Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Web Resources for Startups

It's never been easier to start a business - with some of the services available over the web, you need less money to be more productive, appear more professional and established than ever before. Here's a small list of web services I've come across - let me know if there are any others you'd recommend.

My suggestion to you: grab a large cup of joe and browse through some of these services. I'm going to bet at least a few of these companies will blow your socks off. Sometimes knowing that they exist are enough to realize that you could grow or develop faster than you ever imagined possible.

Manage contacts & develop new ones.

Email. First, setting it up. Google Apps (*$), Yahoo SmallBusiness (*$), and Zimbra. Use it Productively. Xobni (*), Google Desktop (*). Track & Build Effective Email Campaigns (not to be confused with spam). MailChimp ($), CampaignMonitor ($), Industry Mailout ($), StreamSend ($), GoogleMail's Guidelines, YahooMail's Guidelines. Online CRM. ZohoCRM ($, but first 3 users are free), Highrise ($). Other. MyPunchBowl, Anyvite, Proof Email Designs.

Calls & voicemail. Asterisk, GotVmail ($), FonGenie ($), Twilio ($), Grand Central, Ringcentral ($), GotVoice (*$), Skype (*$), Jajah (*$). Call center services. Live Ops ($), Alpine Access ($), Convergys ($), Weavepartners ($). Other. Slydial.

Web. Balsamiq ($), Amazon Web Services (*$), FeedbackArmy ($), Wufoo ($), Kampyle, Animoto (*$), UserVoice, CrowdSound ($), Google Website Optimizer, CrossbrowserTesting, and Other Web Design Analytics Tools. PSD to HTML sites. HTMLmafia ($), P2H ($) and Codemyconcept ($)

Blog. PCWorld's '07 Comparison of Blogging Platforms.

Develop new leads. LeadVine ($), Sales Genie ($).
Tell the world
Print Layouts. Branddoozie ($), Inkd ($), Stocklayouts ($).

Microstockphotography. iStockphoto (*$), SnapVillage ($), SnapVillage ($), BigStockPhoto (*$), ShutterStock ($), Fotolia, Dreamstime ($), and StockXpert ($).

Website Templates. TemplateMonster (*$), ThemeForest ($)
Manage projects and files.
FolderShare (*)
, Unison File Synchronizer, Basecamp ($), Huddle ($), Project Pier, Callanos, Streamfocus, Redmine ($), Trac, Syncplicity, LiquidPlanner ($) and Groove (*$). Specifically for webapps: ProductPlanner.
Collaborate & share.
Delicious (*), Twiddla (*), Smugmug (for pics $*), Scribd (*), Nosco's IdeaExchange ($), Kluster, Issuu, Slide Rocket, Zapproved ($), Prezi ($), Review Basics, Conceptshare ($), Octopz ($), Cozimo ($), ProofHQ ($), Thinkature, DimDim ($), MindMeister ($) and a compilation from FreelanceSwitch
Figure out what you do well, Outsource the rest.
Elance (*$), Guru ($), oDesk ($), Redesignme ($), Ask Sunday ($), Get Friday ($), Mechanical Turk($), Spudaroo ($), 99 Designs ($), Crowdspring ($), vWorker ($), ScriptLance ($) and Freelancer ($). For product/process development: InnovationExchange ($) or OneBillionMinds ($). For content/knowledge: GenApple ($).
Manage accounting and finances.
Corduroy ($), Freshbooks ($), Quickbooks Online ($), Xpenser (*). Collecting payment. Google Checkout ($), Paypal (*$), Noca ($), and Credit Card Processing Reviews. Sell your receivables @ ReceivablesXchange.com (you need to be based in the US, at least 2 years old, have minimum 1.5M in revenues in last 12 months)
Track Time/Productivity/Reminders.
Jotlet, Clockspot, Flexlists, GetHarvest, TimeBridge, Jiffle, GTDInbox, Jott, RemembertheMilk, 30boxes, CulturedCode's Things for Mac, IDidWork, JoesGoals, Evernote and TSheets ($).
ExpertFlyer, FlyerTalk (*), TripIt (*), ParkingSpots, Yapta, Farecast, 2itch.
Legal paperwork (Great for ideas but I'd still get a lawyer to review any important agreements! But it's generally far cheaper to have a lawyer review your draft than to start from scratch).
RocketLawyer (*), Startupcompanylawyer, FreeLegalForms, LegalRiver ($), MyCorporation ($), MyLLC ($), YCombinator's Legal Templates (*), Orick's Startup Forms Library, theFunded.com's Founder friendly Legal Docs.
Don't learn that you need to backup your stuff the hard way. Carbonite ($), JungleDisk ($), Mozy ($), Backblaze ($) and Dropbox ($).

