RESOURCES FOR NEW ENTREPRENEURS
Since I share business strategies with awesome people like you, naturally my content may contain affiliate links for different products and services. If you take action (i.e. subscribe, make a purchase) after clicking one of these links, I’ll earn some extra change to make more content for you!
Trello – is a free project management tool that helps you get organized. It shows a board on which you can create lists filled with cards. When you open a card, you can add comments, upload files, create checklists, and more
Dropbox – Dropbox is great for storage and backups. It has a huge amount of awesome plugin apps to improve your experience. Moreover, it provides apps for every device, which means you can access your files from anywhere.
Slack – Slack is a beautiful chat app that is an amazing communication tool for teams and mastermind groups. Its smooth design is by far the nicest you’ll come across. Even though it’s relatively new, it is already very popular. You can create several channels to discuss different topics, or you can have a private conversation. Slack also allows you to share files and to easily find messages, notifications, and files in your archive. Everything is automatically synced on all your devices, and you can easily connect it to other apps, like WordPress or Skype. Start sharing your ideas with peers and get inspired by their questions, suggestions, and expertise. We’re all in this together.
Momentum – Momentum is a homepage replacement app designed to inspire you and keep you focused throughout your workday. When you open your browser, Momentum greets you by name with an inspiring picture and quote. I find Momentum immensely helpful when determining and completing my One Thing every day. Every morning, I tell it what my focus for the day will be. For the rest of the day, it reminds me of my commitment every time I open a new tab. This makes it much easier to stop wasting time on Facebook and likes.
Boomerang – You can temporarily remove messages from your inbox to be reminded of them later. This really helps you focus on the task at hand, without getting distracted by other things on your to-do list. Boomerang archives the email(s) and brings them back to your inbox at your chosen time. You can also use this app to write an email and send it later. You tell Boomerang when you want the email to be sent, and they take it from there. Moreover, it will remind you if you don’t hear back from someone, so messages won’t slip through the maze. Take control of your inbox, before it becomes an uncontrollable mess.
Voila Norbert – It can be very frustrating and time-consuming to look for someone’s email address on their (company’s) websites. This was a massive problem for me when looking for potential guests for my podcast. Voila Norbert finds the right email addresses, even when they’re not explicitly mentioned on a website. You just have to know the name of your contact person and the domain name of their company.
Sidekick – Sidekick is a brilliant email add-on tells developed to tell you whether someone has opened an email you sent. It shows you when, how many times, and from where the recipient has opened your email. This can be very useful when you’re doing a round of cold emailing, trying out a new marketing campaign, or starting a newsletter. Observe people’s behavior and learn from it!
99 designs – 99 Designs is perfect for finding a logo or landing page that you really love. I used them for the design of my book cover. The process is easy: you fill out a design brief, buy a package, and launch a contest. Designers from all over the world can sign up, create one or more designs, and send them to you. After receiving the results, you can choose the best one and pick the winner.
Clarity.FM – Want to get advice from an expert? Stop wasting your time browsing blogs. Clarity.FM connects you with a community of experts. You can look for professionals by name or by expertise, depending on the type of advice you’re looking for. Have a personal conversation with an experienced entrepreneur is the ultimate way to get the answers you need. Want to know what Brian Wong or Chris Brogan would do in your situation? Just ask them!
Typeform – Typeform is a free service you can use to create awesome looking surveys. We all use online forms to get feedback from our readers, listeners, and customers. Unfortunately, boring surveys are likely to be ignored, which makes it harder for you to know if you’re going in the right direction. Typeform’s beautiful, clear, and mobile-friendly surveys can help you get the valuable feedback you need, without extra effort.
Google Analytics – With a new business, it’s all about the numbers. How much traffic does your website generate? Where does the majority of that traffic come from? What are some key demographics of your target audience? All of these questions play a major role in the success of a startup, and tracking them is no easy feat. That’s where Google Analytics comes to play.
Playing off its reputation for innovative and easy to use services, Google’s statistics tool is no exception. Users can view the countries their site has been seen in, the percentage differences in traffic drivers, and their key numbers, broken out by the day, week, month, or year. Best of all, Google Analytics uses clearly marked charts and graphs so that even the least tech-savvy individual can feel confident in understanding their information.
EchoSign – Tired of filing cabinets full of loose documents that just keep mounting? EchoSign is an eco-friendly solution. Simply upload your documents onto the EchoSign server and send it to the other party. With its E-sign capability, EchoSign makes signing contracts a hassle-free event, with no printer or scanner necessary. Simply type in your name and initials and EchoSign will save your signed documents on their server for you to reference whenever you need. Instead of throwing away hundreds of dollars on paper, printer ink, and a scanner, EchoSign saves you time, money, and work, all while creating an effort to improve our ecosystem.
