Got a Problem? These 18 Best Small Business Forums Could Help

Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.
Meredith Wood

Small business owners, by the very nature of running a small business, don’t have the luxury of a big network of like-minded professionals. Everyone has their own niche, interests, or business plan—so where can you turn for advice, feedback, and even commiseration?

Whether you’re just starting a business or growing it into its next stage, you’d benefit from having somewhere to discuss issues and find solutions. Why waste your time reinventing the wheel? You’ve got the next best thing up ahead.

The Internet is a great resource to find small business forums specifically aimed towards young entrepreneurs and business owners around the world. And with a wide range of industries and interests, you’re sure to find a forum for almost any business-related topic—from taking out small business loans to choosing the right business credit card. 

These forums can be a great way to fill the gaps of your knowledge, get or give expert advice, and enjoy a sense of community—so that you don’t feel like you’re all alone as you set out to make the world a better place.

Here are 18 of the best small business forums:

1. Small Business Forums

This is a classic small business forum covering a wide range of topics you might be interested in, like taxes, financing, and legal or regulatory issues. It also offer a classifieds section where you can find professionals to help you with your copywriting, social media marketing, website design and development, and search engine optimization needs.

2. Quora

While not exclusively for small business owners, Quora lets users ask questions on virtually any business-related topic—and every “best answer” has been voted on. Social Media Examiner recommends using Quora selectively, however, as it can act as a self-promotion platform on occasion. But if you target your search, it’s a good opportunity to connect with experts, find up-to-date blog topics, and network with others in your industry.

3. Small Business Forum.net

This active message board offers sections on starting a small business, managing a business, accounting and taxes, payroll and human resources, financing, and more. While there is a heavy online marketing presence, there’s also a section on traditional marketing.

4. Startup Nation

This is an excellent resource for connecting with other entrepreneurs or business leaders. This site is a little slicker than your average small business forum, with a clear menu of main topics on the top navigation and drop-downs that offer a wide choice of subsections. Business owners can find advice and information about selecting a business structure, home-based businesses, marketing, sales, public relations, funding, technology, and more.

5. Small Business Brief

This message board style forum touts itself as “A friendly place to share small business ideas and knowledge, ask questions, find help, and encourage others that are involved in the small business industry.” It offers advice and guidance on many aspects of operating a small business—especially online—including email marketing, link building, social media management, and pay-per-click advertising.

6. CNET Small Business and Startups Forum

This forum follows a question-and-answer format about technology-related issues, and you can submit your own question or browse through similar topics and threads. It features a wide variety of discussions on operating systems, software and hardware for small businesses, and mobile devices.

7. Small Business Computing and e-Commerce Forum

This forum deals mostly with computers and technology, as well as e-commerce issues that impact small businesses.

8. FohBoh: The Restaurant Network

Some small business forums are industry-specific, like FohBoh, which focuses on the restaurant industry. Here small business owners discuss a wide variety of food service-related issues, like whether tipping is a good or bad idea, how to motivate wait staff, and the potential value of loyalty rewards programs for customers and guests.

9. QuickBooks Online Community

This forum is a question-and-answer based community operated by both experts from QuickBooks and customers who are willing to help by sharing their business experiences and solutions. Topics include setting up a company, accounting, sales, dealing with vendors, taxes, and running reports.

10. Practical Machinist

This popular virtual bulletin board claims to be the “largest manufacturing technology community on the web” and offers practical advice from other members about the operations of one’s business, shop management, and owner issues. Besides the forum, this site also has articles and videos on related topics.

11. Warrior Forum

While this forum is primarily for Internet-based businesses, it’s still a great place for online conversations with other entrepreneurs interested in Internet marketing. Calling themselves warriors, the members here are very open about sharing both their successes and their failures. This site also contains blogs, social groups, and a marketplace where you can advertise your relevant high-quality products.

12. Bank of America Small Business Online Community

This small business forum offers “expert insights, insider tips, and the industry knowledge you need to see your business grow.” In addition to offering a variety of message boards, Bank of America also provides information in the forum’s resource center relevant to small businesses owners, like self-financing, building credit, and credit lines versus business credit cards.

13. Business Advice Forum

This business and webmaster forum allows you to make introductions, ask questions, and get advice on topics related to business property, HR, legal issues, business planning, finance, and accounting. The message threads are primarily about online businesses.

