Types of Resources Small Businesses Need
Being a small business owner requires a lot of moving parts from developing a business plan, registering a business, and figuring out the finances to day-to-day operations, marketing and advertising, and so much more. It can be challenging to get it all done, but with the right resources, it’s certainly possible. Here are some of the types of resources your small business can use.
Education and Community Development
It is important to always have educational tools readily available for yourself, your employees, and sometimes the community around you. Continuing education and learning your industry inside and out helps to refresh the why you went into business and how you stay in business. Here are a few places that’ll help you do just that:
- Masterclass: Learn from some of the world’s best across a wide range of industries including hospitality, entertainment, sports, and more.
- HarvardX: It’s never too late to say you’ve been educated by one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Harvard offers free online courses ranging from programming and understanding technology to contract law and using Python for research.
- Linkedin Learning: This subscription-based learning service is an addition to LinkedIn. Linkedin Learning focuses on business-related topics including, marketing and communications in addition to software-based courses for Adobe or QuickBooks. The more you use the service, the more it learns about your habits, which in turn, means it can offer you more relevant courses. All courses, materials, and quizzes can be accessed through an internet connection on your computer or smartphone.
Whether you’re a local business in your town or a well-known ecommerce company, marketing is a vital component to your communication strategy. Here are some marketing resources for your growing business:
- Social media: “Content is king.” Being in a digital age, social media allows business owners to learn on the fly and implement strategies to attract customers to their products or services. Canva Pro is a great platform for DIY social media. It helps you set up everything from scheduling your social media posts to creating templates specific to your brand identity (colors, tone, logo). In addition to Canva, the Later app is a fantastic way to plan ahead and schedule in bulk. It allows you to create posts and schedule it in advance for the day and time you’d like, which is great for communicating upcoming sales or planned closures with your audience. Linktree is another great social media tool, most notably used in conjunction with Instagram. With Linktree, you can host multiple site links to different areas of your business under one link.
- Google My Business: Listing your business on Google will help increase visibility and be seen by customers/users new and old. With their free business tool which also comes with the convenience of a mobile app, you can register your business which will rank in Google’s search results.
- Mailchimp: While social media is great for marketing your business, you still want to convert those followers and customers into a customer relationship management (CRM) system or emailing list. By utilizing a service such as Mailchimp, you can send newsletters, business updates, exclusive offers, and see the ascension of how your list grows. Pricing varies from free to a premium account ($299/month).
The last thing any business owner wants is the IRS breathing down their backs. Having the right accounting software or resources to ensure you’re paying your quarterly taxes or filing the correct paperwork the first time around will give you less work to do on the backend. Here are some accounting resources Nav recommends:
Need an actual accountant? 1-800Accountant is a virtual accounting firm powered by real CPA’s that can assist you with your accounting needs. Whether you’re a brand new small business that has yet to file your LLC or apply for an EIN or a full-service construction company that’s been running for years, 1-800Accountant can help.
Their services include:
- Helping set up your business
- Small business taxes (audit defense, filing)
IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center
The IRS created an online resource center to help make the process of filing taxes much easier for self employed individuals and small business owners. This resource center is for taxpayers with assets under $10 million and who file a Form 1040 with Schedules C, E, or F or Form 2106. They also offer:
- Instructions on how to file them
- Contractor information
- Stages of owning a business, record keeping, employment taxes, Employer ID Numbers, and changes that have occurred due to the pandemic.
QuickBooks online and desktop are both favorites among small businesses. This user-friendly software is made for businesses of all sizes and various stages.
- Payroll services
- Inventory management
- Mileage tracking
- Managing 1099 contractors & more!
They also frequently offer 30-day free trial periods to work with the software. You can test the software on all devices including mobile, tablets, and laptops which makes it much easier if you’re on the job site or at the office.
Resources Every Small Business Should Know About
Feel free to bookmark this article because the resources mentioned will constantly offer the best information needed for your business’s success.
Nav prides itself on being a resource for small business owners. Nav provides information on small business grants entrepreneurs at various stages of their business including women and minorities, grants and loans for veterans, general small business grants, and other funding resources including boosting your business credit score to attain business credit.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA has a ton of resources devoted to small business owners. It’s one of the biggest online business centers, providing entrepreneurs with much-needed information on business training and counseling, funding programs, and business development programs. They also provide a comprehensive business guide for the small business community to learn things such as:
- Calculate business startup costs
- Writing your business plan
- Apply for licensing and permits
- Register your business
- Manage your finances
- And much more!
In addition to this, they also have a segments section for women business owners, veterans, minorities, LGBTQ+, and Native American-owned businesses.
Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
SBDC’s are located nationwide and provide businesses with counseling and training. These centers work with the SBA.
SBDC Programs deliver professional, high quality, individualized business advising and technical assistance to existing small businesses and pre-venture entrepreneurs. SBDCs provide problem-solving assistance to help small businesses:
- Access capital
- Develop and exchange new technologies
- Improve business planning
- Financial management
- Export assistance
- Increased productivity and innovation.
National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)
The NASE offers entrepreneurs and small business owners resources and tools to help run their businesses. Members are provided with a monthly newsletter and unlimited access to tax, finance, retirement and/or operations consultants. NASE offers a NASE Succeed Scholarship for members who need assistance paying for college or university, business certification or training programs, or other business-related courses/seminars.
In addition, NASE provides members with discounts on:
- Legal help
- Healthcare insurance plans, including major medical, prescription drug, plus dental and vision plans
- Home office insurance
- Office supplies
- Website design
- Travel services, including rental car fees and hotels
SCORE is a nonprofit organization focused on providing business owners with mentoring and education. It’s a really great source for business owners who have yet to receive a lot of capital to fund their entrepreneurship journey. SCORE centers their attention on people who are planning on starting a business but aren’t sure or a bit hesitant about where to start. It’s a great business guide that hosts webinars and courses, including local workshops, while also providing a plethora of online resources. You can see where the closest SCORE to you by clicking here.