Eight online resources that can help entrepreneurs save money

money-saving-tips-entrepreneurs If you’re looking for ways to keep some of your small business’ well-earned dollars in your piggy bank, try these free (or very inexpensive) resources to help you build a website, understand your target market, please your customers, and even get a business name.

  • Websites like MOO let you print small runs of business cards from existing templates or from uploaded designs. This can often save you loads of money compared to traditional printing, and is great if you need a small amount of cards for an event.
  • Check out websites like Kijiji and Craigslist.org for items on sale, cheap services — even free items. Of course, make sure to keep an eye out for scams. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Weebly and Yola let you create a free website for your small business.
  • Google Trends can clue you in to what your potential customers are thinking, feeling, hating, loving, and asking for.
  • FreeCRM, as you can probably tell by the name, is free customer relationship management software.
  • Enter in some relevant keywords at NetSubstance, and it will suggest some possible brand names for your business.


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CRM software is not created equal

When it comes to customer relationship management – or CRM – you need to be organized and on the ball. In this day and age, we turn to technology solutions more often to help us in our businesses. At GoForth Institute, we love technology, but can’t stress enough how important it is to plan first, implement technology second. And not just any technology – the right technology for your needs.

A few years ago, Computerworld published a great article about choosing the right CRM software for your small business. The article asked small business owners exactly why we use the CRM software we do – is it because your business has always used it? Did you get a discount from a salesperson? Is it the one your competitors use? Ask these questions about any other system or process your business has and you can see why they aren’t necessarily the best reasons for making a small business decision.

So – how do you choose the right CRM software for your small business? All software is not created equal. The article stresses the importance of finding CRM software that works for your business, not making your business work for your software. Take the time to understand what exactly your small business needs out of customer relationship management software. Do you need email newsletter dissemination? Does it need to be web-based? Are sales reports necessary? Once you’ve narrowed down your choices to one or two, take advantage of trial periods to test out your software. And we recommend walking away if there is no trial period available – investing in your business should always be done with as much information as possible.

The Computerworld article has a list of great questions to ask CRM software vendors – titled “Grilling Your CRM Vendor” (figuratively, not literally).  Click here and scroll down to the bottom of the article. These are valuable answers to have in choosing the right customer relationship management software for your business. Knowledge is power. Happy hunting!

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