You know what’s amazing about owning a business? You end up leaning on other businesses and business owners for support, advice, and resources, in this big beautiful circle. If all goes well (and it well), one day you just might realize that you have become that priceless resource for someone else. And the cycle continues. How do you get to that point, though? Rather than swimming through all the junk, scams, and amateurs yourself, we’ve compiled a list of must-know companies to help you grow in a few key areas.
If you’ve ever said, “Man I need a Google Doc but for like, business stuff,” boy do I have great news for you. Enloop is an online software that will help you to write your business plan, including the scary financial details. You can have your accountant and partners collaborate on it in real-time. Plus, Enloop has a ton of built-in business tools to evaluate your plan as you write it, from your strategy to your numbers to 3-year forecasting to how you stack up against your competitors. (Plus, your first business plan is totally free!)
This non-profit has been around for decades, and it’s not hard to see why. Using SCORE, you can search for a mentor and meet with them one-on-one, no matter where you both are in the world. There are tons of webinars and learning resources archived on the site, and you can subscribe to new ones that interest you as they are released. A few times a year they even have in-person conference-style events that you can attend. It’s sort of like business coaching, business conferencing, and business podcasting all wrapped up into one super-potent mega-resource that you know you can really trust.
If coaching and podcasting isn’t your style, or even if you just want to diversify your resources, try StartupNation. This site is like the MSNBC of business news and trends. I would say it’s like a blog, but the production value and dependability is way too good for that. There are literally countless links and articles in their archives, plus they update the site daily with the current business news and advice, no holds barred. The good, the bad, the ugly. Consider StartupNation your one-stop-shop for all-things business; you’ll be the most-informed entrepreneur at the cocktail party, that’s for sure.
ShareAble for Hires
In case no one has told you yet, your most valuable resource is TIME, not money. This goes for your personal life as well as your professional life, by the way. Whenever you have a chance to get some time back, jump on it. The best way to waste your time is by hiring someone based on your “gut” without doing any background research. I know that seems counterintuitive, but as my dad always says, “If you don’t think you have time to do it right the first time, you definitely don’t have time to do it twice the wrong way.” I’ll get off my soapbox as long as you swear to use TransUnion ShareAble for Hires for every employment background check you ever have, ever. You’ll get your results in mere minutes, you’ll be in total compliance with all the legalities, and you’ll know you can trust the data and results you get in return.
I don’t care if you’re selling swimsuits or vacuums, your Instagram account MUST be poppin’. It’s some of the cheapest advertising you can get, and it has the potential to reach more people than you can imagine. You can sponsor posts and boost posts for added exposure, tag and track locations, and the analytics are actually super powerful and illuminating.
If you’re a total newbie when it comes to social media– especially social media that’s supposed to look pretty—look into websites like Pablo for graphic design, and UNUM for Instagram specifically. Making your page cohesive and beautiful (yeah, vacuum salesman, I’m talking to you) while also being informative and professional can be a tough code to crack. But once you find your stride, you’ll see exactly what I mean. Just thank me later.
You can seriously level-up your business just by checking out these 5 companies. Most of them are extremely low-cost too; your major investment will be your time. So get back on that grind, new resources in hand. You’ll be seeing your dream results sooner than you think.