Starting a business


This is an informal curated collection of links and tools for founders and new entrepreneurs.

After many years as a software developer, in a blaze of pioneering spirit, our founder started fflow. To misquote Helene Hanff, setting up a software business takes no time at all when you haven't got any idea what you're doing. Luckily, it seems that fortune really does favour the brave.

The wonderful people at Inspiring Enterprise Winchester managed to slot an ad into facebook at just the right time. Tania at Red Idea discovered our founder on Shapr and sorted us out with a name and brand guidelines. So we got started. More serendipity found Rob on twitter, and he crafted some brilliant UX improvements.

With no marketing skills, and relatively little user research, we decided to get on with building and worry about everything else later. This turned out to be a sub-optimal approach, and we are now in the process of catching up with all the marketing work that we should have done earlier, only with less budget than originally planned. We are grateful to so many other founders and entrepreneurs who have generously shared their time and marketing expertise. One of the hardest things about marketing (for techies) is the fuzziness. How do you know if your market research is done? Is it good? Bad? Incomplete?

But there are some concrete things you can do for marketing as well. We compiled this list of useful gadgetty tools. The first motivation for this page is to record them all in one place.

The second motivation is that, while there are tons of resources for founders, it's not easy to find them by searching unless you know what you are looking for: the top hits for general searches tend to be paid-for services around startup launch and marketing, and, well, who checks out page 18? Therefore this is a curated list of links and tools, listed here in case you find them useful too. And finally, we try to make a habit of taking every opportunity to build content, so the pages grew.

DISCLAIMER: We are not lawyers or tax advisors, the information in these pages is not complete, the links are to third party sites, and you should seek legal and financial guidance from qualified professional advisors (we are not) when setting up a business.