While it’s true that starting an Internet-based business is easier than starting other types of businesses, in today’s economy there are no guarantees of success. Entrepreneurs must be willing to work hard, set realistic goals, develop an excellent business plan, and find a workable business model and the right tools and resources.
New businesses should take advantage of the many online resources available.
Although the list below is not all-inclusive, it is a good start to the online resources available for new businesses. The list includes everything from resources that can help business owners find business opportunities and partnerships to places to find startup funding and other helpful information.
Business.com: Finding the right services and products needed to run a business is an important part of making the business a success. This website provides a Purchasing Engine that assists customers through all stages of the buying process. Buyers can easily research and compare white papers, how-to guides, and other products.
oDesk.com: Savvy entrepreneurs learn very quickly that outsourcing is a fast way to grow a business. This freelance marketplace is an excellent place to find all sorts of skilled experts, such as web developers and designers, computer programmers and freelance writers. The site provides information about the providers’ skills, past work experience, and ratings received from others they have they completed work for.
LinkedIn.com: This is much more than a social networking site – it is a place for businesses to make connections with other businesses and investors. This is one way to spread the word about a new business and to build a credible link back to the main website. Creating a LinkedIn Company Page can also be a great way to promote products and more.
Prosper.com: Many new businesses are in need of seed money, and Prosper can be the place to get it. These peer-to-peer business loans can be the perfect solution for many entrepreneurs. The rates are reasonable, and depending on the applicant’s Prosper rating, the loan amount can be up to $25,000.
ResourceNation.com: This valuable resource is a business to business (B2B) lead generation company. Through Resource Nation’s marketing efforts, vendors are connected with buyers and businesses are connected with vendors. The end result is that businesses save time and money. The best part is, services to businesses are completely free.
SBA.gov: Every state has a Small Business Administration office that can be accessed online. Information offered includes a variety of business advice and guidance services. Business owners can also choose to take advantage of free business counseling and low-cost entrepreneurial classes. In addition, the SBA can be helpful in connecting new businesses with other local entrepreneurs.
OnStartups.com: Keeping up with what’s happening in the online world is key to the success of a business. This website offers current information on a regular basis. In addition to staying updated about online marketing trends and other strategies, the site content also serves to keep business owners motivated and inspired to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.
If you have an online business blog or if you plan to start one, these resources are definitely useful tools that should be explored. If you have other resources to add to the list, why not share them in the comments below – and if you found this article helpful, please share it with your social network.
Debbie Allen is a freelance writer who enjoys sharing information about online marketing strategies and related topics.
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