Tools help to launch and grow your business. There are a ton of them out there and I have tried and researched many of them. Here is a curated list of resources and tools from social media to taking payments from clients to email marketing. Remember do not overthink which tools to use. Find one that fits your needs use it and if it doesn’t work find another one.
*Make sure you bookmark this page to use as a resource when you are in need of help.
Business Startup Resources
U.S. Small Business Administration– Starting a business can be overwhelming. The U.S Small Business Administration offers resources and tools to help you succeed.
Entrepreneur– This is a great go-to website to obtain “how to” guides and information on starting your business.
Inc– Another great site for startup information. They provide success stories and advice from other successful business owners.
Black Enterprise– Startup resources for African American business owners.
Startup Nation– Great resource for all things startup.
Minority Business Development Agency– Resources and grant information for minority businesses.
National Women’s Business Council: Independent source of advice and counsel to the President and the U.S Small Business Administration on economic issues that affect women in business.
SCORE: By far one of the best kept secrets around. Receive FREE business advice from those that have walked in your shoes.
Grants & Loan Resources
WomensNet: Their Amber grant offers $500 per month to women-owned businesses.
Fundera– Receive small loans for your business capital.
Kabbage– Small business funding. You must be in business for 1 year and $50,000 in annual revenue or $4,200 per month for 3 months.
Miller Lite Tap the Future Business Plan Competition: Nothing wrong with a little competition. Pitch your business idea for a chance to win over $200K for your business.
National Association for the Self-Employed: Apply for a grant up to $4000 each.
The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest: Each year FedEx awards entrepreneurs that are passionate and making a difference with their business.
Accion: Micro-loans for small businesses.
PayPal Working Capital: Many people do not know that PayPal offers micro-loans based on sales invoices to a select few of their customers.
Square: Square also provides working capital for those that qualify.
Hootsuite– This is a great social media management tool for your business. I use Hootsuite to manage my Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts in one place and to schedule my posts for the week. This allows me to focus on engaging with my followers.
Buffer– Another great social media management tool to help manage all of your accounts. Buffer also offers analytics and the reach of your post.
Tweetdeck– Tweetdeck is a web and desktop platform to manage and monitor your twitter feeds. Tweetdeck was purchased by Twitter and is a great resource to receive alerts.
Graphic Design/ Creative
Canva– By far one of the best tools around. Canva makes me feel like a designer. Haha.
Stencil– Another great image creation tool.
Placeit– Give your product images an upgrade.
ColorZilla– This tool will help you find the HEX code for a specific image or page. It can be used as a Chrome extension or a Fire Fox add-on.
PicMonkey– Great photo editing tool for now techy people. Use this tool for resizing images, adding filters and text to images.
Unsplash: Great resource for high-resolution photos.
Create Her Stock: Best stock photos featuring women of color. They have a free gallery and a subscribtion model.
Death to Stock Photo: Get amazing stock photos that you can use sent to your inbox each month.
Pexels– Another great free stock photo resource.
Mailchimp– I have used Mailchimp for years and love it. Mailchimp helps you design newsletters and email templates to create email marketing campaigns. It is FREE for up to 2,000 subscribers. They even have an awesome automation tool with their paid subscription.
Campaigner– Another great email marketing tool that offers list segmentation and over 600 templates to choose from.
Constant Contact-Constant contact is another email marketing tool that offers full-service solutions for small businesses. Run Facebook promotions, promote your events and more.
Convert Kit– A new email marketing tool on the block. This tool was created with bloggers in mind.
eVoice– I have been with eVoice for over 5 years and it is the best decision I have ever made. eVoice offers small businesses the opportunity to run your business from virtually anywhere. I also have an app for my phone that allows me to make calls right from my eVoice number. Receive either a local or long distance number for your business.
Ring Central– This is another inbound call management company. You can route calls to yourself and employees anywhere.
eFax– Send and receive faxes by email anywhere. I use this service to send faxes to clients and vendors often.
Outright– An online bookkeeping system, Outright is one of the best things invented. I use this program to help track sales and expenses, which has been invaluable during tax time.
Freshbooks– A cloud-based accounting solution for your business. I used the service when I first started my business to send invoices to clients.
Shoeboxed– Do you have a pile of receipts sitting there waiting to be filed? Well, Shoeboxed is there to help. I have used the snail mail USPS option where I send receipts and a pile of business cards in the prepaid envelope and the Shoeboxed staff will scan and organize them for me.
PayPal– PayPal has evolved over the years and it is a great resource for your business. Take payments online or over your phone using the PayPal here mobile option.
Square– I use Square for a few of my businesses and I love it. You can take payments online through their invoicing and marketplace platform. The are most known for their mobile and point-of- sale app.
Moonclerk– I have not used this service but I have heard great things. This merchant service is great for recurring payment programs or memberships.
Stripe: Stripe is a great alternative to PayPal and works great with Woocommerce if you have a WordPress website. I use Stripe for my e-commerce website and I love it.
vCita– One of the best kept secrets around. When I use to provide one on one coaching, this service doubled the number of appointments I received monthly. vCita allows you to create a unique contact box that instantly schedules appointments and services online.
Timetrade– Another great online appointment scheduling program. Upload your available dates and times and give your clients a link to view your availability. This will allow them to choose a date and time that is most convenient for them.
Calendly– Another great tool scheduling automation tool for your clients.
Fiverr– Need someone to edit your next blog post? Looking for someone to create a quick eBook cover for you? Fiverr lists gigs that people are willing to do for just $5 (sometimes a little more). I have used this service several times and have not been disappointed.
Upwork– Formerly, Elance. This is a great resource to find freelancers. I have used this service to find a freelance graphic designer and social media strategist.
Fancy Hands– Find a virtual assistant that can help you do just about anything. There is a low monthly fee but you can place requests via the website, iPhone app and email or over the phone. I utilized their services and it was amazing.
Basecamp: Very popular project management tool.
Asana– Great project management tool. It is FREE for up to 3 users. Manage your tasks and collaborate with your team in real-time.
Zoho projects– Plan, track and collaborate with your team using this great tool.
Teamwork– A little more advanced but great for working on lare projects. Track time spent, create templates for recurring projects and more.
WhatFont– See a font you like and wanted to use it. WhatFont allows you to identify the name of the font.
Invision– Great collaboration app, especially for a graphic team. Receive updates and changes in real-time.
Zoho CRM- Another great tool from Zoho. Keep track of your clients in one database.
Disclosure: This is a list of companies we have personally used or our clients have given us great reviews. No one has paid to appear on this list. Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.