Have you ever been working on something and thought “Geez, why don’t they have X to make this easier” – well nine times out of ten they do, you just don’t know it yet! Hence why I have decided to put together a comprehensive list of all the tools I’ve used as an online entrepreneur and have had recommended to me by others.
This list is for my benefit (if I put it on my blog I can’t lose it!) and for others! If you have extra tools that will help online entrepreneurs (or entrepreneurs of any flavor really) feel free to leave links to them in the comments below!
Alright, are you ready for your socks to be rocked by my awesome 44 tools for online entrepreneurs? Then look out world, here we come!
- Colourlovers.com is an amazing site for anyone who deals with design in the online world. How many times have you been telling someone “no, I want JET black” and they come back with navy blue? Well your days of frustration are over my friend! Just hop on over and pick a palette or color swatch that will show a designer or virtual assistant exactly what you’re talking about.
- Balsamiq Mockups much like the vinaigrette makes everything go down easier, this wire framing software syncs up with your computer and allows you to make amazingly understandable and clean mock ups in no time. With a free trial and great customer support you can’t go wrong with this tool.
- iStockPhoto.com is the place I get most of my stock photos for a variety of my websites and many of the posts I do here. The photos and graphics are always reasonably priced and of the highest quality – you can use them for anything from a website’s design to a printed advertisement and they are far more cost effective than hiring a photographer yourself.
- 99designs.com is perfect for the person who doesn’t want to spend weeks working with a designer to come up with a good logo or website. Instead you specify the parameters of your project and get tons of submissions sent directly to you! You choose which you like best, then have those designers tweak their submissions and at the end you receive a great design for a fraction of the price of hiring a traditional firm.
- Crowd Spring. It’s like a giant creative agency at your fingertips, similar to 99 designs but more services. Pay pennies on the dollar to hiring a normal design agency.
- Design with Intent Card Deck – This is a great resource that I was recently turned onto and I have been using these cards to check the design of my new sites. The are like trading cards for design nerds, full of practical tips and strategies to make your website’s design work for you in the best possible manner.
- Bluehost the hosting I use and love, their customer support is amazing, they’re service is epic and it’s inexpensive.
- 1and1 I get all my domain names through 1and1, they have great customer service and an awesome support team – what more needs to be said?
- aWeber if you don’t have an email newsletter of some sort on your site already, get with the program. This is a very important part of building your mobile business and branding yourself online. It’s how you will keep in touch with your audience for years to come and it’s a powerful income generating tool if you decide to monetize your network.
- Tubemogul for those who do a lot of videos tubemogul is a great way to get them spread across all the video sharing sites without hours of back breaking work.
- 1shoppingcart I use this service for all of my shopping cart/check out needs, it’s affordably priced, robust and very easy to navigate. Whether your a newbie to online business or have been around the block a few times, start swapping out Paypal for 1shoppingcart and see the difference (p.s. you’ll save a lot in fees as well).
- Wishlist Member for those of you who want to eventually start a membership site Wishlist member is where it’s at. I love this product and it’s incredibly easy to install and tweak. You can have a membership site up and running in days not weeks with Wishlisht.
- Website Alive. You know how you see little ‘live chat’ icons on major websites? You can have that too! Website Alive allows you to host live chat software on your site for a fee and has been proven to add to customer retention.
- Compete a site that for varying fees, some even free, allows you to compare websites against one another and find out who’s doing well & why.
- Wufoo.com easy forms to embed or send. You can use them to poll your audience, clients and leads to make sure your business or blog is doing it’s best.
- BrowserShots See how your site looks in many different browsers, this is very important when you’re launching a new site or updating a current one.
For Running an Online Business
- Last Pass. I use this free service almost daily, to store all my passwords in one place where I won’t forget them or misplace something important. It’s great and even has a mobile version for the iPhone!
- Mozy. Have you ever had a computer crash? I have and it isn’t pretty. The days I spend crying are nothing compared to the sinking feeling I get when I realize ‘I didn’t back up my crap’. Needless to say get your stuff backed up automatically with Mozy and you can scratch one more thing off your ‘to-worry’ list.
