Resources – For Small Business

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  • Small Business OwnerPreparing for a Loan – What to Know and Do Before Applying for a Loan for Your Business. Going after a loan? These are the six essential areas a lending institution will consider.  By Tom Fleckenstein, Center Director, Virginia Highlands Small Business Development Center, Abingdon, Virginia
  • Annual Credit Report (www.annualcreditreport.com) – Annual Credit Report.com is a centralized service for consumers to request annual credit reports. It was created by the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
  • Ask Jim (www.askjim.biz) – Small Business Answers NOW! Ask your own business questions, or read answers to questions from other small business owners. Answers to your business questions are provided by Jim Blasingame, the creator and host of the Small Business Advocate® Show, a weekday talk show dedicated to small business.
  • Ask The Lawyers (www.askthelawyers.com) – AskTheLawyers.com™ is a unique online interactive legal service available to individuals and businesses. AskTheLawyers.com provides access to attorneys in your area who are available for an initial online or telephone consultation for no charge.
  • Austin Family Business Program (www.familybusinessonline.org) – Information for the family business.
  • Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) – Check out a business, find a local Better Business Bureau, and more.
  • BitLaw (www.bitlaw.com/forms) – The Forms & Agreements portion of BitLaw provides access to forms and example contracts relating to intellectual property and the Internet.
  • BizBuySell (BizBuySell.com) – BizBuySell is the Internet’s most active marketplace for businesses and franchises for sale. Each month BizBuySell receives over 800,000 visits from individuals looking for new business opportunities and from business owners looking to sell their business or franchise. With its high volume of traffic, BizBuySell provides you the best opportunity to find or sell your business.
  • Biz Plan It (www.bizplanit.com) – BizPlanIt is a professional business plan consulting firm that helps companies develop investor-grade business plans to move down the road towards a successful capital or strategic transaction. We guide our clients through the creation of top-notch business plans, financial projections, selling memorandums, investor presentations and other supporting materials to powerfully present their company.
  • Biz Stats (www.bizstats.com) – Instant access to useful financial ratios, business statistics & benchmarks, effective and understandable online analysis of businesses & industries.
  • Bplans (www.bplans.com) – Bplans.com contains the largest single collection of free sample business plans online. In addition to that, it has helpful tools and know-how for managing your business. Bplans.com includes practical advice on planning, interactive tools, and a panel of experts who have answered more than 1,400 questions from people like you.
  • The Business Journals (www.bizjournals.com) – Bizjournals is the new media division of American City Business Journals, the nation`s largest publisher of metropolitan business newspapers. It operates the Web sites for each of the company`s 41 print business journals and recently has launched its first Web-only local business news and information site for Los Angeles. The company plans to launch Web-only operations in additional markets.
  • Business Owner’s Toolkit (www.bizfilings.com/toolkit/) – Use the information in the Small Business Guide to answer your business, tax, and legal questions and to get practical tips that will help you work smarter, save money, and stay in compliance with the law. Try out some of the business tools and see how you can get the job done easier and save significant time and dollars in the process. And keep up to date on the latest news and trends that affect small business.
  • Business Ratios (www.bizratios.com) The central hub of a network of small business sites, Smallbusinesstown is committed to developing and publishing usable, educational and inspirational media to help entrepreneurs succeed at business.
  • Business Town (www.businesstown.com/default.asp) – Start and run a small business without losing your shirt, your sleep, or your sanity!
  • BUZ Gate (www.buzgate.org) – Locate free and low-cost public business assistance programs available in your local community. Search by state and specific interest including counseling, funding, marketing, government contracting, import/export, workforce development, veterans, women and much more.
  • Corporate Turnaround (www.negotiatepayables.com) – Corporate Turnaround [CT] is an alternative to bankruptcy for smaller businesses. CT offers a comprehensive program to pay your creditors with a budget you can afford. CT, in cooperation with the ASBDC, has written a free guide on managing business debt. For a copy of the guide please click here: Free Guide.
  • David Stern CFO (www.DavidSternCFO.com) – Financial advice for start-up to $10 million companies. Teaches how to increase profit, cash flow, and operational efficiency using Excel and QuickBooks. The David Stern CFO blog provides information for bookkeepers and small business owners, with an emphasis on education and empowerment.
