Back in 2012, when I quit my 9-5 job to start my own business, I really had no idea where to begin. I remember longing for some sort of list of resources I could use to not only help me get everything set up but also help me manage and grow my business easier.
After many years of trial and error, I decided to create that list I always wanted for anyone else who may be creating their own business!
Below is a list of tools + resources that can help you create, grow, and scale your business.
This page contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase a product using my link, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only share links to products that I personally use and/or recommend. Thank you for the support! You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
Amazon Associates - Link to a specific product on Amazon and make a commission when someone purchases it! Super easy!
CJ Affiliate - An affiliate marketing platform you can use to promote affiliate product links, coupon links or ads on your site to make a commission. Or you can become a merchant and have others promote your products and services on their sites in order to reach more viewers and make money!
ShareASale - Another awesome affiliate marketing platform, in fact, most affiliates I partner with are through this platform.
Calendly - A free app that helps you schedule appointments, meetings, and events with clients. Rather than email chains and phone tag, you can send your availability with a Calendly link and they can book that time with you right online!
Vagaro - An all-in-one solution for wellness industry professionals. Offers appointment scheduling, online booking, payments, digital forms, automated reminders, marketing, and more!
LegalZoom - This is where you can form your business as an LLC, Sole-Proprietor, Corporation, Non-Profit, etc. You can also Trademark a business name, or do a DBA. Get a tax ID #, business license, permit, copyright or patent, or even speak with an attorney to get legal advice.
Google Voice - Get a business phone #! It links to your phone so you don't have to spend money on a whole new phone and phone #. There are lots of features you can use, including texting, voicemail, call screening, voicemail transcripts, conference calling, and more! This is a great service, especially if you're just starting out with your business and/or are looking for a way to save money on your business's expenses. Also great if you don't want to give your personal phone # out to the world, and are looking for a way to separate work and personal calls 🙂 Pricing for a business plan starts at $10/month.
Amazon Prime - Get free same-day, one-day or two-day delivery on millions of items, stream award-winning TV + movies in your downtime, read books, listen to ad-free music, get exclusive deals, and more!
Instacart - Too busy to shop for groceries while you're building your business? Have someone else do it for you! Simply shop for your groceries through their app, someone will pick up your items and deliver your groceries straight to your door! Receive $10 off your first order using my code: G308F85193. Or sign up to be a shopper and make some extra money working part-time while you grow your business! Click here to learn more.
Misfit Market - Get organic produce and sustainably sourced groceries delivered straight to your door + save up to 40% off grocery store prices! In addition, joining for FREE helps fix a broken food system and build a more sustainable future.
Domain + Hosting
Bluehost - My #1 recommended domain and hosting resource. Receive a free domain name + SSL certificate + hosting for $3.95/month using my link!
If you'd like to set up your own website or blog through Bluehost, check out my post: How to Setup Your WordPress Website with Bluehost... I'll walk you through all the steps!
Google Workspace - Get a custom domain name for your business (firstname.lastname@example.org). This helps you look more professional and helps you organize with your team better (you can have multiple emails for employees, customer service, sales, etc., all for the same price... just $6/mo.!) Plus, get online storage, shared calendars, video meetings, and more for no extra cost!
Get 20% off your first year through my link using one of my promo codes (you'll need to email me to receive this... that's the way Google sets it up for some reason.)
Boomerang for Gmail - Schedule your emails to be sent later, set follow-up reminders, pause your inbox so you only receive emails at certain times of the day, track emails you sent to make sure they were opened, and more!
MailChimp - A good place to start if you're looking for a free (up to 2,000 subscribers) email marketing service. You can create custom sign-up forms that are easy to share on your WordPress site, Facebook or Twitter. You can also quickly and easily create professional, responsive email newsletters that match the look of your brand.
Creative Cloud - Awesome creative apps from Adobe you can use for photography, design, video, websites, and more! Get started at just $9.99/mo. or upgrade to $49.99/mo. to get the entire collection of creative apps. The ones I personally use the most are Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat Pro.
Canva - A free, easy-to-use, powerful tool you can use to create your own social media graphics, flyers, business cards, brochures, book covers, and more! You can also upgrade to Canva for Work, if you're looking for more features, for $12.95 a month.
Photoshop Express - Edit and customize your photos on your phone quickly and easily! You can also create collages, add watermarks and share quickly to multiple social media destinations with 1 click!
Snapseed - Another mobile app (and also on desktop) you can use for photo editing (tuning, cropping, rotating, adding filters, etc.)
Copyscape - A tool you can use to check for plagiarism online by comparing two pages of content or by searching for copies of your web pages online. They also have solutions for preventing content theft and content fraud in the first place as well!
