112 Tools to Run Your Business – An Online Resource Guide
As you build and grow your digital business there are MANY programs, software, subscriptions and more that you may need to build the business you are envisioning.
How do you know what you need and which choice is best for you?
For example, the basics you may need for an online business are an email address to reach your clients, a website, possibly a scheduling service so you can automate your calendar, an email marketing platform to communicate with your clients and start building your potential client base, and much more.
We have organized this resource list of 112 tools based on the different elements you may need to best serve your clients.
Online Webpage Management and Communication
Register a Domain Name
Deciding on a domain name can be just as important as choosing your company name. Make sure it’s simple, memorable and available across as many platforms as possible. Your domain name tells you customers who you are and what you do. It’s likely your first point of contact and your cheapest advertising.
GoDaddy manages over 73 million domain names. They are the world’s largest domain name registrar. They also offer Microsoft powered email, web hosting, marketing tools and more.
Some people also find time to buy and sell URLs – this article gives you a fascinating background look at how you can combined this activity with your business.
Choose a Website Builder
A website’s main purpose is to define your business. The design should be inspiring, current in its themes and colors, simple and easy to navigate. All site builders offer templates that you can customize to fit you and your products. Doing it yourself is not impossible, though hiring some professional help for some integration will probably be necessary.
Wix is always at or near the top of any web builder review. Over 100 million people in nearly every country in the world have used Wix. It could be the best drag and drop website builder out there today. It’s simple for the beginner to work with and its templates work across multiple industries.
Choose a Web Host
Now you need a place for your site to sit. Depending on your website’s content, so whether it’s heavier in text or video or if you serve a local or international market, it is important to match content with what a web host provides. Price is certainly a factor but support and reliability are what will really help you sleep at night.
Bluehost delivers exceptional performance and reliability. It’s powerful and user friendly for both beginners and professionals. It’s perhaps the most popular hosting provider in the industry all the while remaining affordable.
Hire a Company to Build a WordPress Website for You
I’ve invested a ton of money into other people building websites for me and often been disappointed in the outcome until I started working with iMark Interactive who builds all of my WordPress sites using the Elementor Theme – Grayson Bell and his team can build sites starting at only $349.00, which is phenomenal for getting started and not having to learn the tech on your own. They also manage ongoing maintenance of websites for a reasonable monthly fee that includes updates, minor changes and fixes and avoidance of bots overtaking your site.
Video Conferencing Software Programs
It seems nothing can get done today without a video call.
Email Systems and Customer Relationship Management Systems
A CRM is your “Customer Relationship Management” system. This is the platform you use to manage your contacts and clients, send emails and market products. It’s really the souped-up Rolodex of today. All CRM’s have their own unique features so make sure the one you choose fits both your current business and where you hope it to be 5 years from now. This is probably the most important decision you will make. Direct contact with your customers is what makes or breaks a business.
- Keap/Infusionsoft – A long time industry leader that’s scalable for cloud based email marketing.
- Convertkit OR go to Convertkit‘s Free Plan – A bloggers go-to platform.
- MailChimp – Great for basic but attractive email marketing.
- ActiveCampaign – More advanced email marketing with great list customization.
- AWeber – Basic email marketing with hundreds of templates available.
Online Course Platforms
Online course platforms provide your customers with access to digital classes that you create and sell. They manage individual access and track progress to your self designed educational experience through video, image, text, audio, and PDF files.
- Thinkific – A strong modern classroom experience platform with lots of templates and free version.
- LearnWorlds – A highly advanced course selling and learning platform wherein the students and your team can interact closely through unlimited multimedia resources.
- Kajabi – An all-in-one platform that includes course management as well as website construction, funnel building and email marketing.
- Teachable – Great analytics with flexibility and user friendly.
- Ruzuku – Really simple with flexible pricing
- MyQuest – A journey based learning tool for more interactive learning experiences. To get a demonstration of this really cool learning tool, you can set up a meeting with Samuel at MyQuest by clicking here.
- Kartra – MY FAVORITE course platform for cost and ease of use – An all-in-one platform that delivers a complete course education system, email funnels, lead pages and much more.
- Podia – An all-in-one platform that is simple to get set up and rolling and is one of the cheapest options on the market and lots of satisfied customers!
- MemberPress – A Complete Membership Site Plugin For WordPress
Marketing Landing Page Programs
Depending on your business and your client interaction, several options exist to make both sales and marketing easier. Creating landing pages, sales funnels, photo and video content and unique interaction devices are some of the tools you may need.
- Clickfunnels – An all-in-one platform that give you both landing page creation and email functionality for generating leads.
- Leadpages – A powerful landing page creator, integrating easily with mobile and desktop software.
- Lead page Analyzer – to see how your leadpages standup in marketing terms
Tools to Help You/Your Business to be Found Online
Tools to Help You Research Topics and Titles for Your Blog Posts/Podcasts/etc.
