If you don’t have a large budget with enough capital to invest in professional cyber security software, you should at least take the minimum precautions to make your small business operate as safely as possible. Here are a few resources your small business should try that don’t cost you anything but a few minutes.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. Here are three free cyber security tools for your business.

If you don’t have a large budget with enough capital to invest in professional cyber security software, you should at least take the minimum precautions to make your small business operate as safely as possible. You can take a look at the FCC’s Cyber Security Tips list for a few free ways you can operate your business securely.

LastPass

How much it costs: Free for individuals, paid plans starting at $2 a month

What it does: Never remember your complex passwords for dozens of websites? Always remember because you use the same, weak password? LastPass is a trustworthy site that will generate secure passwords for each website, account, and email you need. It will safely store your passwords for future use. If you want to upgrade to premium personal or a business account, you have even more security features at your disposal such as emergency access, passwords for applications, access to team passwords, and more.

Avira

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Avira Free Security Suite is a free antivirus tool perfect for low-budget small businesses like yours. Avira offers a free VPN, password manager, anonymous web browsing extension, safe shopping tools, third-party tracking blocker, and even a tool to check up your computer so see what’s slowing you down and what is a security issue. The only problem? Avira is available for Windows only.

Avast 

How much it costs: Free with paid premium plans

What it does: Available for Windows, Mac, and Android, Avast is another great antivirus software. In addition to standard antivirus features, Avast will inspect your Wi-Fi for weaknesses, automatically scan downloads, and keep an eye on your applications for suspicious behavior before you run into trouble. Paid premium business plans offer additional security features such as webcam shield, a secure VPN, permanent data shredder, and access to the software on all your small business devices.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Google may be a business super giant, but it wants to provide you with as much of a boost as it can for your own business to succeed. Here are a few resources your small business needs that don’t cost you anything but a few minutes.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. Here are five free Google tools for your business.

Google may be a business super giant, but it wants to provide you with as much of a boost as it can for your own business to succeed. Here are a few resources your small business needs that don’t cost you anything but a few minutes.

Google My Business

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Whether you have one location or several, claiming your business on Google with help people find accurate information about you. Reviews and photos are still really important things potential customers look for before they visit or buy from a business. With this free resource, you can reply to reviews, see insights of how people are finding your business, add photos, include business hours and contact information, let people find your business on Google Maps, and even create ads!

Think With Google

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Need to keep up-to-date with market trends but don’t have enough time to dig into the research? Google created a hub of information for you to access for free. Easily find consumer trends and insights, emerging technologies that could get your business ahead of the game, marketing resources, new markets for your small business’ growth, and more.

Google Drive

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Let’s start with the most useful tool Google has in it’s business tools arsenal. We’ve written about how Google Drive is super helpful for organizing your business, but it is more than a cloud storage and collaboration tool. With Forms, you can create surveys to gain insights from your customers, manage your finance spreadsheets without paying for an expensive platform, create a free website, and more with additional free business apps that will connect to your Drive!

Google Analytics

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Having a website is vital for your small business, and knowing your online traffic is important for deciding how to be optimize your site. Google Analytics may seem complicated to navigate at first, but there are tons of easy-to-read guides that will show you the ropes. Use Analytics to see page views, how long people stay on pages, when people visit (which will help if you decide to use Google Adwords), where your site visitors come from and what they’re doing on your website. Having a website isn’t enough in today’s harsh business world, but this free tool will help you use yours best!

Get Your Business Online

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This resource is a great place to discover the world of Google services for your small business. It helps you get your business listed when potential customers search for you – which is extremely helpful for adding business hours, events, photos, contact information, and reviews! You can also build your small business website if you don’t already have one (or need a modernization), and you get access to marketing advice and workshops.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Access to small business resources and advice can make a major difference for your business. The key to getting started on the right path is knowing where to look for the tools and help you need. Spanish speaking small business owners have options among several organizations around California that provide tailor-made services and all are free to join. 

