120 Essential Small Business Resources For 2020 📈
We know resources can be tight and knowing where to start can be difficult for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses. That's why we pulled together this list of websites and companies that will make your life a little easier.
So whether you're just getting started or need help with a more advanced business problem, we hope this small business resource list will come in handy!
Blogs, Podcasts, & Publications
It always helps to get a new perspective when you're stuck. Follow, subscribe, and seek advice from these great resources to get fresh ideas and small business insight.
- Lucky Break Consulting – A successful entrepreneur shares her tools and advices with others.
- Handmade Seller Magazine – This print and digital magazine focuses on artisan entrepreneurs.
- Made Urban – Big business tactics don't work on small business customers. See how this woman recommends you increase sales locally.
- Entrepreneurs on Fire – This podcast interviews entrepreneurs like you to help push your dreams forward.
Business Name Generators
Your company name can make or break the success of your business. When it comes time to put something on paper, do your due diligence. These helpful tools will present unique options (and sometimes related URLs) to get your wheels turning.
- Domain Name Generator – This smart tool uses synonyms, suffixes, prefixes, and more to find the perfect domain name.
- Shopify name generator – As a website builder, Shopify searches name ideas and checks domain name availability at the same time.
- WordLab name generators – This keyword/sentence generator spits out completely random options for you to consider.
- Namelix – This site finds short, brandable names related to keywords you specify.
- BNG – Business Name Generator produces thousands of results based on your search queries.
- Namesmith.io – A more creative tool, Namesmith.io offers random or curated options.
- Dot-o-mator – This site allows you to write two columns of keywords, it then pairs all of them together.
- Wordoid – Users enter keywords on the left and are presented with names that begin with, end with, or contain a fragment of the original query.
- Lean Domain Search – Best for eliminating the crazier options, this tool produces "sensible" company names.
Get more advice when it comes to naming your business.
If you have teams, clients, vendors, or partners around the world, these tools are the best at helping you connect and stay in touch.
- Microsoft Teams – Formerly Skype, this site offers everything you need to collaborate.
- Zoom Meetings – Self-dubbed a simplified video conferencing and messaging company, use Zoom Meetings to video conference, message, and share content.
- Free Conference Call – If you don't have a direct line or want to make multi-person calls easier, try FreeConferenceCall.com.
- Slack – This app makes communicating with coworkers as easy as texting.
Containers & Packaging
You can't have a product without some sort of packaging. Here are some popular vendors in the small business space.
- OnlineLabels.com – One of the internet's leading label suppliers, this vendor sells hundreds of label sizes and dozens of label materials to help you brand nearly any product.
- No Issue Tissue – This unique vendor helps small businesses create custom tissue paper for retail bags, shipping boxes, and more.
- eBottles – Food bottles, cosmetic bottles, essential oil bottles, oh my.
- Meridian Specialty Packaging – Look like the big leagues with premium packaging options available in small quantities.
- Fantastapack – This box maker will print custom boxes for your ecommerce operation.
- The Box Maker – Custom isn't out of reach with this printed packaging and box supplier.
- Copious Bags – Pouches and bags may take up less space when shipping and save you money!
If you're not a professional designer, don't worry. These resources will help you conquer various stages of the design process so your final product is something to be proud of.
- Niice – Pinterest for designers, this site is for saving design inspiration.
- Colour Lovers – If you're unsure about what color combinations to use, Colour Lovers can help.
- The League of Moveable Type – This site is great for finding new and creative fonts for your brand.
- Subtle Patterns – A Photoshop plug-in, Subtle Patterns brings you a world of backgrounds and textures.
- Adobe Color CC – An automatic color picker, this site helps you observe traditional complimentary and analogous color rules.
Explore these tools in depth in our comprehensive design resource guide.
Update your customers about new products, exciting announcements, and more with a professional newsletter system. These platforms make it easy to use pre-made templates or create your own.
- Mailchimp – The most user-friendly of all email marketing platforms, MailChimp makes sending high-quality newsletters easy and fun.
- Constant Contact – A more all-inclusive option, this site offers website building and social ad creation in addition to email marketing.
- iContact – One of the oldest newsletter platforms out there, build templates and communicate professionally with your customers.
For small businesses and even large ones, there becomes a point where it's more efficient to outsource your shipping and handling. If you're ready to spend your time and energy elsewhere, here are some of the big players.
- Fulfillment by Amazon – If you're already selling on Amazon, the shopping giant makes it easy to take the extra work off your hands.
- eFulfillment Service – This service has a low cost associated with it and it integrates with martketplaces you may already be using (Etsy, eBay, etc).
- Rakuten Super Logistics – Part of a larger company, Rakuten can offer value-adds that fulfillment-only companies can't match.
- Fulfillment.com – This service markets itself to businesses selling worldwide.
- IDS Fulfillment – Returns can be another headache to consider with retail, but IDS can handle that for you, too.
- FedEx Fulfillment – One of the tried-and-true carriers in traditional shipping, you can trust FedEx to get your product to customers.
- Red Stag Fulfillment – This company was started by business owners who knew there was a better way to fulfill large, heavy orders.
