As an entrepreneur, you know that running a small business can be a daunting task. But don’t worry, you’re not alone! Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand, there are plenty of resources available to help you succeed.
In this article, we’ll share 13 of the best paid and free resources for small businesses. From tools to help you get organized, to guidance on marketing and finance, we’ve got you covered. So if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, read on!
Marketing and Advertising
Marketing and advertising are crucial for small businesses looking to increase their reach and attract new customers. Here are a few reasons why marketing and advertising are important for small businesses:
Google My Business
Are you a small business owner looking for a simple way to connect with customers and share important information about your business? Google My Business is here to help! It’s a free tool that lets you list your business on Google and share details like your hours of operation, location, and pricing. Plus, you can share behind-the-scenes photos and even add a virtual tour of your business to make it more interactive. It’s a quick and easy way to reach potential customers and keep them in the loop about what you’ve got going on.
YellowPages is a networking platform where entrepreneurs can list their businesses and connect with audiences online. It is free to sign-up and help generate valuable leads for your business. In addition, you can invite your customers to post reviews and queries about the products and services you offer and reply to them.
WordPress is a web-based content management system that helps businesses post blogs to educate their audiences about their services and how they can be helpful to them. It is completely free and pretty easy to set up. Its user-friendly and interactive interface allows you to create content without needing prior technical knowledge. You can also use it to develop webpages, posts, forms, etc. with ease and convenience. It can help you drive potential customers to your business and improve your sales.
Coursera works in collaboration with 200+ universities and companies and offers numerous free and paid courses on various business topics. All you need is a smartphone and internet access to learn the fundamentals of business from industry experts. It also provides you with valuable certificates that can help you grow stronger in your business.
LinkedIn Learning, a subscription-based online learning platform that offers a wide range of business-related courses, is another useful small business resource. You can learn new things about starting, managing, and growing your business from experienced subject matter experts. You can also learn to use various tools and software like Adobe and Canva that help you make a visually impactful digital presence.
Udemy has a wide basket of online video courses prepared by industry experts from around the world. Using this learning platform, you can learn a lot about the nitty-gritty of the business. Though most courses are paid ones, they are worth investing in. You can keep an eye out for sales on courses to receive a quality education about growing your business.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The Small Business Administration is an independent agency under the U.S. government that aids in starting and growing small businesses by providing a range of services. SBA offers financial assistance, training, and counseling services to small entrepreneurs. It also helps them with government contracting and congressional advocacy and helps businesses recover after disasters. By joining SBA, you can access its resources (lenders, federal contracts, and leadership opportunities) and grow your business.
Chambers of Commerce
A lobbying organization known for advocating business-friendly policies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is established to represent both large and small-scale businesses. The organization also offers online business education to help entrepreneurs get familiar with evolving business strategies. You will need to pay a nominal annual fee to become a member of the Chambers of Commerce, and in return, you can enjoy various perks. Member businesses of Chambers of Commerce are registered in a local directory and often provided with networking opportunities. Local government also comes to the members first for any product/service need or collaboration.
Another useful small business resource is Google Analytics. It offers integrated marketing tools that can provide valuable insights about the visitors to your brand website and allow you to develop your business strategies. For example, Google Analytics breaks down your visitors’ demographics, age, sex, location, and active hours. It can help you to plan your product launches and content calendar and even tune your business approaches according to the insights.
Hubspot’s Marketing Grader
Hubspot is a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Platform that offers an analytics tool called the Marketing Grader. It can help provide detailed information about engagement statistics. The insights extracted from the data can help escalate your revenue, boost your Return on investment (ROI), and optimize your marketing strategies. This, in turn, can help you generate more profitable leads and enhance your business’s performance.
Accounting and Financing
If you are looking for funding for your business, you must check out Kickstarter, a free resource for small businesses. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that can help small enterprises to put together capital without giving away equity. You can sign-up for free and launch a funding campaign on Kickstarter by recruiting micro-donors for your business. In addition, you can incentivize your donors with different products or gift vouchers only when your campaign is fully funded.
TurboTax is a software package that helps small business owners prepare and file their business and individual income tax returns. It applies a step-by-step method that makes it super easy to understand and file tax returns. It provides you with all the guidance you need from a live expert. TurboTax also offers full-service tax preparation by professionals. You can even eFile tax returns without a fee using TurboTax.
Wave Accounting is a web-based accounting service designed especially for small businesses. It helps connect bank accounts, sync expenses, balance books, and file taxes. Wave’s user-friendly dashboard allows you to track sales, purchases, and invoices. It is also completely secure so that your sensitive business data stays safe.
Starting a new company for a first-timer can be overwhelming. There are a lot of aspects to a business that you need to take care of. But when you have the right resources in your hand, growing and managing a business becomes easier. We hope the above-enlisted resources will help you upskill yourself as an entrepreneur and refine your business strategies.