Guest post by Mike Wheatley
As the global economy continues to stutter and splutter along, thousands of innovators are turning to entrepreneurship as the only way to get ahead. Business startups not only create thousands of new jobs for those who formulate them, they also provide widespread opportunities for others to get involved.
The best part of all this is that creating a new business has never been easier, thanks to the availability of a huge number of online apps and business tools to do the work for us. With that in mind, what follows are five great tools for budding entrepreneurs to help launch and grow their new businesses:
One of the downsides to starting any kind of business is all of the legal kerfuffle that inexperienced entrepreneurs have to muddle their way through. Well, with LegalZoom, these things are made just a teeny weenie bit easier, thanks to their huge database of thousands of legal document templates. Whether you’re looking to register your business name or you need to apply for a patent, all you need to do is download the relevant form, add your company headings, fill in the blanks and you’re ready to go! LegalZoom is cheap and fast, and best of all – there’s not a lawyer in sight! What more could you ask for?
Now that you’re in business, you’re going to need to get paid. One of the most common but less thought-about problems these days is that everyone insists on paying with plastic – all very well if your name’s Walmart, but not always the case if you’re a one man operation. Still, never fear for Square is here to save the day. Created by Jack Dorsey, co-founder of no less than Twitter, Square is a simple application that transforms your smartphone into a mobile credit card reader. Users have to stump up 2.75% of each and every transaction, but to possess the ability to accept credit card payments anywhere and everywhere, it’s clearly a worthwhile investment.
Social media and business startups are a match made in heaven. Whereas before, the only way to get seen was with a multi-million dollar advertising budget, these days it’s possible for anyone to get the word out about their product or service, so long as they have a way to balance all of that social madness with actually running their business. Make no mistake about it, social media is free but it still requires a big investment of your time. That’s where Hootsuite comes in, allowing you to manage multiple social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, all in one easy to use (WHEN you get used to it!) dashboard. Schedule messages, posts and tweets, and analyze your social growth with an array of data tracking tools. Hootsuite saves a lot of time, and as we all know, time is money! Need we say more?
One thing that entrepreneurs can’t get enough of is networks. Reaching out to like-minded souls, swapping resources, sharing ideas and securing funds is pretty much part and parcel of all businesses these days, and is especially important for startups who lack the connections of their rivals. Rock the Post is a fantastic tool for entrepreneurs to expand their networks and leverage existing ones. With thousands of users and dozens of success stories already told, Rock the Post is fast becoming the crowdfunding source to go to for budding business startups.
When the time comes for a business to transition from a startup to an established player, that business will likely need a helping hand. But taking new employees and training them to be successful staff members is a testing task in itself. So what’s a time-constrained entrepreneur to do in such a situation? Simple – the new, refined QuizMaker from ProProfs is the perfect corporate training tool. ProProf’s Quiz Maker allows you to create a business training course, administer tests, examine results and analyze mistakes, all in one highly streamlined, easy to use package. Powerful stuff, and a must have for any growing business.
About the author
Mike Wheatley is an experienced freelance blogger and copywriter from the UK. His life is one never-ending adventure, traveling and partying across the world, living it up while funding his hectic lifestyle through his work as an author and heading up Content Solutions Online.
Photo source – Freedigitalphotos.net