The 4 digital “tools” startups should actually use

I’m constantly reading articles on Inc., Entrepreneur, Mashable (Pre-new layout) about “The (insert number) tools every startup needs”. Most of the suggestions, coming from experience, are useless. Here are the 4 digital tools you should actually use and why.

1. GoDaddy domain registration

You’re starting a business, its 2012, the first thing you need is a website.

GoDaddy is reliable, affordable, easily integratable with many hosting and design sites, and comes with 1 free, domain specific email account. i.e. info@brendansbakery.com

Also, in the event of a sale, or a prep for sale, you can actually get your domain appraised for free via their dashboard.

2. Wix website design / hosting

Now that you have a domain name, you need a functional, user friendly website that is aesthetically pleasing. Don’t want to spend $2500? Check out Wix.com – it is fully integratable with GoDaddy.

It turns even the most creatively challenged, unartistic people into talented web designers.

On top of that, it’s free to start (with ads of course) and very affordable for the premium version.

You can even program in Flash, HTML5, and get a free mobile site with the premium version.

3. Social Bro

Social Bro is the best FREE social analytics software that I have found.

You can track community growth, demographics, location, post frequency, etc. All for FREE. Enough said.

4. Twitter

Your new business needs a social media presence, you’re reading this post, you already know that. But, which site is right for you?

I constantly find myself asking, “Is Facebook obsolete?” While the answer in my book is still no, that no is very tentative.

When I’m a new business I need to do one thing to stay afloat, acquire new customers. Facebook doesn’t let me proactively solicit new prospects via my business page – aside from inviting friends / family from my personal page (most of which would be customers anyway).

Rather, I encourage you to start on Twitter for essentially one reason. You can proactively chase down new business by utilizing @mentions, hashtags, and following potential customers. Try using hashtags that feature a location i.e. #socal #hrva or folowing followers of a local news outlet. Both should reveal potential local customers.

What tools do you use? Sound off in the comments?

Twitter: @brendanbrandt

4 digital tools for your small business

4 digital tools for your small business

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