Growing on a Shoestring: A Business Information Guide for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs)

Article excerpt


To reiterate

what appeared in Part 1 of this article ("What Everyone Needs," Searcher, March 2008), these days the web offers abundant access to low- and no-cost sources of business information.

The categories in this article reflect the way small- to medium-sized business (SMB) owners think about their businesses. It is intended to help information professionals provide resources for SMBs. Part 1 covered sources for information needed with some frequency by SMBs and some sources for information used on an as-needed basis. Part 2 will focus on subcategories that cover core areas in businesses.


News, tips, and advice to compare mortgage rates, home equity loans, CDs, car loans, credit cards, and money-market accounts. Some information is provided daily, e.g., current rates for CDs to invest cash for a short period of time.

This site collects sources to help protect SMBs that take checks.

CNN Money

General information on business and money is provided.


"The Deal reports, analyzes and disseminates business and financial news that offers fresh insights on the deal economy, a set of interrelated activities, focused on deal making of all kinds, whose purpose is to generate corporate growth in a continually changing global market."


Information on credit cards and how to compare rates and types of cards.

Credit Research Foundation

This organization has some resources for understanding credit and receivables.


A source for credit checks on companies the SMB might do business with. There is a fee here and SkyMinder has a "SkyCard" option that supports payments by individual transaction. This site also has market, industry, company, financial, news, and marketing info.

A comprehensive resource for financial matters.


A leading site for financial matters.

Market Watch

Focuses on financial markets.

Motley Fool

Overall resource for investing and financial markets. Provides some good educational material.

Seeking Alpha

A provider of stock market opinions and analysis from blogs, money managers, and investment newsletters.

Business Valuation

A list of resources for valuing a business.

Biz Stats Financial Ratios

This site has free industry statistics and financial ratios.

Funding Sources

National Venture Capital Association

"The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) is a trade association that represents the U.S. venture capital industry. It is a member-based organization, which consists of venture capital firms that manage pools of risk equity capital designated to be invested in high growth companies."

Center for Venture Research

The site allows for the SMB to understand venture capital and track sources of capital that the SMB can order for a nominal fee.

Harvard Business School

This site provide a list of resources for venture funding.

Inc. Magazine

Contains articles on finding capital.

The Funded

Provides information on venture capital firms plus commentary from members who discuss their experiences with some of the firms from which they have requested funding. …