Essential Tools for Starting an Online Business

When starting your online business, it is important to get it right from the start. There is a lot to consider and the number of choices available when it comes to what tools to use can be overwhelming at times. You want the very best tools, at the very best price. You need tools to help you with the building of the site and to make sure it is user-friendly. You will also need to market your business. In this article, we discuss three of the best tools that can help you to give your online business that edge from the very first day.

DesignCrowd

Unless you are a graphic designer yourself, you are going to need to look into getting some professional help when it comes to designing your logo, webpage, business stationery, etc. Hiring a graphic design firm can be expensive and you can never really be sure whether or not you will get the results that you want. Working with one graphic designer or firm could end up costing you time and money that you really cannot afford to waste.

DesignCrowd makes use of a very innovative concept to ensure that you get the best possible graphic solutions. It is simple – you set your budget – you can ask for a quote upfront to get an idea of what budget you should be looking at. You then post a brief on the site and set a deadline. Designers from around the world will then start sending you designs, based on your brief and budget.

You then decide which one is best suited for your needs – you can instantly dismiss any that are unsuitable and you are encouraged to give designers feedback so that they can tweak the design. It is then up to you – you choose the design you want and the relevant designer is paid. Should you feel that none are suitable, you have the option of rejecting all of them and having your money refunded.

You have complete control over the deadline, budget and, ultimately, the final word in how your budget is spent. You can see your concept come to life on the screen, with no risk of paying for graphic design that is unsuitable. With almost 450 000 designers on the books, you have a wealth of choice.

Elance

When it comes to content and functionality for your site, sales materials, or even a virtual assistant, Elance is the place to go. With around 9.7 million freelancers on the books, there is certainly someone on the site that can provide the skills that you need, at a price that you can afford.  You simply post the details of the job to the site and freelancers put in bids for the job. You the budget range and freelancers quote within those parameters. You then choose the proposal that suits you best and carry on from there.

You are able to view the freelancers’ histories and so can see what experience they have before making your final decision. You can choose to pay an hourly rate or one lump sum. You can set milestones for the freelancer to adhere to so that you can keep track of progress. At the end of the day, you decide whether or not to proceed with payments and so only pay for results.

MailChimp

Once your business gets up and running, you will need to be able to communicate with clients or prospective clients. A newsletter is a great way to accomplish this. Even if you decide not to set up a newsletter just yet, you are going to need help managing marketing and general emails. That’s where MailChimp comes in.

The basic free account allows you to send up to 12000 emails monthly, as long as there are less than 2000 subscribers on your list. The paid account packages allow you to send more mails and give you more functionality but the basic account will allow you to get a feel for how everything works and won’t cost you a cent.

Setting up your emails is simple. You choose the template to use, either one of the preset templates or one of your own design. Then you just need to draft the email. Mail Chimp will customize it with your company’s name and logo and you will be able to send out emails to everyone on your subscriber list.

By choosing the right tools to use when you are starting out, you are giving your business the very best shot at success. Start out strongly, with the right skills at the right price and your business will go places.

Brought to you by DesignCrowd.

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