Trying to add value by sharing! I’m not making any money by referring these sites. No affiliate links.
Back Office Services for Small Business Owners
- Payroll for 1099s and W-2 — Justworks Free for independent contractors (1099s) and $30-$75/mo for W-2s. I love this service, but QuickBooks offers something similar.
- Bookkeeping — Bench $125/mo for businesses with under $15k/mo expenses. Been using them for almost 1 year and I LOVE not having to worry about my books (my accountant loves them, too).
- Virtual Assistants — FancyHands Plans start at $25/mo. Their staff of US-based VAs can do anything remotely that takes approx 20 minutes or less. Has saved me hundreds of hours.
Sales and Marketing for Small Teams or Solopreneurs
- CRM, Small teams — Highrise I’ve used Highrise and decided it was the best system if you need to share leads and contacts in teams of 5 or less.
- CRM, Easy (free) tool within Gmail — Streak We use this now after dropping Highrise a few months ago. I personally don’t use it daily, but my sales team does, and I can have a little visibility (or a lot) into what leads they are working on.
- Email Marketing, Send newsletters and track results — MailChimp One of the most popular email list services. Simple email newsletters are the MOST powerful and BEST return on your dollar for very small businesses to grow your repeat sales.
- Dead Simple Email Newsletter — TinyLetter (free) Owned by MailChimp, it’s soooo easy to setup a newsletter with this service.
Website and Domain Names
WordPress.com offers free accounts, and for a few dollars, you can have YourName.com. Scott talked about CMSs — Content Management Systems — and WordPress has become the most popular CMS on the internet today. If you pay money, you can get themes to expand the functionality of your website.
My experience with WordPress: My company’s site is built off of WordPress, although it’s heavily modified and cost several thousand dollars. For under $100, one of my employees built this WordPress site for his theater production.
Landing pages are usually a single-page website designed purely to collect sales leads. For most new companies, this is all that you need (because you want to drive CONVERSIONS, like Scott said, to get sales). Sign up for their free trial of the $49/mo plan (you don’t need anything fancier for now). You can quickly build a very simple, single-page website that will collect sales leads from YourName.com.
My experience with Unbounce: It was a little confusing for me, and I decided to stick with my regular WordPress site instead of using this. But if you consider yourself even slightly tech savvy, this is where I’d start to setup your first home page for your business. You can grow to WordPress afterwards. Start with a single-page site first!
This is the easiest possible way to get a very basic website and start driving visitors there with Google AdWords. Is your on-line business even a good idea? Will people be interested? Use this service to find out. If you’ve read The 4 Hour Work Week, you know how powerful Google AdWords can be to test business ideas. This is a service that makes it really, really easy to test new ideas (free for first 30 days, then $29/mo). You create a landing page and then test some Google AdWords to see if anyone is interested.
My experience w/QuickMVP: I went to the launch party for QuickMVP in Manhattan last week and signed up for it the next day to test this site for the Henry Ford Museum. I made that page in about 15 minutes. Haven’t signed up to do AdWords testing yet, but will try next week.
For domain names, I buy all of mine from NameCheap. GoDaddy is fine, too.
Read this article: How to Spend Your First $100 on Facebook (also titled “What I Learned from Spending $2mm on Facebook) You should wait to advertise on Facebook until you’re ready to waste money. It took us a while to find a good niche. I’ve worked with a consultant that I’m happy to refer if you want help learning how to use the Facebook Power Ads Editor (Andrew Foxwell).
Probably not useful unless you’re a small business ready to drive sales and you very, very clearly know your audience (and they are active on Twitter — most people aren’t). But I’ve had some success w/my business here (here’s our Twitter account), and the Small Business Support team at Twitter has been AWESOME (free phone consultations + free ad credit to get started). My contact at Twitter is:
YES YES YES. Do this. It’s a little complicated to set up, but it’s given me the single most return for my company’s sales. If you look around, you can usually find $75 to $200 in free Google AdWords credits for new customers. Again, it’s got a steep learning curve. Try doing a QuickMVP page first to get your feet wet.
Other Helpful Digital Resources I Love Talking About
- Freelance Labor, like Graphic Design and Marketing and AdWords — I’ve had success with hiring people from oDesk, but it’s hard to get started.
- Generation Y, Selfies, and More — this report by LaPlaca Cohen is awesome. I blogged about it in May and it’s got some great insights. (My biggest take-away: If you’re opening a restaurant or a physical place of business, give customers an AWESOME selfie opportunity to take a picture in your store! Make them look GOOD and they’ll make you look good.)
- Bitcoin — During the Q&A, someone asked about any forthcoming alternatives to Bitcoin. Stellar is the most likely leader here. They’re backed by Stripe, a billion-dollar payment genius startup. Fully open source.
- Easy Social Media Sharing — We’ve been loving using the Buffer app (free) for scheduling and managing posts for our company on social media.
Disclaimer: I don’t mean to hate on Scott here. And this web page, which I made in 30 minutes quickly listing some helpful sites, is in no way a suitable replacement for all that was presented tonight. I think Scott’s probably a good fit for certain businesses and other conferences. But I’m SUCH a big Tony fan, his presentation and information covered really didn’t seem on-brand for Tony Robbins. It was a let-down for me.
About Me: I went to UPW in 2012 and wrote down a bunch of the motivational songs that Tony used; you might find them helpful! I run a small business in NYC that works with tourists and museums. We’re totally bootstrapped and we’ve been featured in the WSJ (twice), Fox News, and Newsweek. (press mentions here)