Small Business Guides

Fundamentals made clear

While some of this stuff can feel intimidating at first, none of it is rocket science. Our guides will take you through the basics in plain English. We'll be publishing new guides on a regular basis. Sign up for our mailing list to stay up-to-date.

I want to learn about:

Starting a Business Checklist

When starting a business, it's a good idea to tackle it systematically as a series of small tasks. To make this easier, we put together a killer checklist.

The Big Picture

Business Model Basics

A business model describes what a business does and how it makes money. The Business Model Canvas provides a mental model that will forever inform the way you think of businesses and help you plan your own.

The Big Picture

Business Model Worksheet

The Business Model Canvas is one of the most useful business tools ever created. Our simplified canvas will making sketching out and sharing business ideas easier than ever.

The Big Picture

Finance Basics

Dealing with the numbers can be intimidating — even for people with years of experience. We'll guide you through the basics, whether you're brushing up or learning for the first time.

Money

Accounting Software Buyer's Guide

You have more choices than ever before when it comes to accounting software. Our buyer's guide will outline the types of packages that are out there and get you on your way to finding the right one for your business.

Money

Hiring people

Building up your team with talented people while keeping them happy is one of the most challenging and important things you can do. Our guide to hiring will take you through the process step-by-step.

Team

Hiring Accountants and Bookkeepers

Even the most experienced entrepreneurs rely on professional help when it comes to managing their finances. We'll give you some tips on finding people to keep your machine running smoothly.

Money

Business Structure Basics

Picking the right legal structure for your business has long-term implications, so it's best to get it right from the start. We'll lay out the options and tell you how to get set up.

Operations

Business Structure Cheat Sheet

A handy one-page guide to the various legal business structures.

Operations

Legal Services Buyer's Guide

There are many times in the course of starting and running a business that you'll need good legal counsel. With more options than ever before, things can feel overwhelming.

Operations

Partnerships

Effective partnerships are built on trust, hard work and clear communications. Getting things right from the start is always easier than trying to fix them after the fact.

Team

Finding Mentors and Advisors

No one knows how to do it all--there will inevitably be moments when you need a more experienced person to help guide you.

Team

North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS)

The North American Industrial Classification System maps all business activity to a series of numerical codes. When doing research, including creating an indie.biz Action Plan, knowing the right NAICS code will unlock reams of information.

Operations

HR Services Buyer’s Guide

Human Resources or HR is the process of hiring, developing and managing the people who work in a company. Online HR Services offer tools for record-keeping, benefits management and compliance.

Team

Payroll Services

Payroll Services help employers manage everything that’s required to when paying employees, including withholding taxes, managing employee information and keeping records.

Team

Financing a Business

There are many ways to finance the start or expansion of a business. We’ll cover all of the basics to help you find the right option for you and get you well-prepared to maximize your chance of success.

Team