Here you will find a collection of online tools to help your small business Organize, Market, and Sell, along with basic tutorials to help you start using them.
The Office of Small Business Development is run by the City of Boston, which helps Boston businesses start, grow, and thrive. Staff offer assistance in a range of areas including licensing and permitting, real estate, finance, marketing, and energy efficiency. Visit the website or contact Betsy Cowan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-635-0331.
Mass.Gov has a one-stop web portal for small businesses. On it, you can find the resources, transactions, and programs that will help you start or grow your business in Massachusetts.
The Community Development Department (CDD) is the planning agency for the City of Cambridge. This tutorial will show you how to use the CDD website to find affordable housing, learn information about the city's parks and use Quick Links to explore the city.
According to Mint.com, “Money is for living. That’s why we’ve created the simplest and most effective way to manage, save and grow your money... and why Mint.com is free.”
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a US government agency that supports entrepreneurs and small businesses. This tutorial will teach you how to watch online small business training videos and map out your competition using the SBA Learning Center.
Google Hangouts lets you send messages, make voice and video calls, and share photos. Hangouts sync automatically across devices, so you can start on your computer and continue to your phone. This tutorial will teach you how to chat, call, and Hangout!
Gmail is a free communications tool featuring email, chat, video chat, calendar, an office suite, and much more. This tutorial will help you create a gmail account and send your first email! Good luck!
Google Docs allows you to create documents, upload existing files, and share them with friends, family, and co-workers. Google Docs comes free with your Gmail account. This tutorial will show you how to create, share, and even translate Google docs.
Google Sheets is a free, cloud-based tool that can help you manage finances, track inventory, and more. You can access it from any device with Internet access through your Google Drive.
Google Slides is very similar to PowerPoint. However, Google Slides is online, sharable, and most important, FREE! This tutorial will show you how to create a quick and easy presentation.
Google Calendar is a free tool that helps you organize your schedule, keep track of appointments, and set reminders. Plus, you can share specific events or your whole calendar with others. Never miss an appointment again!
Need to translate an email? A document from a friend? What about a website? Google Translate can do all that for you. This tutorial will show you how to use the site to translate text and also translate websites into more languages than you can count. The translation is not perfect, but it is always getting better and will actually ask you for advice!
Google Maps is a great way to get from "here to there." They offer driving directions, along with walking, biking, and directions by public transportation. This tutorial focuses on the public transportation resources on the site, helping you find the right bus or train.
The theme of the Google Safety Center is "Working together to stay safe online." This site has resources for individuals and families, including safety basics and information on keeping your personal data secure. Check out the "Safety Tools" section to see how to use and manage Google tools.
Want to know all about your new TGH Chromebook? The link above is for you! There you will see how to personalize your new device to suit your needs. This includes how set your background image, connect to your other Google accounts, upload and edit pictures, and much more.
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Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation (DBEDC) provides loan products for Boston-based businesses. Through their Small Business Assistance Program, they offer one-on-one technical support; help getting loans; and referrals to training programs and pro bono legal services.
Through their Small Business Development Program, Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) offers technical assistance; help finding and applying to loans; and workshops on a range of topics including taxes, legal issues, marketing, personnel, and accounting.
BOS:311 is the constituent services portal for the City of Boston. To start reporting non-emergency city services, download the app, send them a text or tweet, visit their website, or give them a call any day, any time.
"SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship." Use their site to find a mentor or take advantage of their workshops, confidential counseling, and free online tools and templates.
Introduction to Legal Issues for Small Business Owners
Looking for FREE wifi access throughout the city? Boston's Wicked Free Wifi program is all over and growing! Click the icon above to see a big map of the locations where you can take your phone, tablet, or laptop to get FREE Internet.
Interise provides small business owners in lower income communities with "entrepreneurial education, new networks, and access to markets." Their intensive StreetWise ‘MBA’™ program supports businesses that are 3+ years old, have one or more employees on payroll, and have annual revenues of more than $250,000.
"As the largest and only nationwide micro- and small business lending network in the U.S., [Accion connects] small business owners with the financing and support it takes to create or grow healthy businesses." Accion offers financial literacy and basic technical training.
Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE) is a nationally known nonprofit that helps "empower women to become economically self-sufficient and to prosper through business and entrepreneurship." They support women by offering education, technical assistance, and certification programs.
