Have you just started your own small business? Are you looking to expand your contacts and spread the word about your company but, you don’t quite know where to go from here? You’ve seen numerous apps and social media sites advertised on the internet which boast that they are the one for you and your business but, you’re just not quite sure who to trust. Well, you don’t need to worry any more, there are 5 sites that you should be using to make your start up a success and these 5 sites are all free.
So sit back, relax and read on as we take you through a brief whistle stop tour of which sites are out there for you and what they have to offer your business.
1. Brightbook – launched back in 2010, this is the perfect bookkeeping solution for small business owners, freelancers, contractors, start-ups and small businesses. Brightbook was invented to make bookkeeping easy, less time-consuming and a more enjoyable process. This online app allows you to login to your business account and keep on top of who owes you money, who you owe money to, and to keep tabs on your cash flow. Brightbook is all about getting paid, it allows you to create and send invoices in any currency, track your bills, import your bank statements, create profit and loss accounts and VAT reports. This site will save you hours of time and hopefully lots of money too!
2. MailChimp – This site is focused on marketing your business via email. MailChimp can help you scale and grow your business. The foundation of a good email marketing strategy is an up-to-date list of subscribers who have opted to receive your information. MailChimp makes it easy to import your existing lists, then create, link to, and embed a signup form to collect new subscribers. It also offers tools such as the subscriber pop-up which is a customisable form that automatically displays a MailChimp signup form on your website shortly after someone visits the page. The lead generation cards feature allows you to convert more of your social media followers into active, engaged mailing list subscribers with just one click. This site integrates with many of the web services that small businesses already use, making it easy to sync data, import content, and connect multiple aspects of your business.
3. Hootsuite – Is a social media management tool which helps you to keep track of and manage your business’ social media channels. It enables you to monitor what people are saying about your brand allowing you to respond instantly. You can view streams from multiple networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and post updates or reply directly. Hootsuite currently allows you to manage Twitter, Facebook Profiles and Pages, LinkedIn Profiles and Pages, Google+ Pages (not personal profiles), Foursquare, Instagram, WordPress blogs, Vimeo, tumblr, Evernote, Flickr, MailChimp, slide share, story (via 3rd party apps). You choose!! With Hootsuite you are able to schedule messages saving you time and hassle.
4. Canva – Is a design tool loaded with easy to use features that can be used to create a variety of engaging content that can be shared. Canva allows businesses to manage their site’s design, edit, resize and redesign images and logos, access a selection of fonts and sort designs for social profiles. One of its handy features is that it allows designers to create ready-made templates that other people on the team can then use and customise to suit.
5. Business Growth Hub TV Channel – Launched earlier this year the TV channel is free to watch and engage with. It features a mixture of videos covering How to Guides, top tips and expert opinions that explain how and why embracing digital technology can help your business grow. The Business Growth Hub’s services are available for new start-ups; they help small businesses to find sources of funding and advice. So if you’re a bit rusty with technology, give it a watch and see what they can do for you and your business.