Small business owners know how to hustle and they hustle hard. Late nights? No problem. Balancing multiple roles? On it. Working with an almost nonexistent budget? Sounds familiar. Small business owners who want to stretch their budget as far as it can go will appreciate learning about free small business resources. Here are links to some popular business, community, and educational resources that won’t cost you a penny.
Lean on National Small Business Resources
For expert business advice, you can always trust the US Small Business Administration (SBA). Founded in 1953, the SBA provides free small business resources designed to help entrepreneurs pursue their business goals. This is the only cabinet-level federal agency that is entirely dedicated to providing resources for small businesses. Not only do they provide advice and insight on tricky business topics, but you can pursue counseling and capital opportunities through the SBA.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) is a nonprofit group that has great resources for small business owners. NFIB has legal resources and advocates on behalf of small and independent business owners in the U.S. that make a major impact for business owners as a whole nationwide. You won’t want to miss their free webinars that break down complex topics like PPP Loan Forgiveness.
You can also look for industry specific nationwide resources that touch on your businesses’ more niche needs.
Look Into Community Resources
While nationwide business resources are great and often really well produced, pursuing business resources closer to home has its perks. Your local Chamber of Commerce likely provides amazing business resources and they’re a great place to turn when you have location specific questions about things like ordinances and permits. Most communities have a Chamber of Commerce whose goal it is to help local businesses thrive.
You may find that they host networking events with other business owners or plan community events designed to help spread awareness about small businesses in the area. They typically provide free marketing resources to make sure the community can learn more about your business. Not to mention, being a member of your local Chamber of Commerce can lend credibility to your business. Your Chamber of Commerce also likely lobbies local representatives when it comes to fighting for the interests of area business owners, so it can be very beneficial in the longterm to get involved and learn more about what they’re working on.
There may also be local clubs or Facebook groups created by other entrepreneurs designed to help form connections between business owners that you can participate in. Join a few of these groups and get to know your fellow local entrepreneurs. You never know who may be able to connect you to your next big client or who may help you find the perfect supplier.
Take Free Online Courses
When you start your own business, there is a pretty steep learning curve. One day you’ll get the hang of things, but all savvy entrepreneurs know to always keep learning. Enter: free online courses. E-learning is all the rage these days thanks to how convenient and accessible it is from anywhere in the world. Platforms like Coursera, Udacity, and edX all offer free business classes (note that not all classes on each platform are free) on topics ranging from strategy, to digital marketing, to bookkeeping. It’s time to flex your mental muscles for free! If there is a business area you’re lacking in, don’t shy away from hitting the virtual books, you’ll feel more empowered and have the knowledge you need to make strategic decisions.
Have an Online Presence
Getting digital doesn’t have to cost a dime. Having a social media presence is free, unless you choose to invest money into advertisements on those platforms. You can also advertise your business on digital resources like Google My Business and Yelp free of charge. These platforms allow you to share key details about your business such as hours of operation and contact info, as well as provide opportunities for your happy customers to leave glowing reviews. Think of customer reviews as word of mouth advertisements on a much larger scale.
Some social media channels even provide free resources designed to help businesses succeed on their platform and to grow their business in general. For example, you can find Facebook business resources through FACEBOOK for Business. This platform offers free resources to help find success on Facebook and Instagram, but also provides more general and topical resources relating to business issues such as COVID-19 relief programs and grant opportunities.
Fundbox Small Business Resources
Some of your go-to business service providers may offer free resources designed to help your small business get a leg up. At Fundbox, we love going the extra mile and providing our customers with extra resources to help them understand complex topics like small business loans and taxes. Which is why we create in-depth blog posts, case studies, guides, e-books, podcasts, and videos to help answer some of your biggest small business questions.