Small Business Resources
As an Entrepreneur on the go, wouldn’t it be great to have all the resources you need in one location? Bam! Your wish is our command! When most aspiring business owners get started, they burn valuable time combing the Internet for answers to their questions.
Have you been there before? Googling this and that?
Searching YouTube, Reddit, Quora, Google, etc., for hours on end, for solutions to your challenges.
The Best Resources For The Best!
With our spot-on resources, you get to spend more time growing your business as opposed to feeling like a perpetual research peon.
1. Business Mentor
We provide considerable information concerning acquiring and having Business Mentors. Here are the top opportunities. If you do not have a Business Mentor, GET ONE NOW!!!
SBDC Small Business Development Center
The SBDC has 1000 centers across the nation, housed in college campuses, universities, private sector partners, and state economic development agencies. With the SBDC, you get to sit face to face with mentors who care about your success!
SCORE boasts of over 10,000 volunteer Business Mentors all over the country. These men and women are the crème de la crème in terms of expertise and experience. SCORE mentors are another grand opportunity to sit down and pick the brains of those who have been there and done that.
SBA Small Business Administration
When you have questions about funding, financing, growth, contracts, and such, you will find answers at the Small Business Administration. If they do not have the answers to your questions, they will point you in the proper direction. SCORE is a phenomenal resource for all Entrepreneurs.
I am elated to say that Vistage is the Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Lamborghini of Business Mentors. That statement is not to compare them to the Business Mentors mentioned above, but to state that Vistage is on a Rolls Royce, Bentley Lamborghini level. Be advised that you must qualify to be accepted into their program, but if you get in, you just hit the mother load!
When it pertains to Business Mentors, you have options. In a nutshell, you are not alone in your business endeavors. Why waste time racking your brain when you can Brainstorm and get advice from the best minds in the business sphere?
2. Business Grants
There may be a great possibility that you qualify for a Business Grant. However, you won’t know unless you do your homework. To be crystal clear, the pathway to finding out if you qualify and what degree – is information. We’ve provided the foundational knowledge. Please do your homework, and we hope you get funded.
3. Business Plans
Serious Entrepreneurs have a Business Plan. As you will learn, we spend a tremendous amount of time sharing information about Business Plans. If you are going to obtain financing, business loans, or attract investors, a Business Plan is a MUST! Banks, investors, and money people demand a Business Plan; not having one is not an option. Here are our top choices.
Both of those templates cost; the difference between them and the free Business Plan templates is that you will be required to do all the tedious leg work with the free plans. You can click here to learn what goes into a Business Plan.
Free Business Plan Templates
The free templates will require a tremendous amount of effort, time, research, and groundwork before they can be ready for a presentation. With the free templates, you have no help from the providers unless you upgrade to a paying version.
Even then, their paid versions do not compare to the professional paid versions. Consequently, be prepared to figure things out on your own. The free templates are for people who know what they are doing concerning writing Business Plans and are using the templates to jump-start their journey.
Microsoft has an assortment of free Business Plan templates. They are pretty bland and will need extensive work to be presentable to bankers, investors, and financers.
Their templates are cookie-cutter templates used by business owners on a tight budget. Their templates advertise as being free, but you’ll need to pay if you want to full access.
4. Business Courses
Oftentimes taking your game to the next level requires obtaining specialized knowledge, which, in turn, fosters confidence building. If you are unsure what Entrepreneurial steps to take (meaning, you lack special knowledge concerning startups), a course on Entrepreneurship can be a real information and confidence booster.
Moreover, it can also be that nudge you need to go, “ALL IN!” In our humble opinion, here are the two best short courses offered by reputable universities.
Tarkenton Certificate In Entrepreneurship
This program is offered through the University of Georgia Terry College of Business. With this program, you will learn how to build a business from the ground up. It includes over 100 hours of intense lessons infused with deep business learning. You have access to the instructors. And, most importantly, you walk away with tangible business skill sets.
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University’s mission is to fuel dreams and build confidence while providing an actionable and engaging curriculum. They currently offer three online courses:
- Starting a Business
- Business Expansion
- Quick Start Entrepreneur
Go to their website, examine their courses, and GO FOR IT!
5. Project Management Software
The first thing you need to understand about project management software is that unless you have it designed specifically for your company (meaning it is proprietary), no PM software will fit all of your needs.
The second issue is, watch the pricing! Many of these software applications have over-complicated pricing structures. Some pricing plans are so intricate; you will not know what you are paying until you see the actual bill. They charge you for each user, each seat, each board, each card, each integration, and some charge for attachments.
If you’re asking what a board is or what a seat or a card is? They are cleverly designed additional income streams. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking these companies; we do live in a capitalistic society.
However, no business person should have to spend 54+ hours ensnared in a learning curve trying to figure out how to use their project management software and then another 2 to 3+ hours to figure out how they are being billed.
The third issue is the learning curve. Most developers of these project management software applications code their products for other developers, not for end-users. Hence, they use terms such as seats, cards, and boards; words, most people cannot instantly associate with project management.
That stated, here are the three project management software applications that we can safely recommend.
6. CRM Customer Relations Management
The state of your business in terms of being a struggling enterprise versus flourishing depends on several factors. One critical factor is how you manage potential and current clients. If you get this subject wrong, you will fail no matter how great your product or service. Get it right, and you could become the next business mogul.
In a nutshell, CRM Customer Relations Management software is a tool businesses use to manage interaction with potential and current clients. There are a ton of such tools on the market. The one “MAJOR” issue that you must look out for is the same issue with Project Management software: pricing.
Many CRM companies will sell you the world, one rock at a time. Meaning, they will nickel and dime you into the dreaded red! In many instances, they have outpriced small businesses and startups.
Can you imagine paying $553.00 per month for your CRM plus $130.00 per month for your project management software? That’s what you would pay for yourself and a sales & marketing team of six = $683.00 per month if you chose two of the well-advertised PM and CRM applications. That stated, our top choices for small businesses and startups are as follows:
You can read our review on HoneyBook. For the small business owner and startups, this is one of the best, if not the best, CRMs on the market. Full disclosure, it’s the one we use, and for good reasons.
As previously stated, there are tons of CRM software applications on the market; almost all of them will ONLY provide the features you need if you select their premium/ultimate/gold packages with the addons. Make sure that you perform an in-depth cost analysis before signing up for ANY trial!
7. Secretary of State
As you go through the 12 steps to officially launching your business, you will need to contact your Secretary of State to file your Incorporation paperwork. We have listed every Secretary of the State within the United States; you can contact them directly and get your filing underway.
Go to your Secretary of State
8. Business Cards & Printed Marketing Material
Most people have heard about VistaPrint when it comes to printing business cards. But after using GotPrint.com for over 12 years, we can say unequivocally that their quality and pricing far exceeds any competitor – including VistaPrint! Try them; you will be impressed.
We’ve ordered everything from business cards, marketing material, signs, banners, promotional products, and they have never failed us. Moreover, they will be the quality and pricing of most of your local printers. Check them out! Go on their website and have them send you some samples.
VistaPrint has been providing printing services since 1999; they do a reasonably good job up to the point of requesting high-end printing such as [full color two-sided, card stock, glossy business cards]. Their quality is “meh” in comparison to GotPrint. We came to that conclusion by comparing the two companies over two dozen-plus projects.