on your hobby-you now want to turn it into a business. Let’s say your new business is making gourmet cupcakes. You’ve been making them for your kids and the neighbors’ kids, but you’ve never sold them. You don’t know how much to charge. You don’t know who would buy them. You don’t know your competition. Basically, you want to start a business but you don’t know where to begin.

CEO, You Have to Research! You don’t want to start Pink Cupcakes to find out one’s already in your city and it’s a block away! To begin researching the cupcake industry, the best place to start is Google at www.google.com. Search by the name of your product or service. The results will tell you who is making and selling cupcakes in your city, how much the cupcakes cost, and where the sellers are located. But to go a little further, visit Reference USA at www.referenceusa.com where you can research your industry and your competition (the names you found on Google). How much does this research cost, you ask? Reference USA is a free service you can access by using your public library card number from your local library. One of the best comprehensive websites for entrepreneurial research is the Kaufmann Foundation at www.kauffman.org. Here you can read case studies and reports, watch interviews, and look up businesses by industry. You can also get a free copy of the latest “Thought Book” mailed to you.

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To get no-cost counseling or mentoring, visit or go online to your local Score chapter www.score.org or Small Business Administration office www.sba.gov. You can find a mentor, take courses, ask questions, get help writing your business plan, and use a variety of tools--all for free! What have you accomplished so far? You have researched your product or service, learned about your competition, quizzed your new-found mentor, taken some business courses.

The Bottom Line Completed: Research Money Spent: $0

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Business Planning Now it’s time to make a plan! Creating a business plan and developing your strategy are essential to the success of your business. This plan will help you to determine the who, the what, and the how of turning your weekend hobby into a legitimate business. You can find many sources to give you guidance and you can even templates and forms to write your business plan. But don’t you wish someone would just tell you if your business idea stood a chance to succeed? Well, okay, you won’t get a black and white “yes” or “no,” but Enloop at www.enloop.com will give you a performance score. Based on the information you input from your business plan, this score will help you understand your chances of success and suggest changes to improve that likelihood. Enloop is currently free so you definitely want to check it out before there’s a charge for this valuable insight. Don’t know what a biz plan looks like? Need an example? Bplans at www.bplans.com has over 500 complete plans and is an excellent place to begin looking at business plan examples and templates. Another helpful resource to begin your planning process is Startup Business School at www.startupbusinessschool.com, which offers advice, planning tools, and video lessons.

The Bottom Line Completed Business Plan Money Spent: $0 Page | 5

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Organization & Systems So you’ve completed your research and business plan and are now ready to organize your company and set up all of your systems. This can be done in a short amount of time, and for low or no cost.

Organizational Chart First you determine how you want to organize your company. Since we are starting this company with $100 or less, it’s safe to say that you will not be making a hire for a while. But you do need to know who to hire, what will they do, and whom will they answer to. You can do this easily and quickly using free software from Org Charts at www.cogmap.com.

Accounting People sometimes get scared with accounting, thinking very advanced math skills are needed. Not true! Of course accounting must done to determine how much money is coming in and going out, if you can hire, or how much you can pay yourself, but this can be done easily by you. Before you’re really big and need advanced accounting processes, you can find many sites to help you manage your money yourself. These sites provide you with graphs, categories, and email reminders to make your business accounting very simple.

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Check out Accounting Software for Small Businesses at www.outright.com. Here you can manage bookkeeping, track sales and expenses and keep tax records. Best thing? You can start using this site for free!

The Bottom Line Completed Business Organized Money Spent: $0

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Documents and Communication Word Processing Don’t have the money for an office suite or word processing software? No worries. Many sites offer free word processing and storage all within the cloud.

Forms Think you should create invoices in word processing software because you don’t have the money? Guess again. Several websites can help businesses get paid, look professional, and organize all at the same time. Invoices Made Easy at www.invoicesmadeeasy.com/ enables you to create, print, and email invoices for free. If you use FreshBooks Painless Billing at www.freshbooks.com, you can bill three clients free with unlimited invoices, and it lets you add your logo- branding!

