A man working from home sits at a table. He holds an electronic table in his hands, but his smiling face is turned toward his laptop.
Trying to keep costs down? There are plenty of free business resources online. — Getty Images/filadendron

As a small business owner, you need a way to grow your business while still keeping expenses in check. These six resources will help you grow your business for free.

SCORE

If you’re new to running a business, you could probably benefit from one-on-one mentorship. But hiring a business coach can cost thousands of dollars, so it’s out of reach for many people. Instead, why not take advantage of SCORE’s free virtual mentorship program?

SCORE mentors have experience in every aspect of running and growing a business. And the mentoring services are always free, no matter how many times you meet with that person. You’ll enter your zip code and then fill out a mentor request form to get started.

If you’re not ready to commit to a mentor, you can also take advantage of SCORE’s live and recorded weekly webinars. These webinars cover different business strategies, like improving the customer experience or marketing your business online.

Avoo

If you need legal advice, Avoo can help you find a qualified attorney to hire in your area. You’ll start by entering your zip code, and Avoo will show you dozens of local attorneys. You can see what that individual specializes in, their rating and reviews, and the average cost to hire them.

But what if you just have a general legal question and don’t need to hire a lawyer? Instead of Googling your question, you can take advantage of Avoo’s free Q&A option.

You’ll submit your question on the website and receive multiple responses from different attorneys. This free Q&A isn’t a substitute for legal advice, but it could help point you in the right direction.

LinkedIn

Networking has always been a crucial aspect of building a business. And if you’re finding it hard to network during the pandemic, you may want to start spending more time on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a professional networking site, and it’s about more than just connecting with individuals you used to work with. It’s a great way to meet new people and find new professional opportunities.

To do this, you can take advantage of LinkedIn groups or even start your own group. You can also create a company page for your business, which can be an excellent resource for your customers. And you can set yourself apart as an expert by sharing thoughtful posts, blogs and videos with your connections.

[Read more: You Can Still Network From Home! Here's How]

The SBA offers free resources for every stage of launching and running your business.

Hubspot website grader

Have you ever wondered whether your website is performing as well as it should? With Hubspot’s free website grader, you can get an inside view of the factors impacting your website’s performance.

To get started, you’ll enter your website and email address. From there, Hubspot will evaluate your site for things like page speed, page size, security and responsiveness. This information can help you identify any problems that need fixing.

[Read more: 5 Small Business Owners on Their Most Essential Tech Tools]

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The SBA was a lifeline for many small business owners during the pandemic, thanks to two separate rounds of PPP loans. But there are many other ways you can take advantage of the resources the SBA has to offer.

The SBA offers free resources for every stage of launching and running your business. From writing a business plan to performing market research to navigating taxes and HR, the SBA will walk you through every step of the process.

And female business owners should take advantage of the SBA’s Ascent, a free learning platform for female entrepreneurs. You can attend fireside chats, watch video lessons and apply what you’re learning with free tools and worksheets.

[Read more: 7 SBA Programs Every Small Business Should Know About]

MailChimp

Even if you’re in the beginning stages of starting a business, you should start thinking about building your email list. Your email list is one of the most important resources you have because it’s a direct link to your prospects and customers.

MailChimp is one of the best email marketing providers for small businesses. The software is free for up to 2,000 subscribers, and it comes with a website builder, CRM, forms and landing pages.

The software is fairly intuitive to use, and MailChimp provides plenty of guides and tutorials to help you get started.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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Published February 10, 2021