Essential Guide to Business Resources on the Web

Anyone striving to run a small business learns about the value of trustworthy resources quickly. Gaining information and support can often help a business owner succeed. The Internet offers a variety of business resources, many of them available without charge or for a nominal fee. Explore resources for form templates, software, networking, and more to help your business succeed.

Finance

  • Small Business Development Center: This national organization exists to help small-business owners with counseling provided by successful entrepreneurs, many of them MBA graduates.
  • Score Mentoring: SCORE is affiliated with the Small Business Administration. This service assists entrepreneurs by connecting them with mentors who provide free business advice.
  • MicroMentor Community: Joining this community is free, and it connects entrepreneurs with volunteers who will mentor them and help them get their businesses off the ground.
  • Bookkeeper Hiring Test: The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers provides this free test for business owners to use as they hire a bookkeeper.
  • Factor Search: Waiting a month or more to be paid for invoices can put a small business in a financial bind. Factoring services enable an advance payment of as much as 90 percent of the invoice to keep cash flowing.
  • Kickstarter Crowdfunding: Entrepreneurs with a creative project often turn to Kickstarter for resources and support to fund the project.
  • Grow VC Group: This global crowdfunding marketplace presents cutting-edge funding models that enable entrepreneurs to use digital finance to make business ideas a reality.
  • U.S. Economic Development Administration: Small businesses and entrepreneurs can apply for gap funding to start a new business or finance an expansion.
  • Reporting and Disclosure Guide for Employee Benefit Plans (PDF): Employers must comply with federal laws that have set minimums for retirement and health benefit plans.

Economics

  • Find Accounting Software: A team of software advisers can help small-business owners find the best software for their needs.
  • Budget Template: QuickBooks offers a free budget template for new business owners to use.
  • Business Form Template Gallery: View and download business forms to modify and use for your business.
  • Sample Business Plan Components: Try these downloadable sample business plans to jump-start the process of creating a business plan for a small business.
  • Financial Assistance Forms: The Small Business Administration provides downloadable financial assistance forms, such as a free disclosure form and an agreement for agent services.
  • The One-Page Business Plan (PDF): Follow the steps presented to develop a succinct business plan that includes your vision, mission, and objectives.

Business Statistics

Industries

Business for Kids

  • Business Plan Basics: Kids can learn about the importance of a business plan to get a new company off the ground successfully.
  • Be Your Own Boss: Kids can choose a business they want to run and then play this game to make business decisions that impact the success of the business.
  • Theme Hotel: Theme Hotel involves building and managing a five-star hotel. Kids need to be creative while managing all aspects of running a hotel in this game.
  • Starting a Business: Choosing your business is a big decision, but this lesson plan helps break up the process to show kids what’s involved.
  • Where Should I Build My Business? Researching market areas is a key part of starting a business. This lesson plan involves performing a market analysis in a student’s town as a precursor to starting a business.
  • Entrepreneurship: Is it for Me? Not everyone is well suited for entrepreneurship, but students can explore whether they have the personality and goals to fit this type of professional lifestyle.
  • What Are My Resources? (PDF): This lesson plan includes an assessment that students can complete to determine whether they have characteristics common to entrepreneurs.
  • Amuse Park: With this game, kid can try running their own amusement park, keeping guests happy and earning money to maintain the park.
  • How to Start a Craft Business: Anyone with a passion for crafting, even kids, may succeed in running a craft-making business, such as knitting, soap-making, or scrapbooking.
  • Competition at Work: Students can explore the concept of business competition with this brief dialogue that encapsulates how consumers make purchasing decisions.
  • The Entrepreneur Challenge: The Entrepreneur Challenge helps kids determine whether they have an entrepreneurial personality.
  • Your Role as a Taxpayer: The Internal Revenue Service helps kids understand taxes, which are paid by individuals and by businesses, with themed lesson plans.
  • Break the Bank: This game involves working at a bank and helping customers save money and get loans, which can help teach students about budgeting.
  • Lemonade Stand: Playing this game, kids can learn about business basics like the laws of supply and demand.