Starting and running a business is tough. While each business is unique, it is also similar with the struggles faced with sales, marketing, staffing, management, and finances. In this article we have provided some key resources you can use as your secret weapon to give your business a competitive advantage.
Free Web Tools
There are many free and powerful web tools that you may want to adopt as part of your business suite of tools that not only help you run your business but also help you build your business.
- Wave Accounting
- Mailchimp – Email marketing
- Trello – Task and project management
- CRM Hubspot – Sales system and customer management
- Hootsuite – Social media account management
- Google docs/ sheets – Word processing and spreadsheets
If you operate in a specific niche or require software that is not listed above try AlternativeTo (https://alternativeto.net/). It provides alternatives to popular or related software.
This list of books is guaranteed to inspire some great ideas you can immediately implement in your business and help you manage it and grow it.
- E-Myth by Michael Gerber
- 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris
- Traction by Gabriel Weinberg
- The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Homes
- Built to Last by Jim Collins
- The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy
This list of podcasts is tactical, whimsical, and packed full of knowledge. While there is a tonne of podcasts out now, this list is a great starting point to business podcasts for small businesses. The range in the list below goes from story telling, to interviews, and individuals profiling their journeys.
- Startups For the Rest of Us by Rob Walling and Mike Taber
- Business Wars by Wondery
- Marketing Speak by Stephan Spencer
- Scaling Up Business Podcast by Bill Gallagher
- Work The System by Sam Carpenter & Josh Fonger
Once you find out what you like or don’t like and what you are getting out of the podcasts, explore others that may be useful for the struggles you are facing in your own business and learn.
Setup and use social media accounts to build brand awareness and give your company a voice. You can start to build connections and cultivate and audience of followers and advocates for your company online as well as use the social platforms to do paid ad campaigns to target your target customers. You don’t have to be on all social media platforms so be sure to investigate which are best for your business and market and focus on those. Be sure that once you start you are consistent and engage with your audience.
Here are the top 5 social medial platforms.
- Facebook (Business to Consumer)
- Twitter (Can you effective for both to Consumer and Business)
- Instagram (Business to Consumer)
- Linkedin (Business to Business)
- Pinterest (Business to Consumer)
Exploring smaller and niche social networks and forums can also be an effective channel is your product or service is a good fit.
Having a basic understanding of how your business financing and cash flow works is very important. Like most business having access to capital to grow your business is important. Here are some general principles to keep in mind:
- Cashflow is crucial
- Cash is King
- Use other people’s money to grow your business
- Use Equipment Financing or Leasing to acquire equipment you need to operate and grow your business. Try Jocova Financial for equipment financing
- Use lines of credit and bank loans from traditional banks for non-tangible assets such as renovations, repairs, etc. Scotiabank is known to be business friendly.
- Seek further financing services as required to grow. For example, factoring or inventory financing
As soon as you are able, it is recommended to hire a bookkeeper to properly organize your financials and recording your debits and credits of your business. Many small businesses pay for the service monthly and it is worth every penny.
Links you need to checkout for your business
Use this link to explore how to plan a business, choose and register a business name, apply for permits and licenses, and get business support:
Use this link to access business start-up checklists for varies types of businesses:
Use this link to learn about protecting your business, protecting your intellectual property, regional support, business management, and growing your business:
Use this link to learn the steps to incorporating your business: