6 Key Online Resources for Small Business Owners

When starting a small business, problems can stop you from turning your vision into a success. Here are 6 must-have small business tools to help get your company off the ground and running.

1. Google Analytics
Knowing how much traffic your website gets and where it comes from as well as your key demographic can help make your startup successful and tracking that information is not necessarily a simple act. With Google Analytics, Google’s statistics tool, users can see the countries their site has been viewed in, the percentage differences in traffic drivers, and their numbers broken up by various increments of time. Google Analytics will display the information using clearly marked charts and graphs to make the facts that much easier to understand and read.

2. Dropbox
Perfect for multitaskers, Dropbox creates a virtual connection between all of your Internet-linked devices. By using the cloud saving ability, you can save your photos, documents, and videos into your account and then access it from anywhere. The fear of losing a document is thus eliminated and you can easily share files with other users. Dropbox also gives you the power to keep your files organized by creating customized folders for your documents. With varying amounts of storage available, Dropbox could help you maintain your company’s files without having to shell out the money for paper and ink or taking up room on your computer drive.

3. Odesk
When launching your startup, you may be strapped for cash and hiring fulltime workers can be difficult. Odesk lets you search their database of contractors looking for work and you can follow their step-by-step guide to find the best candidate for your business. Odesk profiles list past work experience, provide a sample portfolio, and supplies client reviews so you can make your choice knowledgeably. After picking a candidate, you can set up a virtual interview and then easily assign the person the task or project you are hiring them for. While the contractor is completing their assignment, Odesk help you track their progress and performance and give notes or make additions as they work. Payments for your contractor also are seamlessly done through Odesk so you can avoid dealing with bank paperwork.

4. Skype
With video abilities perfect for large groups and a simple phone service, Skype can be extremely helpful and useful for your business. You can avoid paying costly phone fees with Skype and send documents or photos during a call as well. The phone, video, and chat capabilities make Skype a valuable business tool that you can freely take advantage of for your company. For staffing companies, Skype is a must-have for fast interviewing and placement.

5. LinkedIn
Businesses and staffing companies looking to find the best new talent can now access multiple networks and peruse an online directory of resumes. LinkedIn provides businesses with an opportunity to connect with other professionals and a platform to source and discover careers. Use LinkedIn to launch your startup business or use it to help your staffing company find the best candidates for your clients. LinkedIn will connect you with a huge pool of talented workers.

6. HootSuite
With its system that lets you schedule posts to sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, Tumblr, WordPress, and more, Hootsuite lets users create the information and posts they want to publish and then stagger them by date and time. You can also attach images and video to your posts or publish to more than one site at a time. With Hootsuite you can set up a continuous steam of information from and about your company even while you’re focusing on other tasks.

Another tool for small businesses? Invoice factoring. When cash flow gets low and you don’t want to take on debt – selling your accounts receivable to a factoring company is the answer. Factoring is affordable and involves no long term contracts. Factor a single invoice or multiple invoices – it’s entirely up to you.