For many, starting a business is the culmination of a lifelong dream – and a drive to turn ideas into action. It can be exhilarating and terrifying in equal measures! It is important to keep in mind, though, that you are not alone. And there are other companies out there with the sole purpose of helping small businesses. In this article, we look into some of the best small business owner resources.
While it may not feel like it, countless others have faced the challenges you are facing; they have stared at the same obstacles and then figured out how to overcome them; they’ve failed, they’ve succeeded, and they’ve learned from both. And they are here for you.
You can access many high-quality resources for small business owners that will help you navigate the complexities involved in everything from starting and funding a business to networking and marketing it.
Top Small Business Owner Resources
If you didn’t just scroll right down to them, good for you. Now, here are some helpful resources for small business owners.
This is perhaps one of the best small business owner resources out there; the SBA offers a host of free resources, content, tools, and programs for small business owners. For example, at Small Business Development Centers, you can attend events and receive individualized help. Additionally, there are learning center video courses that cover everything from starting to growing to selling our business. The SBA also has programs for specific demographics such as women entrepreneurs (Ascent) and transitioning service members IBoots to Business and Reboot).
You can find information on loans and grants to fund your business and much more on the SBA website. Check it out… now!
SCORE, an SBA resource partner, boasts a massive network of business experts who provide education and guidance to small business owners. You can access one-on-one assistance, business tools, and training programs and even connect with a mentor who will help you with practical advice and know-how, strategy suggestions, troubleshooting, and more.
Based on some studies, small business owners who get three or more hours of mentoring a month see higher revenues and more growth than those who do not. SCORE is another one of the invaluable small business owner resources that you cannot afford to pass up.
There are various websites available to help you navigate complex legal issues that arise when starting and running a business. These include:
- FindLaw. Find information, tools, and affordable forms and services.
- RocketLawyer. You can receive advice from attorneys and search for documents that are relevant to your business.
- LegalZoom. This site offers legal advice, services for business owners, and information and tools on trademarks and intellectual property.
If you thought taxes were complicated before… hold on. As a business owner, they just got a lot more challenging! The IRS Small Business Portal will help you navigate this terrain with more confidence. You can access helpful information, forms, online learning opportunities, small business events, and more.
LinkedIn is known as the social media platform for professionals. It’s used by business owners – large and small – all over the world. You have the opportunity to highlight your own professional accomplishments, promote your business, connect with prospective customers and employees, and build your reputation as a thought leader in your space by publishing authoritative content. LinkedIn also offers a small business resource center that features a wide array of free content, virtual events, online courses, and live streams.
HubSpot is a customer relationship management tool, but you can also access the HubSpot Academy. Here, you will find free courses on everything from inbound and digital marketing to SEO and revenue operations. Some are quick courses, while others lead to comprehensive certifications. You can earn certifications and badges in sales management, digital advertising, digital marketing, inbound sales, growth-driven design, content marketing, and other in-demand skills.
If you are at the point where you are hiring employees… great! It can also be quite complex to manage the many moving parts involved in human resources. HR.com is here to help with e-lessons, virtual events, webcasts, and other content. Free resources for small business owners include HR compliance posters, certification prep courses, recertification credits, industry trends and research, HR forms and templates, and HR tools.
Google My Business is a key tool for small business owners; a strong presence can help drive traffic to your website and also to your physical location. As well, this resource offers a great deal of information about SEO, marketing, and advertising. You can take advantage of courses such as Getting Your Business Online, Starting an Online Store, Standing Out On Search and Maps, Understanding SEO, Using Email Marketing, Advertising Online, and more. Start a free profile and take your learning from there.
If you have not already taken advantage of these resources… What are you waiting for? They’re out there, waiting for you. With an abundance of free and low-cost solutions, you can ease some of the growing pains involved in starting and sustaining a business. Get started!