Having a winning idea is one thing, but making enough money at it to support your ambitions and lifestyle is another. Start with a good idea that fills a need or void in the marketplace. Add a strong team, sound strategy and add a little capital, and watch your dreams become reality. As this competition evolves, visit this section to review timely information to help you turn you're idea into a reality.
- West Virginia Business Information
- Starting a Business
- Idea Creation - How to choose the right idea
- Team Building - Things to consider when building a business team
- Business Writing
- Intellectual Property
- Financial Information
- Possible Components of the Executive Summary
- Elevator Pitches
- Databases and Research Resources
WV Regulations and Laws
For resources about West Virginia regulations and laws, as well as links to other resources: http://www.business4wv.com/b4wvpublic/default.aspx?pagename=startuphelp
The West Virginia Department of Commerce
Information about business assistance, taxes, information by region, etc.:
10 Steps to Open for Business
Use our proven, step-by-step process to help you achieve startup success. Read, watch, listen, download, discuss, take action and, most importantly, Start ...
How to Start a Business
Department of Agriculture - Information designed to help you get your agribusiness off the ground.
Startup How-To Guides
The Solopreneur’s Guide
By: Doug Dolan
Getting ready - Choosing a business idea
6 Steps to choosing the right business
By the Sloan Brothers - Head Coaches, Startupnation
Choose your competition
Choosing a winning business idea
By Jennifer Tripp
Improve chances of building a winning start-up team
By: Gary Williams
Brigham Young University
Building the winning team
Team Building Techniques for Small Business Leadership
The 5 C’s of Team Building Strategies
By: Andrew Carnegie
Crafting a Powerful Executive Summary
By: John Clayton
How to Write an Executive Summary
The executive summary will be the first thing the readers of the business plan read. If your business plan executive summary is poorly written…
How to Write a Business Plan
U.S. Small Business Administration
By: Linda Pinson & Jerry Jinnett
12 Tips for Better Business Writing
By: Dustin Wax
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, often known as IP, allows people to own their creativity and innovation in the same way that they can own physical property. The owner of IP can control and be rewarded for its use, and this encourages further innovation and creativity to the benefit of us all.
The four main types of IP are:
- patents for inventions - new and improved products and processes that are capable of industrial application
- trade marks for brand identity - of goods and services allowing distinctions to be made between different traders
- designs for product appearance - of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colors, shape, texture or materials of the product itself or its ornamentation;
- copyright for material - literary and artistic material, music, films, sound recordings and broadcasts, including software and multimedia
FOR MORE HELP WITH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY:
Protecting Intellectual Property
Trademark, Patent, Copyrights
Intellectual Property: patents, trademarks, servicemarks and copyrights
Find out information on issues relating to patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights.
- Find out more (.doc)
TARGET MARKET is the specific group of customers that a company aims to market their product to. They have been identified as people with needs or wants that can be met with the products or services of this company. In the simplest terms, a target market is a fairly similar group of customers to whom a company wishes to sell their product/service to. It is important for the marketer to define and research their target market because it is an essential tool for reaching interested consumers. Once the target market is defined, the marketer can focus their time and resources on a segment of people who will be responsive to that companies' product/service.
FOR MORE HELP FINDING A TARGET MARKET:
How to Find and Sell to Your Target Market By: Marilyn Guille
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE exists when a firm sustains profits that exceed the average for its industry, possessing competitive advantage over its rivals. The goal of a business strategy is to ultimately achieve competitive advantage. Competitive advantage happens when a firm is able to deliver the same benefits as its competitors, but at a lower cost (cost advantage), or deliver benefits that exceed those of competing
In order for a company to achieve competitive advantage, a firm must have resources and capabilities that are superior to those of its competitors. These resources are firm specific assets useful for creating cost or differentiation advantage and which few competitors can easily acquire.
FOR MORE HELP ON COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE:
Quick MBA's, Competitive Advantage
A DIRECT COMPETITOR is a competitor that fills the same buyer need you fill in the same way you fill it. For example, the Ford Taurus and the Toyota Camry are two products that compete to fill buyer commuting needs in essentially the same way. This means direct competitors offer similar products to your customers as you do. Your goal is to recognize your direct competitors, and differentiate your product/service to achieve competitive advantage over the competition.
SIX QUESTIONS TO HELP IDENTIFY YOUR DIRECT COMPETITORS:
Competitive Assessor 1.0, Six Angles of Competition
INDIRECT COMPETITORS are businesses who sell similar products/services that fill the same need as your business. Their product/service is in a different category altogether, but still seen as an alternative purchase to your product. For example, the movie theater is an indirect competitor to the video rental store, OR fast food outlets are indirectly competing with fine dining establishments. Try listing companies that are your indirect competitors, and you may find this list longer than that of your direct competitors. In most cases, that fact is you may have more competition than you thought.
Material was contributed by:
Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Center of the University of Charleston
- Read Info (pdf)
Gorge Gazers Elevator Pitch
Learn How To Deliver a Masterful Elevator Pitch
Do’s and Don’ts of Elevator Pitches
Business Source Complete- business-related scholarly journals
Reference USA: database of all existing businesses in the United States- perform searches based on industry, location, name, etc.
IBIS World- Industry Market Research Reports