Wix – Wix has something for everyone. For those individuals who are less tech-savvy and more design-centered, Wix is a great resource for website and blog creation. With a “no coding” promise, Wix uses a drag and drop template so you can fully customize your site. If you change your company colors in a few months, Wix allows you to easily swap out your old template for an updated version.
On the flip side, people with stronger tech background can benefit from Wix’s newly launched market app, allowing users to mesh their personal apps onto the Wix platform. This is ideal for app creators, adding another potential marketplace for their product, as well as Wix users who will have access to a larger range of apps. With attractive perks like an online store setup, round the clock customer service, and easily trackable statistics, Wix makes website building seem like a walk in the park. The best part? Creating a Wix website is absolutely free.
OmniFocus – Starting a business is a challenging job and one that calls for juggling numerous issues at a time. With so many projects and challenges on the table, it’s common for certain things to get overlooked. OmniFocus realizes the organizational challenges of the workplace and has created an easy to navigate tool to help maintain a work/life balance. Their approach is three-pronged: capture, organize, and sync.
OmniFocus starts by collecting all of your data, current to-do lists, and anything that is on your mind. This could include a stream of consciousness thoughts, or even just casual notes as they occur to you. Once all of this data is entered, it can easily be organized into a more proactive form, allowing you to reach your goals in a clear and timely fashion. Finally, to avoid any crashing disasters, OmniFocus will sync all of your data onto their cloud server for you to reference from any location, at any time.
MailChimp – With a small business, it’s imperative to get the word out there about your service, product, or idea. Social media is one way to reach potential clients, but as for retaining them, MailChimp becomes a very useful tool. With easy to use templates and clearly marked filtered instructions, MailChimp helps you create email newsletters to distribute to your list of current contacts. Users without much tech or design experience can easily create a visually pleasing
E-blast that will grab the reader’s attention and hold onto it. Sending these newsletters on a regular basis can help keep your current database undated on your new projects and can send a huge traffic flow to your website. MailChimp is a great tool for businesses of all sizes, to excite and entertain your current clientele
Hostgator – Hostgator is one of the top web hosting services today. Hostgator is also one of the top trusted hosting companies, and currently powers millions of domains around the world. It is a web hosting provider that provides services for hosting websites and blogs online and Hostgator is used for purchasing domain names online. To have a website or blog you need two things, web hosting, and a domain name for your website or blog to be live on the web.
Siteground – is a web hosting company founded in 2004 in Sofia, Bulgaria. In most recent data, it reports serving more than 2,000,000 domains worldwide. It provides shared hosting, cloud hosting and dedicated servers as well as email hosting and domain registration. In 2019, the company employed over 500 people.
LinkedIn – has changed the workplace meetup structure in a dramatic way. Small businesses looking to source the best new talent for their startups now have access to not only their own networks but also the networks of their contacts.
LinkedIn provides an online directory of resumes, a chance to connect with like-minded individuals, and a platform to source and finds careers. A good idea is just that, and idea, and without talented individuals, it may never come to fruition. Starting your business with a tight team of experienced, talented people is the first step to success, and LinkedIn is an ideal way to achieve that.
SlideShare – We are living in a digital and visual world, and for new businesses, grabbing attention is paramount. Slideshare allows users to share digital slideshows and presentations across the globe, accessing over 50 million monthly users.
Slideshare is a great platform to upload videos, slideshow presentations, and music files in order to share them across the web. It functions primarily as a sharing platform, helping users to gain visibility for their creations. The site has an easy sharing service and blog-embedding tool so that your creations can be placed on your company’s site or blog. Videos showcasing your products, or How To tutorials can add flare and usability to your site, and Slideshare is the platform to create this.
Jira – When a new product is being created, tested, and launched, management is key. What are the statistics, which model is the most popular, and what bugs need to be worked out? All of these questions are easily trackable with Jira, a development process tool. Build your new product, track its progress, and gain feedback from outside sources to improve your model.
As you continue along in the production process, you can keep editing your workflow list, visible to all of the applicable team members. Completed products can continuously be updated through consumer reviews and feedback, via a simple sharing button. Capturing data has never been easier.
Hootsuite – Typically, one of the challenges new or small businesses face is a lack of manpower. Startups are generally formed by a group of motivated, hard-working individuals, each juggling a collection of hats. Hootsuite acts as an employee replacement, with its post scheduler system. Primarily used for social media outlets such as Facebook FB +0%, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Hootsuite allows users to create all of their information ahead of time, and then stagger them by date and time. You can attach images and videos and post items to numerous outlets at a time. This system not only allows you to be working, even when you are not working but can create a constant stream of information from your company, while you are working on other projects.
