Below you will find an assortment of Web and book resources for entrepreneurs from how to write a business plan to social media and Internet marketing tips, finance and accounting information, to how to sell your product or service, create a website, and more.
Researching Global Issues I Researching Careers I Researching Companies I Job Search I Finding a Recruiter I Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews I Training and Financial Aid I Networking and Associations I Internships I Entrepreneurship I Freelance and Home-Based Business I Starting a Nonprofit I How to Start Your Own Life’s Work Support Group I Sample “Research Questions List”
Entrepreneurship Web Resources
The Association for Enterprise Opportunity
Founded in 1991, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) is the only national membership association committed to micro-enterprise development as an effective economic development strategy and a powerful poverty alleviation tool. By providing cutting edge training, knowledge sharing, Federal and State public policy and advocacy, and communications, AEO empowers a community of nearly 500 member organizations to be uniquely effective in serving the needs of micro-entrepreneurs who do not have access to traditional sources of business education or capital. The combined reach of these organizations exceeds 300,000 micro-entrepreneurs and small business owners annually.
America’s Small Business Development Center Network
The Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) is a partnership program uniting private enterprise, government, higher education and local nonprofit economic development organizations. We are dedicated to the sound development of small business throughout America. Founded in 1979, the ASBDC provides a vehicle for continuous improvement of the Small Business Development Center program, exchange of information among members regarding objectives, methods and results in business management and technical assistance and advocacy of America's small business community.
Bplans.com contains the largest single collection of free sample business plans on the Internet. In addition, it has helpful tools and know-how for managing your business. Bplans.com includes practical advice on planning, interactive tools and calculators, and a panel of experts to answer your pertinent business questions, as well as a searchable database of the other questions they have answered.
Business.com is a leading business search engine and directory and pay-per-click advertising network serving more than 40 million unique business users and thousands of advertisers every month. Business.com helps business decision makers quickly find what they need to manage and grow their businesses, and enables advertisers to reach these users wherever they are across the business Internet through premier partners, including Entrepreneur, Hoovers, Financial Times and Internet.com.
Entrepreneur Magazine's Web site offers many resources and articles for the self-employed, freelancers, home-based business owners, and others.
Sponsored by the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, this site offers a wealth of information on small business and entrepreneurship. More than 1,000 articles, audio clips, tools, databases, and event listings.
The MIT Enterprise Forum supports the formation and growth of technology-based companies through educational programs and networking opportunities. This site includes articles on a variety of topics of interest to small business owners. It also includes online links to eighteen local chapters around the country.
This online small business consulting office publishes daily business news as well as tips for starting and running your business. It also includes templates and worksheets for business plans, marketing plans, business checklists, press releases, and business agreements. It provides opportunities for interaction through discussion groups, a free email newsletter, a Q & A feature, and links to other business sites.
National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) was founded in 1981 when a group of small business owners banded together to form a trade association that could wield the purchasing power of a large corporation. Now the largest association of its kind, NASE is able to provide an impressive list of benefits to its members in addition to advocating legislation favorable to small enterprise. This site includes a business reference area, updates on pending legislation affecting small business, a library of news releases on issues impacting small business, a small-business showcase, an online edition of their magazine, Self-Employed America, and a comprehensive directory of links to small-business web sites. Fee-based membership.
Nolo Small Business Resource Center
Nolo Small Business Resource Center is the nation's oldest and most respected provider of legal information for consumers and small businesses. This section of their website offers a wealth of legal resources for small business owners.
Nolo Press LLC Operating Agreement Form
Nolo Press offers an online, subscription LLC Operating Agreement form which is good for single-member LLCs and multi-member LLCs, also comes with plain-English instructions for signing the agreement. You can create, save, and edit the form before you buy. You can try the form before you buy by setting up a Nolo.com account. If you buy the form, you'll be able to print, send, or download it at any time during your one-year subscription which is $99.00.
SCORE: The Service Corps of Retired Executives
The Service Corps of Retired Executives is a nonprofit association working in conjunction with the SBA to provide education and resources to promote the formation, growth, and success of small business nationwide. Working and retired executives and business owners donate their time and expertise to provide free counseling and low-cost workshops via local chapters throughout the United States and its territories. This Web site assists you in finding the SCORE chapter nearest you. The SCORE CyberChapter lets you establish a confidential email dialog with a SCORE business counselor anywhere in the country.
Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse
This office provides research support to the Small Business Administration's network of Small Business Development Centers throughout the United States and its territories. By contacting the Small Business Development Center in your community, you can utilize this formidable information clearinghouse to find the answers to your most difficult, complicated, or obscure questions relating to small business—for free.
StartupNation is a free service founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. On this site you’ll find easy-to-follow, practical information, to help you start and grow your own successful business including helpful articles, peer-to-peer forums, blogs, on demand seminars, podcasts, success stories, and more.
Tax Tips 4 U from the American Bar Association's Section of Taxation
TaxTips4U.org is designed to provide helpful, up-to-date information to consumers seeking a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers. This Web site is provided as a public service of the American Bar Association's Section of Taxation.
USA.gov Small Business helps small businesses understand their legal requirements, and provides access to services and resources for small businesses. Business.gov is an official site of the U.S. Government.
U.S. Small Business Administration
At this Web site you can tap into the vast and varied resources of the U.S. Small Business Administration, a government agency created by Congress in 1953 to promote the success of America's entrepreneurs and small business enterprises. This site offers general information on starting and running a business, as well as detailed information on an array of programs offered by the SBA. You can locate regional offices throughout the U.S. and its territories or even fill out a loan application online. This site also links to special sub-offices within the SBA.
Creating a Website Using Website Builders
Popular website builders have replaced the need to hire a web developer, know coding skills, or spend a lot of time and money creating a website with a user end program. Today, the growth of the website-building industry has translated into more choices for you. So whether you’re a small business owner, artist or musician, writer or coach, there's a website builder out there for you. Below are the most popular and widely used website building options available.
GoDaddy offers a "Websites + Marketing" web builder option that makes it easy to get your site designed and up in as little as a few hours. There are 22 templates to select from at this writing. They add new ones all the time. The $9.99 monthly plan is basic; $14.99 adds an SEO tool; $19.99 a month includes extended support for appointments and the $24.99 a month E-commerce option is for those creating an online store. This option will provide you some impressive product listing and shipping options for your e-commerce store.
Shopify is the best website builder for creating an e-commerce store. Its platform is user-friendly, and will make getting your store up and running seamless. Shopify supports business owners throughout the process with e-commerce tools and if you have questions along the way, they offer 24-7 phone and chat support as well as an active online community forum.
The "Basic Shopify" plan is $29 a month and covers most of what is needed to run an online store. The $79 a month plan offers gift cards and more staff accounts. For a larger operation, Shopify offers a $299 per month plan that includes more options.
Squarespace starts off with a $12-a-month Personal plan, which includes unlimited storage, bandwidth and a domain, and offers an $18 Business website plan that includes unlimited contributors, a Gmail pro account, and e-commerce store builder capabilities. If you go for an "Online Store" plan, you can choose between $26 and $40 a month, the latter of which includes a few final touches like abandoned shopping cart recovery and gift cards. It's important to note that the $26 online store plan, while maybe slightly above the market rate for an e-commerce site, comes with no transaction fees. So depending on your sales volume on a given month, those savings for our online store could really add up.
Weebly is a good option for those who may be more limited in terms of their time investment and its commerce options outshine competitors like Wix and Squarespace. For those who are wary of committing to a website builder knowing that you won't be able to pick up and leave later on, Weebly also offers the ability to download site files so you can move to another host, a rarity in the site builder landscape.
Weebly's prices are in the same as most others, but its free plan is the best free option around. From that you can pay as little as $5 a month for a site with your own domain name (but it will still show Weebly ads). Weebly’s $12 a month option will give you an ad-free site with analytics and commerce capabilities. Its $25 a month plan gets you more tools for your ecommerce needs, like tax and shipping calculators, inventory management and discounts.
Wix offers a free website builder plan that lets you create a starter site with ads. Pricing starts at about $13.00 per month for an ad-free website. That level covers most of what you will need for a personal website. If you need an e-commerce, Wix offers a $49-per-month "Business VIP" e-commerce website plan for your online store. Those prices do not include a domain, so you'll need to account for that separately. And if you're interested in stats and analytics, you'll either need to get a Google Analytics paid plan or another third-party tool, as Wix doesn't have its own.
Business Plan Books
Books on Finance, Accounting, and Taxes
Books on How to Create a Website