- Answerthepublic.com – Search listening tool for marketing, customer and content research
- Google Adwords Search – www.google.com to see what comes up when you enter ideas into Google search engine.
This is for both the people creating content and those wanting to share your content and stories in the articles they write or video about for major publications around the world. It’s a great tool for gaining exposure on reputable blogs and news outlets in your niche. The free version is so powerful that I have yet to use the paid version. It’s also an incredible tool for reporters to crowd-sourcing content and build a network of content contributors.
Video Hosting Services
- Vimeo – Vimeo makes your videos look more amazing. Vimeo is video + you; the best way to share, discover and be inspired.
Free Stock Photography
Customize your design without hiring a personal photographer – below you will find stock photography resources that are all free and will help bring your brand to life.
- Burst – Free stock photos for websites and commercial use.
- PikWizard – PikWizard is a (mostly) free stock image and video site with libraries that hold over 1 million stock images and videos. All assets are premium, contemporary and completely copyright free.
- Free Nature Stock – Royalty-free nature photos, updated daily.
- Gratisography – Unique high-resolution photos in a range of categories.
- Life Of Pix – Free high resolution stock photography.
- Magdeleine – Get one free, hand-picked, high-resolution photo every day.
- Pixabay – Over 1.4 million royalty free stock photos and videos shared by our generous community.
- StockSnap – Hundreds of high-res images added weekly.
- Streetwill – Free high-res vintage photos to use any way you want.
- Superfamous Images – Free nature and abstract stock images.
- Unsplash – 10 new free photos added every 10 days, available online or via email subscription.
Free Photo Editing Software
- Pixlr – Free Photoshop-esque photo editor
Adding Captions to Videos
- Headliner – Quick and easy way to add captions to your videos for promoting your podcast and other initiatives.
Before you upload any images to your website, run them through one of these free photo compressors. Smaller file size helps keep your website fast while saving money on bandwidth and storage space.
- Compressor.io – Drastically reduce the size of your images and photos while maintaining a high quality with almost no difference before and after compression.
- Kraken.io – Image optimizer and compressor.
- TinyJPG – JPEG and PNG photo compression.
Quiz and Survey Companies
Find out what prospective customers are interested in to generate leads and maintain that connection with current customers.
- Tryinteract – Basic and easy to use quizzes with lots of templates.
- Typeform – Offers a free plan with basic tools.
- Survey Monkey – Simple with strong analytics.
- Survey Gizmo – Allows for intuitive questions.
Event Planning and Summit Planning Tools
Create a database that covers your customers and products
- Airtable – Super simple to use
Get organized and keep organized with your customers and staff.
- Google Calendar – Integrates with all the other Google stuff.
- Calendly – Great for workforce sharing and community scheduling.
- Calendar.com – Great for tracking analytics of daily events.
- Acuity Scheduling – Acuity Scheduling is an online assistant, working 24/7 to fill schedules. Acuity now supports over 50,000 businesses and major corporations.
Make text copies of your podcasts, videos, or any content meant for sale or free.
- Rev – (rough draft $.25 a minute but higher quality than Scribie’s autotranscribe option or $1.25 a minute for high quality transcription) – Use this code t save $10 off first order: try.rev.com/Cw92r
- Scribie – (rough draft $.10 a minute or $1.00 a minute for high quality transcription)
- Veed.io – Less than 10 minutes – Free. Monthly service starts at $18 a month.
Project Management collaboration tools
Track projects, create workflows, manage resources, maintain your project budget and share files with your team members.
- Trello – An easy and visually fun to use task management and collaboration tool.
- Basecamp – A simple task management and collaboration tool with a free version.
- Asana – A small team collaborative focused project management tool
- Google Groups – Great for tracking and sharing.
You will have sooo much space to store your stuff!
- Google Drive – It’s all about ease of integration to create, edit and store.
- Amazon Cloud – Lots of options and the go to if you are already using Office 365
- Dropbox – Next best option to the Big Box Stores
Isn’t this what business is really all about?
- Authorize Net – One time or reoccurring credit card payments.
- Paypal – Links to bank accounts and credit cards.
- Stripe – Great for international payments.
Contract Signing with Clients/Summit Partners
Save the paper, but keep your business safe with these legally-binding online contracts and signature tools.
- SignRequest – Up to 10 free contracts per month with free account
- Docusign – Free trial for 30 days
- HelloSign – Legally-binding electronic signatures.
Social Media Publishing Platforms
Schedule, manage, post and plan all from one platform.
- Buffer – Share what you’re reading and schedule social media posts.
- EveryPost – All-in-one publishing tool that makes it easy to share multimedia content across multiple social platforms at once.
