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Trying to keep costs down? There are plenty of free business resources online. — Getty Images/filadendron

Successful entrepreneurs never stop learning about their industry, business, and customers. They look for ongoing training opportunities for themselves and their staff. Free resources for small business owners help you break into the global marketplace, assess economic growth, and identify new business opportunities.

Celebrate Small Business Month and improve your company year-round using small business resources and online tools to reach your goals. Each of the following organizations and websites provides actionable information requiring just a few clicks. Remember to check out our guide to Small Business Month events to find timely virtual activities to enhance your skills.

1. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Learn how to start, grow, or sell your business using the SBA’s free resources. The SBA offers informative content, interactive online tools, and a video library for entrepreneurs. These range from business planning solutions to mentoring services.

You can explore export assistance programs and financial resources. Both help grow businesses and enable entrepreneurs to strengthen their market position. Or learn how to qualify for government contracts, get funding for your company, and explore business certifications.

Check out these SBA tools and content:

  • Small Business Development Centers: Attend in-person events and get individualized assistance from small business centers near you. Enter your zip code to find your local SBDC.
  • SBA’s Ascent: Explore Ascent—a free learning platform for women entrepreneurs—by choosing your journey and topics to master. Content options include fireside chats, self-assessments, discussion guides, and exercises.
  • Learning center courses: The SBA’s learning center video courses cover starting up to selling your business and everything in between. Most topics have several videos, with many around a minute long.
  • Boots to Business: If you’re a transitioning service member (including National Guard and Reserve) or a spouse with access to a military installation, check out the Boots to Business program. Alternatively, Reboot courses are available to veterans, National Guard, Reserve, and military spouses.
  • T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined: If you have at least one employee besides yourself, have been in business for three years, and have annual revenues of at least $250,000, consider the six-month T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined program. It provides MBA-equivalent knowledge, and you’ll create a three-year strategic business growth action plan.

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

2. HubSpot

HubSpot is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) tool offering free and paid courses. It also provides the HubSpot Academy for ongoing education geared toward your entire team, including leaders, department supervisors, and employees. There are dozens of programs, including free online courses and longer certification sessions, and you can display earned badges on websites and company bios.

Achieve certifications through business courses, such as:

  • Digital marketing.
  • Inbound sales.
  • Growth-driven graphic design.
  • Content marketing.
  • Digital advertising.
  • Sales management.
  • Email marketing.

Also, check out HubSpot’s Website Grader. Enter your company’s website and email address and click “get your score.” HubSpot grades your site based on performance, search engine optimization (SEO), mobile, and security. It also provides a list of recommendations for site improvements.

3. Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

SCORE provides many great resources for small business owners, including webinars, interactive courses, business templates, and local workshops. SCORE partnered with Google and the International Downtown Association (IDA) to develop a free digital readiness series. Each module provides digital tools, webinars, and videos on how to grow your business with Google.

Recently, SCORE added The Startup Roadmap. It’s an excellent guide for individuals wanting to start a company. An entrepreneur can complete the step-by-step tutorial alone or with a mentor. It has 12 modules, which you can complete in any order. Each module offers actionable steps, free resources, and other online tools to complete the steps.

You can find SCORE events and workshops near you by entering your state or zip code and filtering the results according to business stage, topic, and format. SCORE also offers mentorship opportunities to any citizen or permanent resident who owns a business or wants to start one. The interactions happen virtually so that you can communicate with your mentor via email, phone, and video.

[Read more: What Is SCORE and How Can You Use It To Help You Start a Business?]

4. U.S. Chamber of Commerce

As the world’s largest business organization, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce advocates for business-friendly policies, supports local chapters, and provides free resources for entrepreneurs. You’ll find many virtual events and informative guides on small business topics and can network within your community by joining a local branch.

Check out the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business page. It displays events, a Small Business Weekly Forecast, and current initiatives. Remember to register for CO—'s Small Business Day event featuring small business experts. It takes place on Thursday, May 4, 2023, at 1 pm ET.

Bookmark these links to stay informed with regularly updated content:

  • Local chapters: Get involved at the local level by finding a chamber of commerce in your area. There are thousands of local chapters in 57 states and territories offering community networking opportunities.
  • Chamber OnDemand: View videos, forums, and interviews with experts, business leaders, and government officials on the Chamber OnDemand platform. Browse by topic or series, such as technology, economy, and government policy.
  • CO—by U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Start your morning or end your day by expanding your small business knowledge on CO— by U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It delivers fact-based articles on best practices for how to start, grow, and run your company. Plus, you can get expert tips from industry leaders and small business owners.

5. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional-focused social media platform used by entrepreneurs globally. You can showcase your company and build relationships with business customers and future employees. It’s also a key spot to highlight your expertise as an entrepreneur in your personal profile. Get started with LinkedIn’s Action Plan for Small Businesses. It’s a five-page guide to completing your page, growing your follower count, and posting the right content.

But don’t stop there! LinkedIn has a small business resource center packed with free content. It offers virtual events, free online courses, and livestreams. The virtual sessions are geared toward entrepreneurs at all levels, including managers and leaders, talent acquisition professionals, remote workers, and sales teams. We recommend Boost Your Business With LinkedIn for existing businesses, as it’s a video guide to using LinkedIn for branding, lead generation, and hiring.

6. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is an online marketing platform tailored to small businesses. It offers various free tools and other resources for small businesses. Topics include email, social media, SMS texting, online stores, and websites. Constant Contact also provides educational webinars, seminars, and local events year-round.

This platform can help your team members level up their skills while improving operations. It includes small business resources for digital marketing tailored to your skill level—just starting out, up and running, or advanced marketer.

7. HR.com

Manage human resources effectively with a free membership and resources from HR.com. It has e-learning lessons, webcasts, and virtual events. You can learn about upcoming changes to regulations and help your HR employees achieve Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certifications.

Free resources for small businesses consist of:

  • HR compliance posters.
  • Industry trends and research papers.
  • HR certification prep courses.
  • More than 5,000 educational webcasts.
  • Recertification credits.
  • HR forms, templates, and tools.
  • Publications in more than 13 verticals.

[Read more: Does Your Small Business Need an HR Department?]

8. National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE)

Networking groups for entrepreneurs can help you develop local and national connections. NASE represents companies with 10 employees or fewer. It has free resources for small business owners and offers many more tools for members, including unlimited access to consultants for tax, retirement, finance, and operations questions. NASE also provides a member-only NASE Succeed Scholarship, helping entrepreneurs pay for training programs, business courses, and college.

9. Google

A Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business, can drive customers to your brick-and-mortar storefront and online platform. It also offers many free tools for entrepreneurs and small teams, including Google Workspace and Google Drive. The Google for Small Business page provides a wealth of information for small business owners, helping you navigate SEO, advertising, and marketing.

Course topics include:

  • Getting your business online.
  • Standing out on Search and Maps.
  • Understanding SEO.
  • Gathering insights.
  • Starting an online store.
  • Using email marketing.
  • Advertising online.

The small business lesson collection helps you research your market, develop a business plan, and prepare to request funding. Also, check out the Grow with Google small business showcase on YouTube. It offers more than 250 videos covering topics like project management and data analytics.

LinkedIn has a small business resource center packed with free content. It offers virtual events, free online courses, and livestreams.

10. MIT Open Learning Library

Expand into a new industry and explore diverse courses through the MIT Open Learning Library. These self-paced lessons are free to download. Most courses include interactive content and exercises, which provide immediate feedback. These sessions are a great free resource for businesses wanting to offer professional development options for employees.

The topics include:

  • Aeronautics and astronautics.
  • Biology.
  • Comparative media studies and writing.
  • Earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences.
  • Electrical engineering and computer science.
  • Global languages.
  • Linguistics and philosophy.
  • Management.
  • Materials science and engineering.
  • Mathematics.
  • Nuclear sciences and engineering.
  • Physics.
  • Urban studies and planning.
  • Harvard-MIT program in health sciences and technology (HST).

11. FDIC: Money Smart for Small Business

Boost your financial literacy with 13 modules for starting and managing a business. The materials and instructor-led curriculum were developed jointly by the Small Business Administration and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). You can download financial resources at Money Smart – Teach – For Small Business.

The lessons consist of:

  • "Is Owning a Business a Good Fit for You?"
  • "Planning for a Healthy Business"
  • "Banking Services Available for a Small Business"

12. National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB)

NFIB has many free guides and online presentations. It offers additional resources for members. We recommend checking out NFIB’s research, webinars, Small Business Rundown podcast, and legal channels. A recent podcast discusses the health insurance affordability crisis, while webinars cover HR, marketing, tax, legal, and credit and finance.

13. America’s SBDC

America’s SBDC is the nation’s largest network offering small business assistance. It includes almost 1,000 local centers providing free consulting and low-cost training. You can view an event calendar, check out district offices, and discover plenty of free resources for small business owners.

Here are a few valuable free tools:

[Read more: Small Business Development Centers: What They Are and How to Find One]

14. National Retail Federation (NRF)

NRF is a must-visit site if you’re a retail business. It provides tons of research for planning upcoming campaigns and making seasonal financial projections. NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association and completes studies throughout the year, including sections for various holidays where you can compare consumer shopping figures from the past several years.

We suggest using NRF’s research to inform your campaigns and strategies. Two of the latest reports are the NRF 2023 Sales Forecast and the NRF State of Retail & the Consumer.

15. IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

Get answers to your small business tax questions at the IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center. It provides free resources for taxpayers who file Form 1040 or 1040-SR and small companies with assets under $10 million.

Access information for:

  • Preparing your taxes.
  • Filing and paying taxes.
  • Stages of owning a business.
  • General topics.
  • Online learning.

16. Nav

Nav is a financial health platform for small businesses. It allows entrepreneurs to see potential financing options they may qualify for before applying. For instance, a business owner signs up for a free account and inputs business data (like credit history and bank transactions). Then, Nav compares your information against funding requirements from more than 200 partners. Along with help finding financial services, Nav provides personalized cash flow insights and recommendations.

17. United States Census Bureau

Business owners use census information for business planning, from beginning a company to expanding an existing one. The U.S. Census Bureau dedicates a section to small businesses. You’ll find statistics and customizable data tools. Plus, check out webinars that are packed with economic and demographic data related to starting a business, exporting, and extending operations globally.

[Read more: 10 Things to Do in Small Business Month to Grow Your Company]

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.

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.

Join us for our Small Business Day event!

Join us at our next event on Wednesday, May 1, at 12:00 p.m., where we’ll be kicking off Small Business Month alongside business experts and entrepreneurs. Register to attend in person at our Washington, D.C., headquarters, or join us virtually!