020 7129 8651

Top 10 Business Resources For Start-ups

Setting up your own business can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’re making the venture alone. But with so many high-quality business resources and tools now available. Tailored business resources designed to facilitate the process of running your business. The best thing is that the majority of these business resources are either free or very low cost, so you won’t have any additional outgoings.

To give you some inspiration, here is a list of our top ten business resources for start-ups that should help you to get going in the right direction.

Linkedin

Linkedin is the essential social networking site for professionals, so if you don’t already have a profile, it’s a good idea to create one when starting a new business. Whilst Linkedin allows you to connect with any business contacts you have, it also functions as an online CV that can be viewed by other professionals. So it’s a great way of boosting your credibility and garnering interest in your business.

Start-up cost calculator

Start-up cost calculator is an online tool that allows you to accurately calculate how much it will cost to set up your business. The great thing about this tool is that it covers everything. From the initial fees involved in setting up a business, to stock costs and long and short-term assets, in order to give you a realistic idea of how much it will cost to set up your business.

Entrepreneur

A great site for news and information on starting a business is Entrepreneur. Along with lots of business news and insightful comment articles, the site features a start-up section and a forum where you can share tips and ideas with other like-minded individuals. You can also submit any business-related questions to the “answers” section of the site to get advice from other professionals.

Domain Checker

You might already have a name in mind for your company so then it’s worthwhile checking whether it is available as a website domain name. This free online domain checker allows you to check if your chosen name is available and if so, how much it will cost per year to own. If the domain name is not available then it will come up with a number of variations for the available ones.

NameChk

As with the domain checker, NameChk allows you to find out whether a desired username or URL is available across a variety of social networking sites. This is an important thing to consider when starting a new business as you will want to have a unified name and presence across all media that you use.

It is important to consider that if you are serious about starting a business in the near future, you should check if the name you desire is available in Companies House.
Click here for a quick guide from The Formations Company.

Dropbox

Dropbox is a free online service that allows you to store and share files. This is particularly useful if you need to send files that are too large to be attached by email. You can also use Dropbox to back up any important documents for your business.

Government business guide

This government-provided business information resource is truly essential for those looking to set up their own company. Covering pretty much every subject relating to starting a business from training courses to business partnerships and tax, this impartial guide should be consulted at every stage of your company’s development.

SurveyMonkey

If you need to conduct market research in the early stages of your business then a great tool to use is SurveyMonkey. The free version allows you to send out basic surveys and questionnaires. Whereas there are several paid packages available that allow you to ask more questions and receive more responses. The site also provides many easy to use templates to help you get started.

Business planner templates

If you’re looking to start your own business, then it’s essential that you have a business plan. It can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately, there are lots of templates available to help you evaluate how plausible an idea is. Microsoft Office has a good base of free business plan templates that can be refined to suit your specific needs. Click here to download their start-up business template, which features 150 questions to rigorously test your business idea.

HootSuite

Engagement with the public via social media has become a significant factor in the success of a business. However, with so many platforms available it can be difficult and time-consuming to manage a brand across all the social networks. To avoid this problem, use HootSuite, a dashboard through which you can view and manage multiple social media accounts. The free version of HootSuite allows you to manage up to five social profiles, reducing the workload.

Grin

Speaking of social networking, if you’re serious about gaining influence online, check out Grin. Grin is an influencer marketing platform built for brands marketing agencies. Put simply, Grin connects businesses with social media influencers to create branded content. They have thousands of pre-vetted influencers, primarily on Instagram, who will promote your business directly on their content feeds. Influencers can help you accelerate your company’s credibility. Furthermore, you can even repurpose the content they create for your other marketing channels.

Thinking of starting your own company? We’ve got lots of helpful business resources, including our company formation guides and articles in our help center that can help you get started. Why not take a look and see if you can get inspired?

Published Thursday, January 10, 2013