Starting a small business is very expensive and you have to allocate your funds properly so you will not run out of capital while your business is still in the planning phase. It means that you are always looking for ways to save money, especially when it comes to business resources.
In the past, it is almost impossible to get free sources and services that can help you grow your business. Today, there are a lot of platforms and resources that you can use without spending a single cent.
You can fund your business by using secured or unsecured business loans and other loans, but the resources that we will list down won’t require you to spend money. Here are some of the best resources that you can use for your small business without spending a single penny.
1. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
If you are planning to establish a small business in the United States, there is a specific organization that can help provide the resources that you need to grow without any fees. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an agency that offers support to small business owners and entrepreneurs.
This agency has various resources like articles, studies, tips, and you can even get granting opportunities. The business plan worksheet of the agency is an amazing resource for the people who are starting a small business and those who are looking for additional funding. They also provide free business counseling if you need guidance for your business.
The goal of this agency is to help strengthen the economy of the country by assisting small businesses. If you need funds, you might also be eligible for granting and loans from SBA.
2. Small Biz Answers
If you are constantly browsing through social media sites, especially Twitter, Small Biz Answers might be a big help to you. This is an account on Twitter that provides daily updates on the latest articles about small business.
If you are having trouble with your small business, you might find the answer that you are looking for in their Twitter account. The owner of the site always guarantees that they offer actionable information for business owners. They teach you how to do certain things for your business to grow.
They also have the Small Business Ideas Forum where you can ask some questions or share your knowledge with other small business owners.
When it comes to small business, is there anything that can compare with Entrepreneur.com? This website is focused solely on entrepreneurs and small business owners and they provide free tips and strategies to run your business properly.
The Business Plan Forms and Templates that they have on their website is also full of business plan guidelines, models, templates, and checklists that would help you with your business. It also contains Marketing Forms and Templates, Finance, and Entrepreneurship.
Take note that all of these business planning tools, podcasts, online workshops, and more are free for small business owners. The wealth of information you can gain from this website can guarantee that your business will flourish.
4. Chamber of Commerce
Joining your Chamber of Commerce is one of the best things that you can do as a small business owner. Although you will have to pay some money to join, it is worth it because all of the assistance that you can get from this is way more than what you paid for.
Most of these chambers will usually have a free networking event where you can join in and interact with other business owners. Most of them would have marketing programs that might even help your business.
It is not a bad idea to get involved and you can go to your local Chamber of Commerce to see what they can offer you.
SCORE is known as the most popular and largest network of volunteer expert business mentors that aims to help small businesses grow and achieve their goals. If you plan to start a small business or you already have one, this is one of the best resources that you should never miss as they already helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs and business owners since 1964.
SCORE is also a non-profit organization and it is a resource partner of the U.S. SBA. What can you get from SCORE?
- Mentoring – You can have access to free and confidential business mentoring from more than 250 local chapters. It will be done via email, phone, or video depending on your preference.
- Webinars and Courses – SCORE provides free online workshops and webinars for different topics starting from basic startup strategies up to more complicated business marketing processes. You can watch their courses and webinars live and ask your questions there.
- Library of Online Resources – You can check out of the wide collection of templates, guides, blogs, videos, infographics, checklists, and more to get some ideas on how to properly run your small business.
- Local events – This is one of the best things that you can get from SCORE as they usually hold free or low-cost workshops that would discuss a wide range of topics about business.
6. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)
If you need help with your small business, you can go to your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to get a free face-to-face consultation and at-cost training. Topics include international trade, technology development, regular compliance, business planning, accessing capital, and many more.
The main goal of SBDC is to help small businesses get a footing in the industry and achieve their goals. SBDC is also hosted by various universities, colleges, private sector partners and state economic development agencies. It is also partly funded by the United States Congress through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Starting a small business won’t be too complicated if you can have access to all these resources. You will be guided accordingly and they can help forge a path for you, especially if you are still new in the industry. Through these free resources, you can make concrete marketing plans and decide on actionable ideas to help your business grow and flourish.