14 Ways To Save Serious Time And Money When Starting Or Growing Your Business
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Running a business is no easy task. That’s why we put together this handy checklist of items you need to take into consideration, along with time and money saving solutions. We know you're busy, so let's get right to the list.
1. Lead Generation:
If you’ve got a website that you're looking to grow, then you should check out Leadpages.
Leadpages works like this: You set up a landing page (dozens of templates to choose from), and put up a product, contest, subscription service — whatever you want. Then you send traffic to that page, and convert traffic into customers. Simple right? Well, that's the point. No coding skills required, and tons of time and cost saved not needing to hire a developer and designer to set this up.
It’s the kind of service every business needs and can use effectively, it can be a valuable tool added to your arsenal.
Get a 14-day free trial here.
2. Reach Your Customers Through Email:
Plain and simple, email marketing can make or break your business. Utilized effectively, you’ll engage existing customers and attract loads of new ones.
There’s a lot that goes into email newsletters, from design, to writing, to timing your sends, to tracking your results. It’s an ongoing process, and you have other things you should be focused on, namely delivering on the promises of those emails.
They both offer stunning templates along with easy to use drag and drop editors. As well as features like: autoresponder, segmenting subscribers and tracking opens, clicks and visits to your website.
We'd recommend trying both and seeing which one you like best.
3. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise
Want to know a great way to get new customers? You guessed it, advertise. Bing isn't a place you immediately think of when the word advertise comes to mind, and that's precisely why it could be a gold mine for you. Advertisers flock to Google for search advertising, but Bing is the #2 search engine. It has a lot fewer people advertising on it, which means you'll probably be able to get the same search terms you would on Google for a lot less on Bing because less people are bidding for these terms. There's no reason why you can't advertise on both search engines, and you should.
Another overlooked advertising platform is Yelp. If you have a local business this is surely not a place you want to miss. According to a 2013 study by Boston Consulting Group (as cited on Yelp’s website), the average annual revenue reported by Yelp advertisers is $23,000. That’s a pretty substantial number, which means that choosing not to advertise on Yelp would be a fool’s errand.
We've got you $300 in free Yelp ad credits to get started, so why not give it a go?
4. Who Needs Landlines?
If you have a business landline you're throwing away tons of cash, and if you don't have a business phone number you don't look professional (it's the equivalent of sending a business email using a gmail account). So, what do you do?
You can go with eVoice which starts at just $12.99 a month or Grasshopper.com which starts at $24 a month. They are both great solutions and each allow you to set up multiple extensions for your business, allowing you to set up one line to be directed to customer support while one line is directed to sales (or whatever your particular needs would be).
We've hooked you up with a 30-day free trial of eVoice just by clicking here.
Grasshopper offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
5. Your Logo Can Make A Difference:
Do you have a logo? Are you happy with it? After all this represents your business and can say a lot about you. Don't waste your time and money hiring designers you're unsure about, instead only pay for a logo you love. Go with either of these two options: Logojoy or LogoGarden.
Here's how LogoJoy works: Enter your business name on the front page of Logojoy and they’ll pick logos to inspire you. Next, pick a color palette, but you’re not picking on color alone — all of the colors are described in terms to help you decide what you want your logo to say. Pick icons that convey the idea behind your brand, then see what logos were created just for you. Once you find a logo you love, you can click to edit the font, icon, brand name, tagline, and more. When it’s perfect, you’ll have the option to buy the exact file you need.
Here's how LogoGarden works: LogoGarden offers different ways to design your logo. If you like to get your hands dirty, so to speak, you can design it yourself with the Logo Maker.
If you want a custom logo designed for you, you can sign up for their DreamTeam Design service. Fill out an interest form and within three days, three designers will send you sample logos. Pick which logo you like best, then work with that designer to customize it to be exactly what you want. If you don’t like any of those logos, don’t feel like you’ve thrown your money away — you can request more! Whether you pick one of the first three, or ask for more, you get unlimited revisions on your logo.
Take 10% off your order with coupon code WALLSTINS10 (you're welcome!), but you must first click on our link to LogoGarden.
6. Design, Design, Design:
Your website design matters a lot. It can be the difference between success and failure, but it can be difficult to know who the right person is to hire for the job. That's why 99designs and DesignCrowd stand out to us.
Post the details of the design you're looking for at 99designs, it'll open a contest that grabs the attention of dozens of designers. Write up a short description of your design needs and include any colors and design elements you want to be included. Designers post samples of what your designs will look like, and after seven days (and at least twelve designers throwing their hats in the ring), you award a winner. Then you work personally with that designer to create your website layout.
