10 Small-Business Resources Could Change Everything This Year
A new year means a new start for a great many people. If you’ve decided it’s time to get your entrepreneurial fix or just upgrade your small-business plan, you’ll need to make sure you have the tools and support you need to succeed. Savvy entrepreneurs never go it alone, and especially when you’re just starting out, trustworthy advice can be invaluable. From the Hartford to HuffPo and even the United States government, these are the top small-business resources that can keep your company ahead of the pack in 2018.
Small Business Administration
We may not always agree with what Uncle Sam’s people at the top are up to, but we can always use the tips and tricks available at SBA.gov. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has resources for everything from filing articles of incorporation in your local state to determining the correct contracts and insurances for your business. The SBA can also give advice to existing companies looking to expand and further their businesses.
The Hartford: Small Biz Ahead
The Hartford, experts in business insurance, maintains a small business blog called “Small Biz Ahead” that has almost everything you need when it comes to launching, organizing and running your new company. Their advice for starting a new company gives you a step-by-step method for where and how to get up and running with invaluable links to local, state and federal resources, as well as news entries affecting small businesses across the nation.
SCORE: The Service Corps of Retired Executives
One of the best ways to learn is to work with those who have come before. The Service Corps of Retired Executives, or SCORE, seeks to pair seasoned mentors with entrepreneurs to help avoid pitfalls and make the most of their launch periods. SCORE offers many incentives, including contests and prizes for startups, and its service pairs executives with new businesses based on their individual fields of expertise and knowledge.
National Federation of Independent Business
If you’ve got ideas on what you want to do, or you’re looking for advice for how to do it, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) has the tips and tutorials for you. The organization hosts a research center that breaks down everything you may need by category. Discover how to find, research and apply for loans or grants with just a few quick clicks. Or you could simply browse for ideas for markets and innovations to help move your business forward.
HuffPo: Small Business News
The Huffington Post’s small-business news section features breaking developments that directly impact entrepreneurship in the nation. Whether you’re just starting out or managing a decades-old small company, HuffPo is a great place to go for the latest news and reviews of key products and services available to entrepreneurs.
Small Business Trends
The name says it all with Small Business Trends, which provides resources to help you gauge interest and monitor involvement in the trends shaping the business world today. The trends broken down on the site provide insight to help guide your company through its planning and formative stages into its expansion and growth periods. Much of the advice is provided by researchers and current industry leaders alike, giving a broad perspective on things to come in the business world.
Savvy startup leaders have likely already spent plenty of time with Entrepreneur Magazine, but the online version of Entrepreneur Media condenses much of the glossy publication’s knowledge into useful links and common-sense advice on everything from organization advice to day-to-day operations. Discover how to be the best business owner or manager that you can be with tips from professionals as well as industry-leading original research and insight.
The New York Times: You’re the Boss Blog
When the New York Times declares that “you’re the boss,” it’s trying to tell you something. The popular small-business blog hosted at the NYT has everything you need to up your small-business credentials. Even if it no longer publishes new content, the archives of the blog contain a treasure trove of information from many of the biggest names in almost any industry. When you’re looking for timeless tips that remain relevant in today’s business world, check out “You’re the Boss” for direct advice from seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals worldwide.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission
If you are interested in manufacturing and marketing a new product, you’ll need to become very familiar with the resources available at the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Starting on the right foot with the CPSC is essential for bringing a new product to consumers, and their small-business resources are designed specifically to facilitate startups and smaller companies. The guidelines and advice available on these pages can help prevent untimely delays (or expensive recalls) that can cost your company time, money or customer satisfaction down the line.
It’s easy to read the advice that you need a lawyer. But when? And why? Aren’t there some things that you can do yourself without the added expense? The resources at LegalZoom answer these questions and many more. This resource offers tips for how to correctly file for many organizational benefits and how to protect your company from frivolous lawsuits and meaningless charges designed to bilk you out of money. LegalZoom resources can help keep your organization legally in the right without the costs of a lawyer on retainer.