Resources for Small Businesses

Here are a few sites that provide real help and information aimed at the small business owner.

Small Business Administration

www.sba.gov

The SBA is a true anomaly, a government department that actually is there to try and help you. The SBA has been around for decades, providing education, information and loan guarantees to small business owners. Their web site is not flashy, but it does contain mountains of information useful to the small business owner.

The SBA web site is a truly massive, well organized, source of information, software and training, all of it free. It includes:

  • Information on starting a business, including a very practical small business startup kit.
  • Financing information, including information on SBA guaranteed loans. In a SBA loan, your bank actually is the one lending you the money. The SBA guarantees payment of the loan, making it a more attractive risk to the bank.
  • Locations of local SBA business assistance centers, located at hundreds of locations nationwide.
  • The SBA classroom program, including on-line courses in topics like raising capitol, business plans, business development, financing and e-commerce.
  • Over 2500 free shareware programs, in Apple, DOS and Windows formats, covering everything from accounting to web authoring.
  • An on line library, bristling with all kinds of how to do it information.
  • Links to over 3500 small business oriented sites.

SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)

www.score.org

SCORE is a service organization composed of retired experts in almost every aspect of business. These volunteers lend their expertise to businesses that ask, providing vast pools of experience and knowledge. An e-mail counseling program is available, you can match your needs with the volunteer’s expertise and select the counselor from thousands of available choices. It includes:

  • A free, confidential counseling program available in person and by e-mail. Over 11,000 SCORE volunteers, indexed by their expertise, are available.
  • The SCORE workshop program, offering both on-line and local workshops. Over 5900 local workshops are offered annually for a minimal fee, offering one day courses in subjects including business plans, taxes and financial management techniques. ( I took a series of 12 of these courses about 10 years ago and I’m still using a lot of what I picked up there. Well worth the minimal time and cost.)
  • SCORE also has an extensive on-line collection of business articles.

Entrepreneur Magazine

www.entrepreneur.com

The Entrepreneur Magazines are an excellent and useful source of information for the small business owner. So is their web site. It includes a robust, useful collection of information including:

  • Downloadable information, including personnel and financial forms.
  • On-line bartering.
  • On-line incorporating.
  • Expert advice. (Most with a charge per minute.)
  • More business information and articles than you can shake a
    stick at.

Other Business Sites to Help You

COVR Retailers pick the essential business-oriented web sites to help you operate your business.

American Booksellers Association
www.bookweb.org

American Express Establishment Services
www.americanexpress.com/merchant

Bimonthly Trade Magazine
1-800-463-9243

Bookselling This Week
Annual Membership dues based on book sales
1-800-637-0037

Buyers Directory and Trade Show Info
1-212-519-7200

Car Buying Tips
www.carbuyingtips.com
Free info on buying, leasing, & avoiding scams

Copyright
Copyright guide from US Copyright Office (“The Compendium”)
Guide to Fair Use

Docstoc
www.docstoc.com/
Professional documents and learning courses

Facebook Pages for Business
premium.docstoc.com
Free online course by DocStoc.com

Fortune Small Business
www.fsb.com
FSB Magazine Published by Time & Amex
1-800-274-6800

Gifts & Decorative Accessories
www.GiftsandDec.com
Gifts & Dec Magazine

Giftware Business
www.giftline.com
Giftware Business Magazine
2 yr sub $60

National Retail Federation
www.stores.org

QuickBooks
Starting a Business

Retail Strategies newsletter
Customer Demographics
Fax: 212-619-9154

Retailer News Online
www.retailernews.com
Retail Forum – Great Free Advice
Monthly Online Issue

Retailing Insight Magazine
www.retailinginsight.com/
Subscriptions are free to the industry

SBA Small Business Administration
www.sba.gov Home Page
www.sba.gov/classroom Info & Training
1-800-U-ASK-SBA (827-5722)

SCORE – Service Corp of Retired Executives
www.score.org
Contact the SCORE Association office toll free at 1-800-634-0245.
Now offers email counseling as well.

Smart Agreements
www.smartagreements.com
Free Law Library and Business Forms

Stores monthly magazine
Retail Industry Buying guide
Free to Retailers
1-202-626-8101