Online Business Resources

There are a huge amount of incredible resources accessible for business visionaries, however you don’t find out about them unless an entrepreneur notices one. I have incorporated some of my most loved business tools and online resources that will offer you some assistance with getting a head start! For a large number of these I’ll procure a little commission on the off chance that you join, however I don’t suggest anything I haven’t utilized or gotten a huge amount of quality from personally.
Identity Design

Logoworks

2016-02-08_2322This is an amazing choice in case you’re the sort of individual who may not recognize what you appreciate until you see it. Logoworks is the place you give a creative brief (a description of the look/feel you are after) utilizing their convenient form and designers from around the globe make for you. You pay for the one you pick. Logoworks can make only a logo, business cards, even a starter website. It’s similar to having your own one of a kind Ad agency.

99designs

2016-02-08_2325This is another incredible choice for getting your logo and other professional work managed without requiring a committed designer. You can complete anything from a shirt design, to packaging, your logo and business cards.

In the event that you don’t care for any of the designs that are submitted for your project, it doesn’t cost you anything.

Your Domain
Your domain name helps people find you online. I always recommend using your name, or at least owning your name and having it forward to your business. This helps if someone searches you by your name instead of your business name. While you can register your preferred domain name through WordPress, Shopify and Squarespace — having control over your domain settings is important as your website grows. Consider one of the following sites to register your domain with. Note: Don’t let this process overwhelm you! You can always ask your developer/designer for assistance registering your domain and pointing it in the right direction.

GoDaddy

GoDaddyOfficial_Possibly the top name in domain registration (yes, that is a thing!) GoDaddy offers reasonable pricing and excellent phone support — if you can handle the constant up sells and borderline inappropriate TV ads. GoDaddy makes registering Domain Names fast, simple, and affordable.

Namecheap

logo618Namecheap is an ICANN-accredited domain registrar and web hosting company, based in Los Angeles, California. Namecheap maintained a strong anti-SOPA position Aptly named, Namecheap offers domains for extremely reasonable prices while also providing excellent support. Another great option!

Web Hosting

Bluehost

bluehost-logoBluehost has an useful website-builder and low startup costs While WP Engine is our top recommendation for hosting, it is only available for WordPress users. If you are not using WordPress and require hosting, Bluehost is a good option.

HostGator

2016-02-08_2351HostGator has quality virtual private server (VPS) server packages, but its shared and dedicated server plans are what make the company stand out from the crowded pack. In fact, HostGator’s shared and dedicated packages are very well rounded. The service is also very easy to use, so it is Editors’ Choice for novice webmasters.

Website Platforms & Plug-ins

WordPress

2016-02-09_0750WordPress.com and WordPress.org: WordPress is the best CMS (content management system) out there — almost a quarter of all websites on the internet are now built with WordPress. Google also loves WP and favours WP sites in search results. WordPress is how my websites are built (custom templates). If you’re just getting started,wordpress.com is the way to go (and I provide theme recommendations below). If you are getting someone to build it and you’re super particular, wordpress.org will be your spot.

Shopify

shopify_logoShopify is one of the best ecommerce solutions. It includes everything you need to run an online store. If you are keen on selling on your website, whether it’s hard goods or digital, Shopify is your one stop shop (no pun intended!)

StudioPress

2016-02-09_0802A great option for getting a beautiful WordPress site up and running is Studiopress. Studiopress uses Genesis Framework for the overarching theme (the “child” themes they offer are what you customize to be your brand), which results in super fast, secure and scalable websites.  These are crisp and clean and simple- which is what you want! Studiopress doesn’t offer the same level of customization that A Splendid Start does, but their child themes are versatile and easy to use. If you want specific customizations outside of their scope, they have a full list of recommended designers and developers.

Themeisle

2016-02-09_0808WordPress has a tonne of free themes to get you started, but if you are ready for something a bit more sleek and modern — there are vast amounts of online resources for WordPress themes. You don’t have to hire a fancy agency to get a beautiful website anymore. Enter Themeisle. You can get access to a whole collection of their premium WordPress themes for very reasonable costs.

