Some freely available resources to help people thinking of starting a business, or starting over

Small Business Administration - resources for starting a business

In over twenty years of being in business I’ve had a lot of good business advice. My only regret is that I wish I’d followed more of the good advice, sooner.

I’ve also had plenty of bad or unduly self-serving advice and my regret there is in having followed some of that until I had enough experience to see through it.

Sound familiar? My guess is that if you are in business and are not super omniscient and always amazingly successful you have had both of those experiences too.

So is there something to be done, when embarking on a business, or when re-starting our existing businesses, to cut through the fog of theories and advice that are not going to serve us and get to some good, practical advice which will enable us to get on with the business of business, with confidence as well as optimism?

Yes there is. And, believe it or not, it is provided by government!

The heading to this post says “free” resources. That’s not completely accurate, because these resources have been put together at taxpayers’ expense. But they are freely available on the web for anyone who wants to use them.

As a taxpayer, you can say, “At last, something useful from the government!”

If you are one of those people who believe nothing good can come out of government – what do they say, one of the great lies is “I’m from the government, I’m here to help you”? – then I ask that you put aside your skepticism for a moment and check out the resources listed below.

Because what has happened in several countries is that governments have paid some people to put together “starting a business” checklists and resource lists, with lots of links, to save people having to do all that themselves.

In this post I’m just including links to sites provided by federal/national governments – USA, Canada, UK, Australia. I know from previous research there are other such sites provided at State/ Provincial level. And maybe even at local government level although I have not looked into that yet.

The US Government’s Small Business Administration provides a Small Business Planner.

From the UK Government there is Practical Advice for Business: Starting up .

The Canadian Government’s Canada Business site has Starting a Business.

And the Australian Government’s site has Thinking of Starting a Business .

One note of caution. I have found sometimes with such sites that you can be clicking on a link to resources that are really third party ones and which do promote products and services commercially. If that is the case with a particular government-provided resource, it should be clear from the site: it’s a while since I have researched such sites so I don’t know the current situation. Just be aware.

If you know of other such national/federal or state/provincial government provided free resources for business, do please share them. There may even be regional or local government sites that you know of and have found helpful.

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