Harvard Law School's Transactional Law Clinics (TLC) is a clinical program that provides legal assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Their Community Enterprise Project offers free legal help to small businesses, nonprofits, and individuals in areas such as business and nonprofit formation, permitting and licensing, and much more!
The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice "provides business legal assistance and education to entrepreneurs who are starting or operating community businesses located in under-served areas in Greater Boston and who cannot afford legal counsel." They offer workshops, clinics, and pro bono representation.
Yelp is a website people use to find information about local businesses and read reviews from other customers. According to Mashable, “Next to Google, there's probably no more important site for small businesses than Yelp.” This tutorial will help you create and manage a page for your business.
Google My Business is an easy and free way to get your business online. You can create a page with basic info (description, location, photo, hours) that will appear when people search on Google or Google Maps.
With over a billion users, Facebook helps you build relationships with new and existing customers and ultimately drive sales by taking advantage of word-of-mouth marketing. This tutorial will help you get started. Visit facebook.com/business for help.
Twitter is a social network that helps you "find out what's happening, right now, with the people and organizations you care about." These tutorials will help you register for an account, interact, and keep your account safe. Visit Twitter's interactive small business guide: visual.ly/twitter-smallbiz-guide!
HootSuite is a social media dashboard tool that helps you manage all your social media accounts from one place. With it you can organize social media conversations, post future content, and track how much your social media community engages with you.
Hover makes it easy to buy and manage a domain name and a customized email address for your business, so you can own www.YourBusiness.com and send emails from You@YourBusiness.com. Hover has basic packages starting at $15 a year and good customer service.
Wix.com lets you create a beautiful website quickly and easily. It's how we created the TGH website you're on now! There are many templates and pricing plans to choose from, and we recommend using Wix instead of Google Sites if you don't need a free, basic website.
Google Sites helps you create a basic, free website. Choose from blank or pre-built templates to make your business’s website look the way you want. These tutorials show how to create and edit your new site!
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Instagram is a simple and free way to share your brand's personality with customers through images. For tips & resources, check out the Instagram for Businesses blog at https://business.instagram.com/blog/.
Pinterest is a site where people find, collect, and share their interests. "Pins can be almost anything—a gift, recipe, or even a quote. They’re like little bookmarks... that always point back to the sites they came from (like yours!)". For business tips, click HERE.
Grovo has created thousands of free, one-minute video tutorials on popular websites and mobile apps. When you visit the site, you can browse the collection or sign up to receive daily emails with tutorials on websites or apps you like.
Techboomers.com is a free educational website containing step-by-step tutorials to teach new internet users about popular, trusted websites, including some featured in our curriculum like Gmail, Facebook, Etsy, and more!
OPEN Forum by American Express offers a collection of resources to help small businesses, including "videos, articles, blogs, podcasts, and expert advice."
Square allows you to "accept credit cards and run your business anywhere with your iPhone, Android, or iPad." You use Square's free app and free card reader that plugs into your device, and you pay a 2.75% transaction fee. You can manage sales and refunds, set up an online store, send invoices, and track sales - all with this one app!
If your customers have smartphones and credit cards, consider using LevelUp. Customers pay with the free app, and you are charged a 1.95% processing fee. You can use rewards programs and easily track your sales history. Campaigns cost you $0.25 of every $1.00 they earn you. Happy selling!
Etsy is an online marketplace where 30 million users buy and sell handmade or vintage products and craft supplies. These tutorials will help you create an account, set up your shop, and start selling! To learn how to get a free Etsy credit card reader for your smartphone or tablet, go to www.etsy.com/reader.
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Google Wallet is another mobile and online payment processing option. In-store, customers pay by tapping your Point-of-Sale device with their smartphones, and online, by signing into their Google Wallet accounts.
PayPal's free "Standard" business account lets you accept credit card payments on your website and mobile devices, send invoices online, and get paid on eBay. Transaction fees range from 2.2% - 3.5%, plus a fixed fee of about $.30. Call 888-818-3922 for info.
eBay is a website to "Buy and sell electronics, cars, fashion apparel, collectibles, sporting goods, digital cameras, baby items, coupons, and more." You can create a free account, then sell your products online. Visit http://pages.ebay.com/education/ for help getting started.