  • DocStoc (www.docstoc.com) – A community for people to find and share free business documents, templates, forms, Ebooks, papers and presentations.
  • Dunn and Bradstreet Small Business Solutions (smallbusiness.dnb.com) – Critical insight and tools you need to grow and protect your small business.
  • eBay (www.ebay.com) – eBay is The World`s Online Marketplace®, enabling trade on a local, national and international basis. With a diverse and passionate community of individuals and small businesses, eBay offers an online platform where millions of items are traded each day.
  • Employment Laws – from the U.S. Dept. of Labor (http://www.dol.gov/elaws) – The elaws Advisors are interactive e-tools that provide easy-to-understand information about a number of federal employment laws. Each Advisor simulates the interaction you might have with an employment law expert. It asks questions and provides answers based on responses given. If you are a business interested in finding information about major DOL employment laws that may apply to your business, visit the FirstStep Employment Law Advisor and its companion publication, the Employment Law Guide.
  • Entrepreneur (www.entrepreneur.com) – The website for Entrepreneur Magazine. Solutions for growing businesses.
  • The Entrepreneurs’ Help Page (www.tannedfeet.com) – This site is designed, created, and published by a group of young professionals. They put together their skills and knowledge to publish this site to help out other young people or inexperienced business people with good ideas and the desire to start their own businesses. This web site distributes basic information on legal, financial, and management issues that commonly affect (or afflict!) people who are just starting up their businesses.
  • Entrepreneurship (www.entrepreneurship.org) – Created by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Entrepreneurship.org was formed as a free, online international resource designed to help build entrepreneurial economies.
  • Export-U (www.export-u.com) – A portal to free export webinars under development by the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Atlanta and the University of Georgia SBDC. Visitors can register for free and view any export training seminar of interest.
  • FAMEE Foundation (www.FAMEE.org) – The FAMEE Foundation (Foundation for the Advancement of Marketing Excellence in Entrepreneurs) is a small business marketing resource. This 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization has a large number of FREE marketing programs available for both entrepreneurs and small business marketing consultants. From a full small business book and workbook, to a marketing course for startups, marketing tips for the recession, to marketing plan presentation for investors, to in-depth mastery courses for more experienced entrepreneurs. Also available are a number of free marketing tools and downloads.
  • FastTrac (www.fasttrac.org) – Be the entrepreneur you want to be whether you’re starting or growing a business. FastTrac® programs will help you live your dream at each stage of business growth.
  • FINTEL (www.fintel.us) – The FINTEL Business Scorecard is designed to provide you with an easy to understand, quick and insightful snapshot of selected factors of your company’s performance in comparison with your industry peers and competitors. Each Key Performance Indicator represents an important aspect of financial management including liquidity, profitability, efficiency and growth.
  • The Franchise Registry (www.franchiseregistry.com) – The Franchise Registry will help SBA and its participating lenders make consistent eligibility decisions, speed access to SBA financial assistance, streamline processing and recognize industry-specific factors during the loan review process. The Registry enables lenders and SBA local offices to verify a franchise system’s lending eligibility through the Internet.
  • FranNet (www.frannet.com) – FranNet`s large group of franchise experts specialize in helping you learn about the many choices available and how to select the RIGHT ONE for you!
  • Go Small Biz (www.gosmallbiz.com) – GoSmallBiz.com was founded by Entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton. Having started 12 businesses since his football playing days, Fran has always had a passion for small business. After selling his international software company in 1994, Fran decided to pursue his desire of helping entrepreneurs, like himself, gain access to the tools and information they need to grow and compete in the new economy. The result was the Fran Tarkenton Small Business NETwork, founded in 1996. Once the organization started using the Internet as a primary delivery tool, the name was changed to GoSmallBiz.com.
