It takes more than a village to build and run a successful company. It takes a lot of really smart, dedicated people and reliable web-based tools and services to streamline the processes. The majority of the listed tools are online services but I’ve also included a few offline gadgets and resources that, now that I’ve used them, I couldn’t live without.
Click on the linked headings for more information about the tools and/or services.
This is literally (and I mean literally) one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. If you’re tired of storing paper documents, going paperless has never been easier.
This little scanner has a small footprint and zips through paper scanning in a flash. Everything from documents to sales receipts, ScanSnap scans it into a nice PDF you can tag and organize. The two software apps I use with this to organize, archive, and track expenses are Paperless (for receipts) and YEP (for everything else). It’s a beautiful trio you’ll love. The ScanSnap can cost upwards to $300 but, I promise, it’s worth every penny. One of the best investments I’ve made! Plus, it’s Mac and PC compatible. I’ve been using the S330M for about 8 years now and it’s still going strong. The new model is the “ScanSnap PA03603-B005 S1300 Instant PDF Sheet-Fed Mobile Scanner” Check it out here
Don’t be fooled that being this far down on the list devalues the importance my Mac Pro Tower and Mac Pro laptop, a second Apple laptop and iPhone play into a successful work-flow because this site wouldn’t have been created without them. Sure, I could have used a PC, but alas, I’m a Mac fan. Learn more
Once you’ve installed WordPress using their famous 5-minute installation, you need a theme (a fancy name for what the website will look like). My personal preference is to use a premium WordPress theme. I know many people prefer “free” themes but a premium theme gets you unlimited access to all their themes and, frankly, they’re just built better — which means less modifications. Just upload, activate and start using. Learn more.
Every form on this site was built and integrated using Gravity Forms. No programming knowledge is required to create a professional form. This amazing WordPress plugin has so many great features it’s impossible to list them all here. That said, it does offer seamless integration with PayPal, Freshbooks, and MailChimp. This is a must have form plugin.
Whether you have a static or dynamic website, WuFoo is a really good service for quickly adding forms to your website. No programming is required to create a form and they have both free and paid packages. If you’re business is just getting off the ground, this is a great choice for you. Learn more
Painless Billing and Invoicing. A great interface, seamless merchant account integration, account tracking — the works. Can’t begin to tell you how much time I’ve saved using this invoicing service and many of our clients have told us they like it too. Seriously.. how often does a client compliment you on your invoicing? Two huge thumbs up! Learn more
Easy File Backups. If you need to sync files across computers, easily share file with others (no matter where they are) DropBox is a snap to use. Their free account gives you 2 GB storage and you can upgrade to a paid account when you need more space (An invaluable service when working with developers). Learn more
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.