Running a small business is hard, especially as a solopreneur or when you're working in an ambitious growing team.
It can sometimes feel like you're spinning too many plates at once.
So to avoid smashing the crockery - and help build my online business sustainably - I often turn to popular business websites for advice on strategy and operational issues.
I regularly read (and write) a ton of information relating to small business marketing, growth hacking and refining your content marketing systems - and it's great to get some inspiration from some of the best business sites available.
To that end, here's a collection of my personal favourites. It's important to keep learning in business, and you'll be amazed by the 'knowledge bombs' you can detonate by reading some or all of these sites.
I hope you enjoy them...
If you only visit one site on this list, Startups is the one you must read. It covers everything you need to know - whether you’re just starting out writing your business plan or growing in new directions. It has a brilliant list of buying guides to help you save money too, giving advice on choosing the right options when you're investing in anything from a new CRM to an updated email marketing system.
The Startup Donut is chock full of resources that will lead you by the hand from your first business concept through to keeping your e-commerce site safe. It includes a myriad of sound advice on the money end of things too - including funding, tax laws, and business scams. You could easily spend an afternoon surfing and learning, leaving with a treasure trove of ideas.
The UK Government's very own Business and Self-Employed Services department gives you no-nonsense advice on everything you must do to stay on the right side of the law. The website is user-friendly with excellent intuitive navigation. It covers must-know topics like industry-specific legal information, licensing, and copyright. It’s the one-stop site to get all of those technical things done without a lot of searching.
The Guardian Business Section is your source for a roundup of the latest breaking commercial news. Its scope is far-reaching but still useful for the small business owner. It’s an excellent source for spotting trends, keeping abreast of the politics affecting companies, and watching the markets. It also brings an international perspective to your research if you have a global business reach.
Profitable is a barebones, get-straight-to-the-point source for resources such as trade-specific business plans, business models, and ideas for growing your startup. Therein lies its strength - because you’ll get the best advice that is meaningful for your industry. The content is thorough and easy to understand. Its pool of articles is a business course of itself.
Business Matters covers all aspects of running a small business, from dealing with employees to getting funding to equipping your office. The Technology Section is comprehensive even if IT isn’t your thing. The Advice Section does an excellent job of helping you manage the personal challenges of running a company.
TradePub.com is a repository of industry-specific sites to get the insider info you need for your small business. It covers a vast range of trades along with resources that cover topics like IT management, Cloud services, and human resources. You can create your go-to library of resources and stay current with trending subjects.
Russell Bowyer brings honesty and straight talk to the forefront with all aspects of running a business - including the impacts of a business owner’s personal life and health. The blog tackles tough topics like scams, the online marketplace, and consumer rights. Bowyer’s style is refreshing and makes you feel like you’re talking business over a cuppa.
Business Green helps small business owners implement their green initiatives to reduce their environmental impact. The site is inspiring - with news about companies who are making a difference in today’s world. It provides in-depth coverage of industries along with example success stories. The site offers the latest news about trends and state-of-the-art sustainable technology.
Prowess is all about women helping women with information specific to the female business experience. You’ll find advice, inspiration, and the best ways to manage your money. The site discusses a myriad of thought-provoking topics - like mindset, challenges, and a grand selection of guides that complement the stages of your growth journey.
Birds on the Blog is another female-centred business site, with a focus on empowering women with stories and practical advice. It also emphasises making connections with its signature Women’s Networking Lunches. The site features new content every day giving the latest and greatest info that matters to you most. This resource also has a long history of helping women succeed.
YHP focuses on the young startup owner with interviews, stories from the frontline, and empowerment. Users can submit their business listings to gain exposure and give them an edge for success. Its strength is its industry-specific content giving frank advice on a variety of trades. The site is a pleasure to browse with user-friendly navigation and great features.
The CRM behind this blog is one of the best ways to manage your client base. The blog itself offers a wealth of advice for business owners with both technical and general information. It includes ways to grow your business with various techniques from making connections to optimising AI. The content is fresh and intelligent - and delivered with a definite voice of experience.
Invoice Berry is a gem of a site that offers plain-talking advice and tips to help small business owners succeed on all levels. It covers a diversity of issues from blockchain to card payments. Its weekly roundup is a worthwhile read, and touches on a lot of relevant topics including freelancing and using email marketing to your advantage.
The name tells you this website's main focus. This site covers all topics financially related that can impact all businesses - from the lone owner to the enterprise. It includes a wide range of resources on global markets, foreign exchange rates, and a variety of issues that affect your bottom line.
The UK Business Forums are the best way to connect with other small business owners - to ask questions, compare notes, or offer help to others in your trade. It’s a safe environment to discuss the topics that matter most for startups and companies of all sizes. It is a highly active site with excellent moderation to keep things in check.
This site offers the sage advice of Neil Usher and his experiences in the field. It’s sometimes edgy but always insightful. Usher gives his unique take on what it takes to succeed - with plenty of wisdom to share along the way. It’s entertaining reading even if you’re not in business.
Sage Advice UK lives up to its name, with practical information about making the right decisions for your business. It discusses a wide range of topics from software to VAT to Brexit. The site is updated frequently, to help you stay current with the latest news and features.
Sometimes, you just need a feel-good story. Small Business Heroes is your go-to site to get inspired and find motivation - even when life throws you lots of challenges. The writers have a keen understanding of what business owners face, and offer sound advice to help you succeed.
Which Business Sites Did You Like Best?
I'm sure you've unearthed some great articles and resources on the sites above - so I really hope they help you in your online business.
If you have a specific resource you'd like us to feature - or a particular favourite that we've missed out - then be sure to let us know in the comments below.