There’s no understating the importance of entrepreneurs and small business owners to the economy. You create jobs, spur innovation and provide in-demand products and services. And that’s why we created this Entrepreneurship and Small Business Resource Guide. Whether you’re a fledgling entrepreneur or a seasoned small business owner, you’ll find something of value among the more than 50 individual resources in this guide, which includes links to HR resources, marketing resources, helpful blogs and podcasts and a whole lot more. Here’s to your success!
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General Entrepreneurship and Small Business Resources
Whether you’re interested in knowing if you fit the profile of an entrepreneur or you need a sample business plan to reference as you draft your own, this list of general resources has you covered.
Starting an Internet Business – This informative piece from the Federal Trade Commission offers sound advice for entrepreneurs who are considering Internet business opportunities.
Personality Traits for Entrepreneurs: Ratings Worksheet – A multiple-choice quiz that focuses on 17 personality traits that are important to those who truly fit the profile of an entrepreneur. Take it to provide you with insight or take it for fun.
BusinessUSA.gov – No need to spend time to figure out which federal agency to contact for help. Instead, take advantage of this centralized platform that quickly aids businesses in accessing the services and information they need without the hassle.
Business Reference Services – From the Library of Congress comes this portal designed for entrepreneurs. Utilize it as a source of helpful reference information.
Entrepreneurship.org – Find educational tools and resources based on the latest issues in entrepreneurship that can help inspire innovative ideas to propel your business to success.
B Plans – This site offers over 500 free business plan samples as references to those who choose to create their own business plans.
Small Business Law Resources – Find free, helpful information about small business finance, taxes, operations, regulations and more.
Small Business HR Resources
Appropriately managing the human resources aspect of your small business is critical due to expectations of employees and the legal responsibilities it implies. Browse the resources below to find out what you’re doing well and what you need to improve.
Business Owner’s Toolkit – Discover links to over 50 ready-to-use downloadable tools and forms for human resources issues such as an employee hiring package or a funds transfer authorization form.
Benefits Link – Find out everything you need to know about administering, complying with, designing or making policy for employee benefit plans.
US Department of Labor Poster Advisor – The U.S. Department of Labor requires employers to post their official posters where employees can easily view them. Find out which posters you need and how to obtain them.
Human Resources Laws and Regulations for Small Businesses – Find seven links, from the Small Business Association, which cover important human resource issues from hiring foreign or disabled workers to legally terminating employees.
Small Business Marketing Resources
Marketing your small business is vital task for success. Use the following resources to help you discover some of the best ways to do it.
Marketing Profs – Take advantage of a robust library of marketing articles and email newsletters. Participate in discussion forums, sponsored seminars and virtual conferences. All are included in the basic-level membership.
PR Log – Distribute press releases to major search engines for free at this site, which also offers tools and guides to help you write releases that get results.
Hootsuite – Quickly and easily post social media updates to all of the main social networks with Hootsuite. This free tool also allows you to review conversations and messages.
Answer the Public – Use this tool to determine topics and questions based on primary keywords you’ve found to be most important to what your business has to offer. Not only can this strategy help your business rank, it can also help attract visitors to your site, which can convert to sales.
Screaming Frog – Screaming Frog is a popular crawling tool that allows you to crawl up to 500 pages free of charge. Complete tasks such as locating broken links, auditing redirects or finding duplicate content at the URL level.
Portent’s Title Generator – Need help with creative ideas for your next article? Use this one-of-a-kind title generator to find title suggestions that will have you ready to create your next post.
MOZ Local – Quickly check to see if your customers can find you online with this handy search tool.
Keyword IO – A free keyword research tool that allows you to obtain keyword ideas that will help you know which keywords or topics to target or use for content creation.
American Fact Finder – Find facts about population, income levels and other areas to aid you in your marketing research.
National Center for Education Statistics – This site offers statistics from federal government agencies to help in your market research.
Small Business Industry Groups
Join forces with one or more of the small business industry groups whose common mission is to advance the development and success of small business and entrepreneurship.
National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) – The NFIB is an association that joins over 300,000 small business owners in their belief to advocate for the continuing right to start, operate and grow businesses.
U.S. Small Business Administration – Protecting small business concerns since 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is dedicated to assisting Americans begin, build and expand small businesses.
