As a small business owner, there’s no doubt that you are an expert in your field. Whether you can recommend the perfect record for a customer’s vinyl collection or whip up the tastiest pastry your community has ever known, your small business’ success is a testament to your expertise. When it comes to data management and government contracts, though, you may have a few questions. With these helpful tools, you can share your expertise with others, plus learn how to better navigate the small business waters.
Simply put, Alignable is the social network for small business owners. It’s a place for entrepreneurs and small business owners to network with their industry peers online. Members can share tips, generate referrals and build partnerships that can further manifest on Main Street. Alignable has helped small business owners make more than a million meaningful relationships, with activity in more than 8,000 communities. Join for yourself at www.alignable.com.
Click & Mortar Blog
SnapRetail’s services are all about bringing brick-and-mortar small businesses into the digital world, through sleek websites, easy-to-manage email campaigns and social media scheduling tools. SnapRetail also bridges the gap between the offline and online with its Click & Mortar blog. There, you can read why your business’s website matters just as much as the layout of your store, or how online coupons can bring customers into your store. Read on at www.snapretail.com/blog.
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a powerhouse of information and tools for small businesses. The institute puts out meaningful reports with data that small business owners can use to advocate in their communities. For instance, a recent report on Amazon clearly demonstrates the strain that the online retail giant puts on local economies and their workers. ILSR also publishes a weekly podcast, called Building Local Power. The podcast is a convenient way to absorb the powerful information that the institute offers. When you’re looking for tools to advocate on behalf of your business and small businesses in your community, look (and listen) no further than www.ilsr.org.
Retail Minded is a retail lifestyle publication created by Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, a retail expert with a passion for small businesses. Through Retail Minded, Reyhle shares valuable information for independent retailers from her experience, as well as testimonials from others in the retail industry. Reyhle also co-founded the Independent Retailer Conference, the nation’s only retail conference dedicated entirely to independent retailers. Subscribe to Retail Minded’s print magazine, read online articles and learn more about the opportunities that Reyhle offers independent retailers at www.retailminded.com.
Small Business Administration Learning Center
Government regulations, tax codes and technology can be difficult to keep up with. The Small Business Administration’s Learning Center offers online courses on a wide range of important small business topics, including financing options for small businesses and preparing government contract proposals. The tutorials vary in length, but most are 30 minutes or less. Next time you have a question about growing or maintaining your business, take a working lunch break at www.sba.gov.
A one-stop-shop for small business reading material, SmallBizDaily covers topics from creating the right office space to protecting consumer data. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can find helpful articles on marketing, sales, technology, trends and more. There’s even a section dedicated to women in small business. Read what interests you at www.smallbizdaily.com or subscribe to the TrendCast newsletter to have headlines delivered to your inbox.
Being a small business owner requires you to be a jack-of-all-trades. Expand your area of expertise by staying updated on the latest small business trends and entrepreneurship tools.