- ShipBob – This tech-first solution focuses on delivering your packages quickly.
- ShipMonk – For businesses focused on scaling growth, ShipMonk makes it easy with technology-driven solutions.
Check out more information on each 3PL/fulfillment provider.
Funding & Support
Starting a business can make things tough financially and put you a lot of situations you may not know how to handle. Use these resources to keep pushing your dreams forward.
- Small Business Administration (SBA) – From navigating business laws to providing incubators, financing, and networking, the SBA is a great free resource.
- Your local government office – Many cities want to help you start a local business and will offer support to help you do so.
- Score – Help is on the way with the nation's largest network of mentors.
See what other small business resources are available to entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small business owners.
Label Design Software
When it comes to designing your labels – whether you're labeling products, file folders, or items in your pantry – these resources have your back.
- Maestro Label Designer – This free, web-based program offers design and printing options customized for label users.
- The Print Shop – A small business partner, this CD program can help you design brochures, labels, newsletters, and more.
- Label Factory Deluxe – This disc set is great for creating custom CD face labels, file folder labels, and more.
Tackle complicated business endeavors with the help of these free generators and services.
- Barcode Generator – When you need barcodes for inventory management or retail, this generator makes it easy.
- Tapered Label Generator – Unique containers look great but can be difficult to label, until now.
- QR Code Generator – This unique tool allows you to create content-packed codes readable by most smartphones.
- Nutrition Label Generator – FDA compliance is key to keep your business running, use this tool to provide your nutrition facts in the proper format.
- GHS Label Generator – If your workplace has exposure to chemicals, this tool makes it easy to add the right warnings.
Browse more tools for business.
Merchant Services & Payment Gateways
Discover the best companies to help your business accept and process payments. These companies secure the customer's information and communicate with the two banking parties involved, all within a matter of seconds.
- Authorize.Net – This platform is widely accepted as one of the best gateway providers in the merchant services industry.
- Square – If you're selling online and in-store, Square makes it easy.
- Intuit QuickBooks – Part of the Quickbooks family, this system has a simple payment structure and is easy to use.
- Amazon Payments – Known more commonly as Amazon Pay, you can integrate this button into your websites and let customers pay using cards on their Amazon account.
- PayPal – Much like its Amazon counterpart, you can integrate a PayPal button in your checkout process and let customers check out with a payment processor they trust.
- Stripe – Liked for its versatility, you can accept payments in-store, on mobile, online, and through invoices.
Get more information on merchant services and payment processors.
Get your products in front of more customers with these options for online sellers. We included both B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) sites on the list so you can pick the best option for your company.
- Amazon – The online shopping behemoth is used by more than 197 million people around the world each month.
- Etsy – Consumers know Etsy as the go-to site for handmade, artisanal goods.
- eBay – This once-popular site is making a comeback and has gotten particularly large in the clothing and use goods categories.
- Walmart – Everyone is familiar with the Sam Walton brand and flocks to it for affordable products.
- aftcra – Limited to handmade crafters in the United States, this site has no listing fees and prides itself on a family-like approach to business.
- ArtFire – Created to build a community, ArtFire is an international online marketplace for makers and indie businesses.
- craiglist – The online classifieds, craigslist has categories for every type of listing from furniture to résumés.
- Facebook Marketplace – A selling platform within Facebook, this site is great for new and used items in your local area and beyond.
- indieCart – indieCart is the perfect place for environmentally conscious consumers to shop for their homes and families.
- RangeMe – This platform connects sellers with buyers from large corporations including Target, Ulta, and more.
- Faire – Buyers on this site are shopping to fill their small shops and boutiques.
- FGvendors – Marketed as an online tradeshow, FGvendors is one of the oldest sites of its kind.
- Joor – This platform is specifically a fashion wholesaling site.
- NuOrder – Large companies like Nordstrom use NuOrder to source fashionable clothing.
Find out if you should sell on a marketplace versus your own website or learn more about each of the B2B wholesale marketplaces listed above.
Point of Sale Systems
Find the best check-out system for your business. Figure out what services you need, which cost extra, and which will over-complicate your process.
- Square Point of Sale – This system is quite popular, you may recognize it as the white square credit card readers around town.
- Vend POS – Best for e-commerce businesses, Vend focuses on inventory-oriented process and purchases.
- Bindo POS – If you're looking for something simple and without all the bells and whistles, this is it.
- Intuit Quickbooks Point of Sale – As an offshoot of Quicken, this will integrate nicely with your QuickBooks system.
- NCR Silver Point of Sale – With over 135 years in the industry, you can trust NCR (originally National Cash Register).
- Shopify – If you build your website on Shopify, then this system integrates seamlessly.
- ShopKeep – Designed for brick-and-mortar businesses, ShopKeep will power your in-person business.
- Poster – Created with food service businesses and shops in mind, this POS is robust without being overcomplicated.
Better understand POS systems for small business and learn more about each vendor listed above.
Take charge of your public image – get yourself out there and monitor the chatters with these helpful PR tools for small business owners.
- Help A Reporter Out – This free daily email helps connect reporters and journalists with experts and sources like you!
- BuzzStream – Give the influencer marketing concept a try with this platform and web-based service.
