One of the most frustrating aspects of running a business on your own is... you're on your own. Not knowing where to go to get the answers, resources, and support you need to operate can be a big challenge. Sure, there are countless online communities, networks, and forums out there directed at small business owners offering an assortment of free resources. But where do you start, and how do you ensure that these free resources are quality ones?
The following are six free and useful resources that any small and home-based business owner should know about:
- The IRS Small Business Tax Center- This site offers an assortment of guides and tutorials to teach you all you need to know about your business taxes. Don't let the fact that it is from the IRS scare you away. They put a lot of work into making the site and the information on it accessible and clear.
- SCORE- Would you like to get a free business consultant? SCORE is a non-profit organization directed at small business owners. It features a network of more than 12,000 volunteers who are typically experienced business owners themselves.
- My Own Business- If you are just start a new business, then make sure to take this free 16-part online course on starting and growing a new business.
- SBA Learning Center- The Small Business Association offers an extensive collection of free online courses and training for small business owners and often contains links to other useful government resources.
- Growing Your Biz - Growing Your Biz is targeted to micro-business owners. It features a collection of free business templates, as well as extensive guides to hiring your first employee or freelancer, promoting your business blog, and securing various forms of business financing.
- The Frugal Entrepreneur- The Frugal Entrepreneur is for cash-strapped small business owners. It features an extensive list of 150+ free business resources including sites for women and minority business owners and free government resources.
In short, there are a lot of great, free resources for business owners online. But, you have to know where to look to get them. The previous six sites are a good place to start.