Resources for New Businesses

When starting a new business, there are two tricky areas that seem to overwhelm my clients and colleagues, and me too when I’ve begun a new venture.

First, figuring out what all the steps are to forming a new business and establishing it in the world. That led me to create the Business Start-up Checklist page.

Second, finding good, reliable, and reasonably priced vendors and resources. After 30+ years in business, and having helped with many other business start-ups, I have a number of quality companies that I trust and would recommend. Here they are:

Beef up your Business! 25% off new products from GoDaddy!
I’ve had a number of different web hosts since I put up my first web site in 1998, and some were pretty bad. I recommend There are any number of good ones, but when there is a problem with your web site at some weird hour, you need support, and no one can match the 24/7 live, helpful, and knowledgeable telephone support team that GoDaddy has. My web site is a lifeline for my business, and for that reason, I will not switch to anyone else.Here’s a discount coupon for 25% off new products from GoDaddy!

Mailing List Service (and Autoresponders)
Once again, I’ve used other companies over the years, but Aweber is so much easier and more intuitive to set-up and use. Although their support is only open 12 hours/day, they do still have live telephone support, which is really helpful, especially when you are new to email sign-ups.

Business Software
I’ve used QuickBooks since 2003, and it is a very versatile program. There are several levels you can purchase, depending on the size of your business, and of course you can always upgrade as you grow. It was designed primarily as a financial accounting program, and as such is very easy to use for normal (i.e. non-finance!) people. Luckily my husband is a finance guy, so I wasn’t too intimidated by the program, but I quickly discovered I didn’t need his help for the basic money transactions. You can also take credit cards in the system, and it automatically applies the payments. But the most useful feature for me is that it’s also a comprehensive data base. I store all my clients and vendors there, with plenty of extra data fields I can customize for my business, and a field for storing notes so I don’t need to keep corresponding word documents. Then there are “Items” which are a list of products you sell, or in my case, services. You can write a long or short description of each item and set a price, and then you just choose the items and all the pertinent info goes straight into an estimate or invoice. You can have myriad different products or variations of your services, and the descriptions will stay consistent. And, you can set it to back up everything online every night.

Business Cards and more is an inexpensive, but good quality option for business cards. They have great tools that let you go online and create your own look for a business card right on the spot, or you can upload you own artwork. They have many other cool products, but be prepared for them to offer you a dozen of those on your way to check-out. If you are not interested, look for the button that skips these and goes straight to cart. And they do have lots of hours of, you guessed it, live phone support.

Business Training and Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration is a great resource for starting and running a small business. They have a Learning Center with Tools and Training. For Financial Assistance, a great place to start is their Loan Programs page.

I have several recommendations for telephone systems, as well as web site formats and themes. Contact me for further info.