- Mention – Tracking your mentions online is easy with this full-service platform.
Tracking sales year-over-year is important for every business owner. Make it easier on yourself with this set of tools and integrations.
- SalesForce – With integrations for nearly everything, SalesForce works smarter to provide intelligent reporting.
- Quickbooks – This platform has the capability to generate standard and custom reports so you can see a 360° picture of your business.
- HubSpot CRM – Individual reports are a thing of the past with HubSpot's dashboard, a collection of your most important metrics.
- Pipedrive – Don't wait to reports to generate, view your sales in real-time with Pipedrive.
- Monday.com – This organizational assistant offers a customizable way for you to track your business.
- Zendesk Sell – The future is here with sales forecasting tools and prediction abilities.
- MailChimp Marketing CRM – This all-in-one marketing platform can help you collect data, organize it, and even automate some of your efforts.
Find out why you should start tracking sales and how these services can help.
Search Engine Optimization Tools
Consumers put value in online search results and your position within them. Understand where your business stands and how you can continually climb in the rankings with these helpful SEO resources.
- Ahrefs – One of the most popular paid marketing tools in the world, Ahrefs can provide detailed analysis on your domain, product pages, articles, and more.
- Moz – This platform's tools and free content can help everyone from beginners to SEO professionals improve their online presence.
Don't forget to make an informed decision when it comes to selecting a shipping carrier. This can play a huge part in your customers' experience and affect your bottom line.
- United States Postal Service (USPS) – This courier is the only public delivery carrier so it's prices are lower but it operates on a government schedule.
- UPS – Revered for its speedy delivery, UPS offers more than just simple package delivery.
- FedEx – Best for heavy packages or large boxes, FedEx doesn't require weights or dimensions to ship your products.
Increase efficiency getting products out the door with the appropriate shipping labels for each carrier.
Take control of your shipping processes with these dedicated software services. They can help you organize your outgoing orders, print shipping labels, and more.
- ShipStation – If you're looking for a multi-carrier option, ShipStation is your best bet with savings on FedEx, UPS, DHL, and USPS.
- ShippingEasy – This full-serice solution includes email marketing and a slew of other additional features.
- Shippo – Another multi-carrier option, Shippo passes on big savings for shippers using USPS, UPS, and DHL Express.
- Stamps.com – This pioneer in the space combines discounted USPS rates with automated tools/
- PayPal – Known for its payment processing, PayPal also offers reduced UPS and USPS rates and simplifies the steps.
- Pirate Ship – This company brings commercial USPS pricing to small businesses and helps with the process along the way.
Many of these platforms reformat the carrier's standard shipping label. Check that you have the right shipping label sizes for third-party integrations.
Social Media Management
You should be where your customers are, which is online and on social. They're plugged in every step of the way and these platforms will help you keep up.
- Hootsuite – Leading the charge in free social media management, Hootsuite offers the ability post to multiple channels at once.
- Sprout Social – This social solution is designed to help businesses make connections with their customers.
- Buffer – An analytics, monitoring, and posting platform, Buffer makes social media easy.
From social media posts to advertisements and website imagery, your business needs access to high-quality photos. These sites offer robust libraries and search features to help you find exactly what you're looking for.
- Burst – Powered by Spotify, this free photos site includes thousands of images for commercial and personal use.
- Twenty20 – Crowdsourced from photographers all over the world, Twenty20 features millions of free authentic images.
- Pexels – Royalty and attribution-free, these free photos are available for use anywhere.
- Pixabay – In addition to photos, Pixabay also offers free illustrations, vectors, and video footage.
- iStock – One of the most popular paid platforms, you'll find photos and videos for very niche requests.
- Shutterstock – The most comprehensive option, Shutterstock sells photos, images, videos, and music.
Website Builders & Content Management Systems
Nowadays, every business should be online – whether you're a brick-and-mortar store or not. Here are the best options for getting your new company on the internet, connecting with customers, and highlighting your work.
- Shopify – One of the more popular platforms out there, Shopify is easy to use and plays well with others.
- Jumpseller – This option excels for non-native English speakers with support in 23 languages.
- Squarespace – Another recognizable name on the list, Squarespace is known for its elegant design templates.
- Wix – This platform is great for computer users who aren't super savvy.
- Weebly – Owned by Square, Weebly offers easy-to-use and advanced features for all kinds of users.
- Carrd – For simple portfolio and resume sites, this builder shines.
- Tilda – If you're focused on creating a simple site that's beautiful over everything else, you'll be happy with Tilda.
- WordPress – This site started as a blogging platform but has grown to be so much more.
- BigCommerce – Used by dozens of big-name brands, BigCommerce is a versatile enterprise solution.
- WooCommerce – Built on Wordpress, this site is easily customizable and free for the base level.
- Magento – With more than $100 billion in gross merchandise volume, this platform is ideal for a business that intends to grow and scale extensively.
Compare website builders in more detail, or decide if you should move your business to a marketplace.
You're on the path to success, keep on pushing forward. Trust OnlineLabels.com to help your business with everything labeling. For more advice and expertise, check out our article library.
Is there a category or resource you think we should add? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.