[ Go to September 1997 Table of Contents ]|
Windows on the Web
-- by Elizabeth Sawyer
If you're a small business owner, you're probably always getting free advice from friends, family and others who know better than you how to run your business. Here are some places to go for advice that's actually worthwhile:
The American Express Small Business Exchange offers helpful information, resources and a customer locator. Browse the Online Classifieds, peruse the Business Network Directory, obtain expert advice on business issues or visit the Business Planning and Resources library of small business information and tools.
Entrepreneur Magazine's Small Business Square offers advice and assistance on everything from marketing to finance. Gain insight from fellow business owners and gather information on locating capital, establishing a customer base, expanding your business, marketing and public relations techniques, and selling your business for a profit.
Inc. Online offers a wealth of material that goes beyond the magazine, including feature stories, interactive work sheets, a searchable database of business resources and an interactive forum through which business owners and entrepreneurs can exchange ideas, products and services. The Local Business News section offers business news from 26 cities, as well as links to local banks, labor cost information and city maps.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) site provides all the facts on federal government aid, counseling and assistance for small business owners. You'll also find tips on starting, financing and expanding your business, and an SBA resource locator.
Microsoft's Smallbiz site offers how-to information, articles, case studies and tips on how to take full advantage of the latest technology tools. Each month, you can sneak a peak at the latest chapter from Jay Conrad Levinson's forthcoming book, "America at Work: Guerrilla Marketing With a Secret Weapon." E-mail your questions to the author, and your input could become part of the book, slated for bookstore shelves this fall.
The key feature of smallbizNet is the Edward Lowe Digital Library (ELDL), a massive, keyword-searchable management database of more than 4,000 documents geared toward small businesses. You'll also find a database of more than 800 business and management magazines and a reference guide to small-business information.
According to authors and self-proclaimed "self-employment experts" Paul and Sarah Edwards, before you can work at home you still have to do some homework. Their Homeworks Home Page is regularly updated with advice and information for those who are or would like to be their own boss. Get tips in text, audio and video format on how to start your own business and how to develop a customer base.
YourCo is the online extension of Your Company magazine, a national business publication targeted exclusively to small business owners. The site is updated biweekly with material from the current print issue. Check out the interactive Idea Exchange or access YourCo's bulletin board to share your thoughts, offer ideas and commiserate with the rest of the online small-business community.