24 Fundamental Resources for Online Entrepreneurs
Posted by Betsy Brottlund on April 23, 2009 in Business Financing, Business Start Up Advice [ 4 Comments ]
In terms of connecting with people who share your business interests and finding ways of promoting ideas or products, the internet has become as real a place as our physical world. Online, you can find tools to communicate with clients, potential partners, contractors and many other parties that are involved in the creation of a new business.
Along with online networking groups such as Resource Nation’s Vantage Network, there is an abundant amount of resources for those looking to start up a new venture. The following is a sampling of some the best business and finance resources that you can find on the net.
One of the first challenges for any emerging entrepreneur is acquiring some type of funding for their new enterprise. Looking around for potential investors can be a stressful task, but the following online resources may help you locate and communicate with possible sources of financing.
This site connects small business owners with service providers and lenders, empowering them to effectively compete with big business, innovate their services and products.
- Find That Money
Find that Money is social network especially for funding-seekers, investors and lenders to get together and do business. You can set up a profile of your proposed business and contact investors and lenders directly via their profile.
- Venture Deal
Venture Deal is a venture capital database that provides businessmen with the latest info on venture capital firms and venture-backed technology companies.
- American Capital Advance
This is a lending service that is catered especially for entrepreneurs seeking funding for their new business enterprises. American Capital Advance offers fast loans, so you can get started on building your business right away.
- Financing: Where to Find It
A financing guide from Inc.com that will let you know where to go for quick business financing.
Any successful business is characterized by tight and efficient time management. Keeping your start up’s business goals on schedule as well as handling day-to-day commitments and deadlines is one of most important parts of an entrepreneur’s job. The following links will take you to sites that offer tools for task and time management.
- Google Calendar
Google calendar, as with most Google software products, is steadily growing in popularity. It is simply a free online calendar service that lets you to share your calendar dates with others, which can make coordinating meetings and events easier.
This is a web-based task manager that was created to work in conjunction with “Getting Things Done”, or GTD, the popular iPhone application.
Backpack is a personal and small business organizer that can help you manage your business information, intranets and to-do lists.
This is a web based tool used by small businesses as well as large corporate brand names to coordinate and run individual business projects. It lets business owners connect with contractors and other business owners in order to manage a project. Fee required.
- Side Job Track
Provides online invoicing, reporting and management software. Good for tracking jobs to make sure projects stay on schedule.
More than any other form of communication, the Internet has managed to bring people from all over the world together with little or no cost whether it is by email or other sources. Here are a few more online resources that will help you connect and stay connected with people as you grow your business.
Unlimited free calls over the internet. Talk to other Skype users whenever you like and for as long as you like.
Vonage is a major provider of voice over internet protocol broadband telephone services.
Yahoo Messenger, Google Talk and Windows Live users can use Gizmo international calling services for free, and non-users have access to low cost calls.
A free program that provides you with high-quality voice communications. PC-to-PC calls are free and you can regular phones as well, often free depending on the service provider.
Having a system in place for storing sensitive information can prevent a potentially disastrous data loss. The following resources offer some good data storage options.
Mozy is an online storage service that offers unlimited storage space for $4.95 a month. If your laptop gets stolen Mozy will help you find it by tracking all the new information that the thieves put in it. And if all your hard drives get destroyed, Mozy will still have all of your files intact and available.
Same as Mozy, with remote computer data backup software.
Same as above. The price is a flat $54.95 a year.
- Data Deposit Box
Affordable data backup service that lets you run a system recovery wherever you are.
- Athena Backup
Athena Backup automatically stores all your computer files, so you never have to worry about losing anything.
Programs specifically designed for sending and tracking invoices can save you time by streamlining the process and making it much more efficient. The following resources will help you keep your invoices organizes and let you focus on more important aspects of your business.
- Bamboo Invoice
A simple, online invoicing program that lets your organize and keep track of all your invoices. It is an Open Source program, which means you won’t have to pay for upgrades ever, and you can modify it to fit your needs.
A professional looking online invoicing and tracking program. It also lets you manage expenses.
Transcepta is an electronic invoicing service that requires no software or hardware.
- InterlinQ Solutions
This site provides not only online invoicing services, but daily job reports, time sheets, job tracking, and mobile billing.
- 2nd Site
2nd Site is an invoicing site with online payment and online employee timesheets.
Any other resources I’m missing? Let us know.