National Small Business Association – NSBA prides itself on its non-political status as a small-business advocacy organization. From helping secure small-business tax deductions to fighting against harmful laws and regulations, the NSBA has the small business world’s back.
United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship – The USASBE offers education, research, outreach and public policy via a diverse population of professionals committed to advancing the “discipline of entrepreneurship.”
Entrepreneur’s Organization – As the only worldwide network focused solely on entrepreneurs, EO offers peer-to-peer learning, connections and experiences to help promising entrepreneurs learn and grow.
Women’s Business Development Center – Targeting women, but also serving veterans and other minorities, the WBDC supports and assists the groups with business development and growth.
SCORE – SCORE connects volunteer business people with small business owners. The volunteers offer valuable mentoring and education to help small business owners succeed.
International Franchise Association – If buying a franchise is on your to-do list, this site provides information to help you choose the one that’s right for you.
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Blogs
With so many small business and entrepreneurship blogs out there, you could easily spend hundreds of hours reading them. However, there’s no need because we’ve compiled the following list of some of the best offerings for you.
Business in Blue Jeans – Building a strong online presence as a small business is a popular goal of entrepreneurs. Look to this blog to advise you how to do it.
Strella Social Media – Social media is an excellent way to promote your small business. Yet, with so many options, where should you place your focus? Offering tons of helpful information, the Strella Social Media blog can help you map out your social media marketing strategy.
Think Entrepreneurship – Visit this blog under the command of entrepreneur Pete Sveen for his posts on the pitfalls and triumphs of each of his businesses. His interest lies with sharing his experiences in the hopes that he can help fellow entrepreneurs find their own successes.
Succeed As Your Own Boss – Small Biz Lady, Melinda Emersen offers a wide variety of small business information. Whether you’re just starting up or you need assistance with tasks such as small business taxes, you’re likely to find what you seek here.
Startup Professionals – The focus of this blog is to provide helpful information for new and relatively new small businesses. Find articles that address all aspects of running a business successfully and helping it grow.
Success Harbor – Self-described serial entrepreneurs George Meszaros and Monika Beck founded this blog. They offer their personal insights and experiences to help others succeed in their own business ventures.
Chris Brogan – Read insightful posts from accomplished entrepreneur Chris Brogan. Even though Brogan ended up successful, he experienced struggles along the way. Find out about his journey.
Side Hustle Nation – Many people have the desire to become a successful entrepreneur but only a few hours here and there to work on it. Discover how to make your dreams come true by beginning a side hustle.
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Podcasts
With all of the information you can glean from podcasts, you’d be remiss not to take advantage of the following selections. Whether you need marketing tips or you want to push your business to the next level, there’s a podcast here that can help.
Entrepreneur on Fire – John Lee Dumas hosts this daily podcast that examines the experiences of business owners and how they became successful.
Ambitious Entrepreneur Show – Marketing is one of the biggest struggles an entrepreneur faces. Tune in to this podcast to learn about practical and actionable strategies that can help you get the marketing results you deserve.
Mixergy – Enjoy this podcast that features interviews with well-known entrepreneurs who share the details of their struggles and the secrets to their successes.
Startup Nation – This twice monthly podcast, delivered by the Sloan brothers, gives advice and insight into how to make a small business succeed.
The Introvert Entrepreneur – This podcast, hosted by Beth Buelow, is based on interviews with business owners who have overcome different types of challenges in their quests to be entrepreneurs.
Being Boss – People who consider themselves creative entrepreneurs can benefit from listening to this podcast. The female hosts offer plenty of ideas and advice about growing a business.
Small Business Unstuck – Barry Moltz’s motivation for this podcast is to help small businesses succeed. His background includes his own successes and failures in small business, and his recipe for success includes seeking out knowledgeable and trustworthy peers and mentors such as himself.
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Publications
From magazines to handbooks, the following publications will help you manage your business with intelligence and efficiency.
OSHA Small Business Handbook – Use this handy reference to ensure that you’re meeting the legal requirements set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Businessing Magazine – Looking for fresh, weekly business-related content that offers insight and inspiration? Check out Businessing Magazine, which has plenty to offer to newbies as well as seasoned veterans of the small business world.
Fast Company – This magazine offers readers information about cutting-edge business practices that will help anyone work smarter instead of harder.
Resource Guide for Small Business – This 55-page guide from the Small Business Administration offers small business owners information on starting up, marketing and managing.