Free and Paid Online Business Tools|
Disclamer: This post includes affiliate links. I may receive a small commission or credit if you purchase the product via my link. I would use these products if I wasn’t receiving commission or credit and my opinion isn’t in no way based upon compensation.
When I started my business last year May ’14 I had a plan to keep cost to a minimum as much as possible. Today, I want to discuss the business tools I use in my business. These investments keep my business running smoothly and me sane. Note the order I listed the products as this is the order in which I implemented them. Some are paid while others are semi-paid or FREE.
- SBA.gov. SBA.gov has a wealth of information and resources for small business owners. Their business plan tool is quite helpful and easy to use. I was able to complete my business plan in less than a week using SBA. In addition to the helpful information, SBA offers networking and mentorship opportunities.
- Godaddy. Both my domains are registered through Godaddy. Their customer service is great and I’ve never had an issue with getting mine or a client’s questions answered in a timely manner.
- HostGator. Recently, I moved my hosting from Godaddy to take advantage of a discount. It took several attempts to get everything setup but after my site was redirected to Hostgator everything has been smooth sailing. If you decide to switch your hosting to Hostgator be very specific about your needs to eliminate frustration and confusion.
- WordPress.org. Of course, I absolutely adore WordPress. You can read why in the Oh How I Love WordPress blog post. Unlike some of their counterparts, WordPress.org is a fully functioning CMS.
- Google. When I started my business I was an avid Yahoo user. While I still use Yahoo, Google is the first choice for business. Because Google is used across several major platforms, it’s was beneficial for me to integrate Google into my business.
- PayPal. In the beginning, I used PayPal to invoice clients. Now, I’ve adapted Freshbooks for lite accounting.
- FreshBooks. As mention before, FreshBooks is great for lite accounting work. You can send invoices, track expenses and time spent on projects. FreshBooks is FREE for your first 5 clients however you may have to contact customer support to have them set your account with the 5 clients (after the trial runs out). After my trial expired I wasn’t provided the free clients so contacted customer service. The customer support person was super helpful in getting me setup.
- Hellosign. At some point, you’re going to share documents that require a signature. I picked Hellosign because they offer 3 FREE documents each month. You can develop a template on the paid plan.
- Acuity. Another freebie. Acuity is my pick for online scheduling. Acuity integrates with Google if you’re on the paid plan.
- Facebook Ads. I implemented Facebook ads this year on two occasions. The ad was a success and carried out the goal I set for it. I plan to use FB ads more in the near future.
- Virtual Assistants. You’ll never get anywhere being a lone ranger. You need a team that see the dream and pursue it just as you would. I partnered with another VA and virtual workers to help me with marketing and webinar setup. It was definitely worth the investment.
- Vistaprint. Vistaprint is an affordable option to printing, however, I would recommend that your design is in high-resolution as their print quality is not all that great. If you can, print locally.
- Teamwork. Teamwork makes the dream work and that’s exactly the case with the Teamwork project management system. When I began to grow my business, I implemented teamwork to keep my projects organized and me on task. The system integrates with Dropbox, Freshbooks, Google drive and a few other systems.
- McAfee. Now that my business is growing it was paramount that I protect mine and client’s work by implementing a high-level computer software. Mcaffee keeps my computer secure at all times.
- AdWords. Just like Facebook Ads, AdWords is quite helpful in getting your business before the right online audience. Before utilizing online ads, do your work in developing a strategy so you get the best ROI.
This completes my list of business tools I use in may business. These tools keep my business running at optimal performance. Do you have a business tool that isn’t listed above? I would love to hear about it. Please leave in the comments any tools I left out.
I’m Angela. I have over a decade of Administrative Support experience. In May’14, I turn my work skills into a business. My core services are WordPress, social media, email marketing, and funnel setup and management.
P.S. Get a hold of my free graphic pack here below.