The results are in! After getting your feedback on what’s in your entrepreneur toolbox, we’ve generated a list of the top tools for young entrepreneurs.
#1: Books / Magazines
“My books on management principles, project management, to autobiographies such as Redstone Sumner’s, and Thomas Friedman’s last edition of “The World is Flat”…granted I need to get the books that recently contested his book. And, of course, Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Reading material: BRW (Business Review Weekly) magazine, How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie), A New Earth (Earkhart Tolle), Loosing my Virginity (Richard Branson)
Rich Dad Poor Dad and Who Moved My Cheese? books for personal development before I’ll picture out and plan something for my business.
To be very specific, I recommend reading some classic books such as Competitive Strategy – By Michael Porter, Blue Ocean Strategy – by Chan Kim, Gentleman, A Timeless Fashion – by Roetzel, Market Based Management – by Roger Best
I like Malcolm Gladwell's book "The Tipping Point" because it shows me how time and time again very little changes have large consequences (I work in marketing, btw, so my answers might be different from others).
To add to your books: Emyth by Michael Gerber is a MUST, How to Stop Worrying & Start Living by Dale Carnegie is just as critical as How to Win Friends.”
“I really like the Interactive Business Planner. IBP: New User Registration It’s a really good business plan wizard. Each section is broken down into bite-size pieces, has clear explanations and an example excerpt from a business plan. It’s provided by the Government of Canada but I don’t think there is any reason it wouldn’t be useful to anyone else.
My #1 tool is Young Entrepreneur Forums – An entrepreneurial and small business site , if i need help, best friendly people here, if i need inforimation i can get it, if i need anything someone is always willing to help. its really the only tool any entrepreneur needs ;] (i sound like a person writing a testimonial)
A few tools I like that I think others might find useful:
- Management Methods | Management Models | Management Theories – I find it useful as a quick reference/refresher tool.
- Docstoc.com: " free legal forms and business templates – It’s a great repository to quickly find free templates for business documents (e.g. b-plans, legal templates, etc.).
- Online Project Management, Group Collaboration and Document Sharing ~ Huddle – Have found it useful for collaborating on projects.
- Scan, copy and fax with your camera phone or digital camera – Sort of an odd tool, but can be useful for digitizing information you put on a whiteboard.
A few sites that are useful for finding news tools:
- Business Hacks | BNET – Mix of new useful apps and general business tips.
- Free Small Business Tools & Resources – Mix of free business tools, apps, freebies.
- Webware : Cool Web apps for everyone – CNET – Profiles new online apps.
Its an really good business wizard. Every entrepreneur not only new but old also needs a tool to set them apart in the field. I too know about this IBP tool, It is the best among all the other tools available in the market today.”
#3:Â Pen and Paper
“Pen, Paper, A imaginitive brain, A product you are passionate about.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
A blank notebook and colourful textas to note down ideas as they come”
#4: Business Cards
“Every Entrepreneur needs tools to set them apart. Those of us who have a business card, compete for business and have a need to set themselves apart from the rest (which includes every single one of us)must have a tool that tells their story; lists their attributes; their accomplishments; their special designations; their charitiy work and hobbies; awards and accolaides. A paper business card does none of that! The Fully Customized Multimedia Business Card and Way To Wealth Marketing System does all of that for you and more!
Business cards!!! (Why am I meeting so many people at networking events that do not bring business cards? Crazy!)”
#5: Network / Peers
“My most valuable tool I believe to be my network. Being successful in anything is not so much what you know but who you know. Everyone should keep an email list of people that they need to look to for certain things for example when ever I have a legal question I have a lawyer that I have built a relationship with and he is part of my network. I have the same thing for a tax guy, mortgage guy, and so on. So you have a network of resources and that is key. Then you need a network of test customers, have a list of people who might always be interested in investing in an idea you have or might even purchase what ever it is that your are offering or what ever service you provide. One of the best networks I have is a network of veteran business owners and or investors, its a group of people that I can email when ever I have a quesiton or concern very similar to S.C.O.R.E. (Sales core of retired executives) they are great because they lived it and can give you real world exp. The most important tool any business man or woman can have is without question their network, build it big build it smart make it work. NETWORK
My peers. Surround urself with a diversity of people, in completely inconclusive environments. Share, debate, and exchange ideas. Mega-successful entrepreneurs are multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary individuals.”
“My Mentors. All of them have found vast success in their fields, and have obtained a wealth of knowledge. Surround yourself with winners, and your chances at winning are greater.
Having a mentor can also make a huge difference to your results. Ideally make it someone you can meet with in person a regular basis which helps keep you under pressure to achieve. As a second choice try email or telephone contact with someone who is already where you want to be.”
#7: RSS Readers
“Its important to stay in the know. Blogs are my personal favorite way to keep up to date and a blog reader (like google reader) keeps all the blog sites you frequent in one place for easy reading.
Google Reader for quickly skimming through industry news and events.”
“My blog for presenting myself as a thought leader in my industry.
Now that you mentioned it, a blog has become an important tool for the entrepreneur. Especially in this age of the internet.”
Other answers that made the list were:
- Energy drinks
- The phone
- Microsoft Office
- Espresso machines
- Virtual assistants
Thank you for all of your valuable input! Stay tuned for future Young Entrepreneur Polls!