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Start Your Own Business With These 10 Tools And Resources

Start Your Own Business With These 10 Tools And Resources

Starting a small business is a challenge, but it can be less challenging when you are using the right tools. Luckily, there are several tools and resources online that are great for all entrepreneurs. The problem is, you have to wade through them all to find the best ones, and with thousands of tools out there, it can be really difficult to figure out which ones are going to be best for your small business. Well, we have done that for you. Here are our top 10 picks for online tools and resources for new small business owners.

1. Square Up

square

    This is a tool you need that will let you run your business from anywhere you can find an Internet connection. Tools include mobile point-of-sale and online invoicing, as well as next-day deposits and inventory management. Also Square Up works offline.

    2. Aweber

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    aweber

      You need email marketing, and Aweber will provide you with the support you need to create your email list, keep things fresh, and send out regular updates to clients. You can make a lot of money through email marketing, and this is the tool that will help you succeed. Aweber has a 30-day free trial.

      3. Asana

      Asana

        For all of your project management needs, Asana is the tool for you. You will have in-app storage, be able to sync up with Google Docs and other external providers, and receive/send notifications for team members.

        4. Virtual Hosted PBX

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        Virtual Hosted PBX

          You may need a PBX phone system, and if so, you need to choose the best provider. At Virtual PBX, you can check out reviews of all the top providers, and learn what you need to know in order to make the best choice.

          5. Wufoo

          wufoo

            This is a tool that will help you create forms, and a whole lot more. You can integrate third-party services such as payments within forms, which is going to make your life easier and save you money. Use Wufoo to create simple forms, or full application forms for new orders quickly and easily.

            6. Startup Stash

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            startups tash

              How would you like to have all of your small business tools and software system completely organized? Startup Stash will help you to do just that. This is a large, curated directory with loads of tools and software programs to search through. It is well-organized, and categories are simply marked so everything is easy to use. Categories include Naming, Marketing, Customer Support, and Analytics.

              7. Hootsuite

              Hootsuite

                Manage your social media easily with Hootsuite. It will let you manage your social networks, schedule messaging, keep your audience engaged, and even measure ROI directly from the dashboard.

                8. F6s

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                f6s

                  Here you will find a list of funding opportunities, such as accelerator programs. You will also find a link to a Facebook group for startups, founders, and angels, and this is a great way for you to start really getting into networking. You will need to do a bit of research, but at least everything you need for funding is all in one place so you don’t have to search all over the Internet.

                  9. Echosign

                  Adobe

                    You can really outpace your competition when you are using Echosign. It will let you add Document Cloud eSign services to your business processes, as well as drive your new small business as much as five times faster.

                    10. AngelList

                    Angel

                      While not exactly a tool, AngelList is something that you really should be utilizing for your business. It will let you enlist products and job openings, and even search for possible investors. This is a great way to find new recruits, investors, and others who are going to help you succeed in your small business endeavors.

                      Featured photo credit: Sebastiaan ter Burg via flickr.com

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                      Jane Hurst

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                      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

                      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

                      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

                      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

                      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

                      Joe’s Goals

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                        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                        Daytum

                          Daytum

                          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                          Excel or Numbers

                            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                            Evernote

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                              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                              Access or Bento

                                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                                Conclusion

                                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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