  • Health Benefits Advisor for Employers (www.dol.gov/elaws/ebsa/health/employer) This online resource outlines the federal laws that can affect health benefit coverage provided by group health plans. The Advisor explains the legislation, statutes and regulations in Parts 6 and 7 of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). These laws include:- Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
    – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
    – Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA)
    – Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act (Newborns’ Act)
    – Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA)
    – Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
    – Michelle’s LawThe Health Benefits Advisor for Employers is one of a series of elaws (Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses) Advisors developed by DOL to help employers and employees understand federal employment laws and resources. To access all of the elaws advisors, visit the elaws Web site at www.dol.gov/elaws.
  • Hoovers (www.hoovers.com) – Hoover`s, Inc., delivers comprehensive company, industry, and market intelligence that drives business growth. Our database of 14 million companies, with in-depth coverage of 42,000 of the world`s top business enterprises, is at the core of our business tools and services that customers find vital to their business operations.
  • Hill Small Biz Library (www.jjhill.org) – The James J. Hill Reference Library offers information programs designed for small business and tight budgets. The non-profit, private, Hill Library is the nation’s premier source for practical business information and is dedicated to ensuring equal access to the best information.
  • IBIS World (www.ibisworld.com) – Information from IBISWorld, a leader in gathering and applying business data to help your higher-level business planning.
  • Idea Cafe (www.businessownersideacafe.com) – Idea Cafe offers a mix of small business profiles, how-to articles and other news-you-can-use features.
  • Inc. (www.inc.com) – Inc.com, the website for Inc. magazine, delivers advice, tools, and services, to help business owners and CEOs start, run, and grow their businesses more successfully. You`ll find information and advice covering virtually every business and management task, including marketing, sales, finding capital, managing people, and much, much more. Inc.com also includes the Inc. magazine archives, an exclusive area dedicated to the Inc. 500, and detailed information on Inc-sponsored events.
  • Loop Net (www.loopnet.com) – Search the largest online database of commercial real estate For Sale and For Lease. Search for Land, Office, Retail, Industrial, Apartments, Hotels and other types of property.
  • Melissa Data (www.melissadata.com) – Celebrating our 20th year in business, Melissa Data, the Data Superstore, helps companies manage and optimize their contact data. We provide solutions for address and phone validation, postal presorting, data enhancements and sales leads. Choose from more than 100 products and services to fit any budget or need.
  • Microsoft Office Training – Do you know the top Tips and Tricks for Microsoft Office? Microsoft is proud to offer FREE Office training for all small businesses! This training is available on demand for all SBDC Centers or clients and includes quick tutorials for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Click on any of the links below for instant access:
  • Microsoft Small Business Center (www.microsoft.com/business) – Microsoft provides advice, products, tools and information for small businesses.
  • More Business (www.morebusiness.com) – MoreBusiness.com (also known as the Business Resource Center), developed by Entrepreneurs for Entrepreneurs, provides a wealth of useful articles, business tips, insight, a free Intranet and other material to help small businesses grow – all for FREE on the World Wide Web.
  • My Own Business (www.myownbusiness.org) – My Own Business, Inc., is a nonprofit organization committed to helping you succeed. Our team of business experts have unselfishly contributed their experience and knowledge to help you succeed in business. Their wisdom has been generously offered without any compensation.
  • National Restaurant Association (www.restaurant.org) – Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry. Together with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, the Association`s mission is to represent, educate and promote a rapidly growing industry that is comprised of 900,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets employing 12.2 million people.
  • Nolo Law for All (www.nolo.com) Nolo is the nation’s leading provider of do-it-yourself legal solutions for consumers and small businesses. Our goal is to help people handle their own everyday legal matters — or learn enough about them to make working with a lawyer a more satisfying experience. Since 1971, Nolo has offered affordable, plain-English books, forms and software on a wide range of legal issues, including wills, estate planning, retirement, elder care, personal finance, taxes, housing, real estate, divorce and child custody. We also offer materials on human resources, employment, intellectual property, and starting and running a small business.
