My Initial List of Helpful Services for the Entrepreneur

Everyone now has relatively easy access to connectivity. Most popular, of course, are connectivity through SMS and the Internet.

For anyone who has a business and who are thinking of putting up one, I suggest getting acquainted with the following easy-to-use services to get yourself up and running.

  1. Google Applications:
    • When I say Google Applications, I mean the whole lot of it. Registering a Gmail account is the first step. A Gmail account is the passport to use all of the services and applications that Google offers for FREE! Yep, perfect for those with tight budgets or NO budget at all. A Gmail account immediately gives you at least 2 Gigabytes of space and allows you to send up to 20 Mb-sized attachments. Easy-to-use interfaces with conversation-based email trail which allows you to follow the thread of a topic or subject quite conveniently. It also has a built-in chat feature. But no conference chats for now.
    • Once you have a Gmail account, sign up for iGoogle, a personalized portal where you can now find all the available services I mentioned. Everytime you go to the Google homepage (depending on the country where you are residing), you are automatically directed to the iGoogle interface. Lots of helpful applications like: Google Document (like your MS Word), Google Spreadsheet (like your MS Excel), Google Calendar (like your MS Outlook Calendar), Google Photos thru Picasa (like your Flickr and Photobucket), Google Maps, Google Video (Google bought YouTub, remember?), Google Reader (if you are an avid blog reader… good for research), etc, etc.
    • Google Document and Spreadsheet allow you to:
      • Use our online editor to format documents, spell-check and more.
      • Upload Word documents, OpenOffice, RTF, HTML or text.
      • Download documents to your desktop as Word, PDF and more.
      • View your documents’ revision history and roll back to any version.
      • Invite others to share your documents by e-mail address.
      • Edit documents online with whomever you choose.
      • Publish documents online to the world, or to just who you choose.
      • Post your documents to your blog.
    • The Google platform is collaborative and participative. It allows you to share almost anything, making it much easier for the businessman to connect and discuss and work together with their customers or suppliers or partners.
  2. Excel File:
    • A Classic. This is most probably the “back-end application” of choice of the small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). With an excel file you can create:
      • Financial Statements (Balance Sheets, Income Statements, Cash Flow Statements, etc.)
      • Inventory Monitoring System
      • Customer Relationship Management
      • Sales Pipeline or Funnel Document
      • Order Entry System
  3. Blogging Services:
    • Numerous blogging sites have come out the past few years. There are a whole lot to choose from, but one can start choosing from the more popular and easier to use ones like WordPress (what I am using right now), Blogger.com (a Google service — you automatically can sign up for one once you have a Gmail account) and Typepad. All services are FREE to start with. If you need to add more features, such as, registering a domain, getting more diskspace, and the like, you will have to pay for such on a periodic basis.
    • Now, one may ask… how will a blog site help an entrepreneur? For one, you can setup your own online presence and make yourself known thru the internet medium. You can write about your products and services and post numerous articles that are related to what you are offering. Creating content is key to drive traffic to your site. Once you’ve generated enough regular, unique eyeballs to your site, you can start directing them to another one where you are actually selling your wares (like your eBay listings) or inform them of where you can be found in the metropolis, that is, if you have a physical store. A simple and free blog site (like the one I am using) doesn’t have rich online store features like the ones you see in Amazon.com, NBA Store Online, etc. If you are content with the basic, then take advantage of free services. If you want a more professional and more functional website, then it is time to hire a developer to create the site for you.
  4. Multiply.com:
  5. eBay:
    • Ah yes… My favorite. For starters, it’s FREE (at least here in the Philippines). At no cost to the entrepreneur, you can register an eBay account, list items for sale, add pictures to your listing, and sell your items online. And you get the chance to sell globally, especially if you have a hard-to-find, very unique item to sell. I have seen a lot of housewives, students (one must be at least 18 years to legally transact), unemployed individuals, and day-jobbers (who want to earn more money on the side) who have done well in eBay.ph. There are also quite a number of brick-and-mortar operations which have leveraged on eBay’s vast marketplace, extending their reach and augmenting their sales with online revenues in the process.
  6. Instant Messaging Services:
    • Any average internet user knows the two (2) most popular: Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger. In case you didn’t know, both Yahoo! and Microsoft decided to agree (yep, decided to agree” is the phrase… sounded like it didn’t come naturally) on allowing their respective members to IM one another. Buyers and sellers can exchange YM or MSN ID’s and chat about a particular deal, inquire about the stock of items, share pictures of the merchandise online, go on conference call with various entities. Very big user base so you can most likely expect a prospective customer having their own IM ID.

I will next post a list of services that are up and coming. These are services that are quickly becoming accepted in the mainstream and are worth considering.

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One response to “My Initial List of Helpful Services for the Entrepreneur

  1. Pingback: Why It Makes Sense to Move Your Retail Shop Online « Knightly News

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