Free Resources for Small Businesses

Small business owners spend their days concentrating on their particular specialty, but there’s one thing they have in common: they all have to contend with a host of similar workforce issues.

Our Top 3 Resources Every Small Business Owner Should Utilize

The Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA offers a plethora of advice about planning, launching, managing, and growing a small business. They offer a useful guide to writing your business plan. The SBA’s Create Your Business Plan section of its website is an excellent place to start when drafting your business plan. This free resource will walk you through each section, telling you what to include and how to make it stand out.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC): Every state runs its own small business development center, which is a very valuable free resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Resources vary by location, but typically include things such as assistance with business planning, access to financing, counseling services and classes.

SCORE:  The nation’s largest network of expert business mentors dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve goals. Since 1964, we have provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs. SCORE’s Business Plan page is another fantastic and free small business resource loaded with online business workshops and podcasts. Free mentoring is also available – both in person and via email.

More Helpful Resources

Small Business Finance Center (SBFC): The SBFC helps businesses create and retain jobs, and encourages investment in low- to moderate-income communities. The SBFC has several programs to support small business, including a Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee, a Jump Start Loan Program and more.

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center: From inception to business planning, access to capital and resources, and ongoing assistance that growing businesses require, Renaissance fuels community vitality by empowering under-served individuals in the Bay Area to start businesses that bring jobs, character, and sustainable economic health to the local economy.

SmallBusinesses.org: SmallBusinesses.org gives small business owners and entrepreneurs an online platform where they can easily find answers to all their business related questions.

Small Business Trends:  An award-winning online publication for small business owners, entrepreneurs and the people who interact with them.

Inc: Inc offers hundreds of articles and guides offering everything you need to start and grow your small business. They offer everything you need to start and grow your small business.

The Self Employed: Created by Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA Today and bestselling author of The Small Business Bible. It provides lots of great advice for solopreneurs in particular, on start-up, finding clients, insurance and tax issues.

Entrepreneur: has a lot of articles, business plans, webinars, podcasts advice, and insight for established and aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide.

Small Business 101: Loaded with information and tools for each of the following topics: Inspiration, Planning, Structure, Finance, Regulations, Insurance, Location, Store Design, Equipment, Inventory, Staffing, Marketing, and Growth & Exit Strategies.

Coursera: helps you build skills with courses, certificates, and degrees online from world-class universities and companies. They have many courses to help small business owners, such as: Business Foundations, Digital Advertising, Financial Accounting, Managing the Company of the Future, Entreprenuership and many more.

Need Financing?

TMC Community Capital: affordable online microloans for under served business owners, with a particular focus on women-owned businesses

ICA Fund Good Jobs: ICA Fund Good Jobs educates, accelerates, and invests in high-growth small businesses in order to create accessible good jobs that lead to equitable communities for all.

Opportunity Fund: provide microloans to under served small businesses, particularly those owned by low- and moderate-income immigrants, people of color, and women.

Resources for your Online Presence

Hubspot Website Grader: It takes a look at important criteria like SEO, mobile optimization and security, then delivers a grade from 1-100 in just a few seconds. Website Grader lets you know what you’re doing right and which areas of your site need some attention.

Google my Business: Google offers businesses a free profile to help you connect with your customers. Use Google My Business to post hours, location, and pricing information, and share pictures and even a virtual tour—all of which will then show up for your audience in Google’s search results.

Yelp: Just because you haven’t created a page for your business does not mean it’s not there with reviews. Claim your free Yelp business profile to post pictures and business information, see what customers are saying about you, and respond to your reviewers, both the satisfied and unsatisfied ones.

Google Analytics: Google offers amazing free analytics tools that help small business owners determine what is working in your marketing plan and gain insights about your web traffic.

Yoast: is a free SEO optimizations plugin for the blog. It usually uses in WordPress plugins. It is the most popular WordPress plugins, and a valuable tool you could use.

Hootsuite: Free social media management tool that allows you to schedule and monitor social media activity effectively. Free plan includes 3 profiles and 30 schedules messages per month

Resources for Communication

MailChimp: Free social media management tool that allows you to schedule and monitor social media activity effectively. Free plan includes 3 profiles and 30 schedules messages per month.

SurveyMonkey: Free social media management tool that allows you to schedule and monitor social media activity effectively. Free plan includes 3 profiles and 30 schedules messages per month

Zoom: Free social media management tool that allows you to schedule and monitor social media activity effectively. Free plan includes 3 profiles and 30 schedules messages per month.

Google Meet: is a real-time meeting by Google. Using your browser, share your video, desktop, and presentations with teammates and customers.

Creative Resources


Burst
:
a free stock photo platform that is powered by Shopify. They have a lot of high-quality images. Moreover, those are the royalty-free images. Their photos could use with no attribution required.

Canva: could use pre-formatted templates to create social media banners, blog graphics, marketing flyers, and much more. Free and idiot-proof, Canva will make your amateur, no-budget marketing effort and make you look like a seasoned pro.

Pablo: you could create the image for Facebook, Instagram, and even Pinterest. Its functionality to work with all social media networks.

Prezi: is presentation software that could bring your ideas to life and make you a great presenter. It can be used as an alternative to traditional slide making programs such as PowerPoint.