General

Online Blueprints for Startups

Work with the existing SBA assets to create simple, easy-to-follow online blueprints for startups, oriented around the business area. In particular, blueprints written and designed by successful entrepreneurs would be valuable. Right now the SBA-type guides are generic (e.g. "write a business plan", "choose a location", etc.), and yet a wealth of business area-specific statistics and guidance lies within the references available at Small Business libraries around the country (e.g. how do the expenses of most small restaurants break down? how much should I expect to pay a programmer?)

 

(By the way, do you even *know* how attractive this seems to most people? Watch late-night infomercials sometime on all the scammy ways the con artists are pitching their vaporous blueprints for successful businesses...)

 

These blueprints should help the average college graduate be able to navigate all the particulars of the regulatory, financial, HR and other vagaries of getting their business off the ground and toward a viable future. In the private sector, this would be an "Idiot's Guide" or "For Dummies" series, only with real templates that you could work on and real examples that you could follow. Bonus points if you include more cogent advice like "Mistakes to avoid!" from entrepreneurs who *had failed* in the past, and learned from their lessons. It's easy enough to list out the right things to do -- harder to list out how to spot when you're *not* doing something right, or missing an important step.

 

To top it off, prioritize the available blueprints by our national priorities -- organize and make accessible a set of blueprints for high-priority business ecosystems of strategic importance for the country (e.g. an example business that needs lots of low-trained workers to run a soy-based clean energy service startup called "Soylent Green").

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Idea No. 92