- Hootsuite – Manage up to three social media profiles and get basic analytics, content scheduling, lead capture campaigns, RSS feed integrations and free social media courses.
- Later – Schedule and manage your Instagram posts.
Social Media Action Tools
Drive engagement with your community.
- Gleam – easy to use contest app.
These free apps, tools, resources and programs will help you create the best content for your business.
- CoSchedule Headline Analyzer – This free blog post headline analyzer will score your overall headline quality and rate its ability to result in social shares, increased traffic, and SEO value.
- Hemingway App – An incredibly helpful writing tool that helps you assess the grade level of your content as well as suggestions to improve readability.
- Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer – Free tool will analyze your headline to determine the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) score.
- Free PDF Creator – Create PDF documents from any Windows program including Word, Excel and PowerPoint****
- Free Summarizer – Summarizes any text in just a few seconds, then sends you the summary via email.
- iBooks Author – Create and publish books for iPad and Mac. Features drag-and-drop templates and support for movies, audio and widgets, making it a great option for a multi-sensory and interactive experience.
- The Most Dangerous Writing App – The perfect cure for writer’s block—this web-based tool will delete your progress if you stop typing for more than five seconds.
- Portent’s Content Idea Generator – Enter any keyword and get a catchy blog post headline to help turn that headline into a great content strategy.
- Copyscape – Plagiarism checker that searches for duplicates of your content.
These writing platforms let you write, collaborate and publish all with one tool.
- Airstory – Research and write in one place. Drag-and-drop your research, data points, images, graphs and more into a single outline or doc.
- Draft – Writing collaboration tool with version control, editing assistance and cloud syncing.
- ZenPen – Distraction-free writing zone.
These free time tracking apps can help you make the most of your working hours.
- Hubstaff – Time tracking for teams. Takes regular screenshots to measure activity levels and manage your remote team.
- RescueTime – Software that runs in the background of your computer and provides data to help you understand your daily habits so you can focus and be more productive.
- Toggl – Simple time tracking via mobile app or Chrome extension. Just hit a button and start tracking.
- Tomato Timer – An online timer inspired by the popular Pomodoro Technique productivity system.
Videos, Podcasts & TV Shows
Inspiring shows for business owners.
- How To Start A Startup – A series of videos lectures featuring some of the world’s experts on starting a business.
- Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner – Around 2,000 free podcasts and videos covering marketing, sales, finance, leadership and social entrepreneurship.
- StartUp Podcast – The podcast about what it’s really like to start a business.
- TED – Influential videos from expert speakers covering a range of topics, from parenting to technology to procrastination.
- The Pitch – A podcast where early-stage startups pitch their company and three investors give real feedback.
Services to help you with Budgeting, Credit Repair, Online Payroll Services and other Money Management Tools
- You Need a Budget – an incredible app that allows you to manage the cash flow in your life – both for personal financials and for business – Plus you can try for free for first month!
- QuickBooks – QuickBooks Desktop Version, from Intuit, is the #1 Accounting Software in the US. Quickbooks makes it easy to run your whole business better with integrated payroll, invoicing, inventory and more! Try Quickbooks FREE today.
- Credit Repair – CreditRepair.com are experts in the credit repair field and helps individuals meet their credit goals.
- Intuit Payroll Services – Intuit Online Payroll is America’s #1 Payroll Service used by over 1M Small Business Owners.
- Lexington Law – Lexington Law is leading credit repair law firm. Lexington Law offers helps you take action and repair your credit.
- CreditKarma – Your credit scores should be free. And now they are. Check your scores anytime, anywhere, and never pay for it.
Services to help you with Digital Projects and Finding Virtual Assistants
- GreatAssistant – A member of their team will meet with you and gather information regarding your business and your current situation to see if their program is a fit.
- Fiver – Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for services starting at $5. Gigs on Fiverr are offered for a fixed, base price of $5 and include things like Creative services, IT helpers, Video professionals, Writers Business consulters and much more. Get 10% off your first order by entering code: FVRRHOLIDAYS10
- Lumen5 – Lumen5 is a video creation platform designed for brands and businesses to produce engaging video content for social posts, stories, and ads.
Online Courses & Continuing Education
Free courses, no matter your interests.
- +Acumen – Global learning community for social change leaders with nearly 20 free online courses.
- Harvard – Free online courses from Harvard University.
- Kauffman Founders School – Lectures aimed at giving entrepreneurs the skills and tools to build their ideas into something big.
- MIT OpenCourseWare – Online courses featuring nearly all MIT course content.
- Udacity – Online courses and nanodegree tech programs, including communication, app development, design and more.
- Udemy – Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching online where more than 30 million students are mastering new skills and achieving their goals by learning from an extensive library of over 130,000 courses taught by expert instructors.
***Some of these links include affiliate connections that may provide me with payment if you enroll in a program with my affiliate link.***