Running a business is always a juggling act and one of the things we need at our fingertips at all times is the right resources. Below is a list of ten resources we love and use. We hope you find it helpful!
1. Domain Name Registration: GoDaddy.com
GoDaddy.com is the 800 LB gorilla in the domain name registration space and we’ve used them for several years now. They’re very easy to deal with.
However, their user interface can be a bit confusing and they will try to sell you a lot of other stuff you don’t need (e-mail and website hosting for instance). Only register your domain name with them.
A word of warning: do NOT use the same company to register your domain names and host your website! If something goes wrong with your website or domain name, you can lose both. If you keep them with separate companies, if you lose one for whatever reason, you still have the other.
2. Website Hosting: HostGator.com
HostGator.com has been our website host for several years. Reliability is extremely important when you’re running a business. What I love the most is that they have 24/7 phone support!
Hosting services are generally very reliable, but on the rare occasion that you need technical help (because your site has completely disappeared, for instance), you need it NOW! In the past, we’ve hosted with providers that only offered e-mail support, and when we had an emergency, that was an absolute nightmare. I will never again host with anyone who doesn’t offer phone support.
HostGator.com has been very reliable and on the one occasion that our site disappeared, they had it back up and running within a couple of hours.
3. E-mail Newsletters and Autoresponders: AWeber.com
It’s important to stay in reliable, regular communication with your prospects and clients. To do that, you need a reliable e-mail publishing service.
If you’re looking for an e-mail publishing service, we recommend AWeber.com. We’ve used them for several years and have been very happy with them.
They provide HTML templates for your e-zines and autoresponders so you don’t have to design them from scratch. They also have some of the best deliverability rates in the industry.
4. Payment Solutions: PayPal.com, 1ShoppingCart.com & Authorize.net
PayPal.com can be a good place to get started when it comes to accepting payments online. Put a product, program or package up for sale on your website along with a PayPal payment button and you’re in business. Best of all, it’s free.
However, if you have more than a couple of programs or packages, you’ll want a more robust and professional solution. We recommend 1ShoppingCart.com which offers a tremendous amount of functionality that PayPal simply doesn’t.
1ShoppingCart.com along with a merchant account provider like Authorize.net allows you to have multiple items, set up payments, discounts, recurring payments, etc. with the click of a button. It also offers a complete affiliate program and autoresponder service.
5. Bridge Lines (for conference calls): FreeConferenceCall.com & InstantTeleseminar.com
Over the years, we’ve used different services, some with less than stellar results (that we’d prefer to forget). Having a reliable provider you can depend on is extremely important when building your business. This is not the place to be cheap. (Otherwise, you may announce a training call and nobody will be able to get in!)
If you’re looking for a reliable conference call provider, we recommend InstantTeleseminar.com. InstantTeleseminar.com allows your audience to listen both over the phone and online via live webcast. It also offers an instant replay feature, allowing your to play a previously broadcast call. (This is a feature we really like for scheduling flexibility.)
For small calls and tight budgets, we recommend FreeConferenceCall.com. They’re reliable and will let you record calls, but they don’t offer as many options as InstantTeleseminar.com Occasionally, the line has been busy when we dialed the number for a call – not good when you’ve scheduled a training call and have invited people to join! However, it’s rare and their service will work just fine when you’re only holding small calls.
We’ve always had a good experience with InstantTeleseminar.com though and recommend them for any call you do.
6. Audio (for websites, podcasts & MP3s): AudioAcrobat.com
AudioAcrobat.com lets you easily record, upload and download audio. You can record conference calls, interviews, coaching sessions, personal notes and testimonials. Be social — share your audio on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Gain visibility and subscribers by posting your shows on iTunes and other popular podcast directories.
You can also publish videos with video players and themes using powerful custom features not seen anywhere else.
AudioAcrobat.com does a lot more than that and we don’t even use all of the functionality they offer. We just use Audio Acrobat to record and post all of our audios here at GIWE and have been very happy with them.
Important tip: Even though bridge line services like InstantTeleseminar.com and FreeConferenceCall.com will record your calls, ALWAYS use a backup recording service like AudioAcrobat.com. If you’re doing a call which a client is paying for (either in a product or coaching program), you could have a big problem if the recording was botched or just didn’t record altogether! It’s a good idea to always have a backup (just in case!)
7. Design (for logos, websites, product packaging): 99Designs.com & KillerCovers.com
To be frank, getting good, reliable designers has been the bane of my business existence. We’ve gone through a lot of designers and wasted so much money with designers who either didn’t do a good job or just flat out didn’t deliver.
So we LOVE 99Designs.com! Instead of relying on just one designer, you get multiple designers competing to do your project. And you get unlimited revisions because they don’t get paid until you approve it.
Caution: if you use 99Designs.com to design your website, you’re paying for the design ONLY. It will then have to be coded and installed, which is separate. We used 99Designs.com for the GIWE logo, but a web design firm for our website. (The design, coding and installation was all in one package for a flat fee.)
We’ve also used KillerCovers.com for product packaging design and they did a fantastic job for us. They were very quick and responsive to our requests and I was thrilled with the results.
8. Phone/Voicemail/Fax: Grasshopper.com & OneBox.com
If you’re newly in business or work out of your home, it’s tempting to just use your home phone or personal cellphone number. But it’s always a good idea to have a dedicated business phone number and voicemail/fax service. Fortunately, you don’t need to invest in a second line or an expensive phone plan.
9. Printing (business cards, stationary and marketing materials): VistaPrint.com, Mimeo.com & OvernightPrints.com
Mimeo.com offers quick printing for brochures, reports, manuals, etc.
10. Legal Help: Leverage-A-Lawyer.com
I love this service! If you need any legal help or have questions about which legal entity is right for you, then check out Jessica Eaves Mathews at Leverage-A-Lawyer.com.
Jessica is one of our guest faculty members and she offers flat-fee legal services. If you need some legal help but are worried about an open-ended retainer fee type of situation, then Leverage-A-Lawyer.com is the resource you’re looking for.
Ooops! That’s actually 17 resources we love! I hope you found this helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions at all.
Supporting you for your success,
Founder & CEO