The nice thing about business resources and templates is that you can you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch. The Internet is loaded with business tools, templates, websites, applications, and resources to help your small business.
In fact, there are too many small business resources out there. How do you weed out the good from the bad? To save you time, we searched and culled some of the better resources.
Feel free to tweak the business tools to better meet your needs. We’ve organized them in three parts:
Microsoft provides free templates for Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. Templates range from elevator pitches and business cards to agendas and annual financial reports. The website has many other personal life templates that you can repurpose into a business template.
SCORE is a nonprofit association with volunteers who serve as advisers and mentors to small business owners and entrepreneurs. They have excellent resources for businesses including a wealth of templates and tools. For example, one resource walks you through the steps on how to get a patent. You’ll find information on accounting basics, bookkeeping, money management, budgets, business plans, financing and loans, and pricing strategies. You can search for local offices, mentors, and more.
Vertex42 has a variety of templates for Excel and Word, such as calculators, expense tracking, invoices, and project management. For those who aren’t as familiar with Excel, the website’s support page provides an introduction to spreadsheets to help show you around Excel. Vertex42 includes links to Microsoft’s guides to pick up what you need to know to use these templates.
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Bplans offers a handful of interactive calculators to assess different parts of your business such as cash flow, website conversion rate, and email marketing ROI. Look around the site for resources such as advice on pitching, getting business funding, and managing your business. Some templates and downloads require entering an email to receive an email with a link to the download.
BusinessDictionary has thousands of business terms and links to other terms from within definitions. Beware that the site may require creating a free account to be able to access the terms after you view a few. It also has ads and pop ups with ads mixed in with some of the articles. However, the site is worth a look as it’s easy to navigate and its business terms are easy to understand.
Dictionary of Small Business
Dictionary of Small Business is a basic site that contains many terms. It’s a good alternative if pop ups and ads from BusinessDictionary disrupt your browsing experience. Like BusinessDictionary, it includes links to other terms to help you fully understand the business definition.
Social Security Administration Online Services
Social Security Administration offers a suite of services for filing W2 and W-2C online without installing software. You can also verify employees’ names and social security numbers. Using business services online requires registering for a free account. Note that Social Security Number Verification Service is not the same service as Consent Based Social Security Number Verification Service, which charges a fee.
CNN Money True Profit Calculator
CNN Money true profit calculator can calculate your company’s true profit to determine what your working capital really does for your business. The tool links to several articles to help you understand true profit and finding your magic number. There’s a calculator to determine what’s your business is worth.
AllBusiness provides tools and resources for growing and managing a small business. Resources include guides, forms and agreements, e-books, dictionary, slideshows, product reviews, and videos.
Business News Daily
Business News Daily is for busy small business owners and their employees. The website aims to provide concise, actionable information that small business owners can use to help manage and grow their business.
CBS Small Business Pulse
CBS Small Business Pulse knows that owners of small businesses wear a lot of hats. They cover finance, HR, legal, marketing, sales, and tech. Each of these hats represents a section on the website. Simple and easy to get around.
Experian Business Credit Facts
Experian Business Credit Facts gives you straight answers on everything related to your business credit. It explains how lenders and suppliers use business credit reports to evaluate your small business. You can check your business’ credit listing and request changes to incorrect information.
Inc.com has a handful of sections of interest to small business owners like Grow, Lead, Technology, and Money. As with most online publications, the website has a lot of ads. Still, the insightful articles can help your business.
Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Center
Intuit QuickBooks Small Business Center covers the gamut of small business topics sorted in the following categories: accounting and taxes, cash flow, finance and funding, financial services, other (marketing, technology, hiring, etc.), and starting up.
IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center
The IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center has information for different types of businesses from the self-employed and independent contractors to businesses with employees and professions. It has articles on preparing and filing taxes and stages of owning a business. The online learning section consists of videos, downloads, and self-paced courses.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides articles, loans and grants, and online courses. A local assistance section helps you find nearby SBA offices, events, and resource partners. If your small business is interested in pursuing government contracts, there’s a tool that can help you determine if you qualify.
National Federation of Independent Business offers how-to articles and an online library for small businesses and entrepreneurs. You’re not required to join NFIB to access these resources. Although a recurring popup will ask you for information, you can continue reading articles without filling in anything. One useful tool is the NFIB Small Business Playbook that provides a gameplan to grow business and get updates on small business-related legislation.
Small Business Trends
Small Business Trends offers much more than its name implies. It has a Small Business Resource Center with free marketing resources, social media templates, business guides, and more. Content covers management, technology, finance, marketing and social, advice, and resources.
SmartBrief Business shares news based on your topics of interest. You can receive news by email, online, or its mobile apps. Browse and choose from a diversity of topics and have the top news sent to your inbox on weekdays. Explore SmartBrief’s website for other topics that might interest you based on your industry.
New business tools and resources come out every day that allow you to create or improve yours. When you find an efficient way to do something with these resources, don’t stop. Continuous process improvement may sound jargon-ish, but making it an everyday part of your business is valuable. It reminds you to keep looking for ways to do things better.
What good business resources have you found? Tell us in the comments!
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