Here’s a list of tools I use regularly to successfully run my own business. Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Small Business Website Tools
Amazon Business: We utilize Amazon for the majority of our office needs. It’s great to have a resource that allows us to purchase office supplies quickly and ship to our employees across the State of Texas.
MailChimp: This is an email marketing platform for small businesses. It’s great for newsletters and keeping clients up-to-date.
WordPress: Best platform around for running a blog. (If you’re a newbie, use WordPress.com, if you’re looking to self-host, aim for WordPress.org.)
Generate Press: This is a free WordPress theme that focuses on speed and usability. In addition to the free theme, they provide a premium plugin that extends the theme, adding more options to help you build your websites.
Google Analytics: Free analytics tool to track blog progress. If you’re new to blogging, stick to WordPress stats (comes free with any WordPress install) and you can always add Google Analytics later.
Domains & Website Hosting
Domain Registration: Register/Manage your domain nameserver (DNS) records and set your email, FTP, sub-domains and website location all from one control panel.
Check Domain Whois: The WHOIS database can tell you if a domain you’re interested in is available. If it already belongs to someone, you can use the information provided in the database to contact them to discuss a purchase.
Website Hosting: Get your website online with us. All plans include one-click install, 99.9% uptime, 24/7 security monitoring and an easy-to-use control panel.
Hootsuite: Makes it easy to organize, customize, and manage your social media streams from one place. Basic version is free; paid version allows more team members and additional features.
Social Report: Social Report™ is an all-in-one social media management platform. Every feature a social media manager needs: post scheduling, social listening, sophisticated analytics, custom reporting and more.
Google Calendar: I use this free calendar to organize content for the various blogs I manage.
Dropbox: Anything that’s not in Google Drive is saved in Dropbox. This cloud-based program also makes it easy to share files no matter how big they are.
99designs: If you don’t have a designer you want to work with, or you don’t know exactly what you want and need ideas, try launching a contest at 99designs. Lots of designers will offer ideas, then you choose a winner.
Adobe Stock: Millions of royalty-free images & hundreds of thousands added weekly.
QuickBooks: I have used QB Online for over 5 years now. It’s a cloud based financial management software and it’s designed to slash the time you spend managing your business finances, by helping you with estimates and invoices.
PayPal: Commission is high, but this is still the go-to method for online payments. PayPal is also the faster, simpler way to make recurring payments to all your monthly bills and subscriptions.
Google Forms: Choose from a bunch of question options, from multiple choice to dropdowns to a linear scale. Add images and YouTube videos, or get fancy with page branching and question skip logic.
Google Drive: Keep photos, stories, designs, drawings, recordings, videos, and more.
PrimoPDF: Free tool that turns Word Docs into PDFs. Create PDF files with the world’s most popular free PDF creator. With just one click, turn virtually any kind of file into a 100% industry-standard PDF.
Password Generator: Easily create strong passwords with this tool.
Chromebook: Access work wherever you are with the Samsung Chromebook. It’s Bluetooth-enabled so you can transmit data wirelessly or add peripheral devices. I love how quickly this laptop boots up, but it doesn’t support programs like adobe photoshop yet.