It is easier than ever these days to start your own business, especially with all the resources at your fingertips. Starting a new business is fun, exciting, challenging, and overwhelming all at the same time! I should know because I started a business 15 years ago from scratch, and let me tell you everyday is a new adventure.
Although there are more resources than ever to get your new venture started, combing through them to find the best can be a maddening experience. So, what I have done is come up with 20 websites that will not only help you get it started, but keep it running!
Complete A-Z Resources
This is my number one draft pick! The Small Business Administration is a must for anyone thinking about starting or currently running a company. They have more resources than anyone I know. SBA should be in your speed dial while starting and running your business.
SCORE, who works with SBA, is a great resource as they offer mentors who have been there, done that, and it is free! They’re people who have done what you are trying to accomplish. So, don’t try and invent the wheel, get some guidance from professionals who know and SCORE is the place to do that!
I wish this site was around when I started my first business in 2000, fortunately we live in a time when resources are abundant, and this is a great one! They even have classes you can take for free that get you ready for your successful venture.
Although it sounds like this site will just help you with building your business plan, which is one of the most important steps in starting a business, it also helps you with pitching your idea, funding your business, how to get it started, managing it once you’ve got it up and running, as well as many other business tools.
Startupnation is a website I was unaware of until writing this article, but I am glad I stumbled upon it. It has everything you need to start your business including a community platform that involves groups, forums, and even a radio show.
Whether it is a home based business, online business, franchising, buying or selling business, this site has ebooks and guides along with many other resources that will get you going in the right direction.
This site is great. It takes you from ideas, to startup, to marketing, to HR, to financials. With worksheets, checklists, and ways to find money, it is a great resource for every stage of starting a small business.
Small Business News, Trends, and Ideas
Great articles on how and what it takes to start your own business from writing business plans to what it takes to be your own boss. Entreperneur is an industry leader with top articles in every avenue of becoming your own business owner.
Inc. is one of the industry leaders in small business ideas and resources for entrepreneurs. This website is great for ideas and learning about what other successful entrepreneurs have done.
Great website to get ideas and general information for people running a small business. It has a ton of current small business news, which is essential to keep up with small business trends.
This site is done by David Skok, who is a serial entrepreneur turned VC. He writes for this site and provides entrepreneurs help with starting their companies. No better place to learn than from someone who has done it time and time again.
This site was created by the bestselling author Steve Strauss, who wrote The Small Business Bible. In Steve’s words, “The site aims to be your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know to have a fun and successful entrepreneurial journey. At the site, you will find relevant articles, how-to videos, podcasts, forums, and special offers that are all deigned specifically for the self-employed.” I couldn’t put it better myself, so I didn’t.
When it comes to starting a successful business, marketing is at the top of your priority list. This site helps you understand some of the social media benefits and how to gain customers right away and increase your customer base as you grow.
Wordstream is your all-in-one social media manager. Although it has a monthly fee, it can be well worth it. The site itself gives you a great helicopter view of how to manage your social media even without paying.
Just as marketing is vitally important to creating a successful business, without the right legal strategies your business is at risk of crumbling because you did’t have the right document signed. This site helps you understand the legalities of operating your own small business. From terminology to contracts, this site is a must!
Are you looking for some legal advice, but don’t have the cash to pay the overpriced attorneys? This site gives great ‘legal” via posts. It answers many of the common questions anyone starting or running a small business needs.
Depending on what type of business you are starting, funding can sometimes be an idea killer. Fundable is a great choice for those looking to raise funds when family, friends, and personal options are exhausted.
Another option for funding when all others methods are out of the question is borrowing. After filling out a single application, Fundera will then match you to up to three compatible lenders. Don’t waste time going from lender to lender. Fundera does it for you.
Are you looking to do some crowdfunding to get your business started? If so, Onevest may be the way to go. You can raise up to five million from investors with proven results.
Gust is a cool site where you can upload your pitch for investors to see exactly who and what they will be investing in. A great way to get your mission and passion across to potential investors.
You now have 20 websites that will get you from idea to startup to successfully running your own show. No more excuses! Begin with SBA and before you know it, you will be in business!
Featured photo credit: Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet by Maurizio Pesce via flickr.com