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The Ultimate List Of Online Tools And Resources For Small Business

Within every business regardless of size there is a requirement for a number of functions, from finance to marketing, sales to production, design to IT – you know what’s needed for your company.  You’ll also know which options you struggle with, where multi-tasking has become the norm and which areas have been long fingered as there simply isn’t time to research what’s involved in making a change for the better.

So, in this post I’ve put together a selection of online resources for the small business owner to help them find tools to more effectively manage their resources in areas that can frequently become a chore as finding the right solution is a job in itself!

4 Alternatives To Online Photo Editor Picnik the much loved photo editing software platform owned by Google closed down 19th April and although those on Google Plus can continue to enjoy many of the features through Creative Suite, this post offers some free alternatives to help fill the void. Mashable.

Best 10 Free Stock Photo Download Sites when the budget doesn’t stretch to a photographer or a subscription service some of these sites offer an alternative for little or no cost, but remember to check out the actual permissions/licence attached to any photo you download. Tezeal.

Salesforce Alternatives; 5 CRM Services For Small Businesses Salesforce is one of the most well known CRM (Customer Relationshop Management) tools available and you may be able to avail of a free trial to establish if it’s for your business.  This post shares a few other options to review also. PC World.

Latest Accounting Reviews currently listing 12 accounting packages some of which you may already be familiar with, this is an excellent review site with details of the various packages reviewed for you. PC Pro.

5 Free & Helpful WordPress Resources currently running on over 73 million sites/blogs throughout the world, WordPress is used by businesses large and small to create and maintain their presence online.  If this is your software of choice for the web, this post shares 5 options to help you work with it. A Small Orange.

4 Tools For Better Agency-Client Collaboration depending on the nature of your business, there may be occasions where you need to work as part of a team or a partner alongside your client. Options listed on this post are aimed at ensuring the communications run as smoothly as possible. Mashable.

13 Tools To Simplify Your Social Media Marketing as your activities on social media evolve, it’s worth reviewing how best to manage your presence and generate content. This fantastic post covers a multitude of options to enable you to more efficiently and effectively develop your social media marketing. Social Media Examiner.

Top 10 Free Time Tracking Apps For Freelancers time is money, particularly when you work with multiple clients or projects where you need to charge by the hour or track work completed.  This selection of apps offers a solution to suit most small businesses. Freelance Switch.

10 Apps To Keep Your Business Organized a selection of apps to help you manage your calendar, projects, networking & more as suggested by a panel of entrepreneurs. Mashable.

With a large number of the options listed above the entry level is either free or at very low cost.  Where there is a charge it’s not unusual to get access to either a demo version or a trial of the programme, both of which should be used to ensure it’s the right fit before you sign up.  With the vast majority of programmes if you’re not happy a few months down the line you can export/import data and move to another option, but time spent testing is time you won’t regret.

Businesses are more conscious of costs these days but once you more effectively manage the processes, productivity will increase and the investment in securing the correct platform or app, or on purchasing a licence for use will pay for itself in less time than you might expect.

Related: 51 Free Resources For Small Businesses

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Image: “Toolbox with tools. Skrewdriver, hammer, handsaw and wrench. 3d/Shutterstock

Debbie McDonnell is the owner of who work with SMEs across a range of sectors in Social Media, Digital Marketing & Traditional Marketing. She has worked with major brands on and offline, is a Graduate of both The Marketing Institute of Ireland and The Digital Marketing Institute and has over 20 years professional experience.

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  • Hi Debbie, this is a really useful post, I’m bookmarking now for future reference and will be sending on to my clients. Thanks so much for putting it together!

  • Thanks Niall 🙂

  • Debi Harper

    Brilliant Debbie, that must have taken ages to do, so much information. Will need a couple of days to go through it all:) Next year our App will be in the marshall list:)

  • Thanks Debi, did look at apps for devices too but decided that’s a whole other post for an app expert 🙂

  • Great list Debbie. I must say that I still miss Picnik but have found an alternative in which suits my non techie tastes 

  • warrenrutherford

    Debbie – these resources are great. Already have bookmarked several of the stock photo sites for use amongst others.  Thanks for all this great research.

  • This one’s a keeper! Thanks Debbie 🙂

  • Thanks for the list – the tools for Social Media Marketing are especially important, and I can use some of those to help my clients reach their customers MUCH faster.  There are still plenty of businesses which haven’t quite cought up with the need to use social media to reach wider audiences.

  • Hi Miesha, thanks for the feedback.  We can never have too many tools to make life a little easier can we?

  • You’re welcome Helen, have bookmarked it myself as was worthwhile research

  • Thanks Warren, I think the stock photo sites are handy too as it’s something we all need and it can be difficult to find something you haven’t seen on a dozen other sites already.

  • Thanks Marie. Hard to change when you’re used to one system but for those mourning the demise of Picnik all is not lost as here’s another one not on the list above – – which I believe was created by some of the Picnik team and although not quite there yet I’d keep an eye on it as it looks promising.

  • Brilliant post Debbie, like many others here I’ve bookmarked it…so useful, thanks

  • Thanks Mairead, always handy to have a place to start when you need something new 

  • Thanks for the feedback, we all need the right tools in business 

  • Christina Giliberti

    Especially lovin’ the WP resources Debbie. Great list!

  • Hi Debbie,

    I’m only seeing this article now. I love these type of articles. It’s a super resource. I’ve bookmarked it for lots of future uses!

    Thanks for taking the time to comply it.
    Take care

  • Thanks Denise, was worth the time as I picked up a few new sites to bookmark too 🙂

  • Thanks Tina, you can never have too many WP resources can you?

  • How did I miss this amazing post? Great put together of resources, should be shared with all our communities – thanks Debbie 🙂

  • Hello Debbie,
    Please add the Android Phones to your lists Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus S. The tools build in on Android allow real time communication between collaborators like conference calls and the setup of workspaces. Is highly cost saving. If you choose a smart data plan and you use all the potential of Wi-Fi connection at Home, Workplace or favorite coffee shop. Basically Android is your Social phone, you can communicate with everybody whenever they are….with an iPhone you are living in a highland, with Android the world is in your hands.

  • Tanya

    Great resource list! I would suggest that everyone bookmarking these sites use Evernote to organize it so that you’ll find them when you need them.  Another very simple time tracker app is MyTime.  And for brainstorming, concepting, ideating – try iBrainstorm and MindNode

  • Online networking posts that mention your brand directly also generally fall into the realm of usable for personalization, but tread carefully.

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