When you start building a web or social presence, you need to have the right tools in your bag. Before you can decide on the tools to choose, you need to have a strong idea on what you will be doing yourself and what you will be outsourcing.
It’s always nice to have a lump sum of cash lying around to help push you through the initial setup and configuration and you need to determine when you should invest you money or your time. Almost everything you need to do can be completed with sweat equity if needed AND if you are willing to learn a little technology “stuff”.
Once you decide on the tools – don’t look back! Go forward and get cracking on building your online presence.
If you are planning on hiring consultants to create your materials, then you do not need this software. However, you want to create your own banners, photos, presentation materials etc. then purchasing good quality software is a must. Adobe is great software, but there are cheaper AND easier alternatives if money is tight and you do not have the time to learn.
Adobe Design allows you to create eye-catching graphics that is only limited by your imagination… and if your imagination IS limited, then ask someone to help! If you are planning on creating your website using Adobe Dreamweaver, then consider getting Adobe Premium Design which includes that software as well has many other premium Adobe products.
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and CapsuleCRM is an application that keeps tracks of potential and existing clients. It is very affordable and is online only, and is a great tool for managing sales.
iContact is a email & newsletter marketing application that keeps you in touch with potential and existing clients. The application is really easy to use and provides professional looking template for messages and templates. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, it provides statistics on what contact actually opens the email, and what they click on within the email.
You gotta keep track of your finances! Sheesh! And having pen & paper is not going to cut it this time. Purchase QuickBooks and create your company within this software. It is critical that you keep detailed records and understand the basic reports (General Ledger, Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet) that your accountant is going to need at year end.
Along with keeping transactions fully documented in QuickBooks (keep the actual receipts safe in your shoebox until your accountant says otherwise), have a physical book stationed in your car (it never leaves it) so that you can document the mileage used for business. When documenting mileage, have columns for date, business reason, starting mileage, ending mileage and tolls, if any.
This software application is only needed if you need to provide video attachments (i.e. you talking about your company and service) or a video capturing images on your computer. Chances are you will probably not need this application unless it is really applicable to your service.
Buy the best digital camera you can afford and use it to capture images that you can put on your blogs. This is saves you money and allows you to stage shots to match blogs.
All digital cameras have video capabilities so you can also use that feature to capture video blogs or updates to your website – for free!
Yes, you need software for word processing, power point presentations, and excel. Microsoft is the de facto business standard and should suit all your needs. If you rather you can install open source versions of the same applications that perform the same functionality.