Small Business Tools and Resources

With the new generation passing out every year from their seats of higher learning, the job market is going from bad to worse as the opportunities are shrinking day by day. Many of these young men and women plan to opt for a successful career in business. They aspire to become a successful entrepreneur and to lead a result-oriented start-up.

With the current pandemic raging through the universe, the corporate sector will be crucially hit and job shrinkage will be happening. Thorough knowledge of business tools and resources will be guidance at this stage.

PROTOTYPING TOOLS 

Prototyping tools give an exact and specific indication as to how the product or services should look like to create effective brand loyalty. The types of prototyping tools are  –

InVision – One of the most popular and reliable tools, InVision helps in adding an image, gestures and animations as well as it helps in adding comments on the prototype. For more details please visit the official website of the tool.. 

POP – As the name suggests the Prototyping on paper allows sketches, digital creations, etc to link together and transform into an interactive prototype. For further details please visit the official website of the tool.: 

UI Stencils – This is particularly helpful in developing a prototype of mobile applications and websites. For more details, please visit the official website of the tool.             

WebflowThe best part of Webflow is that one need not have to do coding to create the prototype. With the help of visual-based UI,  a website can be created. For more information, please visit the official website of the tool. 

 Origami studio – Quite an easy tool to work on, it provides gesture simulations, animations, and live testing on iOS and Android. It has been designed by Facebook. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

Principle It is a magnificent tool to design animated user interfaces for desktop,  mobile, and web.  The interface is also very user friendly to understand. For more information, please visit the official website of the tool. 

Axure RP – Rich in basic features m this tool is widely used to develop wireframes,mock-ups, idea boards, flowcharts, and user journeys. For more information, please visit the official website. 

Adobe XDThis is the latest tool that has been launched with many outstanding added features. This tool can integrate with a creative cloud connecting with photoshop and Adobe Illustrator making the job all the easier. For more information please visit the official website of the tool. 

DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLS 

Without proper and effective marketing, no start-up or an enterprise can sustain competition and its presence in the market. The following are some of the important digital marketing tools –

Google AdwordsBy far the most popular option for advertising on Google SEO pages. It also hosts the keyword planner where proper guidance on keywords can be sought. For more details please visit the official website. 

Google AnalyticsThis tool forms the basic crux of digital marketing today. Without analytics, an e-commerce set up cannot be made for making an improved website. For more information, please visit the official website.

HubspotThis tool is very good for capturing leads for business where one can set up web forms, pop up forms, and live chat software. Traffic increase is a very positive outcome of this tool. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

AhrefsA very effective tool for competitive analysis, one can get specific feedback on the trends of the business of the competitors. It is also a very popular SEO tool. For more details please visit the website. 

Survey anyplaceTo have a deep insight into market intelligence and feedback, the survey is very necessary. This tool helps in giving an insight into the branding,  which is even available on mobile. For more information please visit the website. 

YoastThe tool is useful for content development as it is both compatible with Classic and Gutenberg editor in WordPress. It helps in choosing keywords also as well as website optimization. For more information please visit the official website of the tool. 

SlackThe uniqueness of the tool is that small scale organization can use it for free while for bigger enterprises the pricing is tailormade. Today it is one of the most popular tools for effective marketing communications. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

TrelloA very effective content management tool helps in brainstorming and deciding on the plans and strategies of the content. One can get a clear idea as to who is in charge of what in the content management team. For details please visit the website. 

CanvaThis tool is very useful for creating images with the help of stock shots, icons, shapes fonts et, One can make a thorough presentation with logos also. For more details please visit the official website. 

BuzzsumoThe tool helps in identifying the top influencers in that particular industry and helps the company to connect with them. For more details please visit the official website. 

MeetEdgarOne of the finest tools for social media management, Meet Edgar is linked with the four main and important social media tools namely – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

SHOPPING CART AND E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS – 

With the current scenario in the lifestyle of people in general, nobody has the time to go to the actual marketplace. Moreover, with the current pandemic, maintaining social distance has become the order of the day which is going to stay now. E-commerce thus will play a very important part in the coming days. Let us have a glance at some of the options –

BigcommerceThe overall performance, values, and features are very highly rated with the users. The platform is very good for multi-channel sales, scalable, and flexible with a strong SEO presence. For more information please visit the official website of the tool.               

