Many small business owners are too busy for in-person networking. Attending conferences or local business groups isn’t always possible or convenient. That feedback is important, particularly when you are just starting out. You need a gathering place of kindred spirits so you can discuss, share ideas, get guidance, and even mentorship. These days, you don’t have to go it alone.
Flareapps.com small business tip #065Join a Community of Business Peers
If you are a small business owner who is feeling isolated in your quest for business success, join a community of people who walk the same path.
- Small Business Forum (.org)
An active community with several forums including: small business discussion, marketing and advertising, small business issues, and home-based income opportunities. A broad range of discussion topics include creating a business, financing and banking, taxes, legal issues, marketing and Internet marketing. Members can browse or post free classifieds. Over 13,500 members.
- Small Business Forum (.net)
With 22,000 registered members, 333 active members and over 9900 threads at the time of this writing, you’ll find discussion here. Forums include: starting a business, managing a business, financing, accounting and taxes, legal and HR, marketing, copywriting, Internet marketing, search engine optimization, social media, website management, community talk and more.
StartupNation’s tagline is “Everything you need to build your business”. Startup Nation is a resource with articles on all things startup, a community forum and a radio show (live Saturday’s 2pm Eastern). Read forum topics including: startup basics, marketing and PR, funding, website building and search engine optimization, inventing and intellectual property, running a business, and more. If you are thinking of launching your startup business, maybe hit the pause button for a moment and take the StartupNation Launch Assessment.
- Chic CEO
Resources, community and blog to foster and encourage women in business. Chic CEO offers a wealth of information related to starting a business including: 3-Day Chic Start – How to Get Your Business Started in 3 Days Without Spending a Dime; How to Write a Business Plan (with business plan template downloads). You’ll also find podcasts, business resource downloads (for a fee), and a deep how-to section. The How-To section includes topics such as starting a business, how to market your company, personal development, how to find funding, how to manage finances, inventing a product, buying a franchise, and home business.
- Bank of America Small Business Forum
An excellent resource for small business owners to share their knowledge or seek knowledge from others. Forums include Managing Your Finances (Cash Management, Credit and Lending, Legal and Insurance and Merchant Services) and Running Your Business (Business Startups, Employees, General Business, Sales and Marketing and Technology). A resources section includes guides, articles and infographics related to cash flow management, credit and lending, and fraud prevention.
- Business Advice Forum
The Business Advice Forum is a webmaster and business community. Most information is related to online businesses. The majority of members are webmasters. An excellent resource for anyone running or helping manage a business website or online business. The business forums include: Making Money Online; Sales, Marketing and Online Promotion; Self Improvement; and, Business and World News. The Webmaster Forums include Website Development, Design and Web Hosting; and, Website and Graphics Reviews.
- BizBuySell Small Business Community
BizBuySell bills itself as “The Internet’s Largest Business for Sale Marketplace”. There’s much more than buying and selling businesses, though. In the small business community, you can ask questions and get expert advice, find local service professionals and share your small business experiences. Discussion categories include: Buying a Business, Selling a Business, New Business Advice, Franchises, Financing and Accounting, Advertising and Marketing, and Legal and Insurance. If you are selling a business, you can download BizBuySell’s free “Guide to Selling Your Small Business”.
- CNET Small Business and Startups Forum
You may be familiar with CNET download.com, but you may not know that CNET has an active small business and startup forum. The forum is an excellent resource for tips and answers to questions regarding owning and running an on or offline business.
- Home Business Online Forum
This Home Business Online Forum has been on the web since the early days. The community has over 23,000 registered members and over 7,500 topics. It bills itself as “a community and clearinghouse of home business information and tools for the home-based small business entrepreneur”. Boards include: Members Chat, Marketing and Traffic Chat, Small Business Chat, Let’s Do Business, Software Tools and Programs, and Forum Members Offers and Discounts.
- Your suggested business forum
Want to help us round out this list to an even 10? Comment and let us know about a small business forum you think should be included.
About Flare Accounting
Flare is online small business accounting software that does more than bookkeeping. With Flare, you can create invoices, track expenses, create and monitor a budget and get vital key performance metrics so you can take action to increase business profit.
- Learn about features for accountants and bookkeepers.
- Learn about features for small business owners.