“If I had six hours to cut down a tree, I’d spend the first four sharpening the saw.” – Abraham Lincoln
If you’re consumed by the day-to-day grind of running your small business, it’s critical to remember to occasionally carve out some time to “sharpen the saw.” This can mean taking good care of yourself personally, a la Stephen Covey’s timeless teachings, or enriching your knowledge so you can effectively work ON your business rather than just IN your business – tackling the big, strategic opportunities that separate you from where you want to be.
For entrepreneurs operating on a shoestring budget, or thriving small businesses simply looking for new ideas to optimize or scale your marketing efforts, there are a number of free sources of quality information across the web you should be aware of. Hey, who doesn’t like free?!
In addition to this blog, which we think, of course, is your BEST source (hint: bookmark & subscribe), the U.S Small Business Association website (www.sba.gov) presents a comprehensive and well-organized framework of business development and marketing advice, as well as some handy tools for assessing your current business and where your opportunities may lie.
The American Marketing Association (www.ama.org) is another great resource for free (and paid) articles, research, metrics, case studies, advice, and services that every entrepreneur or small business should be aware and take advantage of. In addition, the AMA hosts local and web-based events frequently which provide great opportunities to learn and network with peers, experts, and even competitors.
How do you find (or make) time to “sharpen the saw”? What free or low-cost sources of information have you found valuable to enrich your business or marketing acumen?