You don’t need to Google “small business finances” to know that there are a lot of resources out there screaming for a small business owner’s attention. We’ve compiled some of the best.
Some of these resources are valuable, but much of them aren’t. There are plenty of places that would like to finance a small business, and provide it with products and services. Many of the small business resources out there were produced with the intention of selling things to an SMB. That doesn’t mean they’re not valuable — it’s just important to understand motivations.
We’ve done our best to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to identifying valuable resources for small business finances. Where we could, we looked for small business financing resources that weren’t directly related to a business trying to sell something like a loan or receivables financing.
There are literally tens of thousands of websites out there with resources to help small business owners with their finances. The following websites and blogs are among the best.
Mason Myers: Mason Myers is a business owner and manager and writes about many of the financing issues small businesses and startups face in trying to grow their enterprises.
SBA Financing blog: From the Small Business Administration. this collection of resources is particularly spot on, as the organization has a lot of experience helping small businesses of all sizes with their finances.
Open Forum Run by American Express, this community of small business owners and entrepreneurs does a good job talking about the real, hard issues facing getting small business up and running (and growing).
TaxBuzz: This blog takes a deep dive into small business finances and taxes. Lots of expert SMB finance content here.
Bloomberg Small Business: Bloomberg’s Small Business section is less advice and more journalistically-driven stories about small businesses, the challenges the face, the people behind them, and who’s winning and losing at the game.
Business Credit Blogger: Marco Carbajo has been writing since 2005 about small business financing — primarily looking at the process of building strong business credit.
I love loading up podcasts about small business financing on my phone and setting out for the day. I find that I take more walks and find time to have my ear buds in as I’m treated to some of the best content around on small business financing.
Side Hustle School: Chris Guillebeau is also the author of the $100 Startup (see below). Side Hustle School is a daily podcast of less than 10 minutes that highlights the types of businesses regular people are running on the side. Some of these side hustles make a few hundred dollars a month — others make tens of thousands of dollars.
Entrepreneur On Fire: Another daily podcast, but this one, hosted by John Lee Dumas, is a more in-depth discussion with small business (and some larger business) owners who have found the right formula to build growing, exciting businesses.
$100 MBA: Who needs to plunk down a hundred thousands dollars to get a Harvard MBA when you have the $100 MBA podcast? This weekly show used to be published daily and has an archive of nearly 900 episodes of a podcast that teaches about business financing and so much more.
Unemployable: This show was launched in late 2015 by Brian Clark, the man behind Copyblogger and many tools, services, and resources for small business owners and freelancers.
Fizzle Show: The three hosts of this show are a riot and it’s enjoyable to listen to these small business consultants when they’re working the magic. Fizzle is a community of small business entrepreneurs and many of the podcasts are highly educational.
Tropical MBA: One of my favorite shows, this podcast is produced by two location-independent (the dream, right?) entrepreneurs. While they interview guests about the challenges and successes they’ve had building small businesses, my favorite bits come when the hosts share more about their own businesses and their own process of mastering small business finances.
The online lending industry was pioneered by firms focused on providing loans to individuals. As the kinks got worked out, many new businesses entered the field. These newer businesses focused on servicing small businesses with financing. For SMBs, there are more flavors of lending than there are for individuals. Some of these lenders provide a single type of loan — others provide multiple forms of financing.
- Kabbage: Line of credit
- Behalf: Purchase financing
- Fundbox: Invoice factoring and lines of credit
- Bluevine: Invoice factoring and lines of credit
- StreetShares: Veteran-owned business loans
- SmartBiz: SBA loans
- Currency: Equipment financing
- Credibility Capital: Term loans
- OnDeck: Term loans and lines of credit
- Bond Street: Term loans
- Able Lending: SBA loans, term loans, lines of credit, invoice factoring, short term advance
6 books on small business finance that deserve a spot on your nightstand
The Greatest Salesman in the World (Og Mandino): I give this book away to friends as a gift. It’s really small and can be read in a single sitting (or two). What it lacks in page numbers the book gives back in wisdom. Og Mandino’s book is a guide to building a valuable business and should be read and reread yearly. If you could distill business know-how down to less than 100 pages with no charts or graphs. this book comes pretty close to it.
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (Eric Ries): Eric Ries’ concept of a lean startup really lead a movement of new companies being formed. Instead of rushing and fighting over large checks from outside investors like venture capitalists, the lean startup is very resourceful when it comes to spending money. But being cheap doesn’t mean you can’t be innovative and a lean startup follows a methodology to keep pushing the boundaries of a business and its finances without having to go to the till each time and raise more money.
Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business (Paul Downs)
The author started making custom furniture after graduating college and his book is more a memoir than it is a guide. But, like with all good memoirs, the wisdom is there for the taking as Downs has to learn on the job everything about small business financing, cash flows, taxes — everything to keep his business running.
Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine (Mike Michalowicz)
The author has written a few books on the science and art of running a small business’ finances. Previously a small business writer for the Wall Street Journal, Michalowicz’s book is a step-by-step guide to build a profitable small business by applying sound financing principles — some of which run contrary to modern-day accounting methods.
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future (Chris Guillebeau)
This book doesn’t focus on billion dollar startups that 3 twentysomethings created in their dorm room. Instead, the $100 Startup analyzes the types of companies regular people create and the tools and techniques they use to grow their business finances on the way up.
This book is considered a classic business book as the author attempts to explain why 40 percent of new businesses fail within their first year. Gerber provides a framework for small business owners over the lifecycle of their businesses — from idea to getting things started to managing growth.