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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ratings and Reviews: How They Impact Your Business: Consumers research business ratings before spending money. In fact, more than 90 percent of consumers read online reviews of local businesses.
- Statistics on Women in Business: As of 2015, more than 9.1 million companies are owned by women in the United States.
- Statistics on SEO for Small Businesses: Only about 25 percent of small businesses have created an SEO plan for Internet marketing.
- Small Business Job Statistics: When a small business fails, 30 percent of the time, it is due to poor hiring decisions.
- Financial Reporting Center: The Financial Reporting Center supports CPAs by providing accountant resources.
- Patent and Trademark Resource Centers: Patent and Trademark Resource Centers exist nationwide to help people protect their intellectual property.
- How to Start Your Own Real Estate Business: The National Association of Realtors offers this advice for agents looking to strike out on their own.
- Associated General Contractors of America: Members of this professional organization can network with others in their industry, receive training, and get the latest in industry data.
- Eight Tips for Turning Pies Into Profit: Many people have considered turning their baking talent into a full-fledged business.
- American Institute of Constructors: Becoming a member of this organization can enable contractors to earn certifications to show their qualifications.
- A Guide to Starting and Running a Consulting Business (PDF): Consultants help solve problems and guide other professionals to make positive business decisions.
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.