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7 Essential Tools to Start a Business

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There are many obstacles to overcome and logistics to prepare for when starting a new business. Fortunately, we live in the age of technology, so it’s never been easier to develop your new company from scratch. Various apps and programs can help you stay organized and manage your team effortlessly. Best of all, you can scale up as your business grows to ensure long-term success.

Although there are numerous tasks to complete, we’re going to pay attention to seven specific tools. No matter your idea or business plan, these sites can help you get off the ground.

Legal – Rocket Lawyer

As a new business, you have to take care of various legal tasks to ensure that you stay compliant within your state. Not only do you have to file paperwork, but you may need to draft documents such as NDAs, employer/employee forms, and more. Fortunately, you can handle all of that on one site. Rocket Lawyer can also connect you with a real-life attorney to work on any business law cases you may have.

Since Rocket Lawyer is designed for small businesses, it has plenty of tools to help you at any stage. Also, if you have any business-specific questions, you can ask the experts and get customized responses. The site answers frequently asked questions about forming different entity types and the tax advantages that come with each one.

Business Formation – Tailor Brands

Once you’ve figured out the legal side of starting a business, the next step is to form your entity. Limited liability corporations (LLCs) offer distinct benefits, such as:

  • Limited Liability – You’ll likely have to borrow money to pay for operating expenses, and your business will accrue debts and obligations over time. As an LLC, you’re not personally responsible for those debts. Nor can debtors sue you to collect payments.
  • Tax Advantages – LLCs work as a “pass-through” business entity. So, earnings from the company can pass through into your personal account. Basically, you don’t have to pay taxes twice as you would with a standard C-Corporation. Also, most businesses have favorable tax rates compared to what you might pay for regular income tax.
  • Low Entry Cost – Incorporating your business can be time-consuming and relatively expensive. LLCs are much more affordable and straightforward, so you can get your business started in no time.

Thankfully, Tailor Brands makes it super easy to form an LLC. The site walks you through the steps and provides insight along the way. Then, once you have your business up and running, you can use Tailor Brands to develop marketing materials like your logo and business cards.

Business Plan – Liveplan

One of the most crucial elements of any new venture is a business plan. This plan is necessary to secure funding from investors or a bank. The plan outlines how you’re going to make money, the potential for making money, and your experience within the industry. Simply put, a high-quality business plan provides peace of mind to lenders so they’re more willing to approve loans or invest.

That said, if you haven’t created a business plan yet, Liveplan can help. It has hundreds of templates you can follow to develop a comprehensive outline of your business strategy.

Best of all, Liveplan goes a step further and helps you figure out your funding and sales goals. While the site doesn’t connect you with investors directly, it helps you draft a pitch to get them to put money into your business. Also, Liveplan offers assistance for both the initial funding phase of your company and the growth phase. In the second stage, you need to show investors the value of your current business model and why they should help you grow your business further.

Accounting – Freshbooks

Regardless of your business model, you’ll need stable accounting practices. For example, you need to track how much money is coming in and going out. Also, if you hire any employees, you need to track those expenses to ensure you don’t miss any paychecks or hours.

Freshbooks empowers you to take charge of your company’s accounting. While you may still want professional help during tax season, Freshbooks makes it easy to stay on top of your day-to-day operations.

Best of all, you can create invoices and manage vendors with your account. So, if you need to work with suppliers, delivery companies, or independent contractors, you can keep track of them at all times. Also, Freshbooks offers tons of posts and forums to help you understand the ins and outs of business accounting.

Project Management – Asana

As your business grows, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by various tasks and responsibilities. One way to avoid confusion and setbacks is to break your operations into individual projects. For example, you can set up a project for a specific marketing campaign, expand into new offices, or add new processes to your workflow.

Asana allows you to use either the Gantt or Kanban system to manage each project (or both). Since workers can be more productive with either option, the flexibility ensures you can streamline your operations as efficiently as possible.

This site has tons of tools to make project management easier. You can also incorporate various other apps, such as calendars, mobile integration, reporting, and more. Once you automate these processes, success is inevitable. Check our other Asana alternative for project management

Website – Shopify

If you’re planning on starting an e-commerce business, there are many details to consider and take care of before you get off the ground.

Fortunately, Shopify allows you to build your website quickly and easily, thanks to tons of pre-built templates and tools. Creating a digital storefront from scratch can take days or weeks to finish on your own. However, you can be up and running in a fraction of the time with Shopify.

Better yet, you don’t have to use the Shopify handle when building your store. Instead, you can use unique branding elements to stand out from the competition. This way, you can grow and thrive without switching to a different web builder like WordPress or Squarespace.

Social Media Marketing – Hootsuite

Now that you’ve taken care of all the logistical elements of starting a business, you need to market your brand.

Hootsuite works well because it allows you to automate your social media marketing by creating a posting calendar ahead of time. This way, you can stay engaged with your audience without having to spend hours each day on various platforms. Also, you can post on the fly if you have a last-minute idea or want to capitalize on a current trending topic.

Overall, the site is easy to navigate and master, and you can connect with all social channels, from Facebook to Twitter to TikTok. Don’t waste time managing multiple profiles and accounts – handle them all in one easy-to-use spot.

While starting a business can seem overwhelming at first, these tools can make the process much smoother and more straightforward. Now that you’re empowered, success is just around the corner!

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