Small Business Websites
Small Business Advice: Columnists and SBN
You do not need a Richmond Public Library Card to access these resources. Click on the link to apply for a Richmond Public Library Card or call the Circulation Desk at 510-620-6559, for more information.
Ask Alice Column
An easy column to search, with questions grouped into categories such as “business law” and “accounting.”
Ask the Experts Column
This is an extensive collection of different specialists’ archived online columns.
Mind Your Business Column
A search by keyword, such as “franchise” or “restaurant” will return a linked list of columns where that work occurs. Use “search within page” to zero in on the occurrences within a column.
Self-evaluation for Entrepreneurship
Choosing and Evaluating a Business: Ideas and Opportunities
Find California businesses for sale. ess
Not only established businesses for sale, but also asset sales, franchise opportunities & business real estate.
Find a Business Opportunity” section has categorized listings of business opportunities and franchises.
A site for buying or selling a business. Includes information on franchises, business brokers, and articles and resources.
California Association of Business Brokers (CABB)
Search for available businesses by county and industry; you can also search for business brokers.
Advice on hiring consultants.
Low cost Startup Ideas (Entrepreneur.com)
Lists business ideas in many categories; articles often have links to relevant industry associations for more information.
There are a lot of scams that prey on people who want to work at home. This Better Business Bureau page, tells how to spot and report scams.
Try categories “Professional” and “Trade Associations.”
Start-up Guides and Checklists
Writing a Business Plan
This is a searchable archive of economic reports published by the Federal Reserve Bank.
Business Plans Handbook
This is a wide-ranging collection of business plans; you can browse the contents online. Business Plans Handbook is available in print and as an e-book.
Bradstreet – Zapdata
Free registration is required, but in return you have access to industry reports with market size statistics and market analysis by state, metro area and specialty.
Free Sample Business Plans
Offers access to viewing over 60 free, sample, business plans, with around 500 customizable versions available for a fee.
Templates for Your Business
You’ll find business plan templates for both start-up and established businesses on this page, along with many other useful templates provided by SCORE.
Writing Your Business Plan
This page is the starting point for an extensive introduction to the why’s and how’s of writing a business plan.
California Local Offices (SBA)
Use this clickable map of California SBA offices to get to your regional SBA office, then click on the “Financing” link in the left toolbar. This will link you to lists and links for the various SBA approved financing partners in your region.
This page links to explanations of various forms of equity financing: it also cover the important issue of how business form affects equity financing options.
Getting Financing for Your Business
The Small Business Guide, a section of the Business Owner’s Toolkit website, offers a well-organized overview of small business financing.
Government Financing Programs
This page explains the various government financing options available. Includes an update on recent changes in SBA loan programs.
Quick Pick Chart for Financing Sources
A great self-education tool about the numerous financing options recommended at different stages of business development.
Traditional Funding Sources (Realsmallbusiness.com)
A brief rundown of various small business funding options, along with Q&A and a video on obtaining funding.
General Websites for Marketing and Sales
Under “Explore Topics” list, you’ll find blog posts from marketing consultants and articles written by the staff of the nonprofit Kauffman Foundation.
Marketing and Sales (Startupnation.com)
This site requires (free) registration to access most of the content. The site is tied to a nationally syndicated radio program of the same name, and carries podcasts and archived shows that you can access online. You can also register for free seminars on various topics.
Marketing Your Product (CCH Business Owner’s Toolkit)
This site contains all original content, covering market research and analysis, product development, pricing, and more.
Sales and Marketing (Allbusiness.com)
This page offers hundreds of articles grouped under specific headings such as “branding,” “internet marketing,” “sales management and staffing,” and “market research.”
Sales and Marketing (Entrepreneur.com)
Under sections titled “Marketing,” “Advertising,” “Sales,” and “P.R.” you can find copious articles and advice from experts and consultants in marketing and sales.
Sales and Marketing (Realsmallbusiness.com)
Don’t let the deceptively simple and spare look of this page fool you; there is quite a bit of information here. Unique elements of this web site is its integration of video clips, and an expert Q&A section where you can submit questions for possible inclusion in the web site.
Market Research, Product Development and Pricing
Promotion, Advertising and Customer Service
Small Business Longevity
Every business is different – competition exists for that very reason. Not every company
can approach success the same way. Here are some tips to help you stay in business.
Total Quality Management
How to build reliable customer service and customer and employee feedback systems.