Google Business All of your word processing can be done at no cost through Google Docs at www.docs.google.com. You can create documents, contracts, spreadsheets and forms. All of these documents are online or in the “cloud” so they can be accessed with any computer just by signing on to your Gmail account. Convenience at a zero price. But it doesn’t stop there. Google offers so many free business options. •

Email: Setup a free email account in minutes.

Google Talk: Chat online for free with anyone else who has a Google email account

Google Voice: Get a free Google phone number you can use for business, for a promotion, or for a second line. You can add

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voicemail to this number, receive your messages in a text and email, or decide to answer. Many uses窶馬o cost! 窶「

Google Forms: Create business forms from scratch or use the forms templates and upload the forms directly to your site. Add your company logo, and now you have professional looking documents.

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Calendar: Keep your schedule organized, invite associates to meetings, and forward this calendar to your Blackberry, iPhone, or other device for free!

The Bottom Line Completed: Documentation and Communication Money Spent: $0

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Contracts Nothing screams amateur more than an unprofessional contract. You worked so hard to gain the client. Don’t mess it up with a simple word document because you think you can’t afford a professional document First, see if someone has already created the document you need by going to www.docstoc.com and check out what’s already available. This is where you “may” have to spend a few bucks but chances are you can find the document you need for free. Docstoc has thousands of documents in its library. You can download one for free, pay for one, or simply look through them. My suggestion: find one similar to what your company needs, and tailor it to your business. See an example but still want to create your own? Go back to www.doc.google.com and create it!

The Bottom Line Completed: Contracts Created Money Spent: $0

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Marketing

Marketing News, Marketing Research, Publicity Think you can’t do your own marketing starting out??? Think again. Gone are the days of paying someone tons of money to market your company’s product or service. Not only can you DIY—Do it Yourself— when starting up, you can market your company efficiently and professionally. To DIY, you must know what works for your industry, your prospective clients, and your time. Research, Research, Research. You can find “All Things Marketing” at some awesome sites, where even a novice can become an expert in finding unique ways to get the word out about their products and services. Start with Marketing Profs at www.marketingprofs.com.This comprehensive site covers everything, including free webinars, classes, articles and videos to train you. Because starting off you are the CEO (Chief Everything Officer), you should also visit Digital Marketing Resources at www.cmo.com to learn what C-Level marketing officers use to brand and market their companies. To create a marketing strategy that gets results, visit Free Sample Marketing Plans at www.mplans.com where over 500 examples are available to study, print, or save.

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Website It’s 2011 and every business MUST have an interactive, informative, and fresh website. But it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Many companies are using blogs to create fully functioning and professional looking websites and you can set yours up for a few dollars and a few minutes. Using WordPress at www.wordpress.com, you can set up a new blog. Not only is Wordpress free, you have tons of tools out to make it unique, to brand your business, and to get you customers. Go to this link for over 300 tools to create every feature you’d need in your WordPress blog: http:// goo.gl/SDei. So your blog doesn’t end in the words, xxxx.blogspot.com, you need to buy your domain. About time we spent some money, eh? The average domain costs less than $9.99 and you can easily see if what you want is available by going to www.godaddy.com or whois.com and Instead of your website being www.pinkcupcakes.blogspot.com, it can be www.pinkcupcakes.com and your email address janedoe@pinkcupcakes.com. Now you are branding your company, not WordPress! Now you have your website and email address and you can add tons of features including video, your social media streams, calendar, photos, forums, online chat. This list is endless—all for free!!

