Xero

Small business owners have all the ideas in the world when it comes to thinking of products and services that can help land clients. It’s when it comes to the more complex side of how to run their business smarter and more efficiently that things become tricky.

You have business people on staff, but do you need to hire an accountant? You want to hire employees that fit with your culture, but how can you do that while finding the right person to help move the company forward? How can you manage your debt? Build customer loyalty?

There are plenty of challenges plaguing small business owners, but they have plenty of resources.

Local small business administration offices have helpful resources, but there are online resources available that some business owners may not know about.

The web-based accounting software Xero, for instance, has a slew of small business guides that its team is constantly adding to. Scroll through the expansive list and there’s a good chance you’ll see a topic that piques your interest.

Only have a few minutes? No worries. Xero lets you know how long it should take to consume one of their guides. Understanding cloud computing, for example, is a quick, three-minute read.

And it’s not just text. You get interactive guides, which include videos, infographics and fun games and quizzes.

The cloud computing guide’s quiz gives the premise of writing a document on your computer at the office, then getting home and realizing you need to make an urgent change to it. Do you, A, copy to a floppy disk and take it home, B, Open and edit it online from your home computer, or C, call the office to fax it over.

Obviously the answer is B, but the idea is that it gets you thinking about cloud computing.

Xero’s guides also let you study how to deal with more specific challenges your business may be facing, such as how to move from Excel to a new piece of accounting software, or how to raise money for your business (that guide has two parts!).

If you’re passionate about growing your business, you need to understand the basics of how to grow your business. Xero’s small business guides that offers a bevy of tips and tricks — and accounting essentials — is pretty valuable.

And it’s free.