The following is a list of small business tools (free as well as paid) which you can use for marketing your small and medium business. This will be a list which will be constantly updated, which means it might be pretty long.
Small Business Marketing Tools
WordPress: WordPress is a free and open source blogging platform. Even though it’s a blogging platform, it can be converted into almost any type of website with the use of available themes and plug-ins (You’ll be mind boggled at the sheer number of free themes and plug-ins available for your use).
Don’t mistake this with wordpress.com which is a hosted application. For business needs, always use a self hosted version. Don’t worry, it’s pretty simple and takes only a few minutes to install and get started.
Hostgator: Hostgator is a very reliable hosting provider. Your business website needs to be up and running when people visit them. Every minute of downtime means lost business.
If you opt for WordPress as your website content management system, you get 1 click install for the software via Hostgator. It’s as simple as putting in a few values and pressing a few buttons. You will also have access to a host of account management tools via the control panel provided by them (cpanel).
I’d definitely recommend Hostgator for your web hosting needs. Don’t get tempted by cheap hosting providers. Your business website availability is of prime importance.
Aweber: Aweber is one of the email marketing software that I highly recommended.
For any business, building an email list is absolutely necessary. Aweber not only makes it very easy to build your email list of customers, it also helps you deliver your emails reliably.
There is a learning curve as in all web based software. However, if you put the time into it, it’s worth thousands of dollars. You can go for a 1$ trial and see if it fits you.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a free web tracking tool by Google.
You need to know how well your website is doing, what search terms are sending people to your site, how much time people are spending on your site, which page performs well and a host of other aspects.
Google analytics makes it simple for your business to install and do the tracking. All you need is a Google account, copy paste the code into your website header section and then begin tracking!
SEOmoz: If search engine traffic (the visitors that find your company website via search engines like Google, Bing and so on) is important to you, SEOmoz is a great tool to have.
It’s a bit pricey though at 99$ a month. However, if you are serious about getting SEO right (or you want to provide SEO services to your clients), this is a great tool to have in your small business marketing arsenal.
If you are strapped for cash, I wouldn’t recommend investing in this tool. Instead grow your website, get positive cash flow and then invest in this tool. You can also read my in-depth SEOmoz review to know whether it’s a good fit for your business.
Google Apps: With Google Apps, you get a suite of tools to help your small business succeed. Right from online excel sheets, form creation, word processing to secure emails, private embedded videos and other business applications for collaboration.
It has free as well as paid plans. For a small business, free plans should be more than enough. As and when your business grows, you can request additional features.
Skype: Want to call clients or communicate with teams across the globe? Skype is the smart solution for you. It’s free software that helps you make free calls between Skype software across the globe and low cost international calls using VoIP technology.
You can also collaborate remotely by screen sharing, video conferencing and do a lot more. This can also be a distraction though. So sign out of Skype when you need to be super productive.
Gravity Forms: This is a great form plugin for WordPress. It helps you create
- Contact forms
- Lead capture forms
- Order forms
- Multi-page forms and include a host of other features
This is a must-have plugin if your business website runs on WordPress. The best part about this is that it’s all drag and drop. No coding knowledge is required. This is the plugin I use on my blog.