8 Great Online Resources for Small Businesses

It can be frustrating sifting through small business articles looking for just the right resources you need. Yet, the Internet is full of websites that can help you at every stage of your company’s development. Often this information is free, and it can give you the opportunity to connect with similar businesses and entrepreneurs.
Credit // Getty Images
Credit // Getty Images
Whether you’re looking for a business mentor or basic advertising tips for your website, experts, entrepreneurs, and government agencies put this information online to increase their publicity and to help business owners succeed.

This list of small business resources is a great place to start:

Small Business FAQs and Financing

BusinessUSA – A serious resource designed to fast-track your idea into a profit-making machine, the government’s redesigned Business.USA.gov covers everything from legal considerations during planning stages to what it takes to export and import your products and supplies. Their online financing wizard can help connect you with government programs suited especially to your field of interest.

SME Toolkit – A site frequently left out of small business articles is SME Toolkit, a thorough resource available for every stage of the planning process. You can check out the effective steps other business owners have taken, get a leg up on financing knowledge and even find business partners if you don’t want to go through the process alone.

Grants.gov – This massive search engine gives you information about funding available for projects in your area of expertise. You can also get advice on filling out applications, alternative funding sources and fraudulent programs that you should avoid.

Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center – Sometimes it’s best to get your information straight from the source. That’s never truer than when you’re dealing with the IRS. Filling out your paperwork incorrectly or missing important deadlines can result in massive fines. Find updated information on your tax filing and payment obligations here.

Mentoring

MicroMentor – Participants willing to commit at least six hours a month (that’s just one-and-a-half hours a week) for three months working toward a small business goal will find themselves matched with a mentor who has the keys for success. This service may be free, but it is serious.

Not sure they’ll have a mentor to match your interests? Check out the Success Stories page where new entrepreneurs created thriving businesses in pet care, event planning and ice cream parlors – just to name a few.

SCORE – Find experts in your area to help you navigate potential problems and identify ways to grow your profits. Connect with experienced business professionals, networking activities, workshops and more. You can also enjoy a host of online tools the site makes available for small business owners.

Protection

U.S. Copyright Office – Are you confused about laws on copyright, how you can use other people’s work, or how to protect your own? This is the site to go for both quick tips and in-depth small business articles on protecting your writing, photography, and video and audio recordings.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – No matter the size of your business, you’ll need to know how to keep others from using your names or designs. Learn how and why to protect your intellectual property and protect your brand and your profits. Trademarks and patents for every businesses.

Original Source // SBA

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