5 Tools for Starting a Business Fresh Out of College

Posted June 04, 2014 by
Happy female small business owner of a fabric store

Happy female small business owner of a fabric store. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

You’re young and brimming with enthusiasm, ready to take your first steps into the corporate world. But why spend years slaving away under a boss when you can start your own business straight out of college?

Read on to discover some great tools for getting your enterprise off the ground.

Evernote Keeps You Organized

According to Business News Daily, small business owners find it harder to get organized than save money. Ninety-three percent also believe that better organization would increase their productivity. Evernote is a free tool that makes organization a cinch. It helps you do away with archaic sticky notes and binders by putting all the information you need in one easy-to-access space.

The more you use Evernote, the more innovative ways you’ll find to use it. After a brainstorming session, you can snap a photo of your whiteboard and turn it into a searchable document. You can also save documents that you plan to read, keep notes from your meetings, and even create to-do lists so you can stay on top of important tasks.

Boomerang Helps You Follow Up

How many times have you planned to follow-up on emails that slipped through the cracks? Boomerang is a handy free Gmail plugin that helps you manage those follow-ups and take advantage of all those vital business leads.

As its name implies, the tool lets you “boomerang” emails back to yourself. If you haven’t heard from one of your leads in an allocated time, you’ll get a follow-up reminder straight to your inbox. The one-click service is much more efficient than adding reminders to your calendar or Evernote.

Teneric’s Cash Flow Calculator Helps You Manage Your Finances

“Despite the fact that cash is the lifeblood of a business — the fuel that keeps the engine running — most business owners don’t truly have a handle on their cash flow,” said Philip Campbell, a CPA and the author of Never Run Out of Cash. “Poor cash-flow management is causing more business failures today than ever before.”

Teneric helps you get a handle on your cash flow with its free online calculator. This handy tool lets you calculate this year’s cash flow with a 12-month forecast of start-up costs, ongoing expenses, and sales. The data is also downloadable so you can refer to it offline.

Google AdWords Helps You Advertise Efficiently

Google AdWords is one of the most effective advertising tools available to new start-ups. Sponsored Google ads account for roughly two-thirds of all clicks for keywords with “high commercial intent.” These are the keyword searches with significant advertiser competition, so they’re the most relevant to businesses.

You also create the Google ads so you have the power to influence their message, and you pay as you go so there aren’t hefty upfront costs. AdWords is also much more affordable than traditional advertising mediums like radio and television campaigns, so it’s a great solution for budding entrepreneurs looking to get the word out. The intuitive Google Adwords model is also an efficient form of advertising because it ensures your online ad is reaching the browsers most likely to be interested in your products or services.

HotSpot Shield Protects Your Privacy On the Go

When you’re trying to get your business off the ground, you can’t afford to be uncontactable. Thankfully with the rise of Wi-Fi, it’s becoming even easier for business owners to answer emails and conduct video meetings on the go. In fact, Wi-Fi hotspots are so common that 56 percent of millennials expect they’ll run their businesses from tablets by the end of 2014. However, the rise of W-Fi comes with security risks to new business owners. You can reduce these with a virtual private network or VPN.

HotSpot Shield is one of the most well-known VPN services, and its free model makes it ideal for young entrepreneurs. It’s also available on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, so you can use it on any portable device. Free users enjoy the same speeds, privacy, and protection against malware that paid subscribers do. The ads that support the free service can get annoying, but they’re worth enduring when you’re cutting costs.

With these great tools at your disposal, there’s no reason to wait until you’ve got more experience under your belt before starting your own business.

Author Bio:

Joe Fortunato is a freelance writer from Tampa, Florida. He enjoys learning about new subjects, following his Baltimore Orioles, and traveling the country for fishing. You can find Joe on Twitter at @joey_fort.

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