1) The Small Business Administration
Entrepreneur Magazine says small business owners are not adequately using the Small Business Administration and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). This tax-funded resource offers advice on loans, free training programs and mentors. Find your local SBA office and take advantage of these services.
2) Pre-vetted Vendors
One great resource to have in your back pocket is a list of pre-vetted vendors to employ as your business grows. For instance, pre-vetting a fulfillment company ensures that you can cover a sudden uptick in orders without casting around for someone at the last minute. If you are packing and labeling your orders in your building’s back room with your spouse after dinner, then you need to have an idea of where you can quickly scale up should a sudden surge occur. Look for vendors with the best customer service reviews, those who take personal care with your product, and those with many years of fulfillment services experience. Companies such as Goodwill Industrial Services, which has nearly 100 years of experience in receiving, packaging, assembling and shipping, can save you thousands of dollars year or more. Contact us for a free tour of our facilities.
3) Free Resources
Many sites have incredible lists of free resources for business owners, such as the list maintained by Growth Supply. From web coding to legal forms to invoicing tools, this site is one of many that offers free resources that can help you jumpstart your business at no cost.
What’s more daunting than paying legal fees when you have very little cash? Sites like LegalZoom.com can help you get incorporated for just over $99. It’s one of the first steps you’ll need to take as a startup business. However, be sure to check out the SBA first to see if they have better options for you.
People work wherever they are these days. This online project management tool will help you collaborate with your team whether you are down the street or in another time zone. Send messages to your staff and clients at the same time or just to your employees. Add people to a project and be reminded about project milestones, to-do items and budget concerns.
Google Drive allows you to work in different locations, from different devices, without having to juggle separate document versions. Edit, share and save documents in one central location. All you need is a free Gmail account.
We saved the best for last. The Kauffman Foundation provides comprehensive resources and detailed information, from funding information to hiring your first employee to selling shares of stock. Widely known as the premier resource for small business owners, it’s definitely a great source to check out.