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Top 11 applications to network and grow your business

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Every day, numerous small businesses around the nation will fail; the question is, why?  What distinguishes a successful business from one that can't seem to stay afloat? The easy answer, and the one that would most likely be given if I were to take a poll, is insufficient revenue. While this is not completely incorrect, it only scratches the surface as to why a business goes under.

 

Unless you've been living under a rock, you're well aware of the prevalence of social media and how it can be used to make or break just about anything. Being able to effectively use social networking tools is important in today's world. Think of it this way, if you can't get the word out about your business, how are you supposed to turn a profit?

 

In addition to knowing the social networking tricks of the trade, an entrepreneur should consider outsourcing work to third parties that can do a better job and do it cheaper. You need to focus on your core business. If you are a small business and looking to outsource, Resource Nation is one of the best places to find business service providers without having to do thousands of hours in research yourself. 

 

In addition to outsourcing, here are some other applications we've found helpful when starting or growing a business. 

 

Dimewise and NetworthIQ

Let's start with money. It's obvious that it takes money to run a business, but, if you don't know how to manage it, then you'll eventually run out of it. If you're in need of a little money management help, then Dimewise and NetworthIQ are applications that you will want to consider. With these, you can record your business' expenses and track your finances. Dimewise will take your information and put it into a pie chart so you can easily see where your money is going. NetworthIQ allows you to track the success of peers who are your age.

 

Freshbooks and Harvest

Timesheets, invoicing, and billing are all important aspects of your business. But, let's face it, dealing with this stuff can get pretty boring. Freshbooks allows you to bill your clients online via e-mail with invoices, or you can have them pay through applications such as PayPal or Authorize.net. Harvest is a time tracking solution that easily allows you to keep track of and receive reports of your employees' time

 

Neptune

If you are running your own business, you know that things can get hectic at times, which can result in missing a meeting or deadline, or even losing a client. If you're someone who would lose their head if it wasn't attached, then Neptune may be your new best friend. Similar to tasks created in Microsoft Outlook, Neptune's application is extremely easy to use, and allows you to create priority lists and folders where you can organize your tasks. In addition, you can set up e-mail reminders which will list your tasks and their urgency. Another newer application that can help with your to-do lists is Gubb (don't ask about the name).

 

LinkedIn and Ning

Here's that term again: social networking. The importance of social networking for a small business owner cannot be stressed enough. Social networking applications, such as LinkedIn and Ning, allow you to establish your company online by creating your own space through which you can increase your brand awareness and sell your product via word-of-mouth marketing. They also link you to other individuals that you can share ideas and communicate with, in addition to expanding your contacts.

 

Veetro

Let's not forget about the capabilities of solid marketing efforts. Major companies have entire departments that specifically cater to marketing and generating brand awareness. Because you are a small business, it's probably safe to say you don't have that luxury. You do, however, have access to web applications such as WORKetc. (formerly Veetro). With e-mail marketing, lead tracking, and direct advertising functions, WORKetc. can help you grow your business to the next level.

 

These applications are cheap and easy, but may not be the right choice for ‘outsourcing; your needs. If you still find that you need a business service center to help with your needs, visit ours at Resource Nation. Although money may be considered the backbone of a business, there are many other factors that support it, and in order to prosper, you can't really have one without the other.

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