Finding new digs. SuiteMatch, ZoomProspector, Regus.

People & HR.
Spokeo ($), EHealthinsurance, Healthinsuranceinfo.

Shipping & fulfillment. TrackMyShipments, Amazon Fulfillment Services ($).

Starting a business can be a lonely experience. Consider networking online. Sta.rtup.biz, StartupNation, Biznik, Micromentor, IdeaCrossing, PartnerUp and GoBigNetwork.

Google Translation Center (*), myGengo ($). Find a name: Wordoid. Finding the best ideas in your organization. Kindling ($). Charts. LovelyCharts. Research and innovate. US Patent and Trademark Office and Trademarkia.
($) denotes if you need to pay in order to get anything useful out of the service (*) services I've used and recommend.


A said...

Another great time tracking resource is available from TSheets.com. With their new FreshBooks integration, tracking billable hours couldn't get any easier.

Clement Wan said...

Thanks - Standard time sheets are a pain in the butt to manage. I've added it to the list!

Thing 2 said...

A good listing of collaboration/sharing tools is at http://freelanceswitch.com/productivity/9-next-generation-collaboration-apps-for-sharing-images-documents/.

Clement Wan said...

Thanks Thing2 - definitely a prettier site and more detailed in some of their descriptions. A few interesting additional ones though I'm surprised there aren't more basic ones like Twiddla - which I found amazingly useful (though sometimes a bit buggy) when describing concepts with people overseas.

TacoHead said...

Great article that I refer to often. I found a great source for Legal Forms and Business Forms at www.DocBuilder.com

Ronald said...

HourDoc is tool for Time Tracking. www.HourDoc.com is right treatment for time and labor management processes has to be an easy-to-administer and affordable solution for Freelancers, supervisors, employees and HR and payroll managers. They offer free application to companies less than 50 employees.

maan said...

Another business lead generation tool resource is Commercemania.com. A source of Good Leads for your business.

RACNicole said...

Hi, I’m Nicole from vWorker (formerly Rent a Coder). Thank you for the link to our site at: http://growthmatters.blogspot.com/2008/12/web-resources-for-startups-amplify.html

I wanted to let you know that we’ve changed the site to vWorker.com and while we’re redirecting people from the old domain to the new one, we won’t be doing that indefinitely. I’m requesting that if you have a moment, that you consider updating the link to point to our new home (and name), so your site viewers don’t get a ‘page not found’ or get confused.

Thank you very much.


Clement Wan said...

Thanks Nicole - I am thinking I should probably go through this list again and sift through them but thanks for letting me know and I've updated this list.

Photography Jobs Finder said...

Great info, a website I use for finding freelancers is HTML Jobs finder

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Robin said...

Well, its really a nice collection of resources and will sure help many people.

Employee Tracking Software

David Smith said...

Thanks for the info! You need to make sure that you are managing your time and tasks well to ensure your productivity especially when your working online. Using web-based time tracking tools is an effective way to make sure that you are handling your time well. Websites like employee time tracking software
can help you find the best time tracking tool for your projects.