Small Business Startup Kit

What Tools Do I Need to Start My Small Business?

You have a great idea. You're confident you've identified a consumer need, and there's a product-market fit, and you possess the experience and desire to launch a successful small business. So what's next?

Here at Small Business Startup, we've assembled a collection of products and services trusted by entrepreneurs and small business owners and categorized them for your convenience.

Here are the top categories of services needed for starting a small business:

 

Business Planning

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” This saying undoubtedly applies to launching a small business. There are plenty of free tools for developing a business plan, and a noteworthy one is the Small Business Administration's guide to business planning.

Legal

Navigating through the various legal requirements associated with small business formation is overwhelming to many. It can also cost a pretty penny. Small Business Startup suggests the following services for bootstrappers.

Incfile offers an abundance of tools and content to help you identify how to form your entity, whether an LLC, Sole Proprietorship, Corporation or any other number of small business structures. Seamlessly create small business formation documents and even speak with a lawyer if you need additional advice. Incfile is easy-to-use and affordable.

Insurance

Ask any seasoned small business owner about business insurance, and you'll find it's a must-have -- or maybe a necessary evil. It can also be a real pain in the neck to understand what exactly you need and get a few competing quotes. CoverWallet has simplified the process considerably. From advice from industry professionals to quotes from multiple carriers to managing your policies, CoverWallet has you covered.

Accounting

Gone are the days of physical journals and graph paper. Many small business startups are choosing cloud-based accounting platforms for their ease-of-use, ability to access from the office or at home and affordability.

FreshBooks has built its accounting platform to meet the needs of today's small business owner, including freelancers. It's affordable, intuitive and offers customer-focused support and tools. For service-based businesses especially, FreshBooks offers outstanding value.

Tax Preparation

No small business owner enjoys tax preparation. But the consequences of poor tax planning are even worse. Two online accounting platforms with a long track record of helping small businesses are TurboTax and H&R Block.

Of these two options, H&R Block is generally less expensive, a big plus for bootstrappers. TurboTax, on the other hand, has a slicker online interface and more comprehensive tools.

Payroll

Payroll runs are no longer a massive distraction and production for small business owners, with the advent of online payroll processing platforms. Square (yes, that company that has become synonymous with credit card readers) offers a highly-recommended and easy-to-use platform. Square is affordable, allows small business owners to offer “big business” benefits and even offers the ability to run payroll from an app. What's not to like?

Phone Systems

Phone systems used to be a major expense and hassle for small businesses. Times sure have changed, with the advent of small business VoIP and virtual phone platforms.

Grasshopper is an excellent option for small businesses with existing mobile phones and / or landlines. Grasshopper is an excellent choice for businesses with flexible work environments and remote team members.

Website Building and Hosting

Every business in 2020 needs a website optimized for mobile phones. GoDaddy offers a suite of services designed for small business owners, from domain selection to website hosting services and simple templated mobile-friendly sites. GoDaddy is a no brainer for small business startups.

Payment

Cash might still be king, but most businesses cannot survive without accepting multiple forms of payment these days. Square is known for its handheld card readers but can also help businesses accept payments online. Square also offers additional products and services, such as working capital loans, turnkey loyalty programs and payroll management.

Email and Texting Platforms

Email marketing can help businesses acquire new customers, generate incremental sales and stay top-of-mind with your audience. Email marketing platforms have come a long way. In fact, almost anyone can create and send emails with Constant Contact, one of the leading email services for small businesses. Constant Contact offers generous free trials, flexible terms, an easy-to-use interface and top-notch customer service.

Texting, or SMS messaging, has become an indispensable channel for customer communications. TextMagic is a B2B text-messaging platform for sending notifications, important alerts, reminders, confirmation notices and SMS marketing campaigns. With over 100K happy customers since 2001, TextMagic will unleash the potential of SMS for your small business.

Freelance Services

Need a logo? Or help with content for your website? Fiverr is a popular and highly useful marketplace where you can connect with freelancers offering various digital services. It's free to sign up and easy to find freelancers. Tap into the massive “gig economy” through Fiverr.

Printing

Small business startups still have significant printing needs, despite the prevalence of online tools and services. Need business cards, stationary, company-embroidered shirts, promotional products or marketing materials?

Vista Print is a one-stop shop for small business printing needs. Save time and money.

For shirts, hats and promotional products requiring logo development and hands-on creative, look no further than Custom Ink, which has a reputation for high quality and excellent customer service.

Office Supplies

Amazon isn't just for consumers. Small businesses all over the world use Amazon for office supplies and general procurement needs. Amazon's pricing, selection and quick delivery make it a compelling option for small business purchasing.

Disclosure: SmallBusinessStartup earns a commission from some of these resources when you use these referral links to make a purchase -- at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

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