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. Here are five of the best resource centers for Spanish speaking small business owners.

Access to small business resources and advice can make a major difference for your business. The key to getting started on the right path is knowing where to look for the tools and help you need. Spanish speaking small business owners have options among several organizations around California that provide tailor-made services and all are free to join.

English speaking entrepreneurs can help support Spanish speaking business owners in their communities by promoting and sharing these bilingual organizations. Each organization listed below offers full service small business resources in both English and Spanish.

SBDC East Los Angeles Initiative

How much it costs: Free to join | No cost one-on-one consulting services | Free and low-cost workshops and webinars

What it does: Like the other Small Business Development Centers around the state and the U.S., the SBDC East L.A. Initiative supports local small business owners by providing no cost assistance in business planning, management, marketing, sales, procurement, and strategic planning as well as access to financing.

SBDC East L.A. hosts free and low cost in-person and online workshops and seminars throughout the month to give small business owners hands-on experience with key business ownership skills like business plans, taxes, legal, and more. The East L.A. Initiative also offers several workshops in Spanish each month.

Join them for new client orientations every month and learn how the SBDC can help your small business grow. If you’re not in the Los Angeles area, click here to find the SBDC near you. Many centers in California offer bilingual English/Spanish services!

Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center

How much it costs: Free to join | No cost consulting services for women entrepreneurs | Free and low-cost workshops and webinars with scholarships and financial assistance available

What it does: The Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center helps women and minority small business owners start and grow their businesses with specialized programs based on the needs of their clients. Their four locations in the San Francisco Bay Area—two in San Francisco, one in East Palo Alto, one in Richmond—offer a variety of services for small business owners like a business incubator, monthly networking meetups, and workshops and seminars with many programs geared specifically for women small business owners.

The Richmond location offers Renaissance Center’s bilingual English/Spanish programs. The organization also features financial assistance and scholarships to help all business owners afford the help they need to succeed.

La Cocina

How much it costs: No cost orientation and office hours for incubator applicants

What it does: La Cocina’s incubator kitchen in San Francisco has launched some of the Bay Area’s most exciting food microbusinesses, including Opportunity Funded Onigilly and Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas.

The program provides a year long business incubator program for qualified applicants that features technical assistance to establish to launch their business and kitchen space to develop their business skills. Upon graduation from the program, incubator candidates will have mastered the entrepreneurial skills necessary to continue business development on their own. Orientation and office hours to prepare for the incubator’s application are free.

La Cocina specifically serves low-income microbusiness entrepreneurs with less than 5 employees and $35,000 in assets. The program has a focus on helping women and people of color launch their food-based businesses and all services are available in both English and Spanish.

Get in Motion

How much it costs: Free to join | Free and low-cost workshops and webinars

What it does: Get in Motion’s focus is helping Latino small business owners in the Inland Empire with free and low cost business consulting and events. Through a mix of low-cost events—in person, webinars, and videos—Get in Motion provides the help small business owners need to get ahead.

Get in Motion also features seminars and programs for women small business owners and is a great place to start for Latino business owners in the Inland Empire, whether they’re a startup or looking to get to the next phase of their growth.

Get in Motion’s website is available in both English and Spanish, with many events available primarily in Spanish. Contact Get in Motion for more information.

El Pájaro CDC

How much it costs: Free to join | Low-cost consulting services | Free and low-cost workshops

What it does: El Pájaro CDC supports microbusiness entrepreneurs in Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey counties. The organization focuses on small business owners with access to limited resources by providing business consulting, training, incubuation, and consulting services in English and Spanish.

El Pájaro CDC offers some industry specific programs for microbusiness entrepreneurs like a commercial kitchen incubator and child care. One of our most successful borrowers got started on her road to success with El Pájaro CDC: Aurora Garibay of Bridal & Tuxedo World.

Keep up with El Pájaro CDC’s schedule of events on their Eventbrite page.