DesignCrowd works on a basis similar to 99designs by having you turn your search for a great website design into a contest. The scope is larger, though, with anywhere from 25 to 100 designs submitted for each project, and you set your own price. Designers can submit multiple looks for your one project, so while you might love one designer’s style but not the first look, that designer can keep submitting until you find one you love; you can even submit feedback on each design so they’re customized to your preferences. You can also share the designs with your friends and coworkers and get feedback, including star ratings on each design.
7. Where To Host:
Now that you’ve got your beautiful and highly functional website, you want to make sure it stays that way. Security, scalability, load time and uptime are things that need to be constantly monitored, so it’s important to protect your investment and the future of your business with a reliable hosting company.
WP Engine is probably the best spot for WordPress users. It’s literally all they do. Award-winning 24/7/365 phone support that goes above and beyond traditional hosting providers. From site migration to site launch to site growth, they have the largest team of WordPress experts to help you. Whether you're big or small they have a plan that you can fit into. Click here to get 33% off your first purchase with WP Engine. Plans start at $35 per month.
If you're not a WordPress user or just want a cheaper alternative, BlueHost and HostGator are two names you can go with.
HostGator has over 9 million domains hosted by them and pricing starts at just $2.75 per month. They also offer 24/7 support.
BlueHost which is owned by the same company as HostGator will cost $3.75 per month but they also give you a free domain, site builders, as well as 24/7 support.
8. Do-It-Yourself Website Builders:
It's not necessary to spend a lot of money on a developer and designer to create a website these days.
Weebly is one such place you can probably create your website with tonight (or your own online store). It's totally free to use but if you stay on their free version they will show Weebly ads which looks unprofessional. Opt for the $8 a month ad-free version and look like a pro. They'll also give you a free domain and $100 in free Google ad credits.
Alternatively, you can host your site with Blue Host for $3.95 per month and get a free domain and use their site builders.
9. What’s The Password?
The best security in the world won’t matter a bit if someone gets your password. But with every damn site we visit needing passwords, each of them having different parameters (UPPER CASE, lower case, special characters, numbers, etc.), it can be hard to keep track of them all.
So go over to Dashlane, which only requires you to remember one, count ‘em—one, password. Every day, you enter your “master password” and dashlane automatically remembers all your other passwords for all your other websites.
And the really great thing is that not even Dashlane can tell you what your master password is, so you’ll never be vulnerable, even if Dashlane gets hacked.
10. Make That Paper:
There’s no such thing as paper anymore, but you still need to get paid. And you need to make it easy for your customers to pay you.
Square has been the leader in credit card processing for a while, that continues today. Their card reader prices are very affordable, and they get major points for only charging a single, straightforward processing fee, whereas traditional credit card processors have fees out the yin-yang, from activation fees, to monthly fees, to minimum processing fees.
Square also offers a POS app, which is a handy way of tracking your sales, getting customer feedback and managing your inventory, among other things.
11. Track That Paper:
There are a lot of ways to take care of your business’s accounting needs, with varying degrees of accuracy, efficiency and cost. Since you’re probably doing it yourself (at least to some extent), you want to reduce the time you spend on organizing expenses, following up with clients, and tracking project time by automating as much as possible.
FreshBooks is a cloud-based secure accounting software, accessible from wherever you are, and super-easy to use. It not only saves you time, but produces great-looking invoices, which will let your clients know you’re on the ball. Most importantly it will keep you more organized and thus helping you get paid faster.
Click here to get a 60 day free of FreshBooks.
12. Legal Needs:
From business formation to trademarks and patents. There’s a lot of forms that need to be completed and submitted, and odds are, you’re not a legal expert. And odds are you probably don't need to pay huge legal fees to do these things.
You can save yourself time and money by going over to LegalZoom.
LegalZoom is a business filing service that can save you money and hours of work and frustration. They’ve been around for more than 12 years, have helped over a million small businesses, and are known for accuracy and friendly customer service.
If you need a advice you can even purchase a plan that will get you legal advice from a real-live lawyer for as low as $31.25 a month, which, if you know anything at all about attorney fees, is a pretty good deal.
13. Sign On The Dotted Line:
Everybody knows that a deal isn’t a deal until the paperwork is signed. The days of using the mail or even courier services are gone with the fax machine. We take care of document signing instantly nowadays, thanks to electronic signatures.
Docusign makes it easy for you to pretty much almost any type of document, email it out for a signature anywhere in the whole wide world, and have it back in your hot little hands within seconds.
And yes, thanks to the ESIGN Act of 2000, electronic signatures are legally binding within the United States (your country’s laws may vary).
Click here to get 30 days free of Docusign.
14. Speaking of Outdated Technology…
Sometimes we still need to fax. Well, we need to efax. Not a lot of businesses have traditional fax machines anymore, and there’s no need for you to hunt one down. But that doesn’t mean hard copy documents are obsolete.
In these cases, you can use eFax, which allows you to send faxes over the internet using your phone, tablet or computer, directly to a recipient’s fax machine.