Online Business Resources

Links to help you run your business online.

These are all sites that I use actively, and highly recommend. If they seem overwhelming or confusing, I can help you use them effectively. Contact me for more info.

# Web Link
1   Link   Google Adwords
Doing business online? You should be advertising on Google. Google Adwords will let you get into the game for not too much money. My marketing strategy with Adwords is to be upfront in my ad with what I offer and how much it will cost, and then pay for clicks at the highest I can afford. That way, I get more eyeballs, but less click throughs. But the click throughs I do get are essentially pre-qualified sales leads. Sure I only buy a handful a month, but I have been very happy, and my ROI is into the thousands of percent.
2   Link   Google Analytics
Like Adwords, if you're doing business online, you should be using Analytics. Many companies offer analytics, but Google does it simply, and for free. Most web applications have support for Analytics. There is also a plethora of information online about maximizing your Analytics. Just google it :)
3   Link   GoDaddy
GoDaddy is the best deal for domain registrations, and SSL certificates. They have a lot of other products. My only complaints are their overly ambitious upselling on checkout and their overly complex, endless array of discount options.
4   Link   Paypal
Paypal. It's likely you're already using Paypal to make payments online at sites like eBay. But, did you know it's simple to sell products or services through paypal? Too small to process your own credit cards online, Paypal takes the overhead out of it. I accept payments on all invoices via Paypal, and have sold products directly on websites with their simple shopping cart. A must-have tool if you're looking to get started selling online.
5   Link   Mailchimp
Mailchimp will help you setup and manage an online mailing list. Completely Free Forever accounts for up to 500 list members and 3,000 e-mails a month. Their higher volume mailing lists are very affordable also. They take care of all the extra overhead of having and managing an online mailing list. Put a form of theirs on your site, and keep in contact with your customers, or potential customers, easier than ever. They have great information about using social media effectively without pushing the boundaries of good taste and Internet etiquette (Netiquette)
6   Link   NetSuite
Netsuite is an online ERP system for business. If you're a growing business, struggling with planning and execution, Netsuite can help you with everything from customer contacts to managing your financials.
7   Link   DimDim
It seems like just yesterday Webex redefined affordable, online meetings. Now, there are endless options for meeting online. They're all pretty good at getting the job done. But, the latest in actual free online meetings is Dimdim, and they promise to be keeping their small size online meetings free, forever.
8   Link   eBay
If you haven't used eBay, check it out. It's a great online auction house. It's easy to find good deals and rare items, and it's easy to sell your own items. For a business, you can easily setup an eBay store, and leverage their high traffic to get more exposure, without spending all your money on advertising.
9   Link   Craig's List
It may not look like a business site, but Criag's list is a great place to meet new customers. All ads are free, except help wanted ones. There is no annoying ads, or distracting upsells. There is an endless amount of local information, and it's not the easiest to find. I suggest doing some research on how businesses use Craig's list before diving in.
10   Link   Drop Box
Dropbox is the perfect cloud backup system. Not only do they keep a copy on their servers of all your important files, but they sync it between your computers. When Google Docs isn't enough for online file sharing, or you want to have important files backed up, Dropbox is where to go. 2GB free, and not much for 50GB. I think 2GB is the perfect size, since much larger amounts take a long time to both upload and get back when you need them. Also, they have a free iPhone app, which lets you access your files from your iPhone.
11   Link   Google Docs
Google Docs is THE place to share simple documents like spreadsheets and text files for online collaboration. Make a document, share it with your team, everyone can edit it at the same time, and see changes, almost real time, from other edits. Also, their forms are great ways to collect information into a spreadsheet online. Make a form, post or share the link with people, and watch your spreadsheet get populated with information.
12   Link   Google News Reader
Want to keep up to date on news in specific areas, pertinent to your business? Checkout Google News Reader. It's easy to customize what news you see by categories and keywords. This makes industry news almost like a dedicated e-mail account for you, without all the hassle of searching through all online sources for news.
13   Link   Google Voice
While it's not fully available for sign-ups, you can try to find an invite from someone with an account. Google voice lets your manage your phone lines like you have a full phone system, and all online. My favorites are, screening calls and a text transcript sent to you of new voicemails.
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