10 Free Resources to Start or Grow a Home Based Business

Thinking about starting a home business or side business? My tongue-in-cheek checklist might let you know if you are ready for it – or go through a ‘real’ assessment to determine whether or not you are ready to start a business (warning, it’s pretty conservative, so don’t let it discourage you from continuing to prepare yourself for entrepreneurship).

So let’s say you’ve made the decision to start a business, or maybe you have even been in business for a while. I have found that the majority of home-based entrepreneurs I know and have met online have no idea how many free resources are out there to help you start or grow your business.

While I have nothing against paid help – and have paid for help in the past (and was glad I did!), the following resources are greatly under-used, in my humble opinion. So whether you’re just dreaming of business plans or have years of experience under your belt, the following links can help you run a better business:

  1. Free Web-Based Business Courses from the SBA
  2. Small Business Association Podcast also from the SBA
  3. Interactive Business Planner from the Government of Canada
  4. More Free Web-Based Business Courses from BusinessWeek
  5. Free Business Advice from SCORE Online Q&A or find a location near you to ask in person
  6. Get access to leading entrepreneurs with Entrepreneur.com’s new Ask Entrepreneur feature
  7. Get Free Business Forms (be careful, sometimes you need state-specific forms in certain circumstances)
  8. Quicken has a free small business software version of QuickBooks available for PC users, or check out these free money management alternatives
  9. Microsoft has a free startup help center with both learning resources and hints on how to use their products for small businesses
  10. And there’s nothing more appealing about “free” than when its free money. IdeaCafe regularly gives away small business grants to deserving entrepreneurs.

Want more help with your Home Business? Check out the Home Based Business Group Writing Project. More free-ness!

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  1. says

    Great resources for anyone starting out a business or even a business that you have started and just need some help with. Thank you so much for these great resources and tips.

  2. says

    Thank you for a great resource list. Reading through these sites can also help you get a better understanding of what is involved in owing a small business. It can also give you more idea of the questions you can ask if you do seek ‘paid’ help.

    Gaida’s last blog post..Celebrate Chocolate Mint Day

  3. says

    Might I add one of the most powerful FREE resources at your disposal – your friends, family or acquaintances who are running businesses of their own. We all know a few, but we kind of shy away from asking them about starting a home based business. If we could have a few sit-down-and-talk sessions, we’d find nuggets of wisdom in each conversation that can either help us avoid those startup problems or niggling hassles we experience as new home business owners. For example, my wife and I run a home based food delivery service. We find that our suppliers are the best people to find out about cooking. They give us real, practical tips about how to cook certain types of veggie or keep it looking wonderfully green – things that you can take years to learn by trial and error because you’re just to proud to open your mouth and ask!