Since launching websites and starting a freelance business back a few years ago, I have made it a point to always make sure that I’m only spending money on the services and resources that are the most beneficial to the growth and impact of the business.
I’ve seen plenty of different tools, resources, strategies, and “players” come along throughout the years and many of which are no longer here. It reinforces the best practices of online business when we notice that these are often just flash-in-the-pan type elements.
You will obviously choose services and resources that best suit your business based on your personal research and gut feeling but entertain me for a moment to consider a few of the following based on my own experience with online business:
- Content Management Systems – Instead of hard-coding a website you are using a CMS to create a dynamic website that is easy-to-use and has plenty of flexibility. My recommendation is WordPress because of the wide support but there are plenty more CMS options for choosing.
- Analytics – Everything you do online will eventually come down to a numbers game which is why you’ll want to use analytical tools; these will give you the proper insight into what you’re doing right (or wrong) so you can make the logical decisions to grow your business.
- (Any) Instant Messaging – Networking is the most important part of growing a business in this online environment. Email is great and all but urgency cuts to the chase which is why you’ll want to be on a social media platform or use some kind of instant messaging service to contact the players within your market so that you may build a great relationship and develop a connection with them to increase your brand reputation by association.
- IT Services – The last thing you want is someone to come through, online, and wipe out all your hard work because you don’t have the proper security in technology implemented. Truth be told, if you aren’t that proficient at the computer, you should seriously consider managed IT services, generally local, so that you aren’t forced out of the competition because of the actions of a malicious individual (or company).
- Learning Platforms – Gone are the days when you could throw up shop and face virtually no one in the marketplace because you’re in a limited area. Now we are online and always connected which means the competition is persistent; because of this we need to constantly learn. Online education should be a daily routine to keep an edge in your marketplace which is why I recommend any sort of online training.
- Mind-Mapping (and/or) Team Management – I love whiteboards or keeping track of my ideas but they are often archaic when the rest of your work is being done online. Mind mapping tools (which lets you expand your ideas and embed external resources) or team management tools (which helps you organize you and others) are crucial to getting things done in an online environment. Plenty of ideas will float around but these are certainly the two tools I would recommend to keep it all together so that you can reach your goals.
It’s certainly interesting that most of the tools I recommend are self-govern, yes?
Being able to manage your time and resources is what gets you places with online business more so than the idea. There are countless opportunities when you’re connected to the World and in a lot of ways you need to be restrictive; stick to the resources that show real growth for you and your business because that’s how you’ll get ahead. Base your judgement on future investments on the best practices and the best resources I’ve mentioned if you want to keep everything within a reasonable budget.
The choice is yours though it’s certainly worth consideration.
Image Source: BigStock