ShopifyA very popular e-commerce tool, Shopify allows to sell online, pop-ups online, market places, social media, etc. Other services include payment, customer engagement, etc. For more details please visit the website. 

3DcartWith several integrations, designs, and themes,  3Dcart are user friendly with many more management tools. For more information please visit the official website. 

Woocommerce  One of the most popular tools Woocommerce is used for and designed to be beneficial for online traders using WordPress.One can market physical or digital products on this tool using PAYPAL or cash on delivery. For more details please visit the website.  

Volusion- One can manage his online store easily from the mobile using this tool. Even prices can be regularly updated, snapshots shared and inventory can also be checked properly. For more information please visit the official website of the tool. 

Prestashop Currently used in more than 300000 retail outlets globally, the tool is available in 60 languages of the world. The tool is an open-source e-commerce solution. For more information, please visit the official website.

WeeblyThe tool has a drag and drop feature in which even a person with no design experience can handle the same. It also helps in touching both domestic and international destinations. For more information please visit the official website. 

SquarespaceThe users of the tool can work with pre-built website templates as well as drag and drop features to add texts as well as images. For further information please visit the website.

Magento – Owned by Adobe, this is an open-source e-commerce platform in PHP. The source code is under the open software license. For more detailed information please visit the official website. 

WixDeveloped by an Israeli software company, it mainly provided cloud-based web development services. One can also design and upload a customer-specific site. For more information log in to the website.

ONLINE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS  – 

With the sudden increase of online marketing and other online transactions, the demand for online payments has increased manifold. Consumers want hassle-free payment solutions some of which are mentioned below – 

PaypalOperating in more than 200 countries globally, One can get the benefit of a prepaid digital through this tool. Moreover one can transfer money to and from the bank accounts also. For more information, please visit the official website. 

2CheckoutThe tool is excellent for those startups having a global client base. It has an operational base in 200 plus countries with 87 different currencies. Both online, as well as mobile payments, can be used. For more details please visit the website. 

BraintreeOne of the largest payment processors in the world, Braintree accepts payment through most of the debit and credit cards Paypal, Google pay, Apple pay, Venmo, Visa, Amex Express checkout amongst others. For more information, please visit the official website. 

Payoneer The specialty of this tool is that one can make bulk payments globally and at the same time add new geographical boundaries simultaneously. The tool is also good for fraud detection. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

StripeExclusively for online and internet businesses, the company provides an API that accepts payments. Big shots like UNICEF, Kickstarter, Slack are using this tool. For more information please visit the official website. 

WePayDesigned exclusively for commerce platforms, one need not sign up separately on the third-party payment processor. The tool is also good for fraud protection and accepts all major cards. For more information please visit the official website.

Venmo – A combo of Facebook and Paypal the tool is very apt for large social spenders. Venmo can also be used as a payment option if one wants to integrate Braintree with Paypal. For more information please visit the official website of the tool. 

RazorpayThis online payment portal is a single platform from where one can operate IMPS/ RTGS and NEFT bank transfers and gives access to debit and credit cards, UPI, and wallets like Jio Money, Mobikwik and Airtel money. For more information please visit the official website. 

CCAvenueHeadquartered in India, the tool is one of the largest and most popular payment gateway solutions in this part of the globe. Its annual transaction exceeds more than Rs 15000 crores. For more information please visit the official website. 

ACCOUNTING AND INVOICE PREPARATION –

Accounting function forms a very crucial item of any business is it a startup or an established unit. Without proper accounting and financial management, no business can prosper. A start-up may not always find time to work on the same. The tools below come in handy for them.

WaveThe tool is excellent for small enterprises, startups employing less than ten people. It is 100% free with very easy to adapt and understand accounting software. Basic features like balance sheets, making invoices, and salary sheets can be done using this tool. For more information please visit the official website. 

FreshbooksFreshbooks is a user-friendly tool and cloud computed. One can access the tool from desktop, laptop, android, and tablet. Normal professional looking invoices can be created from Freshbooks. One can also track and work on invoices preparation. For more information please visit the official website of the tool.               

