My Top Resources For Small Business Owners

Finding trusted resources and tools for your business could be tough with 1000's of websites out there. That's why I've decided to put this small business resource list together.

I've personally tested and used all of the recommended products and services below.

AutoResponders / Email Marketing / Lead Generation

One of the best ways to build a business online is through email marketing. To do this, you'll need an autoresponder system that manages all of your email campaigns and allows you to perform scheduled, automated email broadcasts. The system that I highly recommend is Aweber.

Web Hosting

If you're planning to have a website, you'll need a web hosting account to save your web pages, images, and for a database. One tip is that I would stay away from Windows-based servers if you're plan is to focus on internet marketing. The majority of marketers use Linux-based servers and it's what powers the majority of Wordpress blogs out there.

After using dozens of web host providers, here are my suggestions:

1) Managed blog service:

If you're not a techie or new to building websites, the easiest option is to start a blog using a managed service. They will do all the tough techie work for you as far as setting up and managing a blog is concerned. You don't have to worry about server optimization, server load issues, hacker attacks, or installing scripts. The one that I recommend is Siteground's WordPress Hosting.

2) Shared hosting:

If you want rock-solid hosting, I highly recommend Siteground. They provide shared hosting, as well as quick start WordPress hosting, cloud hosting, dedicated servers, and a lot more!. I would recommend them more than another popular service called HostGator.

3) Cloud/VPS hosting:

This is for advanced users. If you want to use SSH and install/configure your web server (ie. Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP) then use this option. It provides a lot of flexibility without the high cost of getting a dedicated server. The ones that I recommend are Siteground and Digital Ocean. If you're new to cloud hosting, I would recommend Siteground because they offer a highly scalable, stable, and managed platform. These features will allow to to focus building your business than having to spend time managing your server.

Domains

In order to find your files on your web host, you'll need your own internet-based address. This is called a domain. The one that I highly recommend is called Namecheap. While they do offer other services besides domains, I only recommend them for domains and SSL (secure certificates). I rarely use GoDaddy and other popular domain registrars.

Keyword Research

If you're doing search engine optimization (SEO), then using a keyword research tool is a necessity. I've tested well over a dozen keyword tools and the one that I recommend is called Market Samurai.

Webinars / Video Conferencing

If you're looking for a reliable and affordable web conferencing system, check out MeetCheap. Packages start at $19.97 a year. You'll be able to host your own web-based seminar and show Powerpoint presentations, record your live meetings, have multiple moderators, use a virtual chalk board, display your desktop activity, and more.

Accepting Payments

If you'd like to accept payments securely, you'll need a merchant processing account. I highly recommend Paypal and Stripe. If you're trying to promote home-business related products, then go with SolidTrustPay or Payza.

Free Email Account

If you're looking for a way to send and receive email for free, I highly recommend Google's Gmail. I've used Yahoo Mail for close to a decade before I switched over and I'm totally satisfied. Even the email accounts on my own domains get forwarded to my Gmail account since they have an awesome spam blocking system.

Screen Capturing

You can capture your computer desktop into video using a tool called Camtasia. This is a great tool if you'd like to offer video training for free or for sale.  If your budget is tight, check out FastStone Screen Capture.

Toll-Free Numbers

If you're doing direct mail and promoting your own offers, you can use toll-free numbers for phone responses. The company that I highly recommend is called Kall8.

How to Sponsor More Reps

Here's a training program that will show you how to build a home business using proven strategies that have resulted in sponsoring 10's of thousands of distributors and how you can get paid as you prospect. Register for this free training to get all of the details.

Learning How to Code Websites

If you want to code your websites using HTML, PHP, Javascript or CSS, I highly recommend a website called W3Schools and CodeAcademy.com.

Text and Website Editors

There are 2 types of text editors that you can find for code websites. WYSIWYG's (what you see is what you get) and code editors. If you're new to websites, then a WYSIWYG editor is recommended. You can get one called Kompozer and it's totally free. For a code editor, I personally use and recommend Notepad++. You can also add extra plugins to boost functionality.

Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations and More

If you're looking for a free alternative for Microsoft Office, then check out Libre Office. There are other great alternatives, but Libre Office has a huge user base and a lot of add-on extensions to extend the functionality of the programs.