Welcome to the New AOL Small Business

The relaunch of AOL Small Business represents our renewed commitment to the millions of entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs around the world. We invite you to take a closer look.

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On behalf of the entire team here at AOL, I want to welcome you to the all-new AOL Small Business!

Over the past several months, we have been working hard behind the scenes to develop what we hope will become the most comprehensive resource for entrepreneurs on the Web.

Why Now?

Historically, the number of businesses started during and after a recession actually goes up. Tough economic times inspire many people to finally get out there and start their own businesses. And existing entrepreneurs find themselves looking for every resource to help them not only survive, but to thrive. When everyone else in the business world is hunkering down and scared to make a move, they see opportunity.

The new AOL Small Business represents our commitment to the millions of entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs across the nation and around the world. Here, you will find success stories that inspire, how-to guides and tools that inform, and a community that sparks an intelligent, ongoing conversation.

Our job is simple -- to help you start, grow, and run better businesses. We're not successful if you're not successful. As we spread the word about all the new and exciting things going on at AOL Small Business, we hope to become a resource that entrepreneurs continually turn to for inspiration and advice.

What Can You Expect from the New AOL Small Business?

One of the cornerstones of the new AOL Small Business is our Board of Directors. We have recruited a world class group of entrepreneurs and members of the entrepreneurial community who will regularly sound off on a variety of issues, offer advice, and create a smart dialogue not found anywhere else on the Web.

Some of our resident superstars include Sir Richard Branson, the legendary founder of Virgin Group, one of the world's most recognizable brands; Bob Parsons, the founder of Go Daddy, the world's top Web-hosting provider; Rob Dyrdek, a skateboarding icon, serial entrepreneur, and star of two hit MTV series; Lexy Funk, the co-founder and CEO of Brooklyn Industries, a global urban apparel brand; and Eric Ryan, the co-founder of Method, maker of more than 150 eco-friendly cleaning and personal care products.

In addition to the Board of Directors, the new AOL Small Business will offer several ongoing series focusing on success stories -- Entrepreneur Spotlight, My First Million, Made in the USA, and Why Didn't I Think of That?

Our ever-expanding library of how-to guides is called 5 Things You Need to Know. Just as the name indicates, these guides break down the five most important things entrepreneurs need to know about a variety of business topics -- from hiring your first employee to filing for a patent.

Video will also be a central component of the new AOL Small Business. We are introducing two series to start -- Ask Rod, an advice show where I field questions from entrepreneurs, and Expert Take, where entrepreneurs from across the nation offer their advice and opinions on a variety of issues impacting their fellow entrepreneurs.

For Entrepreneurs, By Entrepreneurs

I joined AOL in January for one reason -- against the backdrop of all the exciting things in the works at AOL these days, I saw the opportunity to come in and build a site that helps entrepreneurs and inspires future entrepreneurs. It's a cause I truly believe in. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, I've covered entrepreneurs for nearly a decade as a journalist, and I take my role as an advocate for entrepreneurs pretty seriously. As does everyone here at AOL Small Business. This site is a direct result of their creativity, hard work, and professionalism. Truly a team effort.

If you're reading this, chances are you've launched your own company before, or at least considered it, so you know what an exciting experience we're embarking upon here. I've met thousands of entrepreneurs over the years, and with this launch, I finally feel like one of them.

Let's Begin!

So I invite you to explore the all-new AOL Small Business. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Spread the word. And let us know what you like -- and what you'd like to see more of. As always, we're here to help you.

Tags: AOL, AOL Small Business, Bob Parsons, business owners, entrepreneurs, launch, Richard Branson, Rod Kurtz, small business, starting a business

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