If at First You Don’t Succeed…Get Help!
If you asked a dozen business owners to describe the startup process in a word, chances are they would tell you that it’s “difficult.” Nearly half of all small businesses fail within the first five years, and even successful young entrepreneurs often have a skeleton or two in their closet—botched attempts to get a business off the ground.
Bill Gates stumbled with a startup he called Traf-O-Data, a computer service that compiled traffic data for local governments. Within a year, Traf-O-Data was belly up, but Gates and his partner Paul Allen doubled down, investing the last of their savings in another business venture. Less than 6 months after Traf-O-Data declared bankruptcy, Microsoft was born.
The moral of the story? Every business venture is a risk. Entrepreneurs learn to embrace risk as a necessary element of success. As they say, “No risk, no reward.”
As a new small business owner, it’s your job to manage risk effectively, rather than to avoid it. Luckily, thanks in part to Mr. Gates’s digital revolution, you have a leg up: online tools can help you get your business up and running. There are apps, services, and web-based programs to help you manage projects, monitor your credit, and connect with customers.
Online Tools for Business Owners
Here’s a brief rundown of three tools that can help you get your business started on the right foot.
Hootsuite is a free social media management system that allows users to control multiple media streams, and networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and WordPress, all from a single dashboard.
Savvy small business owners understand that social media marketing is an essential part of brand management, but creating and uploading content for four or five different networks can quickly become a full-time job. With Hootsuite, you can upload and schedule multiple messages ahead of time, saving you precious time and energy.
CreditBuilder™, created by Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., is a credibility solution that helps business owners monitor and control their credit. Loans and lines of credit help you steer around the unexpected hurdles that often bring new startups to a standstill. But in order to secure financing at a reasonable rate, you will need to cultivate a favorable credit record. That’s where CreditBuilder™ comes in.
Monitor your credit with unlimited access to your scores and ratings, reference the same database used by lenders and financial institutions, or compare your score to the score of a key competitor to see how you stack up.
Dropbox is a popular cloud-based storage portal that can be accessed remotely by any member of your team. Dropbox is fast, reliable, and the first 2 gigabytes are free. The program allows you to track actions and updates, so that every project can be managed and monitored in real time.
In order for a tool to be useful, it needs to suit the particular needs of your business. Give these three programs a try today, and decide for yourself if they are right for you.
What tools do you use online to help your business run smoothly and effectively?