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Every successful business leader has a toolkit of resources to lean on for advice and creative ideas. There are many free or low-cost business resources available to help make the ins and outs of running your company simpler and smarter. Cox BLUE shares helpful articles for business owners to stay up-to-date on industry trends and provides tips for running a successful business. Check out the additional resources listed below and start learning from some of the best in the business.

  1. Government resources. Several government programs offer free assistance with business funding, advice, training, mentoring and more. The Arizona Small Business Association, BusinessUSA and Tucson SCORE are a few great places to find small business support.
  2. Business templates. When it comes to starting a business or signing new customers, there are many forms and templates involved. Bplans offers many free business templates for proposals, investor pitches, branding, cash flow and more.
  3. Finance tools. From budgeting and planning to invoicing and bookkeeping, professional platforms such as H&R Block, Intuit and Mint will come in handy so you can access those talents without having the expense of a full internal department.
  4. Books. Audiobooks are the next best way you can learn new skills while on the go. Next time you’re browsing, see if you can find these top-rated titles: Good to Great, Speak and Get Results, The 4-Hour Workweek, Influence, and Built to Last.
  5. Podcasts. Podcasts are another great way to gain inspiration while on the go. Next time you’re going for a walk or driving to work, I would suggest you check out these top podcasts for entrepreneurs and business owners: StartUp, Marketplace, HBR IdeaCast, Social Media Marketing and RISE.
  6. News outlets. Staying informed with what’s happening in your industry will help you make the best business decisions possible. Publications such as Business 2 Community, Venture Beat, SmallBizDaily, and Small Business Trends all provide excellent information on everything that impacts your business.
  7. COVID-19 resources. Speaking of impacts on your business, it’s important to stay informed about the pandemic and CDC guidance on workplace safety. 
  8. Forums. When you have a more specific question or issue, forums are a great way to get answers directly from other business leaders. Forums like Quora and LinkedIn have plenty of business leaders online and willing to help.
  9. TED Talks. These short presentations are meant to bring new ideas to the table and always pack a punch. A few top-rated TED Talks include “8 Secrets of Success” by Richard St. John, “The Biggest Reason Why Startups Succeed” by Bill Gross and “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” by Simon Sinek.
  10. Influencers. There are many people who are known for being influential business leaders in their industry. Business moguls such as Tim Cook, Oprah, Guy Kawasaki, in addition to many experts that focus specifically on small business such as Melina Emerson, Anita Campbell and John Jantsch are great people to follow on social media for inspiration. 

Lisa Lovallo is the Southern Arizona market vice president for Cox Communications. Reach her at lisa.lovallo@cox.com.