Tools of the Trade

Every successful entreprenuer has a toolkit! This toolkit should consist of various tools and equipment that can be used to support the daily operations of your business. These tools should include a variety of sources including web based tools and services, various guides/magazines/books, and should also include services from other small businesses. Here at Diva Designz we use a variety of tools and services to help us manage our business.

1. Newsletters/Email Marketing

Vertical Response is my choice for newsletters and email marketing companies. Vertical Response is an easy-to-use, web-based marketing tool that helps you grow your business through email marketing, online survey, and direct mail postcards. Be sure to sign up our newsletter for an example of how you can create a custome newsletter using their services. 
2. Online Storage

Dropbox-Dropbox allows you to sync your files online and across your computers automatically. Sharing files is simple and can be done with only a few clicks.  A copy of your files are stored on Dropbox’s secure servers. This lets you access them from any computer or mobile device. The free Dropbox application can be use for iPhone, iPad, and Android.  Dropbox makes it easy for me to save files and access them from any computer.

3. Merchant Services

Every businesses needs a good merchant services provider.  If you want to be able to accept credit cards from your clients, you will need a merchant service provider. Many of these providers will allow you to accept cards online as well as offline. I have listed a few providers below:

         Paypal-Everyone has a paypal account!  I like the fact the paypal has different types of  business  accts so you can pick the one that is best for your business.

         Google Checkout-Google Checkout is a fast, secure checkout process that helps increase sales by bringing you more customers and allowing them to buy from you quickly and easily with a single login.

         Quickbooks Virtual Terminal-This product is

         ProPay

4.  Online Chat Services

If you have on online business, you should seriously consider adding live chat services to your site. Live chat services is a great way to offer customer service support to website visitors.  My favorite Live Chat provider is  http://www.livehelpnow.net. They offer three different services including live chat system, a trouble ticket system, and customer support systems.

5.  1-800 number

Having a free 1-800 number is a great way for customers to reach you. Even though your business may be web-based, some clients/customers will want to talk to a live person!  Offering a free 1-800 number gives them another way to connect with you besided email. I highly recommend Kall8. Kall8 is the only fully integrated toll-free service that offers traditional 800 service with a complete set of online tools to manage and track your toll free numbers in real time. With Kall8, you can instantly activate and forward your 800 numbers, view calls, and analyze the results of your ad campaigns online. You get a 1-800 number for just $2.00!!

6.  Virtual  Assistants

When you  just can’t handle all of the day to day tasks of running your business, consider hiring a virtual assistant. They will do everything for you from typing emails, adding new products to your website,  sending postcards, handling customer orders, managing  your blog, and even managing your social networking activities! If you are looking for talented virtual assistant, be sure to check out these companies: Virtual Work Team and Gifted Assistant Management Services.

What are some tools you have in your toolkit?

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