On the Internet, anyone with a blog and a Twitter account can call himself an expert. Which is why searching for small business articles online can turn into a frustrating quest very quickly. Genuine advice from business leaders and thinkers gets lost in a sea of content by so-called ‘experts’ who don’t have significant experience.
The sheer number of resources online can overwhelm any small business owner, so we’ve compiled this little guide to finding the best small business articles:
You’ll be hard pressed to find small business owners who don’t have a copy of Inc Magazine sitting on their desks. The nearly 35-year-old publication is the de-facto resource for small business advice and ideas. Inc.com is the magazine’s home on the Internet and is geared toward quick consumption with plenty of list-type articles. Inc.com covers everything from finance and management to leadership lessons and marketing tactics.
OpenForum’s tagline is “powering small business success.” True to its words, the website — an initiative of American Express — has in-depth coverage of virtually every facet of running a business. You’ll find expert advice on increasing productivity, closing more sales and improving employee morale. What makes OpenForum unique is that the site frequently features contributions from fellow small business owners who are more than happy to share their business secrets.
Launched in 1997, Entrepreneur Magazine was among the first crop of web-first business magazines. As the name suggests, Entrepreneur.com is more entrepreneur-oriented than its peers. That means it’s more likely to cover social media and technology than corporate management, human resources, or other issues that are relevant to large companies. Small business owners will find it a valuable source of advice and tips on managing startups, digital marketing and sales automation.
You can’t ask for a better adviser on running a small business than the U.S. Small Business Administration. Decidedly old-school compared to the resources above, SBA.gov focuses on the less glamorous aspects of running a business. That means there are few list-type articles on how to craft the perfect tweet, and more practical advice on registering a business and obtaining a license, completing paperwork for loans, and getting insurance for your employees.
MarketingPower.com is an online marketing resource for small business run by the American Marketing Association (AMA). Although the website covers only marketing, it offers genuine, honest and objective advice free of any profit motive. The resource library is a wonderful place to explore and learn about every aspect of marketing, from advertising and market research to branding and customer engagement.
There are dozens of other quality small business resources online that cover niche topics such as advertising or social media, but these five resources should give you a good start on learning about running a profitable small business.
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