We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

As a busy entrepreneur, you may not have time to read through long business books or attend classes. However, you can find short periods of time when you could listen to an educational podcast recorded for small business owners. This is your toolbox for five free podcasts.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free podcasts.

As a busy entrepreneur, you may not have time to read through long business books or attend classes. However, you can find short periods of time when you could listen to an educational podcast recorded for small business owners. This is your toolbox for five free podcasts.

 

Business of Fashion

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Why should you care about a fashion podcast if you aren’t in the fashion industry? Not only does BoF’s podcast tackle business-related topics that can be applied to many small businesses, but they also bring in other industry leaders and entrepreneurs. These 20 minute podcasts are great for listening to while taking a brisk walk, eating your lunch, or on your commute.

“The Business of Fashion has gained a global following as an essential daily resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs in over 200 countries. It is frequently described as ‘indispensable,’ ‘required reading’ and ‘an addiction.’”

Available on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, and on Business of Fashion’s website.

Masters of Scale

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This entertaining, half-hour podcast series aims to help you scale your small business. Do you want your business to stay small and stagnate, or do you want it to grow in profits and success? This podcast features interviews with founders who successfully grew their business’ and their stories that will inspire you.

“How do companies grow from zero to a gazillion? Legendary Silicon Valley investor / entrepreneur Reid Hoffman tests his theories with famous founders. Guests include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg & Sheryl Sandberg, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Spanx’s Sara Blakely. With original music and hilariously honest stories, the show sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard. Masters of Scale is a WaitWhat original series in association with Stitcher.”

Available on iTunes, Tunein, Stitcher, and on Masters of Scale’s website.

Online Marketing Made Easy

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Amy Porterfield offers lunch break-sized podcast episodes for small business owners and entrepreneurs to learn digital marketing without spending a lot of their hard-earned money on classes. If marketing your business is not your strongest talent, this podcast can help you improve!

Amy Porterfield is a marketing strategist helping entrepreneurs build their business online.

Available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Amy Porterfield’s website.

Entre Leadership

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This highly rated podcast hosted by Dave Ramsey – a national best-selling author and radio host – and his team aims to help you be a better leader and entrepreneur. Each topic lasts less than an hour and features valuable interviews with hugely successful business people. “Of leaders, by leaders, for leaders.”

Hosted by Ken Coleman, the EntreLeadership Podcast features lively discussions and tips on leadership and business by some of the top minds in the business, like Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Jim Collins and Simon Sinek.

Available on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, and Entre Leadership’s website.

Business Story of the Day

How much it costs: Free

What it does: This podcast is for the more experienced entrepreneurs who don’t necessarily want to spend their precious free time relearning the basics of business but are interested in keeping up with world events and new developments in the business world.

“NPR’s top stories about business, money, Wall Street, companies, and the economy that you can’t miss. Subscribe to the Business Story of the Day RSS feed.”

Available on TuneIn, Stitcher, and NPR’s website.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

With wide-spread home internet and decreasing public funding, libraries may seem like a relic of the past. But these local hubs of knowledge still offer amazing, completely free resources that you can use to grow your business. This is your toolbox for five free ways the library helps entrepreneurs.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free ways the library helps entrepreneurs.

With wide-spread home internet and decreasing public funding, libraries may seem like a relic of the past. But these local hubs of knowledge still offer amazing, completely free resources that you can use to grow your business. This is your toolbox for five free ways the library helps entrepreneurs.

 

Amenities

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Libraries almost all offer free Wi-Fi, computer access, meeting rooms, and inexpensive printers and faxes. If your small business is home-based or if you just need a quiet space to get work done, your local library has many amenities for you to use.

