If you look around, there are tons of tools on the internet to help you build and market your business. Over the years, we found a few we really love:
“CATALOG” TEMPLATE E-COMMERCE WEBSITES:
For building a catalog-style product website (retail or wholesale) with an easy to follow template, including integrated shopping cart, and real-time credit card processing capacity (you still need a separate merchant account), we recommend two different website builders.
Of course, you know that we love 3DCart for adding BOTH retail and wholesale info because it does the following:
- Allowed us to use different shipping methods for retail and (much heavier) wholesale orders.
- Aggregated products into case lots for wholesale.
- Allowed for MINIMUM orders on wholesale.
- Cleanly separated access to product pricing levels by category of customer.
MANAGING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
EMAIL MARKETING SOFTWARE
After your website is set up, collecting email address of your customers and potential customers is the most important task in marketing your business or products. There are several different email marketing software programs to choose from. Mail Chimp, which is free, is a good option to start with.
Recently, we have discovered (and love) ConvertKit, which offers so many more useful features not available on either AWeber or MailChimp! I love their easy to use system that lists all your list resources in one place. In addition, their excellent customer service is very helpful for beginners!
Over the years, we’ve used four different merchant account providers, before settling on one that is not out to screw people. We LOVE this program for accepting credit cards which deposits funds immediately into our PayPal account:
Currently, the service I use is Kall8. I love the options they give such as designating which phone line the 800 number rings into. This was a great service when I was traveling as I was able to forward the 800 number to my cell phone. We love the service so much that both my husband and I each have our own separate toll-free phone number!
Quickbooks is considered one of the best bookkeeping software for small business. Recommended by most accountants, it is fairly easier to use – will generate invoices, sales orders, checks, statements and numerous report necessary to measure your business finances.
Quickbooks has several different software programs with different options and price ranges. The basic three are:
Quickbooks Online Simple Start. Like the name says, this is a very simple software program for beginners.
Quickbooks Pro. Quickbooks Pro, is the most popular Quickbooks software, includes all the features of Simple Start and adds inventory modules
Quickbooks Premier Manufacturing & Wholesaling. Quickbooks Premier has several different versions for different business models. The Manufacturing & Wholesaling program allows you to track inventory assemblies (products you make from different raw materials) from inventory parts or raw materials.
SEE OUR COMPLETE LIST OF RECOMMENDED RESOURCES — including Small Business Agencies to help you get started!