Useful Online Tools For Business Owners – Part 2

After our August blog post, “Useful Online Tools for Business Owners”, there were lots of suggestions from clients and staff about other tools used to make life easier. Considering the pace of change and all of the free or next-to-free tools the online world provides, we decided to add another chapter to this discussion!

Don’t forget that here at the Halton Small Business Centre, we always offer a number of online business tutorials as well as a downloadable business planning template that can help you to take your idea or already existing business to the next level. You can find all of this information and more at: www.halton.ca/doing_business_in_halton.

In addition to the online resources offered by Halton, here is our next round of useful online tools for small business owners:

1. Wix www.wix.com : Wix offers very nice free flash templates, perfect for those with little or no experience designing websites. The interface is easy to use, everything is drag and drop, and it takes very little time to create a nice looking flash site. The best part about it – it’s free! If you don’t mind some subtle Wix branding on the site, you can design your own site and have it hosted for free.

They do offer premium memberships (pay a small fee to remove their branding, host it on your own domain, etc.) for varying rates, but overall, Wix is an excellent website builder for little or no cost.

2. Dimdim www.dimdim.com : Dimdim provides an online platform for hosting web meetings. The software is easy to use, is browser-based (no new software to download), and serves as an excellent alternative to well-known conferencing sites such as GoToMeeting or WebEx. Dimdim offers free meetings for up to ten participants, perfect for small business owners on a budget. Dimdim also provides options for business owners to run their own webinars.

3. Etsy www.etsy.com : Clients selling arts and crafts, handbags, textiles, and related items often ask our consultants about virtual stores for selling these items. One of the most popular sites out there is Etsy. Etsy is becoming a very popular global online store for anyone interested in selling arts and crafts.

4. Evernote www.evernote.com :  Evernote allows you to store, search, and save virtually anything, from pictures on a napkin to websites, to meeting notes. Think of it as an opportunity to store all of your notes in one place. Evernote helps you to organize your notes, and as the service is cloud-based, your information can be accessed from any computer or smart phone, any time. For small business owners, you might decide to save a picture of a whiteboard from a meeting, save an important phone message, snap a picture of a business card given to you, and save an invoice from the last hotel you just stayed at. Evernote will organize all of your saved notes and arrange them for you so you don’t have to go hunting for that elusive piece of paper when you need it most.

Look for other updates to this series of blogs in the future. Please contact one of our business consultants if you would like to know more about these resources, or for any other small business questions you might have.

Do you use any exciting online tools in your small business? Post your tips and comments here.  Once a month we’ll enter all entries into a draw for a chance to win a voucher for one of our upcoming seminars (value $20.)

For more information, visit us at the Halton Small Business Centre,1151 Bronte Road, Oakville or online at www.halton.ca/business.

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