Workshops and Classes

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Libraries often sponsor space and resources for organizations like SCORE to host workshops, classes, and mentoring. Some even have business resource information centers which can provide you with even more resources, information, and organizations to get assistance from. Your local branch may not advertise these, so make sure to ask directly. If they don’t, consider giving back to your community and hosting one yourself for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Research

How much it costs: Free

What it does: The most obvious way libraries can help you is through their vast inventory of books, periodicals, and research librarians. If mentoring isn’t right for you – or you just want to learn for yourself – you can easily research any business topic you need to brush up on.

Advertising

How much it costs: Low-cost

What it does: Many libraries have bulletin boards that allow you to post flyers and small adverts for your small business. Some are even starting to offer low-cost advertising opportunities (such as in windows, on bookmarks, in restrooms, etc.) for local businesses to combat declining library funding. You can also host your own workshops, offer mentoring, or donate your services to other library events in exchange for getting the word out and networking with potential customers.

Fairs and Expositions

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Occasionally, a large library will host a craft fair or STEM exposition to support local businesses and library patrons. Keep an eye out for these opportunities to offer your products and connect with new audiences.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free ecommerce tools.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free ecommerce tools.

Online retail is an important, exciting step in the growth of your small business. Once you’ve decided how you want to start selling online, look for free resources that will fit your needs.We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you build, manage, and sell your products online.

 

Bonanza

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Whether or not you are already selling online, Bonanza is an easy way to get your items out to an even greater market with minimal effort. You can start selling immediately for free or upload an inventory list from your current ecommerce platform. This service only charges fees when you sell your item, you don’t have to front any money just to get your items listed. Their 9% fee is low-cost compared to other bigger ecommerce platforms, and it includes Google advertising!

Prestashop

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Prestashop is really great for launching your small business’ own ecommerce website. If you don’t want to pay another company to host your items, this is a good route to go. Choose from shop templates and tools to build your ecommerce site through Prestashop, accept credit cards and Paypal securely, capture customers on mobile, take advantage of built-in SEO tools, track stock inventory, get the latest legal and tax changes, and even more. Here are some free design tools to help you build your ecommerce site. Everything is free with no selling fees, but you can pay for additional widgets to expand your selling power.

Woocommerce

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Woocommerce is a plugin for WordPress to enable you to sell on your business’ existing website. In addition to standard hosting features, you get to keep control of your customer’s data with secure passcodes. This free service also offers a storefront template so you don’t have to worry about your WordPress theme conflicting with optional paid widgets that you can add to your account.

Cubecart

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Cubecart is a completely free, open source ecommerce tool for more tech-savvy business owners. However, if you like what they offer but don’t know how to set it up, look into hiring a low-cost freelancer to help you out. Cubecart’s free features are extensive with fully customizable code for coupons, catalogs, template skins, social plugins, item categories, shipping quotes, sales statistics, language options, newsletters, Google Analytics, foreign currency support, contact forms, database backup, affiliate program trackers, and dozens more!

Opencart

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Opencart is an open source tool with easy setup for business owners with limited coding knowledge. Set up your shop with multiple languages and currencies, built-in affiliate programs, basic sales reporting and analytics, automatic mobile responsiveness, and more extensions that you can buy in their marketplace to advance your ecommerce site or integrate your brick-and-mortar business with your online storefront.

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free ecommerce tools.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free ecommerce tools.

Online retail is an important, exciting step in the growth of your small business. Once you’ve decided how you want to start selling online, look for free resources that will fit your needs. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you build, manage, and sell your products online.

Bonanza

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Whether or not you are already selling online, Bonanza is an easy way to get your items out to an even greater market with minimal effort. You can start selling immediately for free or upload an inventory list from your current ecommerce platform. This service only charges fees when you sell your item, you don’t have to front any money just to get your items listed. Their 9% fee is low-cost compared to other bigger ecommerce platforms, and it includes Google advertising!

