Useful Resources

“Remember you will not always win. Some days, the most resourceful individual will taste defeat. But there is, in this case, always tomorrow – after you have done your best to achieve success today.”

. : Maxwell Maltz

When you’re starting a business, where do you go to get the help, advice and tools you need? There are plenty of resources out there — so many, in fact, that you might have trouble sorting through them all. We cut through the clutter, selecting 25 essential resources for startup small-business owners.

 

Small Business Administration

Find information, links and resources to help you start and grow your business, including SBA-guaranteed loans.

SCORE

Get matched with an experienced SCORE mentor to receive free counseling and advice, in person or online.

Small Business Development Centers 

Expert business advisors at the SBDC near you can help with all aspects of starting and growing your business — for free. And don’t forget the Women’s Business Centers.

International Franchise Association

Considering buying a franchise? Start your search at this site, which includes information, resources and links to help you find the right one.

BizBuySell

Looking to buy a business? This site includes listings nationwide and helps you find businesses for sale as well as business brokers in your area.

Bplans

Learn from 500-plus free business plan templates, read useful articles and buy best-selling business plan software Business Plan Pro.

Microsoft Office 2010

Make this essential business suite even better by integrating it with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 for easy collaboration, file sharing and remote data access.

The Company Corporation 

Make incorporating or forming an LLC easy: This site handles all the filing and paperwork for you.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Need to file for a patent, trademark or copyright? This site has the resources, answers and tools you need.

VentureBeat

Described by The New York Times as one of the best blogs on the Web, VentureBeat covers the venture capital industry. VentureBeat keeps those seeking investment capital “in the know” on who got funded from whom, also providing the latest on hot industries like mobile technology, social networking and green business.

CharityNavigator

We all realize how important it is to give back, but it’s hard to know the best (and most legitimate) causes to donate to. Charity Navigator is the nation’s largest charity evaluator, rating and evaluating the financial health of over 5,500 national charities.

American FactFinder

Get your market research started with U.S. Census and other demographic data in an easy-to-use form.

FedStats 

Statistics from more than 100 federal government agencies to help in your market research.

IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

Stay on the right side of the tax code with the latest tax news and forms.

FindLaw Small Business Center

Get legal forms, find answers to common legal questions and even search for lawyers at this site.

Employment Law Information Network

Information and advice on federal and state employment law, including guidebooks on and sample policies for all aspects of HR.

BuyerZone

Ready to equip your startup by buying business products and services? Visit this site to research your options and connect with sellers.

TopTenReviews

Before you buy or upgrade your tech tools, read the reviews here.

MarketingProfs

Articles, guides and resources covering everything you need to know about marketing, from creating ad copy to attending trade shows.

PRLog

Distribute press releases to major search engines for free at this site, which also offers tools and guides to help you write releases that get results.

Evernote

Bid bye-bye to Post-it notes with this app that lets you capture notes, ideas, photos and links in the cloud and search and access them quickly from all your devices.

Capturengo

No more typing (or losing key data) with this app that captures business cards and receipts on your smartphone and stores them in the cloud.

Vlingo

Make driving and working safer with this free voice interface tool that lets you browse the Web, dictate texts, e-mails and actions, or find contacts by speaking into your smartphone.

GoPayment

Boost cash flow and convenience by using your smartphone to accept credit cards on the go, whether at a customer’s location, trade show or event.

FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Whether you need an image for marketing materials, business projects or your website, it’s often too expensive to hire a photographer or use a stock photo house. This site boasts thousands of images available for free download and limited use (higher-resolution pictures are extra). Check with the site for any other restrictions.

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