Quickbooks   Quickbooks is a very useful software based on cloud computing. Accounting can be done from anywhere since the data are computed on the cloud. Multiple people can log in at the same time. For more information please visit the official website. 

Zoho booksExactly fit for small startups and entrepreneurs, one can post invoices, track banking transactions, make online payments, and keep a tab on business expenses. For more details please visit the official website.

Tallie This is one of the best tools for tracking unwanted business expenses. Duplicate expenses if any can be tracked down as well as traveling expenses can be scanned and verified. Accounting expenses can be automated also using this tool. For more detailed information, please visit the official website. 

MonchillaA cloudbased alternative to Quickbooks and ADP it eases the accounting procedures and invoicing. This is also an excellent tool for the preparation of salary register for employees. For more information on the subject please visit the official website of the tool. 

Invoice EraOne of the most popular invoicing and billing software, the tool facilitates online invoicing, recurring billing, time tracking, and workflows also. Customized invoices can be created through this tool. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

TurboCASHExcellent for the small business owners and start-ups, TurboCASH is good for persons having limited knowledge in accounting. One can keep track of both debtors and creditors as well as create invoices. For further information please visit the official website of the tool

Invoice ninjaOne can use the company logo and create a customized invoice for the client which can be converted into a PDF. The tool can integrate PayPal along with other payment gateways also. For more information please visit the official website of the tool. 

XeroThe tool is a one-stop solution to all accounting problems. It facilitates in creating invoices, preparation of salary register, scheduling payments, tracking sales, etc. Xero can also integrate more than 350 apps to create client-specific documents. For further details please visit the official website of the tool.

PRODUCT LANDING PAGE AND LAUNCHES 

A product landing page creates attention and arouses awareness thus the demand for the product will increase once it is launched. An effective product landing page can easily pursue a prospective customer to become a genuine client. Below are discussed some of the major landing pages –

WishpondThis tool helps in designing the landing pages on a website, FaceBook and WordPress. It also offers features like drag and drop editor, template library, custom font and designs compatible with mobile. For more information, please visit the official website. 

Leadpages The tool has stocks of templates for every type of requirement and even has guidance features for landing pages performance. It even points out the necessary tweaks to improve it. For more information please visit the official website. 

GetResponseThe tool has a drag and drop feature for mobile as well as desktop. The image editor which is a built-in device allows importing images from Shutterstock and Giphy. Through an auto funnel, an online store can be operated. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

InstapageThis tool can convert a gigantic percentage of prospective clients who are clicking on the ads to go to a personalized post-click landing page. The post-click waste percentage is reduced to a minimum. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

Unbounce: A very popular landing page builder, customer-friendly landing pages can be designed with this tool. Easily operated through drag and drop features, landing pages can be customized through Javascript and CSS. For more information please click on to 

Landingi: This tool facilitates landing pages without knowing the code and helps ib accessing 200 plus templates and dropdown menus. For more details please visit the official website of the tool.  

LanderThe main feature of Lander is its price. The tool is full of features even the drag and drop can be used by a novice. The tool has features like dynamic text replacement, testing, analytics apart from CRM Integration. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

CREATION OF MARKETPLACE –  

Whether it is online or offline, the creation of a market place is very important. Unless and until there is no proper market place, no product or services can be commercially transacted. The marketplace operator brings the vendors to the platform who display their products for the knowledge of the customers. Below are some of the important tools for creating a marketplace.

Auction SoftwareIdeal for small businesses, start-ups, big corporates, and government organizations, the tool operates on Cloud and dedicated servers and can be integrated with reputed payment gateways. For more information on the subject please visit the official website of the tool. 

WCFMThe “ all in one combo” marketing tool. It facilitates selling, rentals, services. etc. For more details please visit the official website. 

DokanA very popular tool, it makes possible a multi-vendor market place, and a very easy user-friendly platform. Vendors can get insight into everything including sales, profitability, and provides backend support. For more details please visit the official website. 

My MarketplaceThe tool is cloud-based which helps in communication, creation of website and reviews management decisions. Very ideal for startup launches and small businesses.  For more details please visit the official website. 

