Online businesses are more important today than they’ve ever been. Consumers rely on companies like yours to shop, learn, and entertain. So, you need a set of resources that help expand products or opportunities. Because your budget is small, you need these resources to be free. Where can you find these? Here are some places to find free resources to support your online business.
1. Business Forums
There are plenty of entrepreneurs who are in the same shape as you are. Many of them chat amongst themselves in online forums that cater to small businesses. Within this community, you should be able to find no-cost resources to cover items like promotions or newsletters.
If you can’t find the information outright, this type of forum is a good place to ask the question. Be specific as possible when you do, because it gives the forum members a better chance to provide specific sites.
2. Take A Program “Test Drive”
This is not a situation where you buy the prom dress and return it when done. Rather, taking a test drive of a product allows you to determine if you should purchase it at a later time. Plus, it gives you an idea of its usefulness within a certain period.
That period should not be seven days. It doesn’t give you enough time to explore all the product has to offer. Look at products with a longer trial period. For instance, a newsletter service like Readytogo has a 30-day trial. During this time, you can set up something like real estate newsletter templates, deliver them, and track their response. At that point, you can either make a purchase or look somewhere else.
3. Search The Internet
The good news is there are numerous options to find a listing of free business resources. The bad news is you still need to be careful when visiting sites. There are plenty of URLs that want to hijack your information. Fortunately, most virus protection programs have an option that reviews a website to determine if it’s good or bad.
When you find a free resource to help your business, head over to Yelp or other review sites to see what small businesses say about it. In addition, find out where they’re located to see what their Better Business Bureau score is. A low rating with several complaints means you need to continue your search.
4. Contact Your Local Small Business Administration (SBA)
SBAs are the lifeblood of a town or city, because it’s a source for all things entrepreneur. Along with helping you start your business, SBAs also work to maintain its growth. Therefore, they’ll probably have a number of free resources available to you.
In fact, the SBA is a free resource. Except for special trainings and various licenses, they provide counseling services that are without cost. The main reason is they know you have limited budgets and need to get started as quickly as possible.
5. Attend Local Business Groups
There’s an advantage to being the smaller fish in a pond filled with bigger ones. Those larger fish were once in the same boat as you. Thus, they know what resources you require to support your online business.
While they may not use the services themselves, they can direct you toward them. In some cases, they heard about them from other business people, so you know it’s valid.
6. Ask A Friend With An Online Business
You probably have a friend who also runs an online business. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help. As long as they’re not offering what you do, they’ll probably be more than willing to assist. That’s the best thing about the small business world — it’s still a community that helps each other out.
Actually, getting together at some point might be a good idea. It gives you an opportunity to swap resources. That way, you both gain an advantage in your respective industries.
There are several ways to find free resources to support your online business. Pick a few or all of them to find the best ones for you. Not only will they help you succeed but also get you to be a part of an ever-growing group of entrepreneurs.
Tarah Mills has always had a passion for writing. Her philosophy is that not only can writing be educational, but it can change the world. While she is dedicated to her work, she still enjoys a good game of basketball, curling up to a good book, and all things Star Wars. She currently resides in the Richmond, Virginia area with her family.