10 Essential Resources for Bootstrapping Businesses

10 Essential Resources for Bootstrapping Businesses.

A great list of 10 articles with wisdom that Mashable has collected from many other entrepreneurs. It covers a lot of the “what I wish I knew back then” moments and tools.

It includes tips on hiring, best tools for start-ups, great looking home offices, growing your customer base and more.

It’s always nice to learn from those who’ve come before, so we can avoid stepping in the same holes.
Keep learning, keep growing.

Drinking from the info fire hose, aka “power searching”

It’s important to always be learning, even when you think you’re an ‘expert’. Maybe especially then!

So I’ve been in DC at Web Search U learning to ‘power search’ with the pros. Rooms full of other information professionals of every stripe – business, legal, government, academic, independent.

I’ve met folks from AARP, from the Naval Warfare College, from Switzerland’s Defense department (wait, I thought they were ‘neutral’?) and from law firms, independently owned search firms, and big time search engines. And wannabe ‘big time’ search engines (keep working Blekko, we need competition!)

Look for a separate post on the overwhelming info we got from Dan Russell, UberTech at Google.

The session wrapping things up is a list and rundown of helpful websites and tools that users of all kinds can take back to their jobs and lives. Want to know more Twitter, deleted tweets, how often a website changes, where to find the best apps or new tools for news reading?

Then check out this link and list from Gary Price & Laura Gordon-Murnane.

Websites Galore: Useful Tools for Getting Things Done.

Understanding search results can help your business

“social media may capture headlines, search is still the workhorse.”

via Growth Strategies: How Keyword Research Can Help You Grow Your Business | Inc.com.
It may take a little time digging around, reading stats and analytics, but it will be well worth your time. There is much to learn from the data on search results, and knowing what’ s happening can improve your business.

Wouldn’t you like to know more about the terms and keywords that people searched on that led them to your site? Or what terms you should be using, but aren’t?

For example, check out Google’s Webmaster Tools so you can learn more about what’s happening with your site.

Want to try your hand at predicting the future? Check out Google Trends and do some comparisons on the key words you know are important for your site now, versus the ones you think are going to be hot soon.
So read on and learn more about how to help your website’s visibility, and find-ability.

Firefox fan? Then you might want to read this

I love LifeHacker.com .  I admit it. Gleefully.

Better question may be, why don’t you love it too?  Reviews and tips on everything from browsers to electric toothbrushes, cleaning your old laptop, to how to properly wind your earbuds. It’s life made easier, and we can all use that.

Now, I’m not a “fanboy” of FireFox as this article mentions, nor even a “power user”. [I do have a ‘theme’ installed but a ‘persona’? Uhhh…] But I am indeed a loyal Firefox user and I know I’m not getting everything that I can out of this awesome browser. So thank you LifeHacker for pointing me to dozens of tips I can use.

The Always Up-to-Date Power User’s Guide to Firefox.

And never fear Chrome loyalists … there’s an up-to-date guide for you too.

Expand Your Search Engine Options

You know Google is not the only game in town, right? Right?

If you’re shy about spreading your searching around, or leaving the Google comfort zone, here’s a great article to read.

Expand Your Search Engine Options.

A nice summary and description of some of the alternative search engines out there. And many of those alternates specialize in ways that Google doesn’t. Also, competing search engines often index differently, so the same search will indeed net you different results. Plus, depending on your search history you may get different results than someone else. And you’ll never know what content is being filtered out unless you search in more than 1 place.

If you’re concerned about privacy on the web, and really who isn’t, then check out DuckDuckGo. Their mission is that they ‘don’t track you’. A nice change from Big Brother Google.
Another new-ish alternative is Blekko — the nice search engine with the somewhat unfortunate name. Blekko’s goal is to beat web spam & content farms. No more search results that are filled with nothing but keywords, or place-holding websites with nothing but ads. If you want something more than just what everybody else is getting, check out Blekko.
Any other favorite search engines besides Google, Bing and the other big guys?

Tips for new entrepreneurs

It might be questionable to make my first official post about an article with “stop f**king around” in the title. But there are some salient points raised here.

First-Time Startup Entrepreneurs: Stop Fucking Around | TechCrunch.

At first I read it and griped that it is focused on tech start-ups, coders, programmers, the next big app thing. What about the rest of us? What about those who ‘start-up’ something that isn’t a Silicon Valley wunderkind, or going to get Y-Combinator funding, or maybe any funding at all other than our savings accounts? But yes, the article is from TechCrunch, so a techie focus should likely be expected.

However, a few universally salient points are made:

– Don’t waste time. Don’t meet people for sake of meeting people, or code because you can, or do whatever it is that seems cool and  a ‘must’. Instead … work.

-But … don’t work to the complete exclusion of everything else. Find your ‘me time’ thing and keep it on your calendar. Always.

-Define your goals first. Sounds simple and common sense, right? but apparently it’s easy to just jump into the ‘doing’ and forget about the ‘why you’re doing’ or ‘who you’re doing for’. Don’t forget. Plan around the ‘why’ and the ‘who’ and take your time to figure out how you’re getting there — first.

For other non-techies out there, what did you take away from this article that could help you?

Woof!

A new blog, a new toy, a new place to hang out. That deserves a few happy yips and yaps and a big “WOOF” of joy, right?!

This will be a place to check out news and tips from The InfoHound, a trained information professional. Searching is the game. Finding and sharing are the fame.