When you’re running a small business, you need all the help you can get. So why not tap into the minds of experts?
Many successful entrepreneurs who understand the nuts and bolts of operating a small business—and the challenges—maintain blogs that offer helpful advice on the tricks of the trade.
We talked to business owners to uncover five small business blogs that they’re reading and you shouldn’t miss:
If you want to stretch your mind, check out entrepreneur Seth Godin’s blog. Godin, the author of 12 best-selling marketing books, casts fresh light on the marketing world, often reflecting on how success relies on thinking about ideas and products in unconventional ways. Recent musings include being a rock star for five minutes a day and how to go viral with your ideas. “He reminds me how to be outrageous and use that to build an audience,” says Shel Horowitz, an ethical and green marketing expert, and author of Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green: Winning Strategies to Improve Your Profits and Your Planet.
Duct Tape Marketing is about simple, efficient marketing methods for small business owners on a tight budget. Marketing and digital technology coach John Jantsch, and his guest bloggers, offer common-sense tips that are easy to put into practice. “I find his perspective often makes me think a bit differently about something I’d missed,” Horowitz says. Jantsch recently asked his readers to refer their contacts to small businesses, encouraging them to tweet every Monday on Twitter about the referrals they made.
The Toilet Paper Entreprenuer is a community of business owners who rally around the book (of the same name) and business philosophy of author and entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz. His blog centers on how to use limited resources in innovative ways, for cash flow management and deal negotiation, among other things. “The content can be quite humorous and also keeps me abreast of new technologies,” says Heather Lopez, owner of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Happy and Healthy Mom.com and Become Better Brands, a social network.
The Results Revolution blog is part of a larger initiative to create strong local economies around small businesses. Watch an interview with a successful small business owner, or read about how to create an effective window display, or when to launch an e-mail marketing campaign. “This site offers our management staff the kind of up-to-date information which we need to enhance our skills as recruiters, especially when it comes to social networking and promoting local business,” says David Waugh, executive recruiter at Jackson, Miss.-based Professional Staffing Group, LLC.
Branding Blog’s Dave Young provides helpful marketing advice for the folks on Main Street with a brick-and-mortar presence. Young writes with a casual, down-to-earth tone, offering helpful tips like how to enable word-of-mouth marketing for your business. “He covers a lot of ground without being too preachy or being a one-trick pony with one grand idea that gets marched out time and again,” says Phil Wrzesinski, owner of the Jackson, Mich.-based Toy House and Baby Too.
The Entreprenette Gazette’s Sarah Shaw equips small business owners to successfully sell their products. You can ask Shaw, who began her own businesses after launching a line of popular handbags, about anything—from getting your products into the hands of celebrities to finding a manufacturer. She supplies answers in the blog. “Her blog has helped me to resolve many tricky business situations and has also given me some amazing ideas to help propel my business forward,” says Lisa Cabanes, owner of Social Couture, an online store for home décor and entertaining products.
Which small business blogs do you read? Let us know in the comments field below.