Food for Thought: The Best Resources for Small Business Owners
When you're a business owner, there's a lot to take in. With a mind that's constantly racing to think of the next big idea, overcome the most recent challenge, and complete today's mile-long to do list, it can be hard to take time to learn something new. Don't overlook the importance of learning as an entrepreneur, though. From sparking new ideas to realizing you've overlooked a key part of your business, taking the time to listen, read, watch, or even just Google searching can have unexpected results for you and your company.
At StartBlox, we experience this dilemma every day: Do we have time to learn something new? Luckily, we've got our top 6 list of go-to resources that we use when we're curious and have some brain memory slots open:
There are thousands of great business books out there, and they range from the stories of Fortune 500 founders to technical how-tos. You just don't have time to read them all. If you're particularly adept at learning by listening, with several breaks in between chapters, audiobooks could be a great resource to make your way through the reading list you've collected since starting up. Some of the books our team loves are:
5. Social Media
Social media isn't only useful for watching videos of your friends' kids, it's also a great tool for small businesses wanting to learn more. Entrepreneur-friendly organizations constantly share their insights and favorite articles for your benefit on social media, leaving it up to you to click, like, and share what you think is most useful for your community. If you're looking to learn more, follow some of your favorite organizations on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay updated on their latest resources. Here are some of our favorite resources:
- SBA (Twitter: @SBAgov, Facebook: @SBAgov)
- BBB for your region (Boston-area Twitter: @BBBConnection, Boston-area Facebook: @BBBconnection)
- Moz: (Twitter: @Moz, Facebook: @moz)
- Buffer (Twitter: @buffer, Facebook: @bufferapp)
- Fundera: (Twitter: @fundera, Facebook: @fundera)
You can also follow StartBlox (@StartBlox) on your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter to keep up with the new resources we publish every week.
It's always a good idea to build your network; you never know what you'll learn from the stranger standing next to you. One way to make that stranger a little more relevant is to join Meetup, an app that brings groups of people together based on a like-minded topic, such as small business. Join Meetup or attend similar events through your local chamber or SBA to gain access to a network of small business owners in your community.
For entrepreneurs that are constantly on the go, podcasts are a great way to spark new ideas. Whether you're interested in technology, entrepreneurship, goal setting, marketing, or other topics, there's a podcast for that. If you're walking to the office, going for a run, or driving to an account, you can set your headphones or speakers to a playlist of podcasts. Just make sure that you stop moving before writing down your great ideas. These are some of our team's go-to podcasts:
If you're a little short on time (and we know you are), blogs are a great short-form resource to find out more about a specific topic. Most blog posts take less than 15 minutes to read, but they provide a new or unique perspective on topics like marketing, finance, productivity, and even taxes. There are dozens of great blogs to help small businesses owners, so consider using tools like Feedly or Pocket to manage a reading list on your own time. Our team loves to find resources from:
If you're looking for something more than a casual way to learn about business, StartBlox is a great resource. As a tool that provides deep insights, productivity tools, and vendor connections, it's designed to help small business owners succeed in running and growing a company. You can sign up, identify what stage your business is in, and find customized content that helps your business succeed.
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