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One of the toughest parts about starting a business is knowing where to go for answers to the questions that pop-up on a daily basis. For a long time one of the best resources was SCORE which is a group of retired executives. I met with a local SCORE counselor about 10 years ago and while the basic business help and advice was excellent, it was hard to have a technology-specific discussion regarding my needs. SCORE appears to have continued to change with the times and if you aren’t on their mailing list, you should be.
Today there are tons of small business help sites available online providing a wealth of content and advice. This morning I met with Jeff Davis the editor-in-chief of Bizmore, a small business resource that launched earlier this year. Bizmore provides a Q&A site along with content in the form of blog posts. When the service launched as a Q&A site this past summer, Matt McGee from SearchEngineLand called the service, “Yahoo Answers for Small Business”.
There are about 30 experts listed that provide answers to questions posted on Bizmore. Bizmore is built on a combination of platforms: a custom system for the Q&A portion and Drupal for the balance of the site.
There are no content categories which really would help users move through the site. The Google search just doesn’t cut it when a directory is needed. Also, there’s no way to create a list of saved articles for future reference. I’d also like to see more guidance based on a simple questionaire. When I arrive at Bizmore, allow me to answer a few questions about my business and what I am looking for and then provide me with a list of content/feeds/websites that match what I am looking for. While not small business related, LearnVest does a good job of this with their checklists for help with your finances.
It will be interesting to watch how Bizmore grows and what their strategy for acquisition looks like. With a continually growing list of sites that on the surface appear similar, Bizmore will have to always stay ahead of the pack in terms of content and services to keep users engaged past the initial search referral. There’s a variety of detailed articles on Bizmore so they are off to a good start.
What sites do you use for help/questions with regards to your startup? Leave your favorites in the comments.