10 Best How to Start a Small Business Websites

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 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.)


SCORE.org  is an online mentoring program for start-up businesses and seasoned entrepreneurs. SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide. There are more than 350 SCORE chapters nationwide, and you can get face-to-face coaching for your business as well. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and has been mentoring small business owners for more than forty years.

New York Times “You’re the Boss” Blog.  I love this blog from the New York Times because for the most
part it’s written by small business owners for small business owners. They give it to you straight in this blog and I often find great stuff in the daily posts to start and grow a small business.



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?

For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.


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  1. says

    I love the Business On Main site – I’m a member of a group of bloggers who are compensated for sharing the information contained there, but it’s really valuable content for small business owners. I’ve learned a lot from participating in the group. http://businessonmain.msn.com/#fbid=Xo1zVPbq_sk

  2. Linda says

    Thanks for sharing valuable practical and necessary information for business owners. I have one of your articles posted on my prayer blog. Entrepreneurs need to pray too. http:ladyofprayer.com

  3. says

    Lots of really helpful resources. I also found problogger very helpful http://www.problogger.net/ both in terms of providing advice on how to develop an effective strategy for blog content and also as a source for ideas on how to monetize your blog–something many small business owners struggle with.

  4. says

    Funny you should mention getting dressed. I actually had someone tell me her kids didn’t think she had a “real job” because she didn’t put on a suit every morning, jump in the car, and head off to an “office.” So she had to make a conscious effort to set some boundaries so they would view her work-from-home job just the same as if she was working onsite at a company.

  5. says


    This is really great information. You have place 10 of the best resources all in one neat little message.

    I have found Site Build It! to be one of the best all-in-one website startups for the new entreprenuer. You not only get website and hosting but also assistance with Keyword selection, SEO, email marketing, newsletter generation, auto-responders and many other features that you would have to pay for separately with many other website builders.

  6. Deepa Pariyangat says

    Thanks Melinda for sharing this info. I plan to start my own food business soon and some of the tips you have provided are extremely useful and have made me think more creatively suitable to the market I am targetting.

  7. says

    You asked about other sites. I’ve recently started a site for social entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, http://www.changetheworldmarketing.com. It covers both marketing strategy and the technical aspects of having an online business that so many small businesses find challenging. I’d love to hear what you think of my blog.

    This is my first time visiting your site; it has an amazing amount of material on it! Each blog post is thorough and valuable. Keep it up!

  8. says

    Great tips here Melinda,

    It’s about continuing to learn to be the best you can be in your market.. But what’s your thoughts on this, do you think learning is more important or taking the right action is more important and why?

  9. Ciza Studios says

    Looking for clients for web/graphics design, if you need work to be done on a budget, we’re here to help – Ciza Studios

  10. Mike Carthew says

    Really useful article with some fantastic resources, thanks. If it’s of interest I run an online collective of businesses with values called Cuckoo Vine. I write a journal which is an honest and candid account of an entrepreneur (me) with a great idea (Cuckoo Vine), it’s doing really well and provides a very frank and entertaining insight into the world of an ambitious startup. May be of use to some of the readers here!

  11. john clidy says

    Thanks for the time you took speaking with me. I will use the tools you gave me to get the word out to the world about “The Clidy Group” ….I look forward to reading your informational blogs…..

  12. Nathaniel Obaze says

    Melinda,you what noone can take it from you,that’s an aweson resource list.It will go along in helping me out on my dream Businee.God Bless YOU.nathobaze

  13. says

    For any business, having a website is important. There are business website services available for web design and SEO. If you wish to do the design and SEO of your business website on your own, there are a few simple ways to get started.

  14. says

    Hi Melinda!

    First time here… Like the site! Anyway… I love tip 9. That was my personal approach to doing my own thing. You get the security that the “ball and chain” gives you, thus allowing you the financial flexibility to make the business easier to fund (and survive).

  15. says

    Great help. I have my own business site, though it’s not as good as yours. It would be more beneficial for me if I had read this post before launching my site. I follow Entrepreneur as they are great, I also like reading New York Times. I don’t know on what basis you have ranked or just arbitrarily, it would be nice to see New York Times within top three. Though Work at home women sounds for women they are equally beneficial for all sorts of small business and also for SME. Thanks for great list.

  16. says

    I recommend score. I’ve scheduled a few meetings with them. Hard to get a meeting with them, but they are volunteers so you need to respect their time.

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