YeloDesigned by Jungleworks,  this tool is ideal for startups planning to go online, and also apt for existing business owners who plan to realign online. The marketplace can be similar to Airbnb, Etsy or Upwork. For more details please visit the official website. 

CedcommerceAn ideal tool for entrepreneurs and start-ups planning to cater to a multivendor e-commerce marketplace. Very ideal for medium and small size businesses. For more details please visit the website. 

SURVEYS – 

A survey of the marketplace is a must for any effective and prudent decision-making stage. Market surveys and data analytics are of prime importance and an important prerequisite before the launch of any product. Data compiled from the surveys give a trend regarding the market scenario. Let us have a look at some of the survey tools below –

SurveyMonkeySurvey Monkey believes in the theory that the customer is the ultimate boss. The tool gives a picture of the deep inside of the customer profile. The tool maintains the data collected from the survey quite a secretive and confidential way. For more details, go through the official website.

Surveypal – Very ideal for start-ups and small, medium businesses. The tool is very user friendly and has a drag and drop interface. One can take surveys from mobile as well as desktop also. For more details please visit the official website of the tool.                 

AYTMAsk your target market as the name suggests is a tailored fit and customized survey. A great option for the start-ups the survey can be operated in the AYTM panels consisting of a huge consumer base. For more details please visit the official website. 

FacebookAlmost 97% of prospective clients and consumers have a Facebook account and to gauge the trend of the mindset of the consumers, a survey module can be created and worked upon. For more details, sign up on the website.

EMAIL MANAGEMENT – 

Business communications have always been a very effective and a strong marketing tool for ages. The client feels that he is being serviced personally and thus his faith towards the sender of email increases. Some of the exceptional tools are as under as we take you through them – 

Mailchimp: By far one of the most important tools, Mailchimp combines all activities that are required for branding and finding out the customers. Target audiences can be reached and loyal customers can be created. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

SendpulseThis is a multi-channel marketing tool with email being its main factor. The SMS pack also comes along with it. The tool is very effective for lead generation with drag and drop features and transactional emails with campaign statistics. For more information, please visit the official website of the tool. 

MoosendThe tool is apt for braking email marketing campaigns from an easy to use interface and track the results. One can operate based on unlimited email lists . and is very easily workable on mobile also. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

GoodBitsA user friendly and easy to operate platform, one can have curation of content and email marketing at the same go. The tool is mobile and web compatible and very good for analytics. For more information please visit the official website of the tool. 

AweberOne of the most popular email marketing platform which is used very extensively by the bloggers. The tool has a drag and drop editing facilities apart from email tracking, audience management, and subscriber tracking. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

MIND MAPPING TOOLS 

Mind mapping tools put everything visually in a graphical format so that it is used as and when required. Mind mapping tools are extensively used for sharing and distribution of all positive ideas. Let’s look at some of the tools.

CoggleThe finest mind mapping tool specifically for startups, Coggle can share flowcharts and mind maps directly in the browser. During periods of brainstorming and collaboration, Coggle can take structured notes. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

Curator Ideal visual tool for collecting, organizing, and presenting ideas, Curator prepares a vivid illustrated visual s even with mood boards. For more details please visit the official website. 

Mind Meister: A web-based tool, MindMeister makes it easier to brainstorm and work on the creative parts. It is ideal for project planning and sharing ideas visually. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

Bubbl.us: The tool is very helpful to structuralize the basic information and all ideas and make a visual and graphical representation of them all This helps in a clearer understanding later on. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

ScappleOne of the best mapping tools for creating content or creating marketing copies. It helps to stack ideas, connect relevant images, and create lists. For more details please visit the official website of the tool.

Mindomo: The tool helps one to concentrate on the priority things and sidelines the not so important items. With mindmaps, concept maps, and Gantt charts it is easier to conceptualize visually. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

CRM- 

By far one of the most important marketing functions, CRM is a specialized discipline today be it a start-up or an established business The customer is the king in any business and it is he who decides the future of the business. Customer relationship is of prime importance in today’s management science. The following are the tools of CRM – 

CloseBy far one of the most important tools for small businesses and start-ups where unproductive time spent is reduced and the focus is on activities that gear up the business activities. The tool comes with the built-in calling. For more details please visit the official website. 

