In current times we have access to more resources now than ever. For many entrepreneurs and business owners, the internet waits in our pockets and sits on our laps. So the resources and minds of an entire world are at our disposal. Of course, not all these resources are reliable. With the internet full of fiction it takes time to wade through and find which resources are viable. This is also true in the offline world. Finding reliable business resources takes time and maybe the advice from those who have been there and waded through.
Rescue a CEO and CEO Blog Nation asked entrepreneurs about what their favorite business resource is.
Surprisingly simple resource
Given that most of my work is spent using a computer, my favourite resource may be considered surprisingly simple: A stack of used paper, blank on one side. Bundled into perhaps 50 or so sheets. It forms the basis for everything from my daily list of tasks, to messages,mindless (and mindful doodles) to creative outbursts. I keep the whole pile until I have used all the pages, then go back through them and look for two things: 1. things that I might have overlooked, such as a phone call or task and, more importantly, 2. connections between the ideas that I have had. This simple resource provides a way to get and stay organised, as well as capture the bigger picture that helps me to stay on top of my game.
Thanks to Dr. Bryan West, Fortress Learning
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It's got to be SCORE! Counseling, mentoring, access to all kinds of tutorials and templates on their website, advisors with experience and knowledge from virtually any industry – all free for the asking. I went to the local chapter for start-up advice 7 years ago, and they continue to be a resource, because the mentoring is not just free; it's unlimited. They have given me sound advice on everything from which kind of business entity to set up and how to write a business plan to which local banks offer free business checking. I still use the cash flow worksheet they provided, and my CPA likes the form so much, she asked for a copy to give to other small business clients.
Thanks to Carole Holden, Gelmtree Advertising
My favorite business resource? It's the online business school I attended last year from Marie Forleo. B-School has helped me leverage and market my online presence for more sales and more impact. As I develop my business online, I find myself turning to the coursework again and again to more fully take advantage of strategies, techniques and tools. I also appreciate-and tap-the support of the B-School community of graduates, most of whom are women. The online community of “B-School Babes” is excellent place to bounce around ideas, get insight on specific problems, or even stay accountable to business goals. Hands down, B-School was the best business investment I ever made. It's already paid for itself a bazillion times over. (You can quote me on that.) I'm taking B-School AGAIN this year.
Thanks to Marie Overfors
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Business Network International (BNI)
My favorite business resource is the Frederck BNI Breakfast at Mimi's. After sputtering out of the gate in 2012 and completing a re-branding campaign for my business late last year, I made it one of my personal goals to locate and join a local BNI (Business Network International) group. I began The Vita-Copia Group after realizing that life has a way of throwing you off of your game. If you do not have the ability to adjust, adapt, and overcome then you will get left behind. As a Strategic Life Coach I make it my business to create networks and develop executable plans for clients. Joining the BNI group puts to work a diverse sales force with networking strength that surpasses my time constraints. This group provides the networking backbone that I as an individual entrepreneur can be limited by. Each member goes into his or her professional areas and promotes my skills and talent to their customers. In return for referrals, I also network with my clients and provide them with information about the other members of the group. I believe this business resource is the most effective resource for today’s small businesses.
Thanks to Ken Rupert, Vita-Copia Group
Hiring a consultant
I am a new business owner. I started my business in August of 2012. So far, the greatest business resource to me has been my business coach, Erica Duran. I talk to her every week, and she has been a Professional Organizer and knows all the physical resources that can be helpful to me. This has been the most expensive, yet most helpful part of my business to date. I strongly recommend people who are new to business to hire a consultant to help who actually knows what they're doing and has been there. You can contact me for more information at the contact number below.
Thanks to Stacy Erikson, Home Key Organization
Relationships with one another
One of the most important business resources is our relationships with one another. I've leaned on my industry mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, and trusted colleagues during the launch of my PR firm and as I worked to secure new business, manage clients and grow the company. It's being able to learn from others experiences, trials and errors and successes that stabilize us in challenging situations or help us appreciate crisp opportunities. Having a trusted network can prove to be the most valuable of all resources when leading a venture, managing a team and aggressively growing a business.
Thanks to Karen Hansen, Bullseye Communications, LLC
Taking advantage of Google Alerts
My favorite business resource is Google Alerts. One of the reasons is Its versatility and usefulness to businesses of all sizes, for content marketing and press monitoring, just to name a few. In addition, it’s free, very easy to set up, and gets delivered right to your inbox. Google describes it as “Monitor the Web for interesting new content” however it can also be used for brand monitoring, tracking press and media mentions, industry updates, and general buzz around a particular topic by simply setting the keyword or name of the company or person you want to track. You can set up an unlimited number of alerts. I also use it to identify content that is of interest that I might otherwise miss in my own travels online; this increases my opportunities to comment and join in conversations already taking place online. Google alerts provides ideas for generating content marketing, as well as identifying publications and journalists who write about topics that are of interest to me. I recommend it to all my clients, and have created a mind map to illustrate ways to use it.
Thanks to Jane Tabachnick, Web1Ranking
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Working in Public Relations and Marketing, one of the newest business resources I'm using is Bottlenose (Bottlenose.com). It's a live social dashboard and allows marketing professionals to monitor and engage across social networks. You can search for key words, such as guzzie + Guss or So Rad Boutique, and it will provide you with audience insights and content ideas for any brand or topic. In addition, I would recommend using Hootsuite to ensure that brand messaging is syndicated across multiple media platforms, consistently. A single Tweet and Facebook post can be picked up by leading blogs or forums, generating links back to the original source across the globe. Finally, I would suggest taking a look on The Build Network (thebuildnetwork.com) if you are a CEO or Managing Director. It's an online network, developed by the creators of Inc Magazine and is an excellent resource to connect with the world's top thinkers first hand through live events and the online portal.
Thanks to Talia Beckett, Pink Pearl Public Relations
Diverse and enthusiastic team members who aren’t afraid to speak up
After starting Build on Book Keeping in 2008, it became clear that, with the ever-changing world of finance and taxation laws, hiring a sharp and adaptive team would be paramount to the success of our business. Now in our fifth year of existence, we are consistently impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of our team when it comes to keeping on top of trends, or simply contributing ideas to the everyday processes within the office. The Build on Book Keeping team have assisted in our consistent success and are testimony to the 150 ongoing loyal clients we deal with today.
Thanks to Carly Chant, Build on Book Keeping
The fast moving market of social media
Social media. It's a fast moving marketplace today. The many new mediums available to communicate with customers has changed our interaction with out customers for the better. Being a company that services high level professional athletes from across the globe, social media has afforded us with a dynamic and robust platform to keep us in constant conversation with our customers. From being able to congratulate our players success to connecting with new potential clients, social media has allowed us the ability to free up money previously spent on high risk marketing efforts and now target our time and energy at a platform that delivers instantaneous results.
Thanks to Pete Bommarito, Bommarito Performance Systems
The Small Business Administration (SBA)
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is an amazing source of training and consulting for business owners in all stages of their growth, be it a startup or a business wanting to reinvent itself. My favorite SBA resource is the Small Business Development Center. This amazing resource is likely not available in all areas, but in the Houston area, the SBDC is sponsored by a local university and supported by other educational institutions in the area. My SBDC consultant is a veteran consultant in my field of marketing. She provides excellent advice and has amazing contacts that have helped me shape and build my Houston internet marketing business. I encourage all businesses to utilize the SBA and all they have to offer.
Thanks to Wanda Anglin, SEO Buzz Internet Marketing