The Bottom Line Completed: Not a Marketing Novice Any More Money Spent: $10

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Social Media Wowsa! This is a big one. You can use social media is so many ways to market your business, and you can do 99% of them for free! Yes, Facebook at www.Facebook.com is definitely for business. With more than 800 million active users, your perfect client has to be online. You are still responsible with finding out how to market to them, but Facebook is such a useful tool for business. Many businesses use it as their main source for clients. Click here for more information on how to use Facebook for your business Facebook for Business | Facebook. It took me a minute to get the hang of Twitter at www.twitter.com and its uses for business. But this social media tool has become one of the most powerful ways to keep an eye of the pulse of what’s happening NOW. You can use Twitter to do advanced searches using a keyword: www.twitter.com/search, then, BAM! You are seconds away from what’s going on in your industry. Also, you can use Twitter to market promotions, sales, coupons, real estate, and products, and to communicate with your customers…The list is endless. Need more? Check out this downloadable Twitter guidebook for business at http:// mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/

The Bottom Line Completed: Socially Connected Business Marketing Money Spent: $0

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Public Relations Who knows your story best? You do, of course and that is precisely why you can do your own public relations (PR) when starting your company. A PR professional is definitely someone you’d want on your team when you have the money, but if you’re on a budget of $100 or less, making use of these sites will help you stay within budget.

Develop Your Skills First, let’s research. You need skills, passion, and an impeccable presentation to create and complete a PR strategy. You’re not smooth yet? No worries. Go to www.prnewswire.com and study up! This site is packed full of information for a DIYer or a PR professional. Whatever you need, you’ll find it here.

Free PR Ok, you’ve studied up and now need to put your PR skills to use to promote your event, your new product or service. Go to www.mymediaroom.com to organize and distribute press releases and events yourself for free. This site also allows for social media plugins so that your press releases and event promotions are seamless across several channels. Want another option for DIY creation and promotion? Try www.pitchengine.com.

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Free Press No free lunch? Says who? Grab your own free press on www.helpareporter.com (HARO) and post your queries to get sources and information for your own articles. By registering with HARO, you get daily emails on stories reporters are currently writing about. You submit your expertise and your opinions or you answer directly, and, voilà , you can be mentioned, sourced, or even featured in an article, publication, or TV show. Yep, it’s just that easy.

The Bottom Line Completed: In the Media But Not in Your Pockets Money Spent: $0

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Connect, Meet, Present At some point, you’ll start connecting and collaborating within your team and other business professionals to work on projects and presentations together. But how can you connect without breaking your budget? One of the best and easiest to use collaboration and project websites is www.basecamphq.com. This site has a free plan that will get you, your team, or business partner connecting no matter how far apart you are—with no steep learning curve. Try this idea management and collaboration tool that lets you vote on ideas online after brainstorming: www.kindlingapp.com. Need to connect or exchange documents and screenshots in real time? Need to have a face-to-face meeting with your partner in China without flying there? Create a free Skype account (www.skype.com) which lets you use your computer to make calls, send documents, share your screen, and meet—now! Want to make your PowerPoint presentations more interactive, add video, and share them online? Go to www.show.zoho.com/login.do to create, edit and share your presentations for free. Bonus: Just Good Sites to Know! • EchoSign at www.echosign.com for electronic signatures • Mint.com at www.mint.com, a way to manage your money

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Ding! Ding! Ding! Total Spent $10 Think you can do it? Didn’t think you could start a business for $100 or less, did you? Ok, let’s see what you’ve accomplished. ü You have researched your industry and have a business plan. ü You have organized your new business and created systems. ü You have created professional looking documents, set up your website, and bought your own domain name and email account. ü You are no longer new to marketing and PR, but you now know many sources to help you get the word out and brand your company. ü When you’re ready to connect and collaborate, you know how to do it efficiently and free.

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Women CEO Project helps build a stronger, more strategic,

professional business woman. We do this by offering them the tools they need through on line and live trainings with speakers, consultants, and industry experts. We also offer a directory of Powerful, Progressive, Professional business women ready to connect and create partnerships with each other. Join us www.womenceoproject.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Women-CEO-Project/ 107205782691811 Twitter: @womenceo LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kristijacksonmba

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Bootstrap Your Business to Startup Using Hot Digital Tools  

Learn how to get your Startup Off the Ground or Expand Your Business using NEW, Digital Tools AND on a Limited Budget.

Bootstrap Your Business to Startup Using Hot Digital Tools  

Learn how to get your Startup Off the Ground or Expand Your Business using NEW, Digital Tools AND on a Limited Budget.

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