Owning and managing a business isn’t easy. It takes hard work, long hours and sacrifice. You probably find yourself second guessing whether it’s worth it, or if you are even doing it right. Sometimes stepping back and getting a fresh perspective, hearing from like-minded individuals that face similar challenges, reading about those that have succeeded or learning from those that have failed, is what you need to stay inspired and remind yourself that you’ve got this.

To help you with the resources, support, inspiration and advice you need to keep doing what you’re doing as you grow your business step-by-step, here are some of our favourite websites that are worth adding to your reading list:

SME South Africa

A well put together site is usually a sign that the content will be excellent; this is the case with SME South Africa. Dealing with the challenges SMEs face in Africa, it provides business owners with important advice that can be applied to running a small business.  It covers relevant topics such as business finance, SME laws and regulations, marketing, technology, human resources, technology and leadership and alternative ways to fund your business. With all this valuable information at your fingertips, you will be able to get the information you require to make a business breakthrough.

Ventureburn

Ventureburn tells fascinating success stories of entrepreneurs and gives valuable tips to new businesses. They aim to “showcase and celebrate entrepreneurship in emerging markets, from Africa to Asia”. What’s great about the site is that it offers insight into how people have started their businesses from scratch and gives you an idea of how they carried out their business. Check out one of our articles on Ventureburn: Lulalend CEO on fairer finance opportunities for small businesses’ for ideas on how to fund your business.

Kickstart

With both a print magazine and online platform, Kickstart remains an asset for up-and-coming businesses. Published by Tuming Lee Studios, the publication notes that it’s suitable for the modern-day entrepreneur. But there’s good news for you tech savvy individuals out there; they have an online publication which has business news and advice. The site includes blogs on sales, HR, business strategies and compliance. With useful topics like ‘How to get that sale in 6 steps’, this site is bound to grab your attention.

Ideate

What makes ideate special is that it’s a blog written for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs. The obvious advantage – content is created by people who have faced common business challenges. Containing a vast range of categories to choose from, you can rest assured that all your bases are covered. Featuring content that is fresh, current and at times taking a tongue-in-cheek approach, this blog will spark your interest and inspire you to face your business challenges head-on.

Small Business Forum

This professional forum encourages the growth and development of small businesses. There is also a library filled with resources which will assist you to market, manage and grow a successful business. SBF is passionate about supporting small businesses in their development. It’s a useful place to discuss issues with other business owners and gather practical advice. Since membership is free, you would be silly to not sign up.

National Small Business Chamber (NSBC)

This non-profit membership organisation fosters the sustainability and growth of small businesses. They host the popular NSBC Summit yearly as well as other events that will aid in helping your business. These events are a powerful way to network and increase leads, so it is worthwhile to keep up with their latest offerings. The real gem though is the content on their sister site: the small business site. It includes articles in a wide range of topics that will give you the help you need to take your business up a notch.

SME Toolkit South Africa

The Toolkit, a joint initiative between Business Partners, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and IBM offers easy access to information, resources and online training relevant to SMEs across industries and business sectors. They have practical tools like the Return on Assets Ratio Calculator. There is also a monthly newsletter on offer with SME news updates when you register on the site.

Entrepreneur magazine

If you’re looking for a ‘how-to guide’ for running your business, then this site is the way to go. What’s nifty is that they offer solutions for entrepreneurs and managers and they cover topics on the latest trends in management, sales, marketing, technology and finance so that you can improve your existing business.

Entrepreneurship in a Box

If you are relatively new to the business world you can use all the free tools you can find. Entrepreneurship in a Box caters for those who need help in terms of building their business, by offering key tools that will aid them. There are various templates to download for free, including a marketing plan, a SWOT analysis template, sales forecast templates and competitor analysis templates.

Forbes

Well known for its rankings of the richest people in the world, Forbes has been added to many a reading lists. Focusing on South African websites is vital but it also helps to get an international perspective on business news. Use the site to catch up on the latest business news or simply gather the motivation to make your business a force to be reckoned with. The editor’s pick, in particular, offers constructive advice on how to manage your business.

With all these websites available to you, it is easy to find the assistance you need to drive positive change in your business. But even with all these important tools, you may still battle to find access to funding your business. There are many expenses to consider such as paying staff, purchasing inventory and implementing marketing strategies.

Lulalend offers quick and easy access to short term business funding, so all you need to worry about is paying full attention to the aspects of your business that drive expansion, new business development and customer satisfaction (with the help of all these brilliant websites of course). If you would like to find out how Lulalend can help your business flourish, DOWNLOAD OUR CASE STUDY with Cape Coffee Beans.

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