Starting or growing a business? Here are some resources…

During college I began seriously considering launching my own company and started doing research to gather information about how best to proceed. Along the way I found the books, magazines, websites, and government resources listed below. I meet a lot of aspiring and current entrepreneurs and figured that instead of emailing this list of resources to individuals it would be a better idea to make it available on the internet and continuously add items as I find them. Do you have any other resources that you would recommend for entrepreneurs?


The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

by Alan Reis
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding Cover

This was one of the very first books that I read on the subject of branding and it’s still one of my favorites. It provides laws (or best practices) for building a brand and supports the laws with case studies of primarily large companies. The book goes beyond creating the visual elements of a brand and touches on how to build and manage a brand so it could be useful for anyone who manages a company or product.

Primal Branding

by Patrick Hanlon
Primal Branding Cover
Primal Branding primarily focuses on the seven elements of a brand as defined by Patrick Hanlon and provides examples of how established companies have used these elements to stand out from the competition. The book could be useful for a wide array of business readers but I think it could be especially useful for startups and young companies that are trying to figure out how they should position themselves.

Inbound Marketing

by Brian Halligan & Dharmesh Shah
Inbound Marketing Cover
I view Inbound Marketing as the companion textbook to the content offered on Hubspot. The book promotes the idea of using pull instead of push marketing to generate interest and sales. The idea is that interruption advertising is becoming increasingly inefficient because consumers now have greater control over the content to which they are exposed so the solution is to offer content and experiences that consumers will seek out. The book provides a guideline for creating remarkable content, using various tools to promote that content to prospective customers, and then converting those prospects into customers.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR

by David Meerman Scott
The New Tools of Marketing & PR Cover
The book is split into four major categories: blogging, social networking websites, video and podcasting, and search engine marketing. If you’re new to social media or hoping to expand your knowledge I’d recommend that you start with this book to get an overview of the various social media tools, determine which tools might best fit your specific needs, and then read articles/blog posts/books that delve into greater detail on the specific tools you’d like to use.

Twitter Power 2.0

by Joel Comm
Twitter Power Cover
Great book if you’re familiar with Twitter; even better if you’re a complete newbie. The book goes into detail about how to set up a profile, terminology, features, management tools, etc. If you’ve already used Twitter, you could probably read specific chapters or skip to the 30-day guide at the end of the book.



Entrepreneur Magazine Cover
Several years ago I subscribed to Entrepreneur but felt that the writing was a bit dry and the magazine devoted too much attention to attracting / dealing with investors and franchising versus launching and building a company. Most of my complaints are tied to my personal preferences and business goals so I would still recommend that you read a few issues and form your own opinions. I recently received a free subscription to Entrepreneur so I’ve started reading the magazine again but I haven’t read enough issues to formulate an opinion on the current state of the magazine.


Inc. Magazine Cover
I’ve been an Inc. subscriber for almost six years. I like the writing style and find the articles to be very informative and motivating. The magazine is geared towards small business owners but the articles feature/profile both start-ups and established companies. A lot of the content featured in the magazine is also available in some form online so I would recommend starting with the website and then subscribing to the magazine if you like the content.



Hubspot is a software company that provides marketing systems for businesses but they promote their products/services through inbound content marketing. I’m not familiar with their paid products as I haven’t used them. However, in exchange for completing a contact form and providing information about your company they will email you white papers, tips, webinar invitations, etc focused how you can use inbound marketing to promote your company.


Great resource for following news, trends, and tips related to social media and technology. A lot of the information is for general audiences but every so often they post articles focused on using social media for business.

Social Media Examiner

Social Media Examiner is completely focused on social media for business. The website features tutorials, case studies, research, etc. that can provide guidance for creating and executing a social media plan.

New York City/State Resources

NYC Economic Development Corp

The NYCEDC is a city agency that uses the city’s assets to promote economic growth within the five boroughs. They offer entrepreneur programs (some of which seem to be tied into NYC Small Business Services programs), incubators and workspaces, etc. to companies based in NYC but they also provide a lot of assistance to companies from other parts of the country or outside the country who like to establish a company or a presence in NYC.

NYC Small Business Services

If you’re thinking about starting a company or you’re already in start-up mode, NYC Business Solutions (an agency within NYC Small Business Services) is a very valuable resource for determining the permits and licenses you’d need for your business. They also provide business courses, legal assistance, financing assistance, etc. all free of cost regardless of the size or stage of your company. A wealth of information is available on the website but there are also several offices located around the city where you could schedule an appointment to speak with someone face-to-face.

Science, Industry, & Business Library (SIBL)

SIBL (pronounced Sybil) is a branch in the New York Public Library (NYPL) System that is located on Madison Avenue between 34th St & 35th St. The branch is one of the library system’s specialized locations and while some general materials are available it primarily concentrates its resources on education, research, career/professional development and entrepreneurship. There is a small SCORE office located on-site and there are dedicated librarians with whom you can schedule appointments to get assistance with finding information or doing research. There are also a variety of workshops and seminars offered during the day and also in the evening.

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