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How to Find an IT Provider for Your Small Business

Hiring an IT support provider often gives you an entire team of experts for less than it would cost to keep a single full-time IT employee on staff. Here's how to find an IT provider for your small business.

Jon Schram |

5 Reasons You Might Not Qualify for an SBA Loan

Seeking an SBA loan? Unfortunately, many businesses that want SBA loans get turned away by banks. Here are the 5 main reasons that SBA loan applicants get rejected, and what your alternatives are.

Marc Prosser |

How to Ask Family and Friends to Fund Your Business

Considering asking your friends and family to help fund a business? Many small businesses and startups turn to family and friends for funding. To do so successfully (and without damaging the relationship in the process), you'll want to follow these tips.

Lisa Furgison |

How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency Without Outside Funding

It’s easier to start a digital marketing agency without funding than people might think. Here's how one entrepreneur did it—from bootstrapping, to useful tools, to how (and when) to hire employees.

Aaron Agius |

Why SWOT Analysis Belongs in Your Business Plan

Why add SWOT analysis into your business plan and the strategic planning process? The SWOT phase was vital to the planning process for Palo Alto Software, and helped the company grow from zero to over $5 million in annual sales. Here's how SWOT analysis helped PAS scale, and how to add SWOT analysis to your…

Tim Berry |

Valuation: Is Your Small Business as Priceless as You Think?

After spending years building your small business, it can be hard to put a price on it. Your company probably seems priceless to you, but there inevitably will come a time when you must calculate precisely how much your business is worth. Here's how to do it.

Jim Moran |

Planning Your Exit Strategy for Your Small Business or Startup

Start planning your business’s exit strategy now, whether you want to be acquired, go public with an IPO, or sell to your employees.

Candice Landau |

If Facebook Disappeared Tomorrow, Would You Lose All Your Customer Data?

Most social platforms are optimized for engagement only within that platform. The problem? Social media success doesn't always translate into real value for your company. Here's how to use social media as part of your marketing strategy—without losing control of your customer data and wasting time and resources.

Tyler King |


Free Resources for Entrepreneurs

Business Plan Template Download

Stuck looking at a blank page? Get to know the general layout of a standard business plan with this free template.

One-Page Business Pitch Template

Validate a new business idea, or quickly develop your business strategy by starting with a one-page pitch. Do this before you plan!

Tim Berry's Guide to Starting a Business

Expert guidance on starting a business from business planning authority Tim Berry.

The Art of Pitching for Funding eBook

Need Cash? Pitching expert, Caroline Cummings, shares pitch techniques, secrets and tools in this easy-to-read guide.

Free SWOT Analysis Template

Develop smart strategies to grow your business by conducting a simple SWOT Analysis. Start with this one-page template.

"Start, Run & Grow Your Business" ebook

Tips and advice for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to take their company to the next level.

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Bplans offers free business plan samples and templates, business planning resources, How-to articles, financial calculators, industry reports and entrepreneurship webinars.