11 Tools You Must Use to Build Your Online Business

There has never been a better time to build your own business online. What’s stopping you? Cheap website hosting, low barriers to entry, an instant global audience and loads of free online tools that make life easier. But just like playing with your Lego blocks for the first time, choosing the right online tools to build your business can be confusing, overwhelming (so many damn combinations!) and expensive ($700 for the Lego Star Wars Deathstar, really?).  To make it easier to assemble your tools, here are 11 tools you must use to build your online business:

1. Prezi

For the last decade I have been a self-confessed PowerPoint nerd. That was until I stumbled across Prezi, an Israeli startup that has truly disrupted the presentation platform space. This amazing tool is your first step to becoming a great presenter.

Prezi allows you to present your story as a true narrative, giving you the tools to visually explain how ideas relate to each other (and finally stop presenters from just reading text from their slides!). You can truly captivate your audience and deliver a presentation that people will truly remember with the help of Prezi.

PowerPoint is dead, long live Prezi!

Price: Free basic account

Check out Prezi here

2. Canva

This Australian startup has burst onto the design scene and is living up to it’s mission statement of ‘democratizing design.’

Canva allows you create amazing graphics, from Facebook cover photos to business cards. Anyone can become an overnight master artist with Canva’s design templates using drop and drag simplicity.

Price: Free basic account

Check out Canva here

3. Crazy Egg

Ever wondered what is making your customers leave your website? With Crazy Egg’s heat mapping software you can find out by seeing where visitors click, scroll and use your site. It’s just like having a pair of x-ray glasses that show you how your site is being used and how you can improve usability and increase conversions.

Price: Free 30 day trial, $9/month

Check out Crazy Egg here

4. Google Analytics

This essential powerful free tool from our friends at Google will help you to get to know your audience, best performing channels

Pro tip: Jump start your Google Analytics journey with these resources (you’re welcome):

50+ Google Analytics Resources

Price: Free

Check out Google Analytics here

5. Trello

There are hundreds of web-based project management solutions vying to organise your day. I have tried everything from Basecamp to Asana, and it’s a good investment to test a couple of solutions to discover which is most effective for you (it could even just be sticky notes on your office wall). My weapon of choice is Trello, based on the scrum methodology. Trello makes project management easy and fun (as much as it can be). and features an intuitive ‘board’ system that allows you to seamlessly collaborate with team members and sync over multiple devices.

Price: Free basic account

Check out Trello here

6. MailChimp

Forget the social media hype, email is proven to still be the best way to build a one-on-one relationship with your customers. And there’s no easier way to do this than with the user friendly MailChimp email platform.

Price: Free for up to 2k subscribers

Check out MailChimp here

7. Survey Monkey

Our second monkey related tool on the list after MailChimp (these chimps really know how to run a business), Survey Monkey helps you easily create custom surveys that you can send to your customers to gather valuable insights. Get answers straight from the frontline and give your customers what they want.

Mick Jagger famously said, ‘I can’t get no satisfaction!’. Well now you can increase your customer satisfaction, gaining valuable insights with Survey Monkey.

Pro Tip: Incentivize your survey to increase the number of responses so you have a statistically valid sample size of data. Also keep your questions short and to the point.

Price: Free basic account

Check out Survey Monkey here

8. LinkedIn

How many connections do you have on LinkedIn? Guess what? It doesn’t matter! Throw this vanity metric out the window and start focusing on how you leverage each individual contact.

This business social network can be a colossal waste of time (who else regularly checks the ‘People who have viewed your profile’ feature?), but when it’s powers are harnessed for good there are many features that can assist you in rapidly growing your business and forming important business contacts and partnerships.

Pro Tip: Join a few LinkedIn groups relevant to your business. Don’t just sit on the sidelines, start to interact with the communities and reap the rewards. Check out these articles for further LinkedIn hacks:

How to Rule LinkedIn Groups

7 Advanced LinkedIn Strategies for B2B Marketing

Price: Free basic account

Check out LinkedIn here

9. Evernote

Sick of always losing that important sticky-it note that had your next multimillion dollar idea on it? With Evernote you can take all of your notes wherever you go. This cloud-based app also syncs across all of your devices so you always have your ideas with you at all times.

Price: Free basic account

Check out Evernote here

10. Dropbox

These days everything is ‘in the cloud’ (a bunch of servers in India) and one of the best ways to get up there is with Dropbox. Take your files wherever you go and collaborate with your team from anywhere in the world.

Price: Free basic account

Check out Dropbox here

11. Wistia

2015 is poised to be the ‘Year of the Video’ and all small businesses need to get on board. Wistia is the best option for hosting videos on your website. It features industry leading analytics (see the exact point in video that viewer drops off), capturing viewer emails and many other interactive possibilities.

Obviously you can’t ignore YouTube (the second biggest search engine in the world), but Wistia should be your first port of call when hosting business videos on your website.

Pro Tip: Be sure to check out the amazing Wistia Learning Centre that will transform you into the next Christopher Nolan.

Price: Free basic account

Check out Wistia here

What is your favourite business tool (or Lego set)?

What awesome tools have you used to build your business? What do I need to add to the list? Sound off in the comments section below.

Have a friend that’s just starting to build a business? If you like them, share this tool list with them to give them a headstart with their building.

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