Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or an aspect of business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway for an Amazon Firestick and Echo Dot bundle. Today, we will answer the following question: “what resources should I use when starting a business?”

One of the most challenging aspects of starting a business is doing just that – getting your small business up and running. This can seem like a huge hill to climb, however, you are not alone in this process! There are literally dozens of resources out there designed to help you take your idea, and help make it into a reality.

The resources you will need to start your business depend partly on what you do, but some business functions are the same regardless of industry. Every business needs to be legally registered, everyone needs to understand marketing, and so on.

This post will help you get started by sharing some resources that we’ve found useful.

Resources You Can Use Online

First, there are a surprising amount of government resources online to help out small businesses. The best example is the Small Business Administration. A lot of states and municipalities have good resources on their sites as well, so be sure to check there too.

Data.gov and the US Census Bureau maintain large sets of open data, much of which comes in handy when doing marketing research.

This is really just scratching the surface, too. There are dozens of sites online that provide free, and relevant information to you that can help you get your business up and running. In fact, I am going to go ahead and share this site with you, as it has direct links to all of the government resources you could hope for. 

Of course, freely available government resources will only take you so far. Legalzoom is a great service to help you with any questions you might have over this process, as well as helping you to decide what business structure is the best fit for you.

Services like Bluehost and Dreamhost can help you set up websites quickly. This enables you to get your products or services online. This is a must if you are planning to have an online presence. For a simpler, eCommerce-only approach, you may try Shopify as well.

Finally, if you have general business questions that you want answered, we often find ourselves reading HubSpot’s blog and The Balance SMB. They write really good long-form, nuanced articles about running small businesses.

Other Factors to Consider

No amount of reading material will ever cover every situation you encounter when running a business. For that reason, it is important to ask yourself questions throughout the business-building process to ensure you are moving in the right direction.

Think about your business’s purpose, its strengths and weaknesses, and your long-term goals. You will learn a lot by stating your intent, evaluating your current playing field, analyzing the competition, researching the market, and experimenting.

If you’re still in the formative stage, make sure to seek out advice on supply chain management and accounting that is specific to your industry. These two business functions, in particular, need to be well-managed in order for your business to succeed.

Final Thoughts

Business-building can seem very intimidating at first. But remember: there are countless resources out there to help you turn your dream into a reality. Use what is available to you. What is daunting now will be well worth it in the end!