Planning a new business is both exciting and overwhelming—it can be tricky to know where to begin. Luckily, there are a ton of great free resources to help you get started with planning, marketing, networking and more. To get you off on the right foot, here are 7 super useful and free small business resources that we’ve handpicked.
- Small Business Association
- Small business development centers
- Bplans templates
- Lightspeed Resources
- Later blog
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1. Small Business Association
The Small Business Association’s Create Your Business Plan section of its website is an excellent place to start when drafting your business plan. If you’re not sure how to write a business plan, this free resource will walk you through each section, telling you what to include and how to make it stand out.
2. Your state’s small business development center
Each state runs its own small business development center, a valuable free resource for small business owners and entrepreneurs. For example, the California Small Business Development Center offers a handy business startup checklist on its website along with a variety of other tools. It also provides access to business advisors and special events. Check out the SBA’s list of small business development centers by state here.
SCORE’s Business Plan page is another fantastic and free small business resource loaded with online business workshops and podcasts. Free mentoring is also available–both in person and via email.
4. Bplans business templates
A great business starts with a great business plan. Bplans.com has over 500 free sample plans that you can download and use, from traditional plans to elevator pitch guides to pitch decks. They also have informative blog articles and videos on their website to help you start and fund your business.
5. Lightspeed Resources
In addition to our blog, Lightspeed also has a robust retail resources page that is entirely dedicated to providing new and seasoned business owners alike with free tools and advice. You can find great information and tools for each of the following topics: Operations, Marketing, Technology and Industry Tips.
6. Later Blog
Having a presence online is more important now than ever–and social media is a great free tool to use to build your brand. The Later blog provides detailed information on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn and Pinterest best practices, so that you can cultivate a cult following across your social media channels. They regularly update their content to reflect new algorithm changes and feature updates, so you can check back in to see the latest news on how to optimize your digital content.
When starting your business, there’s a strong chance that you may need to provide and sign basic legal agreements. Docracy is a great resource for finding free legal templates for hiring employees, renting or leasing a space and more. We still highly recommend consulting a lawyer before making or sending any agreements, but Docracy is a good free starting point.
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Starting a business comes with many challenges, but the good news is there are so many great free resources available to help you get started. If you’re looking to get actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox, sign up to receive our free newsletter in the box below.
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