HelloSign - A simple and secure way to get documents and contracts signed quickly and right online.
Creative Market - A marketplace for handcrafted, mousemade design content from independent creatives around the world. They have fonts, photos, graphics, templates, themes and more!
Envato Market - A marketplace where you can purchase anything you need for your next creative project. They have website themes, templates, graphics, vectors, photos, footage, motion graphics, scripts, plugins, music, sounds, 3D models, textures and more!
Font Bundles - A marketplace where you can find free and premium fonts, bundled up into packages that you can get at a seriously reduced price... up to 96% off the recommended retail price!
Dubsado - Dubsado is a powerful business management tool that helps service-based businesses streamline and automate their client work and processes. It offers an entire suite of business tools all in one place: Proposals, Contracts, Invoices, Forms, Emailing, Automations, and a whole lot more!
If you're ready to free up more of your time, click on my link to receive 20% off your first month or year!
PayPal - PayPal allows you to accept payments online using either a credit card or a debit card. You can also easily create custom buttons to put directly on your site and social media or create invoices to send to clients for payments. Fees are 3.49% + .49 per transaction.
Stripe - One of the world's most popular payment processors, Stripe allows businesses to accept and process debit and credit card payments from customers all across the world. It's a great payment solution for businesses who have e-commerce websites... it connects well with the Woo-commerce plugin as well as Dubsado! Fees are 2.9% + .30 per transaction.
Photos, Videos, Audio
Adobe Stock - Premium stock photos, vectors, videos, mockups, templates, and more! I personally have a monthly subscription to this site... they offer so many different things that it actually saves me time searching for these things on free sites. I always find exactly what I envisioned!
Gratisography - Filled with free whimsical, quirky, and edgy types of photos. It's worth checking out even if just for a chuckle.
Pexels - For free stock photos + videos.
Pixabay - For free stock photos, videos + sound.
Unsplash - For free images, wallpapers + backgrounds.
Asana - For project planning, managing, tracking, and collaborating. Not only do I use this to collaborate with clients, but I also personally use this to create + schedule tasks in my own business to help me stay on track. It's really helpful!
Dubsado - For automating client processes and workflows.
Social Media Marketing
Later - Visually plan and schedule your social media posts, including Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. It's especially great for Instagram because you can use their "Link.in.bio" feature to build a clickable, shoppable Instagram feed, which drives targeted traffic to your store, landing page, or blog content, directly from your Instagram profile!
Tailwind - Helps you manage your presence across the web via Pinterest and Instagram. It basically helps you get found more often with less manual work via these platforms.
Zoom - Great for live video meetings you may have with clients, students, your team, etc. Meetings could be virtual sessions, workshops, webinars, or other collaborations. You can share your screen, record and share just the audio or both the audio and video, and communicate through group chat.
Loom - Loom is a video messaging tool that helps you get your message across through instantly shareable videos. You can record your camera, microphone, and desktop simultaneously. Use it to train your team, educate your clients, or add a personal message to your marketing.
Easy Affiliate Links - Quickly add or update your affiliate links in one place!
CleanTalk - Plugin that protects your site from spam.
SiteOrigin CSS - If you don't like playing around with code, this plugin provides an easy way to choose colors, styles and elements so you can get your site looking exactly the way you want!
Formidable Forms - Simple drag and drop form builder that also allows you to customize how it looks. I use this for both my contact forms as well as other inquiry forms on various pages.
Page Builder by SiteOrigin - A simple drag and drop page builder to help you layout your content to your liking... no coding required! It also helps you create mobile-friendly versions of your website.
SiteOrigin Widgets Bundle - Additional widgets you can use to customize your page or post layouts!
Duplicate Page - Easily duplicate your posts and pages using a single click. This is awesome because you can just reuse the layout for that page or post without having to rebuild it!
Yoast SEO - SEO is how you get found online and is absolutely essential! The Yoast SEO plugin helps you write better content and allows you to have a fully optimized site easily!
All-in-One SEO - Another plugin to help you optimize your WordPress site for SEO. I prefer this one to Yoast because they give you more keywords for free.
Backup Buddy - An awesome, must-have plugin that is worth every penny! You can schedule this plugin to back up your entire site (database + all files) automatically for you. You can also move or restore your site quickly and easily!
Jetpack - I mostly use this for the site stats feature because it's easier to understand than Google Analytics, but it's got some other great features to it as well.
Sumo - Makes it super easy for readers to share your content so you can get your content noticed more. It also includes pop-up forms you can create to gain subscribers and send lead magnets. Plus so much more! Definitely, one of my favorite plugins because it's packed with so many powerful options!