If you haven’t done so already, please download the bonus ebook below! It provides valuable information on starting a business! Here are some more valuable links below to help you start or grow your SMART Business. Many of these resources are mine, come from government programs, non-profits, educational institutions, and reference organizations online. It is a lot to handle at once, and it can be overwhelming. I chose each for its quality and usefulness in helping you start and grow a business.
The best way to approach the training below, is to prioritize your needs on what you need to move forward or brush up on. Just take it one step at a time. Set aside the time to do them! I know many who know what they need to do but never get around to it because they don’t have the time. You will have the time if you schedule it and stick to it. After you go through it, implement it! There is nothing worse than gaining all the knowledge you need but never using it! Don’t be afraid to do it! Make sure you evaluate what you learned and it fits what you need. Don’t force anything.
If you have other training materials that you think should be on here, please let me know! Also if you have any requests for a subject, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Starting a business isn’t easy, and clearly for many people it can be a risky path to take. Concerns range from worrying about being able to get financing and money; not having the skills, expertise, or knowledge to start; and not knowing how to run a business. But for those with great ideas and a passion to be their own boss (and employment generator), there is plenty of help as part of your membership. In addition, there are online and small business assistance centers throughout the country, such as the SBA and its partners who offer a variety of tools, programs and resources to help entrepreneurs plan, start and grow their businesses.
Check back frequently as I update this information!
- My Own Business – A Free extensive 16-part online course on starting and growing a business
- Free Online Course – Young Entrepreneurs: An Essential Guide to Starting your Own Business – The SBA has created a self-paced training course to walk you through the steps of starting a business. It includes tips on doing your research, deciding on a business model, understanding financing options for young entrepreneurs and six “must-do’s” for getting started.
- 10 Steps to Starting a Business
- 10 Steps to Hiring your First Employee
- Licenses and Permits Search Tool
- SizeUp – How does your business stack up against the competition? Where are your competitors located? What are the best places to market your business? Use SBA’stool to crunch millions of data points and get customizable reports and statistics about your business and its competition. Just enter your industry, city, state and other details. SizeUp then runs various reports and provides maps and data related to your competition, suppliers and customers. It also highlights potential advertising opportunities.
- Build a Business Plan
- The Student Startup Plan – Defer your Student Loan if it is holding you have from starting your own business (through the White House-led Startup America initiative) enables college graduates, including those looking to start a business, to lower student loan repayments.
Get Help and Mentorship
- SCORE – The Service Corp of Retired Executives can pair you with a mentor for general business guidance or help in specific areas such as finance and marketing.
- Small Business Local Assistance Resource Directory – Local Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and other organizations also offer counseling, training and assistance.
- Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Locater
- Events Calendar – Find and sign up for SBA training in your area
- Size Standards Tool – Want to sell to the government? Uncle Sam is one of the largest buyers in the world! Use this tool to see if you qualify for special set-aside contracts for small businesses
- 8 Things you Can Do to Be Taken Seriously as a Young Entrepreneur
- Young Entrepreneur Guide – SBA has a one-stop portal that brings together business resources and much more.
General Business Management
- SBA Free Online Courses
- Aboutcom Small Business – Numerous articles providing helpful tips, resources, and information on starting, running, growing, buying and selling a small business.
- AboutU – Several free online business courses.
- SmallBizU – This site offers several great classes on money, management, and marketing.
- Kutztown University Online Learning Programs – Choose from a variety of free online courses in several topics ranging from accounting, business management, legal issues, and international business. There are also courses offered in Spanish.
- State of Maine Small Business Development Center – Participate in several free online workshops created specifically for current and new small business owners and entrepreneurs. There are quizzes at the end, and there is even an option to receive a certificate of completion.
- American Management Association – This site offers several hundred articles and white papers on various topics in business management.
- Free Management Library – This site hosts a vast storehouse of online articles and resources 15 years in the making. At the time of writing resources span 650 topics and approximately 10,000 links.
- Businessballs – A compilation of learning materials covering various topics from business management to self-development.
- Business Change Management Library – This site offers free online tutorials, assessment tools, webinars, and interviews on the process of change management.
- The OpenCourseWare Consortium – a global network of higher education institutions and associated organizations that offers a ” broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model.”
Business Finance and Accounting
- Bean Counting 101 – A free accounting course for non-accountants.
- Accounting Coach – Access several lessons on accounting for non-accountants, including quizzes to test your knowledge afterward.
- Simple Studies Online Accounting Lessons – Free online accounting lessons and tutorials for beginners.
- Financial Management Training Center – This site offers a series of short courses, with an accompanying exam as well as several informative articles in various financial management topics.
- IRS Small Business Video and Audio Workshops – Over the past few years the IRS has made an effort to educate the public about the complex and confusing abyss known as the US Tax Code. These video presentations and audio classes are designed to educate small business owners in particular about their tax rights and obligations.
- The Challenge – This is a well put together, module-based training program that will show you step-by-step how to market your business online.
- Principles of Modern Marketing – This site provides a free series of lessons in business marketing based on the book Marketing: The Core, 1/e; authored by Kerin, Hartley, Berkowitz, and Rudelius
- Free Marketing Interviews – An impressive collection of marketing strategy audio interviews from various marketing experts.
- Marketing Resources HubSpot – This site offers a collection of webinars, tools, and other resources on Internet marketing, SEO, blogging, social media and more.
- ShoeMoney Xtreme Internet Marketing – Course A free 12 week guide to Internet marketing delivered via email.
- HP Learning Center – HP’s online learning center provides several business courses mostly focused on using technology in business.
- Managing the Digital Enterprise – Michael Rappa, the founder of the Institute for Advanced Analytics, designed this course to address many of the issues facing companies operating in the digital age. The course is broken down into 15 modules with topics such as, Web Analytics, Digital Markets, Trust in Cyberspace, and Data Privacy.
Free MBA and Business Courses from Elite Universities
- MOOCs: Free Online Education With Elite Universities
- Free Management Library eMBA Courses
- London School of Business and Finance Global MBA – This innovative program offered by the London School of Business has the ambitious goal of providing “…a first-class MBA experience that allows students all over the world to study in their own time and at their own pace.” The entire accredited MBA course is available online for free. Learners can sign in via Facebook. Those who want certification can pay retroactively at the end.
- MIT Sloan School of Management – Take advantage of free online courses in various business-related topics.
- University of California Irvine – There are several business-related courses offered that are broken down into lessons and are open to guests. You can search for available courses (see the bottom of the page) on topics that include an intro to project management and the basics of business analysis.