Pipedrive Good for small business, the tool mainly focuses on better sales and enhanced CRM and handling effectively the deal process up to its finalization. It also has a powerful tracking tool. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

Agile The all in one solution for CRM which is very effective in market automation, customer service and sales enablement, market automation. Agile works in multiple business areas. For details please visit the official website of the tool. 

Salesforce: A very dynamic tool, Salesforce allows an entrepreneur to track save, organize and archive all customer data in one place. The tool helps in generating lead which can eventually lead to a positive deal. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

HubSpot CRM: A cloud-based free software the tool keeps track of the customer and all discussions and deals taking place with him right up to the execution stage. All sales data and activities are updated in the group who is using the same. For more details please visit the official website of the tool.

ZohoIt is a very popular CRM system wherein dashboard can be created for every individual transaction where the minutest criticality of the activity can be understood. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

CopperA very simple user-friendly tool, It integrates everything connected with  Gmail and Google apps. The tool has other features like deal tracking, forecasting, and reporting. For more details please visit the official website. 

SCHEDULING AND MEETINGS – 

To minimize the unproductive timings of scheduling meetings between the sales team and the prospective client many tools have been created so that the meetings between the client and the marketing team remain productive and time management is maintained. The following are some of the tools of appointment and scheduling.

VisibookThe tool has been launched recently and is very helpful for established units and startups. One can observe the appointment availabilities on a shared calendar and schedule and track and manage appointments. For more details please visit the official website of the tool.

ReservioThe tool is operational and open 24×7 thus is helpful for the clients to have clear feedback and seldom miss the appointment. It is very ideal for start-ups also. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

BooksteamIdeal for entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businessmen, Booksteam facilitates new time users to create a bespoke calendar and to maintain booking. The operating process is very simple so that even a layman will be able to operate. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

10to8This 24×7 tool facilitates effective coordination with the clients without multitasking. A very special feature of the tool is that it sends automated text reminders. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

Ideator– This tool is ideal when the client wants to find out the owners or the senior members of the group. The business branding, logo, the house color can all be initiated in the tool. For more information please visit the official website of the tool. 

KickservVery ideal for start-ups and freelancers, the tool will intimate when a particular appointment is approaching. Drag and drop features are there along with filtering options. For more details please visit the official website. 

Xola This tool is ideal for those start-ups who want to grow their business seamlessly and for whom appointments are of primary importance in reaching clients. The tool is very user friendly and saves a lot of time. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

Acuity By far one of the best tools for scheduling appointments, the tool enables the client to see the real-time availability and book appointments with ease. It also allows rescheduling at the click of a mouse. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

FEEDBACK AND TESTING – 

User testing and getting proper and accurate feedback is very important for a business to function be it an established one or a start-up. Without proper feedback and testing, it is virtually impossible to know how the business is progressing daily. The following are some of the basic tools.

TypeformIt creates forms and survey input sin the form of conversations to get the most out of the respondent. Since this is not too prescriptive one can get accurate feedback sooner. For more details please visit the official website. 

Lookback This is a cloud-based tool where the startup can work on live moderated and unmoderated testing. Live notes are possible also through this tool. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

Slack The main motto of Slack is to bring everything together. It enables instant messages and chat with within groups making it an effective communication tool. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

UsabilityHubThe tool encompasses a whole lot of testing tools like first-click tests, design surveys, five seconds test, and a preference test. Genuine user data can be obtained from these tests and in turn, they help in making correct decisions. For more information please visit the official website. 

MilaNoteA very useful tool especially for creative ideas, visuals, and projects into a visual board. The tool will arrange the boards as per the choice of the start-up to suit the convenience. For more details please visit the official website of the tool. 

UsertestingThis tool gives an accurate insight into the detailed feedback received from the panel of the target audience. The app is ideal for testing and feedbacks on products and services. For more details please visit the official website. 

ValidatelyTesting is made much more concise and effective. The tool searches respondents and gives feedback based on the inputs given. This tool is much more comprehensive than the others. For more details please visit the official website.