40 Places Where Freelancers Can Learn More About Business
People become freelancers for all sorts of reasons. Very few do it to get into business – that’s just a side effect. To be successful freelancers, we need to be savvy business people.
Understanding business takes work – some light reading, some heavy ploughing though your government’s forms and requirements, maybe some serious study, and keeping up with business news and events. Material for small businesses and entrepreneurs will be especially helpful.
Here is a reading list for you to pick and choose from: 40 Places Where Freelancers Can Learn More About Business. This list is a starting point. Please add to it in the comments.
Websites and Blogs
We freelancers seem to spend a great amount of time online, so that’s where we’ll start our reading list.
- If you want to get straight to the main points without too much reading, Sitepoint.com has two very helpful articles which summarize business for freelancers: Best Practices for Freelance Business Part 1 and Best Practices for Freelance Business Part 2.
- If you prefer the “encyclopedic” version, Wikipedia’s business article has many subtopics, and links to useful external resources.
- Business Pundit is full of tips and articles covering a wide range of business topics. Some are especially useful to freelancers, including Freelancers Make More Money by Firing Clients.
- Businessballs.com contains “free career help, business training, organizational development – inspirational, innovative ideas, materials, exercises, tools, templates – free and fun.”
- Freelanceuk.com has a useful section on running your business.
- Newbusiness.co.uk also contains business advice from a UK perspective.
Many news sites have great business information, including:
- Fox Business is a great source of business news, and has a Small Business section.
- The BBC News business section is a similar news source from the UK.
Your government has probably published some useful information about running a business. For example:
- US: Business.gov is the official business link to the US Government.
- Australia: Businesslink.gov.au is a practical guide to business from the Australian Federal Government.
If you prefer to read from paper, a great place to start is with business magazines – though many of them can be read online too.
- Businessweek.com contains top business news stories, and has a Small Biz section.
- Inc. is a daily resource for entrepreneurs.
- Entrepreneur is another magazine and online resource for entrepreneurs.
- America’s Best is a magazine for small business owners.
- Family Business Magazine is a guide for starting and running family businesses.
- Home Business Magazine is aimed at “home-based entrepreneurs and business owners; people who work from home; and telecommuters”. It is an online magazine.
- In Business Magazine is helpful, and humorously includes a section called Suck it Up! – “Business days from heck: If they can prevail, so can you!”
- My Business is “the leading magazine for small-to-medium enterprises, the dominant sector – 92 per cent – of all business in Australia. Its credible, information packed and easy-to-read format speaks directly to the key business decision makers.”
- Opportunity World & Money ‘N Profits is “the magazine for small business opportunities.”
And while newspapers are still around, make the most of the business section – in print or online.
- The New York Times business section
- The Chicago Tribune business section
- Los Angeles Times business section
- The Sydney Morning Herald BusinessDay
- The Age BusinessDay
- NZ Herald business section
- Business Report contains many business articles published in South African newspapers.
Books – paperback, hardback and electronic – teach you about business in a more linear fashion. Here are some books and lists of books to get you started.
- Small Business Kit for Dummies is a “reference for the rest of us.”
- The Bootstrappers Bible by Seth Godin is a free ebook for “…entrepreneurs who are working their butts off to start a great business from scratch with no (or almost no) money.”
- Getting Rich In Your Underwear: How To Start And Run A Profitable Home-Based Business
by Peter I. Hupalo is primarily written for those just starting a home business.
- Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki – “What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!” This book explains how to make your money work hard for you instead of you working hard for money.
- Wikibooks have a detailed ebook called Getting Started as an Entrepeneur.
- Smallbizbooks.com have published Startup Guides for Businesses. Each book focuses on a different type of business, including books on Consulting Service, Freelance Writing Business, Graphic Design Business, Online Business, Coaching Business and Personal Trainer Business.
- Amazon.com’s Must Read List for Small Business Owners contains a list of 39 recommended books relevant to business.
- Bainvestor.com have a long list of recommended books called “Entrepreneur Books: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Books”, with an emphasis on what is important to know when starting your business.
- DailyLit email good books to you in daily digestible chunks. They have 43 books in their Business category, many of which are free.
There are plenty of business courses you can do online. Here are some that will cost you your time, but not your money.
- My Own Business.org has a free online course which is presented by successful business owners who point out the common, avoidable mistakes.
- SBA (US Small Business Administration) offer free online business courses including Starting a Business, Business Management, Business Planning, and Marketing & Advertising, and more.
- Suite101.com provide free online business courses, including Business Planning, Business Law and Business Management, and more.
- About.com’s Small Business Startup Course is a free Canadian course covering a wide range of topics.
- About.com’s: Online Small Business Success Course is designed to teach you how to market yourself and your business more effectively.