14. UK Business Forums

This UK-based message board offers news and advice for those engaging in international business. For small business owners looking to expand beyond their borders, this forum is a treasure trove of information—plus opportunities to connect with small business owners who have global perspectives.

15. UK Business Labs

Another UK-based business message board, UK Business Labs not only offers technology advice, business planning information, HR and hiring best practices, accounting, legal, and trademark forums, and tips for startups, it also has a specific forum for women in business.

16. LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are a little different from typical message boards, but still provide exceptional opportunities for professionals to get advice, find answers, and network with other small business owners. Each group runs and operates a little autonomously, so some are open and anyone can join, while others are membership-only and you must be accepted by the group manager. The closed groups tend to be more strictly focused on the particular topic.

17. Creative COW

This business and marketing forum is ideal for those in creative spaces. In addition to a wide range of advice from shared office environments to marketing, this site has tutorials, podcasts, and a job board.

18. Alignable

Alignable is a forum that makes it easy to meet other local business owners, encourage customer referrals among each other, and get answers and advice from experts. Because this forum is built on relationships, it includes a section for “Member Stories,” and you can also scan your current contacts to find out if any of them are also small business owners on the site.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.
Meredith Wood

18 Comments

Most Recent

  • Leeann

    Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

    Always happy when people are willing to help you with free advice. Very good and useful article for those who have just started their business.

  • djbaxter

    Friday, February 10th, 2017

    This one is newly acquired, reworked, and rebranded: https://bizwarriors.com/forum/

  • Jason Honingford

    Friday, February 10th, 2017

    More like 18 worst business forums. Have you even looked at them? It's mostly spam articles probably written by one person.

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    Monday, January 16th, 2017

    how can I get in touch?

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    Sunday, January 15th, 2017

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  • Enprerian

    Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

    Great choices. We also recommend you come visit us at enprerian.com. We are striving the provide the best entrepreneur community on the web. Network, buy/sell, promote yourself, and discuss with other like-minded entrepreneurs.

  • Uncovered Forums

    Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

    Please check out our forums, register, bookmark, and post! - http://uncoveredforums.com

  • Matthew Hardie

    Friday, October 28th, 2016

    Thank you so much Mr MEREDITH WOOD for this informative article. I recently used Staff India services. They are very reliable for any kind of online services. You can check their srvices.

  • meredithfundera

    Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

    Thanks for the great advice!

  • smallbusinessanswers

    Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

    Hi Tim, I am the admin at Small Business Brief. My experience is there can be ways to promote your business to a forum's audience, but some of the proverbial spamming tactics won't get you far. Here is what I've seen work at our forum. First off it depends on your business and the audience you are targeting. For example, if you are an accountant and provide a bunch of good advice in our forum, then other members may take note and visit a signature link to learn more about your business. You aren't going to get rich, but you might pick up a few new clients with some effort. If you are just posting "Hey, I'm an accountant - come use my services" ... then probably not so much effective. Another route to go, if you think maybe viable, then consider paying for advertising on the forum you are targeting. And yet another route, consider advertising in email newsletters that the forum's audience may receive. Ultimately, it does matter if your product/service is a good match to the audience and how you present/promote yourself. Hope that helps a little, when it doubt you can always ask the forum admin/moderators what is allowed regarding promotion beforehand. Check the forum rules, too. That's always appreciated on my end.

  • mmafighter1

    Thursday, September 8th, 2016

    Thanks for sharing these forums list. I am a member of many of these forums.

  • ali

    Friday, September 2nd, 2016

    if you are big exhibitor company you can join free in www.digisilkroad.com , it will rise your business

  • Tim B

    Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

    do you think it would be effective to promote the business ?

  • Debarup Mukherjee

    Friday, July 29th, 2016

    Hi, nice post. Here is another forum which is mobile app based, I have found it very helpful for myself, its available on iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/small-business-forum-ideas/id1136136635

  • Grant Kedian

    Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

    Thanks for the great post. We have been looking for forums that we can suggest that our clients (we run a boutique consulting business www.kedianconsulting.co.nz) head to. This is great.

  • Matthew Coco

    Sunday, April 10th, 2016

    Thanks for the post. Some great communities to become a part of. Thanks!

  • Saras

    Thursday, January 21st, 2016

    Great post! Need business ideas to start your business? Go and check my Bio for a link

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