EverNote – Tired of searching through the mountain of papers on your desk for that post it with your meeting date? Try Evernote, an information organizational tool. Evernote works with three basic functions: capture, access, and find. Capture all of your information, from doctor appointments to business meetings, access it from a host of different sources like your computer, smartphone, or tablet, and find everything in mere moments.
With all of your information stored in one clearly marked space, you’ll save time and energy best spent elsewhere, like your growing company! Best of all, Evernote is a free application, so you can test out their organizational method and see if it is the right fit for you, without breaking the bank.
LastPass – How many hours have you wasted, trying to remember your password for that hardly ever used site that contains the one message you need to access? With all of the information we’re constantly keeping track of, it’s easy for the smaller things to get forgotten. That’s what makes LastPass so valuable. By removing the need for numerous passwords, LastPass creates a stress-free Internet experience, while ensuring total password security.
Users can create a free LastPass username and password. Then, sync up all of your commonly used websites, email accounts, social media servers, and so on. These linked accounts will then become available through your single LastPass login information. By streamlining dozens of login sites into one effortless checkpoint, you can speed past those roadblocks and access your sites in a faster and effortless manner.
Calendly – One of the most time-consuming things we do is coordinating meetings on a regular basis. While it may not be significant amounts of time per meeting, these times accumulate. Calendly allows you to integrate your own calendar, and offer a way to have someone schedule a time when you’re free.
Varidesk – If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re probably facing neck strains and back pain from sitting for long periods of time. Not only does this cause inconvenience, but it also disrupts your productivity over time. Varidesk offers affordable standing desks that you can set up at home or in the office.
Audible – Listening is the new reading. With all the downtime we have been stuck in traffic, waiting for the metro, and working in the office, there are better ways to maximize those moments. Audiobooks are a great way to absorb new knowledge while working on something else.
Appsumo – is a daily deals website for digitally distributed goods and online services. AppSumo was founded in March 2010 by Noah Kagan.
ONLINE LEARNING SITES
Alison – This platform offers free online courses from some of the most well-known names on the internet today, including Google, Microsoft, and Macmillan. With over 4 million users and over 600 courses already, it covers topics such as economic literacy, personal development, and business/enterprise skills.
Coursera – Much like MIT’s Open Courseware, this site has 114 educational partners that provide free courses to almost 10 million users. One benefit to Coursera is that there are very specific courses that fit perfectly into particular niches, such as “Data Management for Clinical Research” from Vanderbilt University and “Innovation for Entrepreneurs: From Idea to Marketplace” from the University of Maryland. Its wide network of partners allows for a greater selection.
edX – This free site currently has over 300 courses on a variety of topics, including “Financial Analysis and Decision Making” and “Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?” These courses not only cover business in general but can also help learn more skills that are applicable to your industry, such as big data or environmental conservation.
HubSpot Academy – The free certification program offers courses on inbound marketing, including website optimization, landing pages and lead nurturing. These skills are a must for business owners as they try to grow their business and online presence.
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania – This university has almost 100 free on-demand college courses that are extremely applicable to entrepreneurs, including ones that cover business planning, operations and management, and small-business tax.
Moz – If you want to learn search-engine optimization to make sure your website is as visible as possible, check out this treasure trove of resources from SEO leader, Moz. Besides having the free Moz Academy, there are also webinars (live and recorded), and beginner’s guides to SEO, social media and link building.
OpenCulture – This site isn’t an educational platform on its own, but rather collects and shares free resources from around the web. Its list of 150 free online business courses is a great resource because it offers classes from iTunes U and other lessons on video and audio. The site also has lists of free audiobooks, certificate courses, and other online courses.
Udemy – an online learning platform aimed at professional adults and students, developed in May 2010. As of Jan 2020, the platform has more than 50 million students and 57,000 instructors teaching courses in over 65 languages. There have been over 295 million course enrollments. Students and instructors come from 190+ countries and 2/3 of students are located outside of the U.S. Udemy also has over 5,000 enterprise customers and 80% of Fortune 100 companies use Udemy for employee upskilling.
YouTube – It’s probably unsurprising to most users that YouTube is one of the world’s largest search engines, as there are literally videos on just about anything you can imagine. From TED talks to recorded presentations on building a business, it’s a great free resource on just about any topic.
If you want to start a new side hustle and you are looking for new ideas visit our blog post 150 side hustles! CLICK HERE