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Day 27: Build Your Toolbox

Today’s Prompt:

Review the post above to begin building your “toolbox” of resources for running your company.

You are coming to the end of 30 Days of Doing. It's important to continue the momentum you've gained over the last month. We'd like to leave you with some of the right tools to continue your journey.

Today, I (Kyle) want to quickly run through a number of tools I use when starting a new business. Some of these I use on an almost daily basis.

Fiverr.com

Fiverr is website that allows you to hire people for $5 "gigs." These might be things like simple logo design, writing a blog article, fixing something on your website or doing some market research. $5 is the minimum price – some services are obviously more expensive. Generally, you can find good-quality work for an extremely low cost on fiverr.com.

I usually have a handful of Fiverr gigs running for me at any point. If there's something you could do but someone else can do better/faster than you, it's a good idea to see if you can outsource it to Fiverr.

Remember the value of your time. If you can find someone to do the work for you for a low cost (while you focus your time and energy elsewhere, on more high-level tasks that are likely more "income-producing"), then you should try to do so. Fiverr is a great way to get into this habit of letting go and letting other people do work for you.

Upwork.com

Upwork is similar to Fiverr but more formal. The tasks you can outsource to Upwork are more in-depth and more expensive. For instance, on Fiverr, you might find someone to quickly put together a placeholder logo for you – on Upwork, you can find professional designers who can spend a lot more time researching and revising your logo. Both are very useful but are used for different purposes.

Canva.com

Canva (Casey's obsession) is a great resource for creating high-quality, low-cost (or free) graphics for your website and social media. Canva comes preloaded with templates for Facebook headers and adverts, Twitter banners, and other social media graphic assets. They are pre-sized, so all you need to do is drag and drop in your own text and photos, and you're good to go.

Canva also has a large library of infographic templates, which can allow you to produce high-quality infographics in very little time. It is worth checking out if you want to produce any graphics for your site/social media but don't want to mess around in Photoshop.

GIMP

Speaking of Photoshop – if you need a free version that can complete the same basic functions as Photoshop, then check out GIMP. It's an extremely powerful open-source photo and image editor.

Hootsuite/Buffer

These two services allow you to easily manage your social media accounts from one centralized dashboard. If you are posting social media updates regularly on multiple accounts, then these tools are essential for speed and ease of use. One of the most useful features is that they allow you to schedule posts in advance – you can queue up a selection of content to be shared over time.

MailChimp

MailChimp is a basic email newsletter tool. If you are capturing customer emails, MailChimp will allow you to email them a newsletter. It's not actually possible to email out newsletters to hundreds (or thousands) of recipients using Gmail without getting your account banned. MailChimp offers a free/cheap solution to this problem.

Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey allows you to quickly put together surveys to send to customers, prospective customers, or maybe just your fans. Need some market research and want to get a questionnaire to your Facebook fans? Survey Monkey allows you to throw together a survey in a few minutes and then post it on Facebook. You can integrate surveys with your emailing software (MailChimp) to get surveys to your email list.

Others

https://logo.squarespace.com/

This page has a useful drag-and-drop logo editor that allows you to put together a basic logo yourself in a few minutes. Great for using as a placeholder.

https://stocksnap.io/

https://www.pexels.com/

These two websites have lots of royalty-free, no-cost images for using on your site and social media.

http://growth.tlb.org/

This is a weird one but very cool. It allows you to input how much money your business makes each week, how much you spend, and your estimated growth rate. From here, you can see when your business becomes profitable. Sounds complicated, but it's not – just go and play with it, and you'll see how intuitive it is. This is a great tool for working out the feasibility of your business idea.

www.hunter.io

Hunter.io is a tool I use a lot. It allows you to grab the email of nearly anyone on the web. Simply activate it on their LinkedIn profile or on a company website to pull emails directly. A great tool if you need to get in touch with someone directly and want to skip the gatekeepers.

http://startupstash.com/

Of course, there are plenty of other tools; these are just some we recommend. Rather than inundate you here, we want to recommend this site that contains a constantly updated and practically exhaustive list. It's also categorized into different areas, so, as your business develops, it is worth checking back here for resources related to your current stage.

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