Starting a business is an exciting adventure, whether it’s your first or tenth business. Each new business is almost like a child, something you nurture, and watch grow through each stage. There are so many great tools available that can help you in every aspect of business ownership, from helping you find the perfect business name, right through to Google Analytics which can help you analyze where your traffic is coming from. In this day and age almost every single business out there needs a website, blog and social media accounts to maximize their exposure and sales. Whether you’re looking to start a business soon, or want to improve the business you already have, keep reading to learn about my top 4 useful tools for starting a business.
1. Business Name Generator
I always suggest starting here because a name is one of the most important aspects of your business. It’s what all your branding will be centered around, how you will put your brand out there, and just the core of your business. This is the step many people get stuck on because they want the perfect name and find themselves overthinking their options. If you’re struggling on this stage, I suggest trying a business name generator to come up with some ideas. One of my favorite features about this tool is it quickly shows you if the domain name is available, allowing you to make a decision faster. Most businesses these days absolutely need a website to make their brand legitimate. I always suggest buying the domain that matches your brand name, even if you’re not quite ready to launch your website.
2. Google Analytics
If you’re planning to have a website for your brand, then Google Analytics is probably the first thing you should install on it. Whether you’re looking to place a store on your website, or just wanting to track your blog’s readership, Google Analytics allows you to analyze your customers, where they’re coming from and what they’re doing on your website. This is absolutely essential if you’re looking to grow your business, which you should be. Knowing what’s working for you in terms of advertising and traffic allows you to focus your attention on those things that are giving you the best returns. If you’re hoping to offer advertising on your website, clients will want to know how many pageviews you’re getting each month. I always suggest installing this as soon as your website is live so you can properly track your site’s progress.
3. Social Media
Have you noticed something about many of the biggest companies around the world? Many of them are social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. People have made full time jobs from being influencers on these platforms, and businesses have used them to make hundreds of thousands of dollars. If your business is not on social media, then you’re quite frankly leaving money on the table. The type of social media accounts you should get for your business will depend largely on the products or services that you’re offering, and the age of your ideal target audience. If you’re targeting working moms, for example, then you’re probably going to be better focusing your efforts on Facebook or Instagram, rather than TikTok or Snapchat. The great thing about social media is that you can create extremely customized advertising campaigns that target your audience, allowing you even better returns on any advertising dollars when compared to more traditional advertising avenues. Social media is a great way to interact with your audience and to create a sense of community, too.
4. Xero Accounting Software
One of the biggest challenges for a new business owner is changing their views about money. If you’ve had a traditional job before, it can be hard adjusting your mindset from an annual salary, to an income that’s dependent on so many factors and no longer tied to hours logged in the office. Another challenge can be how to properly separate income, business expenses, and whatever you’ll pay yourself. For this reason, I suggest getting some accounting software from the beginning. Not only will it help ensure that tax time isn’t a complete nightmare, it will also allow you to properly see how much profit your business is actually generating and what your expenses really are. While there are a number of great accounting software options out there, I personally love Xero because it’s very intuitive and simple to use. The more you use it, the more it learns about how to classify your income and expenses, so it gets easier to use as time goes on. Starting with a good accounting software from the get-go will also ensure when tax time rolls around, it’s a piece of cake for your accountant to figure out what you owe, ensuring you don’t have any nasty tax bill surprises.
Starting a business is a very exciting adventure. I hope these 4 useful tools for starting a business help ensure that getting things off the ground is easier than ever before.