BackupBuddy

2016-02-09_0810If you have a WordPress website, and it’s not hosted on a platform like WP Engine, then you need this plugin. You could rely on your host to make sure they have backups on hand in case anything happens, but having your backups on a local computer means you can be back up and running faster if you need it!

Securi

downloadAgain, if you’re not hosted on WPEngine then I highly recommend you invest in this plugin to ensure that your site is safe and sound. I’ve seen way too many business owners have their sites hacked, get weird pharmaceutical links placed all over, and it’s just not pretty. Take your business website’s safety seriously, because it’s much easier to prevent than it is to resolve after something happens.

PopupAlly Pro

2016-02-09_0818If you want to create customized opt-ins (both pop ups and embedded opt in forms) that match the look and feel of your web site… then look no further. It’s got all the features you’d expect like split testing, exit intent popups, opt-in bars, and granular polite features to decide when and where these opt-ins show up.

WebinarAlly

2016-02-09_0822Don’t want to spend a ton on webinar software that you might not use every month? Not super technical and that’s keeping you from hosting a webinar? With WebinarAlly, all of these issues are taken care of. You’ll have your first (or next!) webinar up and running on WordPress in the next 5 minutes!

LeadPages

2016-02-09_0823If you want to create simple and beautiful opt-in pages and sales pages, this is the system to do it just 5-10 minutes. I’ve been using LeadPages to create webinar invitations, opt-in pages, and thank you pages in my business and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s great especially if you’re not techy but you like things to look professional!

MeetEdgar

2016-02-09_0832This social media sharing tool helps us schedule tweets and Facebook messages and graphical posts with just a few clicks. It builds up a database of blog content, recommended articles, quotes and graphics you want to share on your social media profiles, and publishes for you on a regular schedule… It’s amazing how much time it’s saved us on social media!

AccessAlly

2016-02-09_0835If your business runs on Infusionsoft, and you plan to release more than one digital product or online course… then you need AccessAlly. You can set up several online courses inside one simple members area, and bring in the affiliate referral details, client payment, and so much more all under one roof.

Google Analytics

2016-02-09_0837Ahhh, if there is one free tool I can’t live without it’s this one. Having Google Analytics installed on your WordPress site means you’ll know who is coming to your website, how long they stay, where they came from, and whether they joined your list and bought or not. This is all priceless information!

Email Marketing System

Having a professional way to delivery emails is important. It is also the law that all business/promotional emails have an opt-out option. There are loads of options to choose from. I personally recommend Aweber.

Aweber

2016-02-09_0845Aweber is the first email marketing service I ever signed up for, and I stayed with them for many years before making the switch to an “all in one” system. It’s dependable and delivers your emails, plus it’s pretty straightforward to set up. I feel like it’s the system that grows with you.

Mailchimp

2016-02-09_0847This is a great service to get started with for free, when your list is less than 2000 subscribers. But it does have some downfalls, like list segmentation, and designing opt-in forms that are easy to use and that match your site’s designs.Email marketing has never been as easy as it is with Mailchimp. You can get started for free and get building your list – plus, Mailchimp has a whole whack of beautiful and easy to use templates. Segment out your lists based on subscriber activity, e-commerce data and more.

Ontraport

2016-02-09_0850 (1)ONTRAPORT is a business automation software developer that specializes in assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs.This is the alternative to Infusionsoft, which doesn’t have as many of the bells and whistles in regards to automation, but it does have other perks. One of them is the built-in membership plugin that comes with their packages.

Bookkeeping + Invoicing

Freshbooks

2016-02-09_0852This is my personal favourite. Whether you offer services online or in-person, having cloud based accounting software is a must. Many of your clients will expect to be able to pay you online — and you certainly want to give them every opportunity to give you money! Freshbooks is an awesome option for creating estimates and invoices (including recurring payments.) You can keep track of your clients’ payment history and export all your finances when it comes time for bookkeeping.

Xero

2016-02-09_0855Xero is the QuickBooks alternative. Use Xero accounting software to manage invoicing, bank reconciliation, bookkeeping & more. Xero is beautiful accounting software in the cloud that millions of people love using to run their small business. You can Compare pricing plans & test drive every feature.

