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10 Free Resources to Start or Grow a Business

10 Free Resources to Start or Grow a Business

Sparkplugging | DivineCaroline

Thinking about starting a home business or side business? My tongue-in-cheek checklist might let you know if you are ready for it—or go through a “real” assessment to determine whether or not you are ready to start a business" (warning—it’s pretty conservative, so don’t let it discourage you from continuing to prepare yourself for entrepreneurship).

So let’s say you’ve made the decision to start a business, or maybe you have even been in business for a while. I have found that the majority of home-based entrepreneurs I know and have met online have no idea how many free resources are out there to help you start or grow your business.

While I have nothing against paid help—and have paid for help in the past (and was glad I did!), the following resources are greatly under-used, in my humble opinion. So whether you’re just dreaming of business plans or have years of experience under your belt, the following links can help you run a better business:

1. Free Web-Based Business Courses from the SBA

2. Small Business Association Podcast also from the SBA

3. Interactive Business Planner from the Government of Canada

4. More Free Web-Based Business Courses from BusinessWeek

5. Free Business Advice from SCORE: Online Q&A or find a location near you to ask in person

6. Get access to leading entrepreneurs with Entrepreneur.com’s new Ask Entrepreneur feature

7. Get Free Business Forms (be careful, sometimes you need state-specific forms in certain circumstances)

8. Quicken has a free small business software version of QuickBooks available for PC users, or check out these free money management alternatives

9. Microsoft has a free startup help center with both learning resources and hints on how to use their products for small businesses

10. And there’s nothing more appealing about “free” than when it’s free money. IdeaCafe regularly gives away small business grants to deserving entrepreneurs.


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