TIP: FINDING BUSINESS SOLUTIONS—FOR FREE.
As anyone with an Internet connection knows, there is no shortage of individuals and enterprises offering small business owners the keys to success. The problem is most of these “mines of information” are thinly disguised advertising ploys or they deliver woefully inadequate resources.
Despite all this, there are some great information resources that deliver the goods. Here’s a list of some of the best. Most are free, or involve minimal investment, and can be accessed without leaving your desk:
- Check out these free resources that provide quality information for small businesses
You probably know about the Development Centers run by the Small Business Administration (SBA), but are you familiar with http://www.Business.gov, designed to give you one-stop access to Federal government information and services?
Also, you may be missing out if you haven’t taken a look at the extensive services offered by Service Corps of Retired Executives or SCORE at http://www.score.org, or at the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at http://www.EntreWorld.org. Check out their web sites to see the impressive range of services and programs offered.
- Tap into the brain power of tomorrow’s MBAs
If there is a business school near you, contact the Dean and find out if the school uses real life case studies in their MBA study courses. If they do, find out how to volunteer your business for the case study program. Depending upon your specific needs, you might also contact the Communications/Public Relations School or the Marketing Faculty to see if they use real-life case studies, or to determine if they are looking for internships in small business for their students.
- Mine print publications for special programs for entrepreneurs
Many newspapers and publications serving small business and entrepreneurs offer great resources for start-ups. The Wall Street Journal has one of the best online at http://www.StartupJournal.com
- Look to international web resources for help with importing and exporting
Check out the Alibaba web site for importers and exporters at http://www.alibaba.com. Services are free to buyers.
If this list has whetted your appetite, you can explore more resources at BizBest’s Connections for Success on line at: http://www.bizbest.com/pages/8/index.htm
. An independent ad-free resource locator for small business owners, BizBest offers extensive resource guidebooks.