Nowadays, a business without a website is dead in the water. Godaddy allows SMB owners to purchase domain names for just $2.99.
A full-featured CMS is the best way to launch a site in a hurry. WordPress is the most popular CMS for a reason.
For affordable yet powerful hosting, Bluehost is one of the best options. It’ll allow you to host sites and apps on a tight budget.
Crafting effective promotional content is difficult without the right visuals to accompany it. Fotolia has tons of great stock images for bargain prices.
While Fotolia is a great service, it’s best to diversify your stock image sources. iStockphoto offers just as many photos at competitive prices.
A third stock photography option worth considering is Photodune. This bustling image exchange is quickly becoming the equal of its more well-known rivals.
Scan My Server
Keeping hackers at bay should be a top priority. Use Scan My Server to audit your sites and discover vulnerabilities.
Few accounting suites come close to FreshBooks in terms of raw power. All of FreshBooks bookkeeping tools are fast, flexible and user-friendly to boot.
The only other bookkeeping platform worth looking at besides FreshBooks is QuickBooks. It’s affordable, lightweight and perfectly suited to small business accounting jobs.
Keeping an eye on your physical inventory is a cinch with Stitch. This cloud-based tracking app is specifically targeted at small business owners.
Ensuring that your customers are happy is of paramount importance to fledgling entrepreneurs. Zoho CRM makes it easy to manage your client relationships.
In any business, communication is often the linchpin of success. Skype allows for cheap one-on-one and conference calls over the web from any location.
Basically, Google Voice allows multi-taskers to consolidate their voicemail into one inbox. The biggest perk is that it’s 100% free to use.
Attracting new customers is far easier with a service like LeadPages. They create apps for SMBs that drum up business in droves.
Social media is clutch if you want to reach a wider audience. Hootsuite allows SMBs to manage their various profiles with one app.
Another social media app that should be on your radar is Buffer. It enables hassle-free content promotion on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
If email isn’t a big part of your marketing strategy, it needs to be. Aweber is one of the best autoresponders around.
If you need a more robust mass email solution, MailChimp is just the ticket. MailChimp’s advanced analytics capabilities make it uniquely effective.
Responsible for 1 billion emails a month, GetResponse is serious software for professionals. If you want the best, sign on with GetResponse.
Drafting legal documents can consume large amounts of time and money. LegalZoom will save any SMB owner loads of both over the long haul.
Project management software keeps the wheels from spinning off of your enterprise. Basecamp is the best app around in this particular department.
If Skype isn’t satisfying your teleconferencing needs, GoToMeeting is the obvious alternative. GoToMeeting makes face-to-face sit-downs convenient and affordable for small businesses.
For many SMBs, a virtual PBX system for handling incoming customer calls is a must. Grasshopper can dramatically reduce your telecommunications costs.
For both collaboration and basic cloud storage, Dropbox is the logical choice for SMBs. Their mobile apps in particular deliver peerless performance.
Smart entrepreneurs know when to outsource busy work to third parties. oDesk is a great place to find freelancers for contract work.
Alongside oDesk, Elance is one of the best freelancer sites around. Use it to hire topnotch designers, coders and writers as needed.
For freelance jobs that shouldn’t cost much, Fiverr is the way to fly. You can hire freelancers for a few dollars a piece.
If you sell digital products, you need to check out Gumroad. It makes marketing and payment processing as simple as can be.
For digital scrapbooking purposes, Evernote is the app to beat. It’s perfect for research, brainstorming and simple cloud storage on the fly.
The hardest part of content marketing is figuring out what converts potential customers best. BuzzSumo makes content analytics a piece of cake.
Using a password manager is just sound security in this day and age. LastPass has been the most trusted password app for years.
Having access to an array of payment options is a must for SMBs. Square allows businesses to accept payments instantly in the field.
When most consumers go to buy something online, they expect to see a PayPal option. Ergo, a PayPal account is crucial.
A serious SMB needs a business checking account. Citibank Small Business Banking is one of the most respected names in this field.
Chase Ink Cash and Ink Plus
Moo & Vistaprint
For whipping up professional videos in a hurry, WeVideo is a godsend. It’s powerful, cloud-based and affordable for small business owners.
Building a membership site can be a huge headache. MemberMouse makes the process quick and painless for small businesses in any industry.
Another solid membership site app worth investigating is aMember. Like MemberMouse, it’s cheap, user-friendly and capable of handling a lot of traffic.
Digital Access Pass
Designed for WordPress, Digital Access Pass is a plugin that turns an existing domain into a membership site powerhouse.
Next Day Flyers
Promotional flyers are an effective way to attract attention. Next Day Flyers can deliver gorgeous flyers in a hurry.
When you need a striking logo, it’s best to call in the experts. 99designs is a natural choice for your design needs.
If you’re really picky about logo design, Dribbble is a must. It’s a rich forum for designers that can provide valuable inspiration to SMB owners.
An SMB that doesn’t hedge its bets is vulnerable to economic downturns. Fidelity Investments can grow your money while you grow your business.
Managing a business’s assets is a full-time job. Vanguard can keep an eye on IRAs and 401(k) funds for you.
If you don’t like mutual funds or bonds, trading is a good alternative. Scottrade is a great broker with low commissions and high customer satisfaction.
That’s a Wrap
Running a successful SMB requires the right equipment. The preceding digital tools should make your entrepreneurial journey far more enjoyable.
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