Let’s face it– starting a small business is hard. There are lots of ways out here to fail in business. The secret weapon that I use for keeping my business strong is being a life-long learner. One of the ways I grow myself and keep my mind sharp is being a veracious reader. I read books, magazine, and a steady diet of business blogs and websites.
I scour the Internet each day, looking for articles, blogs, and actionable tips about small business success for my readers and followers. I thought I would share where I find the information that I often share, so you might build up your own online library of small business resources. There a few online resources out there that I think are the best resources on how to start a small business. Here are my 10 best picks for how to start a small business websites.
Entrepreneur .com. When it comes to educating entrepreneurs the first resource that comes to mind is Entrepreneur magazine. They have vast online resources including their business startup section, http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabusiness/index.html. I also think they offer the most comprehensive how to start a small business information. They have how-to guides, startup basics, home based businesses, and sections on business ideas, financing and success story profiles. (In the interest of disclosure, I do write a monthly column for their sister website, SecondAct.com, but I was reading Entrepreneur long before that!)
Inc. Magazine has been educating small business owners over 30 years. They have an excellent series of how-to guides that cover everything from start-up to passing the business down to the next generation. One of my favorite sections is http://www.inc.com/tools where you can find templates for how to do just about everything from writing a business plan, to sales forecasting, to developing a job description
SmallBizTrends.com, is an excellent resource for small business owners. If you want to keep your business current. Regularly check out information on this site. Editor Anita Campbell is top notch and makes sure that she says on the cutting edge of the needs of small business owners. (Disclosure: I write blogs for this website on occasion.)
BlackEnterprise.com Black Enterprise magazine is my favorite small business magazine and their online resources for entrepreneurs are invaluable. While their content does not exclusively talk about small business ownership, they have great tips for college age business owners. They also have the Black Enterprise Small Business University which is free video training for small business owners available on their website. (Disclosure: I do write blogs for this website on occasion, and I am one of the instructors for the Black Enterprise Small Business University.)
Bplans.com This is a terrific resource for how to start a small business with a business plan. This free web site offers over 500 sample business plans that you can review for tips and insights. It is published by Tim Berry the creator of Business Plan Pro software, who is the Founder and Chairman of Palo Alto Software. This site also offers terrific blog content from small business experts across the web. (Disclosure: I am an affiliate reseller of business plan pro software.)
TheWorkatHomeWoman.com The Work at Home Woman website is a resource dedicated to helping women and moms fulfill their dreams of working at home and/or becoming self employed, while providing inspiration, motivation and support. I like this website because it offers woman business owners and mompreneurs tips especially for them in business.
Launchwhileworking.com One of the key things I preach about starting a business is that people should start a small business as a side hustle while still working their full-time job. This website launch while working is all about how to do just that. This website is dedicated to helping would-be entrepreneurs simplify your life so you can successfully launch and run a business while working full-time.
Succeedasyourownboss.com This is my blog, and I provide valuable tips to start and grow a profitable and sustainable small business 3-5 times a week. I offer a fresh perspective on small business ownership with how-to articles, audio interviews, and video answers to your small business questions. Every Thursday, I also feature Q&A interviews with small business experts who are me guest on my weekly twitter talkshow #Smallbizchat. I also make the transcripts available weekly on the site. I am the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months and Forbes magazine named me the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter.
Businessinsider.com Here’s an honorable mention to this list: The business insider blog is a great blog for entrepreneurs. It’s not always about small business, but they provide great trend information that often affects small business owners.
Do you have any other website that you use for fuel in your small business?
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is one of America’s leading small businessexperts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. As CEO of MFE Consulting LLC, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Forbes Magazine recently named her the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also the author of the national bestseller Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. (Adams Media 2010)