Prestashop

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Prestashop is really great for launching your small business’ own ecommerce website. If you don’t want to pay another company to host your items, this is a good route to go. Choose from shop templates and tools to build your ecommerce site through Prestashop, accept credit cards and Paypal securely, capture customers on mobile, take advantage of built-in SEO tools, track stock inventory, get the latest legal and tax changes, and even more. Here are some free design tools to help you build your ecommerce site. Everything is free with no selling fees, but you can pay for additional widgets to expand your selling power.

Woocommerce

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Woocommerce is a plugin for WordPress to enable you to conveniently sell on your business’ existing website. In addition to standard hosting features, you get to keep control of your customer’s data with secure passcodes. This free service also offers a storefront template so you don’t have to worry about your WordPress theme conflicting with optional paid widgets that you can add to your account.

Cubecart

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Cubecart is a completely free, open source ecommerce tool for more tech-savvy business owners. However, if you like what they offer but don’t know how to set it up, look into hiring a low-cost freelancer to help you out. Cubecart’s free features are extensive with fully customizable code for coupons, catalogs, template skins, social plugins, item categories, shipping quotes, sales statistics, language options, newsletters, Google Analytics, foreign currency support, contact forms, database backup, affiliate program trackers, and dozens more!

Opencart

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Opencart is an open source tool with easy setup for business owners with limited coding knowledge. Set up your shop with multiple languages and currencies, built-in affiliate programs, basic sales reporting and analytics, automatic mobile responsiveness, and more extensions that you can buy in their marketplace to advance your ecommerce site or integrate your brick-and-mortar business with your online storefront.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $600 million and helped 20,000 families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five business tools for veterans.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five business tools for veterans.

Whether you’ve just left the service and are looking to start your own small business or are already a business owner and just need a little help, there are free resources out there for you. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you find mentoring, networking, workshops, and a solid foundation of knowledge to successfully grow your small business as a veteran.

Veterans Business Resource Center

How much it costs: Free

What it does: The Veterans Business Resource Center is just that – an online center for resources. You can find information about the Boots to Business program, which offers instructional courses and support located online and at military bases. Other resources available through Vetbiz include training, networking events, small business counseling, and even a blog.

Bunker Labs

How much it costs: Free

What it does: With about a dozen locations across the country, Bunker Labs is a veteran-owned hotspot for helpful networking, workshops, and programs designed to help you and the military community. They also offer a community mobile app to stay connected with event calendars, business collaboration, messaging, and more. If you’re tired of dusty, government-operated organizations, Bunker Labs is perfect for your entrepreneurial style.

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans

How much it costs: Free for post 9/11 disabled veterans and families

What it does: The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with disabilities (EBV) is a three-part program designed to help you succeed in starting and running your own business. This immersive bootcamp is focused on training through a higher education setting. Phase one is an online course, phase two is a short residency at a participating EBV university, and phase three is year-long mentorship and support through the program’s mentors, network, and partners.

Veteran’s Affairs

How much it costs: Free

What it does: If you’re a vet, you are probably already familiar with Veteran’s Affairs. But did you know they have an office dedicated to helping you start and grow your small business. Their Veteran’s Entrepreneur Portal offers contracting assistance, workshops, interactive online tools, training, certification as a veteran-owned business, and many more tools and resources for you!

Honor, Courage, Commitment

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Honor, Courage, Commitment (HCC) is a Texas-based, veteran-run organization designed to empower veteran entrepreneurs and keep you connected to the military community even after you’ve left the service. They offer training and mentoring, workshops and networking opportunities, and reintegration programs through community service. Take a look at what HCC offers and see if they can help you and your small business.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16 year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free outsourcing tools.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free outsourcing tools.

Sometimes you don’t want to or have the capital to hire another employee for a few simple tasks. This is where contractors come in. There is a growing trend among professionals to freelance their skills to numerous companies as side-gigs instead of working a normal full-time job. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you find the best fit freelancer for the tasks you need completed.

