Online Small Business Tools
The Top Links for Your Business
Choosing the right small business accounting software is one of the most important first steps in setting up a new business. As any professional accountant will tell you, business success is always in the numbers. The good news is that this does not have to be difficult. You have scalable choices in both desktop accounting software and cloud-based accounting software.
Learn more: Intuit QuickBooks
Automated Spend Management & Reporting
Take full control of business spending and reporting with a comprehensive solution for automating expense reporting, purchasing and payable invoices. Web-based subscription services streamline expense report, purchase requisition or payable invoice creation, approvals and payments, while delivering real-time policy enforcement, as well as spend analysis and visibility into how your business spends money.
Learn more: ExpenseWatch.com
Background Screening Solutions
It may only take one hiring mistake to demonstrate the wisdom of learning more about an individual before you hire them. For example, verifying employment background can help ensure that they possess the skills, knowledge and experience that you're looking for. Drug and health screening can help to minimize potential accidents on the job. If you're in the transportation industry, a motor vehicle records check can help to minimize accidents on the road. Whatever business you are in, there are a range of resources at your fingertips to help ensure that you hire right.
Learn more: HireRight
Business Census Data
To search for demographic data, start with the US Census Bureau. Here you will find detailed data on private population demographics, and a variety of business statistics such as, how many and what type of business are located in a particular community area.
Learn more: quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html
Business Competitive Research
One of the best ways to find industry data on size, trends, and competition, is through the annual and quarterly filings required by the US Securities Exchange of all publicly traded companies. This information, known as 10k or 10q, is detailed and voluminous. Read what you want, but be aware that the SEC requires these firms to be as honest as possible.
Learn more: www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml
Learn more: www.freeedgar.com/Search/BeginSearch.asp
Tap multiple sources of confidential business counseling services offered through government and nonprofit agencies.
Learn more: Small Business Counseling
Business Tax Help
Discover help for Self-employed businesses, workshops, tax tools, forms and publications.
Learn more: www.irs.gov/businesses/small/index.html
Cloud-Based CRM Software & Project Management Software
Managing customers, as well as suppliers, vendors, investors and other key business relationships productively is important to any small business bottom line. While many businesses start out using email and spreadsheets to manage business relationships, today's online CRM Software applications offer tremendous value in terms of improved contact management, project management, social media integration and measuring increased sales. Learn more through Online Live Chat, CRM Software FAQS, Online Q & A, Insightly University, or visit the CRM & Project Management Software Blog.
Learn more: Insightly
Data Intelligence for Small Business
Today's critical business data is likely to be located across multiple platforms and be organized in multiple different formats. While this goes a long way to supporting data capture and access, it can create challenges for managers who need to effectively utilize the data to make informed business decisions. This situation has given rise to an innovative approach to a Data Transformation Platform where users can import data from multiple sources and convert it into meaningful visual formats quickly, securely and without programmer-level expertise. This includes bar charts, pie charts and complex visual data mapping.
Learn more: DataHero
Domain Name Registration
There are a variety of on line resources where you can register a domain name, learn if a domain name is available, or even learn who owns a particular domain name. A couple of reliable and cost-effective options include GoDaddy.com
Learn more: www.GoDaddy.com
Entrepreneur's Phone System
Having the right tools in place can make or break a business. This includes having the right communication system. One that serves your needs and not the other way around. Whether you're looking for a new phone system or just starting out, a good place to start is knowing what questions to ask followed by understanding the "ins and outs" of your options. It also helps to understand the pros and cons between having a local number and a toll-free number (Yes, there are differences and yes, they can affect your bottom line). Make sure you also have access to relevant phone system features and plans. You don't want to pay for something you don't need. Last but not least, project and measure ROI - Call Tracking: The Ultimate Guide to Tracking Phone Leads. Thanks to virtual phone service technology today, you don't have to pay a lot to get a lot.