  • NxLeveL® Education Foundation (www.nxlevel.org) – The NxLeveL® entrepreneurial training programs are practical, hands-on business development courses designed to help entrepreneurs advance their skills in starting, growing, and managing their business. NxLeveL® classes are offered throughout the United States through the NxLeveL® Training Network. The Network is a group of organizations engaged in entrepreneurial training. It includes Small Business Development Centers, chambers of commerce, business incubators, councils and associations of government, planning districts, community development corporations, USDA agencies, Native American groups, SBA funded training organizations, faith-based organizations and many others. In addition to exceptional training curricula, NxLeveL® continues to develop partnerships with organizations committed to small business development.
  • Office Depot (www.officedepot.com) – Everything you need to know to run your business, from equity to employees.
  • Quick MBA (www.quickmba.com) – QuickMBA is an online knowledge resource for business administration. Our goal is to help you to quickly find the business knowledge you need, when you need it, wherever you may be. Topics are presented as frameworks and summaries in the various subjects of business administration, as taught in the world`s top MBA programs.
  • Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI) (www.riskinstitute.org/peri) – An extensive collection of risk management publications, programs and tools, including a Resource Library organized by topic, audience, and type of resource.
  • Ref Desk (www.refdesk.com) – Since 1995, Refdesk is a free and family-friendly web site that indexes and reviews quality, credible, and current web-based resources.
  • Research Markets, Industries and Businesses (www.virtualpet.com/industry/howto/search) – The Federal Office of Management and Budget defines and names industries and establishes a structure (SIC Codes) for relating industries to one another. SIC Codes are frequently used to identify industries in census data, financial data, market reports and many other applications useful to those doing market research. Knowing the code(s) will be very helpful to you at later stages in this process.
  • Riviera Finance (www.rivierafinance.com) – With offices nationwide, Riviera Finance provides early-stage accounts receivable financing to small companies in need of cash flow. Riviera’s non-recourse factoring program includes full protection against bad debt, and complete receivables management services. Since 1969, Riviera Finance has funded over 20,000 small companies.
  • SBA Online Business Training & Local Consulting and Mentoring (www.sba.gov/training/courses) – This SBA site is a complete guide to the many relevant issues of starting and growing a small business.
  • SBA Small Business Resource Magazine (www.smallbusiness3.com/magazine) – A guide to starting and expanding your business. Every guide is published with information and resource listings specific to your state. You will find information on local regulations, government loans, training and assistance, and busihess advocacy.
  • SBDC Net (sbdcnet.org) – The mission of the Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse (SBDCNet) is to meet the information needs of the SBDC community in the United States and its territories. SBDCNet serves as a resource providing timely, relevant research, web-based information, and training to SBDC counselors and their small business clients.
  • SCORE (www.score.org) – “Counselors to America`s Small Business” (SCORE) is a source of free and confidential small business advice to help you build your business — from idea to start-up to success. The SCORE Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneurial education and the formation, growth and success of small businesses nationwide.
  • Small Biz U (www.smallbizu.org) – A website of the Indiana Workforce Development and the Indiana SBDC, SmallBizU is designed specially for entrepreneurs and small businesses. SmallBizU teaches the 3Ms: Money, Marketing, and Management, through a no-frills, utilitarian curriculum that provides small businesses with real world tools and information.
  • The Small Business Start-Up Guide (www.isquare.com/prologue) – This extensive and straight-forward guide describes all of the aspects of starting your own business.
  • Thomas Net (www.thomasnet.com) – Search ThomasNet, the most comprehensive resource for industrial information. Go straight to the source of product, company information, CAD drawings and more.
  • Wall Street Journal (www.startupjournal.com) – The Wall Street Journal offers this site, showing businesses for sale, franchises, business opportunities and many other articles and resources relevant to small business development.
  • Winmark Business Solutions (www.wbsonline.com) – Winmark Business Solutions is the web’s premier free, online resource for small businesses. With over 6000 pages of articles, information, tools, checklists, calculators, expert advice, discounted third party offers and free access to WBS PeerSphere’s, WBS online is the one stop shop for your small business needs.
  • Women Biz (www.womenbiz.gov) – This site is the gateway for women owned businesses selling to the Federal Government.
  • Yahoo! Finance (finance.yahoo.com) – Keep an eye on a number of aspects of financial health, investing and progress.

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If you are an SBDC counselor and would like to suggest a link for this page, please contact kate@americassbdc.org.