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These are some of my favorite resources for growing and running a business, including outsourcing, web conferencing, file transfer software, printing, taxes, business plans, legal, SEO, marketing, etc. I’d love to hear about your favorite resources so I can add them to the list.

Outsourcing

  • Elance – Outsourcing to programmers, copywriters, graphic designers and consultants who submit competitive bids for your projects.
  • Odesk – Similar to Elance, but some say it is better.
  • Assist U – is a training school for virtual assistants and they have a referral registry.

Web Conferencing Options

  • Janet Fouts has a great article that compares several web conferencing options.
  • Maestro Conference offers the first system which allows you to facilitate a real seminar on the phone with breakout groups and many features you won’t find anywhere else.

File Transfer Software

  • AceFTP Pro – I use this free software for doing FTP to and from my web page. You’ll need to have the user name, password and server address in order to use FTP, and you can get that from the company that hosts your web page. Do a google search to find where to download it. There are many free and paid FTP software options. This one works for me.
  • Pando is a free software that allows you to email up to 1 gig files. It’s kind of invasive though, and tries to take over your computer, so I wouldn’t use it unless you have trouble using FTP. It’s pretty user-friendly, which I like. You can always uninstall it if you find it to be a problem.

Printing

Taxes

  • The Tax Club – Sharla and Jesse recommend them, $1500 one-time fee then $39 per month, unlimited tax advice and do your corporate and personal returns each year.
  • Terry Guy, Small Business Tax Consultant, (831) 438-1440, taxguy1040@sbcglobal.net. I use him and he’s a genius.

Business Plans

  • One Page Business Plan – I prefer to keep it simple and create what I call a Success Plan. This workbook can help.

Legal

  • Legal Zoom – I heard you can start a non-profit for $1200 here. They have many other legal forms and business forms and documents.

Social Networking

  • NING.com is a good place for creating your own free social networking site.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

  • Web Inspect is a free tool you can use to see how your web page ranks based on specific key words and get suggestions for increasing your web site’s ranking.

Marketing Advice for Service-Based Businesses

Recommended Reading

  • See this list of books I personally recommend on marketing, time management, coaching, fundraising, relationships and the psychology of success.

Getting Things Done and Being Organized

  • I am a big fan of David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done”. Here is a 48 minute youtube video.

If you have a resource that you would like to share with our group, please post a comment to this blog entry.

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