When starting a business, there are SO many “shiny objects” out there vying for your attention. (Can I get an amen?!)
Which website builder should I use? Where should I get my domain? Where should I get hosting? (Do I need hosting? What is hosting?) How do I get that fancy domain name e-mail address?
I’ve got just the thing: I’ve compiled a list of all of my favorite business resources, tools, products, and services.
As with everything I share, I am providing these recommendations after having used these various products and services. (Nothing made it to this list that I don’t absolutely love.)
That said, some of the links below are affiliate links. That simply means if you click through and decide to invest in one of these products or services, I get a nominal commission.
The good news? This comes at no additional cost to you. In fact, more often than not, the things I’ve linked up are the best and biggest bang for your back because I’m all about the Benjamins… staying in my wallet. For the full affiliate scoop, check out my disclaimer here. (You should check it out anyway… because gifs.)
WITHOUT FURTHER ADO…
GoDaddy: Where I go for all of my domain names. (I have an addiction.)
SiteGround: Fantastic hosting company. Never an issue.
WordPress.org: Totally free and totally powerful, SEO-friendly and a delight to use with the right theme (below).
Divi (theme + builder): My favorite WordPress theme — hands down — and I’ve tried them all. This is both a theme and a builder. (It’s what this site was built on!)
Elegant Themes: Along with Divi, this membership comes with an array of themes and plug-ins. Lots of goodies.
Evernote: Can you have a love affair with an all-in-one organizational masterpiece? Because yeah.
Acuity Scheduling: Easy peasy scheduling for your clients. Even includes a payment gateway so you get paid for your time without the hassle of invoicing.
Whiteboard: The whiteboard of dreams. This thing is huge, but it is crazy useful. If you have a wall big enough, it’s SO worth it.
Buffer: What I use to schedule and/or post all of my content for my Facebook groups, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
G Suite: The Power of Google apps for your business, including domain name e-mail with the convenience of the Gmail interface, storage via Google Drive, calendars, spreadsheets, forms, and document creators. #YASSS
Rocket Lawyer: While this isn’t necessarily a replacement for a lawyer, this is a fast, easy, and affordable way to get incorporated and get your business legal. All of my LLCs were created using Rocket lawyer. The entire process is about 10 minutes, start to finish, but the website includes other resources and options as well.
Creative Market: My favorite resource for stock photos, design elements, textures, website themes, graphics, and fonts. CM even carries complete branding kits!
Etsy: An unlikely resource, yet Etsy also has loads of digital products to choose from like graphics, textures, and fonts.
Picmonkey: Free photo editing platform with great graphic design capabilities as well. The paid version (Royale) comes with even more fabulous features.
Canva: Who doesn’t just LOVE Canva? Graphic design made accessible with templates, but flexible with a blank canvas as well. If you want to take it to the next level, Canva for Work is even better with brand standards storage, custom fonts, and other great features.
Webcam: This is THE camera I use to make all my videos (as well as broadcast live to Facebook from my computer). With gorgeous HD quality, this far exceeds any built-in webcam I’ve seen. (Did I say “by far”? I meant by faaaaar.)
USB mic: I plug this into my computer and use it for all of my videos, webinars, course recordings, and audio recordings.
Ring light: Great for extra light in videos or photo shoots. With a built-in dimmer, it can be more dramatic or simply ambient.
Lav mic: Great for on-the-go videos when you’ve only got your smartphone as your video camera. (Plugs into the headphone jack.)
Vimeo: Great video storage platform that provides various forms of access including password protection, embed-prohibiting, as well as public links. All of my videos for my courses are hosted with Vimeo.
DSLR camera: This is great for photo shoots, but it also takes great quality video. (This is the camera we used to do all of the branding photos on this website.)
Lighting kit: This comes with 4 lights, 3 backdrops, and a stand. We used this basic kit for all of our brand photos and many of our videos for our businesses.
Paper roll: I used this along with the lighting kit (above) for a better quality backdrop.
Dropbox: Great for photo and video storage. Easily accessible through their website as well as the mobile app.
Picmonkey: The website I use to edit all of my photos. Great free features, but the paid version (Royale) is even better.
Grocery delivery: In the name of productivity, I can’t recommend this service enough. It may feel nominal, but the amount of time I save by outsourcing this task really does add up. (And since it totals your bill as you go, it helps you save money because you’re more aware of how much you’re spending.)
Amazon Prime Now: This mobile app lets me quickly order when needed (and it arrives quickly, too). Mostly household and pantry items as of now. Oh, and they have all flavors of LaCroix! #Priorities
Vitacost: Basically, I order everything else from here, specifically natural and/or organic household and personal care items. Best of all, their Set-n-Save program allows me to set up everything once, and it automatically delivers when I run out (without me having to re-order). Same quality products you’d get at Whole Foods at a lower price with no standing in line.
Dry shampoo: “Dry shampoo?! Huh?” Listen, I couldn’t not put this one under productivity! The discovery of dry shampoo was one of the biggest game changers of my life. TRUTH. No exaggeration. I can’t imagine how much of my life I’ve gotten back with the time saved not managing my hair every day. I call that a productivity hack. (Right, ladies?!)
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