Learn more: Grasshopper The Entrepreneur's Phone System
Insurance & Risk Management: Understand What You Don't Know
Managing risk does not have to be risky. Learn what you don't know so that you can recognize, minimize and even avoid risks that may threaten your business. Use a convenient checklist to improve your understanding about which types of insurance are available, how much coverage your business needs and why business insurance is a critical component to your overall business success strategy. For example, do you know what errors and omissions (E&O) insurance is for? How about the option to purchase a business owner's policy (BOP), which can offer special savings when your business is viewed as a low-risk operation? Last, but not least, umbrella insurance offers more than just protection in the rain...
Learn more: insureon
Marketing Services On-Demand: The Ideal Option for Small Businesses
Marketing is one of the most common areas where small business owners have challenges, yet it is a critical component to success. This is because most business owners simply lack the knowledge, talent, and time to do it well. This is why the founders of MODsocket launched a robust cloud-based solution to provide a broad range of Marketing-on-Demand products and services. Register for free to speak with an experienced Marketing Consultant, develop a marketing plan, and gain access to competitively priced marketing solutions for your business needs.
Learn more: MODsocket
Email Marketing Made Easy & Effective
Marketing is a key component of success for any business. Email marketing is an essential part of this equation, often offering better ROI and customer engagement metrics than other marketing techniques. Leveraging email templates can be a lot easier and faster than direct mail and telemarketing. Because email is digital, it's a lot easier to employ powerful marketing database and web analytics platforms to capture and immediately respond to online customer behaviors to drive increased sales. Personalizing messaging is also easy thanks to integrating email marketing with other marketing tools, such as CRM, CMS, and social media. Best of all, email marketing doesn't have to be complex or expensive to work magic for small business professionals.
Learn more: MyEmma, Best–in–class email marketing software
Online Video Presentation Software (SaaS)
Transform static business messaging into high-impact, interactive online videos to build sales, marketing, training and related business relationships. Create and share slides, documents, images, video and audio. Add surveys and polling questions to interact. Track who views what, when and from where to monitor impact and drive ROI.
Learn more: brainshark.com
Research Public Companies
Research public companies through EDGAR, a search tool provided by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Launched in 1984, EDGAR offers multiple ways to search data about publicly traded companies. SEC data search options include by company or fund name, ticker symbol, CIK or SIC, most recent filings, Boolean and advanced searching, and custom search options.
Learn more: SEC.gov
Small Business Staffing Solutions
To remain competitive in today's dynamic economy, small businesses need to consider a range of workforce development strategies. This includes Temporary Staffing, Temporary-to-Hire Staffing and Direct Hiring needs. As the business scales, evaluating Temporary Workforce Management Expertise, Outsourced Payroll Services and Contingent Workforce Management solutions also become relevant.
Learn more: Kelly Services
Sales Proposal Templates & Software
Discover how Sales Proposal Templates & Automation Software can help your business secure new clients and expand business with current clients. Broad selection supports general business, grant-writing, IT, web, software, hardware, photography and other industry needs, and is used by tens of thousands of businesses and freelancers in over 100 countries.
Learn more: ProposalKit.com
To file a trademark or service mark, to check availability of a name or phrase, or even to find out what the terms mean, go directly to the US Patent Office. Here you will find a search option and a filing option. If you choose to file on line, you can use a credit card in a secure transaction. A month or so later, you will receive hard copy confirmation of your filing.
Learn more: www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm
Veterans in Business
Connect with the tools needed to be successful as a Veteran in business including access to capital, entrepreneurial education, access to markets, access to services and business networking opportunities.
Learn more: www.vetbizgo.org
Working Capital Solutions
Working capital can be a constant concern for most any business. How much is needed, when and for what purpose, changes frequently based on numerous variables. These variables also influence the sources and terms by which working capital can be accessed. For immediate access to cash,factoring invoices offers certain benefits. For access to cash over time, accounts receivable financing provides flexibility as well as other benefits over a more traditional bank loan. Additional working capital solutions include trade finance instruments, equipment financing and leasing and supply chain trade financing. In business, it can truly pay to learn what you don't know.
Learn more: 1st PMF Bancorp