TaskRabbit

How much it costs: Free to sign up, pay per task

What it does: TaskRabbit is a service that connects you to certified taskers who can help you with one-time projects. Don’t want to hire a full-time gardener to clean and maintain your restaurant’s patio? Need extra hands moving to a new office space? Easily hire a contractor through TaskRabbit and avoid the hassle, extra fees, and time that comes with finding a regular contractor. It’s free to use – you only have to pay the taskers when they complete your tasks.

UpWork

How much it costs: Free to sign up, pay per task

What it does: UpWork is geared towards electronic tasks as opposed to more manual labor through TaskRabbit. This outsourcing tool is best used for hiring part-time contractors, but you can also post one-time tasks that need doing. If you need something done for IT, legal, graphic design, web development, writing, or anything else done on a computer, you can find a freelance contractor to help you. You can pay electronically, download or print an official invoice for your records, and not worry about tax forms for your contractors.

Fiverr

How much it costs: Free to sign up, pay per task

What it does: Fiverr is another online-oriented outsourcing tool. With their easy-to-use navigation and categories, you can narrow down results to find the best freelancer you think can do your task. Browse by your budget, the time you need it done by, and any other specifications you need. See examples of contractors’ work and their rates before you contact them with your task.

Guru

How much it costs: Free to sign up, pay per task

What it does: With Guru, you can either search through freelancers or post a job for them to bid on. This free outsourcing resource is targeted towards business tasks such as web development, finance management, marketing, legal, and admin support. What’s great about this tool is how detailed their support is and their ease of use.

Thumbtack

How much it costs: Free to sign up, pay per task

What it does: Thumbtack is a great, mobile-friendly outsourcing tool for special tasks that your small business might need help with. From photography and landscaping to accounting and tax preparation, there are a huge variety of different kinds of jobs you can hire a contractor to help you with. Answer a few questions, and Thumbtack will match your request with freelancers who can take it on.

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16 year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free collaboration tools.

Each month, we’re sharing and promoting free or affordable tools that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your toolbox for five free collaboration tools.

It is hard to run a small business by yourself. That’s why you hire employees to delegate tasks to and work on bigger projects with – but this can get complicated. We’ve compiled this list of tools and resources that will help you manage and track team projects and shared tasks.

Hipchat

How much it costs: Free with a $2.00 a month premium plan

What it does: Hipchat is more than just a chat room for your employees. With their free, easy-to-use interface, you can also share files securely and create group chats or talk with members one-on-one. Their premium paid plan gives you unlimited file sharing storage and includes video conferencing capabilities. An amazing feature is the ability to search through conversations to find that one message you need.

MeisterTask

How much it costs: Free with paid premium plans

What it does: MeisterTask is a project management application that centers around collaboration and team coordination. This app offers mobile integration, checklists, deadline notifications, file sharing, and instant communication between team members. Simply open your dashboard in the morning, see what progress has been made on projects, and focus on what is important to running your business.

Trello

How much it costs: Free with paid premium plans

What it does: Trello is a simple way to track projects among your staff. Easily create projects and subtasks, add as many people who are involved, attach photos and files to projects, set deadlines, and start conversations through project comments. The free plan also allows for one “Power-up” which can sync an outside application or add a special feature your Trello account.

Producteev

How much it costs: Free with paid premium plan

What it does: With unlimited users, tasks, and projects, Producteev is a great task management service for collaborating. You can connect employees to shared projects with to-do lists, deadlines, auditing, priorities, and notifications. Easily turn work emails into tasks by forwarding them to Producteev. The premium plan only offers two additional services: personalized support and customization of the interface with your small business’ colors and logo.

Dropbox

How much it costs: Free

What it does: Dropbox is a really popular file-sharing service. Store your files in the cloud and sync with the people you want to share with. You also have the ability to collaborate with others on slides already uploaded into Dropbox. No more hassle of downloading, editing, and re-uploading files hundreds of times!

 

We’re always looking for the best affordable online resources including tools to promote to small business owners like you. If you have a tool you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.


Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. In FY16 year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses.  Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook  and Twitter

Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org