- Bidsketch. A great tool for designers who are always making proposals for clients. It makes it easy, so, so easy!
- Basecamp HQ. I use basecamp all the time in my businesses, it is a great place for my employees to communicate to each other & for me to keep track of their times and oversee all projects with a simple online interface.
- Outright is a great, simple accounting system that operates online. Think of “easy” quickbooks – I know, it sounds too good to be true and it’s free!
- Freshbooks is what I use to bill all of my clients. It’s super simple, effective and very inexpensive (actually it’s free until you really get rolling)!
- Google docs a great way to keep all your documents, charts and ideas organized and shared among your team – plus it’s gloriously free.
- Google forms if you need to use a form in your website or email newsletter check out google forms, it’s simple and straightforward plus all of the responses will be organized for you in a convenient little spreadsheet!
- Google keyword tool this is what I have always used to research great keywords for my sites or businesses and I still think it’s the best.
- Just Dropped is a great resource for those of us in the online business realm, it allows you to be notified daily of all URLs that were currently dropped (i.e. aren’t owned by anyone now) and then lets you pay a small fee to buy them a.s.a.p. Sometimes really great URLs are just dropped because the person isn’t keeping track and you better be ready to snatch them up!
- ZenDesk an excellent customer support service that will easily mesh with your website and allow you to stand out with your sleek, simple support system.
- Grasshopper is the virtual phone system I use to make my start up sound like a major company! It’s very affordable and easy to set up too!
- DimDim.com is a web conferencing tool that makes it simple & sleek on all ends. Plus it’ll save you a bundle on flying across country for meetings.
- FreeConferenceCall.com allows you to call & record conference calls for free! My mastermind group uses it all the time and it works wonderfully.
- Chargify is an start up that allows you to simply integrate accepting credit cards with your online business no matter how big or small you are.
- Brain Sync Try the Mayan Waves which is supposed to refresh the brain and I’m telling you it worked! When I was done listening to it I felt like I’d given my subconscious a bath and it was all fresh and squeaky clean now!
- Gist.com a great hub for all things networking based. I recently did an interview with Shane Mac who works with the start up team at Gist, in the interview he explains all the benefits of keeping all of your contacts at your fingertips and being able to track metrics for each.
- 40 Bed & Breakfast’s abroad (great prices, great for inspiration!)
- Setster An amazing little widget you can install on your website to allow people to make appointments with you, this works great whether you’re a freelancer or just a busy blogger. Check out Setster and starting getting organized, you’re frazzled iPhone calendar will thank you!
- ShoeBoxed for all your receipts, paperwork and business cards that you can’t find space for on your desk. Instead de-paperize and get shoe boxed online! This service organizes all your paper stuffs into simple online categories that will always be at your fingertips.
Personal Brand Domination
- Skype & hot recorder I use Skype constantly to keep in touch with other bloggers, chat with friends and make connections – I use hot recorder to record my audio interviews over Skype for clear audio quality and simplicity of use.
- Camtasia is my video recording program of choice, if you weren’t born with an AV cart in one hand then this is for you! It’s simple and makes it easy to edit and fancy up a video even if you’re a non techy like me!
- Ommwriter a blissful place to write, it’s quite, it takes up the whole screen and it’s utterly euphoric.
- Fiverr.com I recently did an interview with the founder of Fiverr and it’s an amazing case study on how to build a big business by allowing people to sell their services for only one price point. Check out Fiverr.com, I use it religiously to get great deals on everything from professional VOs to ebook designs that are stunning.
- Kickstarter a great place to fund & follow creative people, start ups and ideas.
- Flip Cam video camera I use mine to take great videos blogs and capture moments I want to share with my blogging/online audience.
- Involver.com awesome social marketing platforms and widgets that will help you build your brand on Facebook & other social media outlets.
- Klout a free platform that allows you to check your social ranking and see how to gain more clout with others in your network. I use it to see where I rank against my competition and to inspire me to get more active by networking socially.
Alright that’s all folks! Hope these 44 tools for mobile entrepreneurs helped make your mobile lifestyle easier and your extraordinary business better! If you have additional tools that I left out I’d love to hear about that below!