Project Management & Scheduling

Asana

2016-02-09_0901The easiest way for teams to track work, and get results. Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams track their work You can read my full Asana review and watch a preview of how it works, but the best thing is for you to try it because it’s totally free. Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams track their work

Screenflow

2016-02-09_0903If you’re on a Mac, this is one simple piece of software that can help you record training videos for your own online courses. I use it for all of my screencast videos, and it has served me well over the years! It’s also a super simple video editor, where you can add titles and animations, too.

Slack

2016-02-09_0904Slack brings all your communication together in one place. It’s real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams. Slack is a platform for team communication: everything in one place, instantly searchable, available wherever you go. Offering instant messaging, document sharing and knowledge search for modern teams.

TeamWork

2016-02-09_0907Online business collaboration software that helps maximise your team’s productivity and performance. Teamwork Project Manager is an easy-to-use online teamwork & project management software application that helps managers, staff and clients work together more productively online.

Security

LastPass

2016-02-09_0914LastPass is a password manager and password generator that locks your passwords and personal information in a secure vault. LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you, and generates new, secure passwords instantly.  LastPass now requires email confirmation for all logins from new IPs

1Password

2016-02-09_0916In our hyper-connected world, there can be way too many passwords to remember… and each service you use online should have its own password. If one of the websites you login to gets hacked, your other accounts might also be compromised. With 1Password you’re able to keep all your passwords secure, come up with new ones for each service, and just have to remember the main password.

Storage

Dropbox

2016-02-09_0923If you collaborate with others online, Dropbox is a great way to share documents. We use this platform to upload all of our videos before they’re ready to go onto YouTube, and we also use it for documents of all types. It integrates beautifully with Asana, and connects to all your devices, too!

Google Drive

2016-02-09_1611Google Drive is a safe place for all your files and puts them within reach from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. Files in Drive – like your videos, photos, and documents – are backed up safely so you can’t lose them. Once there, you can easily invite others to view, edit, or leave comments on any of your files or folders.

Amazon S3

2016-02-09_1618Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), provides developers and IT teams with secure, durable, highly-scalable object storage. Amazon S3 is easy to use, with a simple web service interface to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere on the web.

Webinar & Online Meeting

Go To Webinar

2016-02-09_1621Citrix GoToWebinar is the online conference software that makes it possible for anyone to host a professional webinar from the comfort of their own office. GoToWebinar makes it easy to set up and deliver an online video and audio conference. Conduct do-it-yourself webinars with up to 1000 people – all for one flat rate. Extend your reach, expand your audience, increase your influence. Webinars work.

Zoom

2016-02-09_1627Zoom unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, group messaging, and a software-defined conference room solution into one easy-to-use platform.

Phone Services & Scheduling

Grasshopper

2016-02-09_1633If you work remotely with your team, or just don’t feel comfortable publishing your phone number online — Grasshopper is the solution for you. Set up different extensions, voicemails and call schedules for all around awesome phone option that is run and managed completely online.

Acuity Scheduling

2016-02-09_1636You’re going to be busy, or at least you best plan to be busy. Having an easy-to-use scheduling system in place will save you loads of time. I use this one from Acuity. I love it because I can set up different calendars for different uses, it integrates with my regular ical (or google cal or whatever you use), allows you to add a form if you need your appointments to fill anything out and you can even link it in to take payments.

Calendly

2016-02-09_1639Say goodbye to phone and email tag for finding the perfect meeting time with Calendly. It’s 100% free, super easy to use and you’ll love our customer service. In short, it’s an simple, beautiful scheduling software that delights and makes life easy for business professionals and their customers.

 

Other Important Resources

Scrivener

2016-02-09_1644I’ve been using this program since it first came out, and it’s one of the few pieces of software that I have open 80% of the time. It’s where I write my video scripts, my sales letters and emails, and my books. It’s great to help you map out sequences of emails, and keep track of a ton of research all in one place. It’s also pretty minimal, with a lot of functionality under the hood.

Echosign

2016-02-09_1646If you have a lot of documents that need to be signed, this one service could save you a lot of time and paper, too. I’ve found that we can save at least 10 minutes per contract when we use Echosign, and it makes me feel good that we can do business with people quickly without cutting down more trees in the name of the law.

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