Kicking off a new year may seem intimidating as a small business owner, you don’t have to go it alone. There are many free, online resources and tools available that can help you improve your marketing and management so you can grow your small business on the Internet. In this post, we’ll walk through our favorite free resources and tools for small business owners.
From financing your small business to managing the day-to-day operations, launching a small business can involve a steep learning curve. These business development resources can help you know where to start.
SBA.gov - For clear and straight forward business education and advice, business owners should start at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website - SBA.gov. SBA.gov offers a range of free information, including details on how to write a business plan, finance your business, and more. It is a great resource for both new and veteran small business owners.
Local Small Business Development Center - There are small business development centers sponsored by the SBA throughout the United States that have helped thousands of entrepreneurs launch successful businesses. These development centers offer free education and mentoring services to help business owners thrive. You can find your local small business development center here.
SCORE - SCORE is a nonprofit organization with more than 10,000 volunteer, expert mentors across the nation who are dedicated to helping small business owners get their business off the ground. Score.org has a wide range of resources, including free mentorship, on-demand webinars and training courses, and an extensive library of online resources, including eguides, templates, checklists, and videos.
Financing your business may be one of the more overwhelming challenges you’ll face as a small business owner. These free resources will help you know where to start with this process.
AngelList - AngelList is a platform that matches angel investors with entrepreneurs who are looking for capital to grow their businesses. The site allows startups and small businesses to raise money from investors free of charge.
- If you’re interested in borrowing money to finance your business, Fundera is a great place to start. Fundera is a one-stop online marketplace to connect small business owners with the right loan based on their needs. Fundera doesn’t fund the loans itself, but instead works with 25+ lenders so you can find the best possible rate available.
Advertising your business on the Internet doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are a few free places to start expanding your brand’s visibility.
Google My Business - Google My Business lets small business owners create a free profile to connect with customers on the Internet. Business owners can post hours, locations, photos, and even a virtual tour that will show up in Google’s search results. Having a Google My Business profile can also help improve the overall SEO ranking of your business on the Internet.
Yelp- Yelp is an online rating and review platform where consumers share their opinions about businesses of all types. Yelp can serve as an important tool for your small business, and it provides a tremendous way to reach new customers. If you’re not already on Yelp, take some time to claim your free Yelp business profile to post your business photos and information. Make sure to respond to any customer reviews and thank users for sharing their feedback.
Expanding your brand’s digital presence involves a lot of time and effort. These powerful analytics tools will help you know whether your efforts are paying off and show you ways to optimize your strategy.
Google Analytics - Google Analytics is one of the most popular web analytics services, used by thousands of companies of all sizes across the world. It is the most comprehensive free analytics tool and allows you to measure your advertising results as well as your website activity, all applications, and your social media performance.
There are multiple free design tools that make it easy for entrepreneurs to create a professional, visually stunning digital presence.
Canva - Canva is a free graphic design platform where you can create beautiful social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and even logos. With their pre-formatted templates and drag-and-drop features, Canva makes graphic design simple.
- Piktochart is an online tool for creating infographics, flyers, reports, and more. Like Canva, it has a drag-and-drop interface that doesn’t require graphic design experience. With their free program, you can access all templates and design up to 5 visuals at one time.
We hope this comprehensive list of resources and tools will help you grow your business in 2021 and beyond.