The Virtual Company - Online Tools You Need To Be A Virtual Entrepreneur
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The Virtual Company - Online Tools You Need To Be A Virtual Entrepreneur

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In this presentation, I cover some of the online tools and services that have helped me become an virtual entrepreneur.

In this presentation, I cover some of the online tools and services that have helped me become an virtual entrepreneur.

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The Virtual Company - Online Tools You Need To Be A Virtual Entrepreneur The Virtual Company - Online Tools You Need To Be A Virtual Entrepreneur Presentation Transcript

  • The Virtual Company: Online Tools You Need to be a Virtual Entrepreneur By Dave Rigotti of Freezing Hot
  • About This Presentation
    • In this presentation, I cover some of the online tools and services that have helped me become an virtual entrepreneur, in the following categories: Communication, Legal, Project Management, Billing / Accounting, Printing, Web Site, Marketing
  • Communication http://www.masternewmedia.org/images/direct_communication_marketing.jpg View slide
  • /
    • URL: http://www.skype.com/ and http://get.live.com/messenger/overview
    • What: Voice communication and chat
    • Cost: Free
    • My Take: Both Skype and Windows Live Messenger, have become the international de-facto standard for chat and communication. Both have great connectivity and Skype’s video chat is unparalleled.
    View slide
    • URL: Http://www.freeconference.com/
    • What: Free conference calling
    • Cost: Free +
    • My Take: Users will have to listen to a short blurb in the beginning, but the service works great. Time limit is set at 4 hours and there can be up to 150 callers. 1-800 numbers cost extra.
    • URL: Http://www.efax.com/
    • What: Fax by email
    • Cost: Free +
    • My Take: While I rarely use the service, some clients need to fax documents, so the free plan is great. I receive an advertising email every few weeks and can’t pick the fax number. Note: I’ve heard bad things about canceling paid plans.
    • URL: Http://www.aweber.com/ (aff)
    • What: Email marketing
    • Cost: $19 / mo +
    • My Take: Reliable email marketing that has great templates and customer service. Standard features, like autoresponders and “reply to”, are included. Best of all, Aweber integrates with Wordpress (any RSS feed, really) with their “blog broadcast” feature and Feedburner.
  • Legal http://www.smallbusinessassist.com/files/images/how-to-find-lawyer-small-business.jpg
    • URL: Http://www.legalzoom.com/ (aff)
    • What: Legal documents
    • Cost: Varies
    • My Take: The best service for filing for LLC, DBA, and other legal forms required by the Government. Fast and inexpensive compared to going through lawyer. I’ve used them for both a DBA and a LLC.
    • URL: Http://www.echosign.com/
    • What: Automated e-signature collection and management
    • Cost: Free +
    • My Take: Great easy-to-use service, with built in templates (e.g. NDA) and option to upload docs. It’s fast and secure. Free accounts can have 5 docs / mo. signed, with restrictions lifted on paid accounts. Integrates with SalesForce and eFax.
  • Project Management http://traumwerk.stanford.edu/LifeSquared/L2%20meeting%20Monday%20May%2022th_005.jpg
    • URL: Http://www.basecamphq.com/
    • What: Collaborative project management
    • Cost: Free +
    • My Take: A product of famed 37signals. Intuitive user interface, integration with Freshbooks, and document sharing means that everyone working on a project is on the same page and knows what they need to do. The free package is very limited.
  • Billing / Accounting http://www.bized.co.uk/images/accounting.jpg
    • URL: Http://www.freshbooks.com/
    • What: Invoicing and time tracking
    • Cost: Free +
    • My Take: Free account is extremely limited with only 3 clients, but the service is very feature-rich and customizable. Great support and you can also send “snail mail” invoices. Has Basecamp integration.
    • Also consider http://curdbee.com/ .
    • URL: Https://www.iacez.com/
    • What: Accounting and bookkeeping
    • Cost: $14.95 /mo +
    • My Take: One of the simplest accounting and bookkeeping programs available. Allows you to easily track sales, generate reports, and it integrates nicely with Freshbooks.
    • Read my exclusive review .
  • Printing http://www.ohgizmo.com/images/printing%20press.jpg
    • URL: Http://www.vistaprint.com/ (aff)
    • What: Printer
    • Cost: Free +
    • My Take: Decent quality, with exceptional prices for a great value. Business cards are popular and their “foil” feature helped mine stand out. Often have deals for free products, which is great for sampling. Don’t sign up for their email newsletter, unless you want an email every 2 – 3 days.
  • Web Site http://www.sensorik-auto.com/Turck/Connectivity_files/index_Connectivity.jpg
    • URL: Http://www.godaddy.com/ (aff)
    • What: Domain name registrar
    • Cost: < $10 / yr +
    • My Take: After more than 500 registrations, GoDaddy is still my registrar of choice. While the checkout is clunky and fragmented, their customer service and prices are industry best. Be sure to look for coupons . I don’t recommend their hosting at all .
    • URL: Http://www.liquidweb.com/ (aff)
    • What: Web hosting
    • Cost: $14.95 /mo +
    • My Take: Not the cheapest web hosting, but they have great update and industry leading “heroic” support. Own their datacenters and are located in Michigan.
    • Also consider http://mediatemple.net/ .
    • URL: Http://wordpress.org/
    • What: Web publishing platform
    • Cost: Free
    • My Take: No longer just a blog platform, I use WordPress for all my sites. There are great plugins and templates available and the rich-text editor means just about anyone with Microsoft Word experience can use Wordpress. It’s easy to install and works with (just about) any LAMP host.
    • URL: Http://wufoo.com/
    • What: Web forms
    • Cost: Free +
    • My Take: Great for contact forms and collecting leads. Free account is great; paid accounts add features like upload space, SSL encryption, and Paypal, Google Checkout, and Authorize.net integration.
  • Marketing http://jimdowling.typepad.com/simple/images/2007/12/17/whisper.jpg
  • Word of Mouth
    • URL: Http://[yourdomain].[ext]
    • What: Referrals
    • Cost: Free +
    • My Take: Word of mouth marketing is the best way to generate leads. In my experience, they are much cheaper and a higher percentage convert into a client. Provide a great service, wow your customers, and they will repay.
  • About Me
    • I’m Dave Rigotti , the owner of Freezing Hot , a small Internet marketing company in Toledo, OH. I’ve helped billion dollar (and many smaller) companies develop social media, blogging, and search engine marketing strategies.
    • Email
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn
  • Presentation Legal Information
    • Disclaimer
    • This presentation is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. This presentation was written based on my own trials and I personally have experience with every tool or service listed. Be aware, this is a general guideline only and you should do your own due diligence. Dave Rigotti and Freezing Hot do not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.
    • Disclosure
    • Some of the links in this presentation are affiliate links. If you do not wish to use them, please copy and paste the displayed URL in your browser.
    • Copyright
    • This work is copyrighted under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 .