Useful Resources For Business Owners and Entrepreneurs
I have prepared a list of the most used resources I use myself and suggest to my clients as well. If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, I am sure you will find at least one tool that you haven’t come around yet and would make sense for your business. Usually, it takes me hours to do a comprehensive research before I buy something, so hopefully, this page will save you quite some time and money as well.
Some of the resources are free, and some of them are paid, but they are definitely worth every penny!
Since technology is evolving so quickly, I am going to update this page often, so I strongly suggest you bookmark this page (hit Ctrl+D or Cmd+D on Mac), for easy access in the future.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you purchase through them, I might earn a commission but at no additional cost to you. These are resources, tools, etc., that I’ve either used in the past or continue to use personally.
If you have any questions regarding how to fully take advantage of any of the resources below for your business, please do not hesitate to contact me!
Tools and Services
Get more Sales and Customers
ClickFunnels - Drag and Drop Website Builder, Advanced Sales Funnels, Landing pages, etc...
With ClickFunnels you won’t have to worry about website hosting, website maintenance, hiring web developers, paying for additional plugins, etc…
It is all taken care of, so you can focus on running your business
Sooner or later businesses will realise that they need to have good sales funnels in place to grow their business.
And with ClickFunnels, you can set up your first sales funnel in a few minutes.
The bad thing about regular websites is that you give your website visitors too many options and instead of buying from you, they get caught up in the research process.
With ClickFunnels you can guide them through the purchase process, the way YOU want them to.
So if you want first to give them some information, let them give you their email first (opt-in landing page). After they give you your email, you can immediately show them a low-cost offer, which will make them your customer and not only a lead. If they buy your low-cost offer, you can show them another product/service after that. If they decline that, you offer them a down-sell, so on and so on…
And the best thing?
You can do everything I mention by yourself! No developer necessary.
ActiveCampaign - Email Marketing Automation for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
If you do not use email marketing you are leaving money on the table, it is that simple! I am still surprised how many businesses are still not using email marketing or, at least, capturing emails of their potential customers.ActiveCampaign is really cost effective solution that will help you convert more leads to customers and more customers into repeat buyers.
ActiveCampaign is really cost effective solution that will help you convert more leads to customers and more customers into repeat buyers. How cost effective? It costs $9/month for first 500 subscribers! So I bet that even if you convert only one subscriber to a customer, you are going to earn more than that.
How cost effective? It costs $9/month for first 500 subscribers! So I bet that even if you convert only one subscriber to a customer, you are going to earn more than that. I have also worked with clients that were paying 300$+/month for email marketing software that has the same functionality; the only difference is that ActiveCampaign is more user-friendly. I like dynamic email automation feature the most because you can set up automation based on
I have worked with clients that were paying 300$+/month for email marketing software that has the same functionality; the only difference is that ActiveCampaign is more user-friendly. I like dynamic email automation feature the most because you can set up automation based on customer’s behavior, which makes it really powerful selling machine.
Establish Online Presence
Sooner or later you will have to buy a domain name (like www.__insert-your-business-name__.com). A domain usually costs less than $15, but it depends on which extension(.com, .co.uk, .de…) you would like to use.
Click Here to Get Your Own Domain Name
I was hosting my websites on VPS (Virtual Private Server) where I was paying 40$/month, but then I found A2Hosting. I am hosting well over 20 websites there, and I am paying 8$/month. I haven’t had any problems since I moved my websites there, so I am highly recommending them. They also offer a Live Chat support, but I haven’t had to use that yet.
Click Here to Save 51% With Your Hosting Package
WordPress Themes & Plugins
If you really want to leverage your website, you will need three things.
- Conversion focused theme
- High converting lead generation plugins
- Conversion optimised landing pages in the backend
And as you might have guessed it, Thrive Themes have it all!
Thrive Themes were built, ground up, with the intent to sell.
It also has great drag and drop editor that will help you build websites, lead generation forms and landing pages with ease, so there is no need to have a developer involved. It costs only $19/month, and you can use it on unlimited websites.
ThemeForest was my greatest resource when I was still in web development business. Instead of coding websites from scratch I advised my clients to choose a theme that is similar to what they would like their website to look like. So instead of paying thousands of dollars for a website coded from scratch that they would not be even able to modify, they paid only around $60 for the theme and a few hours of my time to customise the theme based on their needs. I still use themes from ThemeForest on most of my websites (If I wanted to save some money, I could build my websites using Thrive Themes only, but I use the combination.
Lead Generation Plugins
ThriveLeads is one of the best plugins I have ever come across. It is included in Thrive Themes Membership mention above, so I usually recommend getting the whole pack rather than buying only this plugin. You can choose from Popup Lightbox forms, “Sticky” Ribbon forms, In-Line Forms, etc… You can use a different trigger; you can A/B test different forms or even different groups of forms you can show different forms on different pages or posts. You can also easily integrate forms with all the major email newsletter providers, like ActiveCampaign and others.
If you are looking for a free lead generation plugin, SumoMe is your choice. Free lead generation version is a little bit limited but good enough for a start. The best thing is that it has many other useful features as well. You can add a share bar (like the one you might see on this website), enable heat maps (to track where people click on your website), enable content analytics, enable image sharer, etc…
Custom links and clicks tracking
This plugin is useful if you want to generate custom trackable links. I use it mostly for external links, so I can see which links get clicked the most. Sometimes I also use it to shorten the links so I can fit more text into my tweets. It is also really useful to mask long affiliate links. Most of the links on this page were customised by PrettyLinks Pro plugin. There is also a free version available which you can find HERE.
It probably took me more than three days to find the best membership software based on my needs. I chose MemberMouse even though at the moment of writing DemiUniversity is not a membership site (at least not the one with recurring membership), but because it is flexible and easy to use, I was able to set everything up with ease.
Social Media Management
Schedule Social Media Posts
Posting on social media can be very time consuming so instead of posting everything manually, I prepare and schedule most of my posts in advance. I am not saying that you should automate everything, especially not interaction, but the things that can be automated should be automated.
Manage Multiple Social Media Accounts
Hootsuite is a great platform that will allow you manage multiple social media accounts from a single dashboard. You can use it to engage with your audience, schedule your posts, track analytics and so much more.
Manage Social Media Audience
StatusBrew (previously known as UnFollowers)
Excellent software that will help you grow your Twitter and Instagram audience. You can find potential customers based on keywords, based on who they follow (your competitor?), based on hashtags they are using, etc…
Other Useful tools and services
Schedule Free and Paid Meetings
Scheduling meetings over an email is really time-consuming and inefficient. With AcuityScheduling, my clients(in different time zones) can schedule a meeting without me even knowing. It syncs with Google Calendar, so I do not have to worry about overlapping activities.
Automate tasks and connect applications
Zapier is a great tool to automate almost everything in your business. From connecting multiple applications to building powerful workflows to systemise your business. In most cases a free account will be enough for most of your needs.
Online Forms Generator
I use both WuFoo and 123ContactForm based on the functionality I need. If you need a simple contact form software, I suggest you use 123ContactForm because I find it more user-friendly and better looking out of the box. If you need to redirect website visitors to another page and pass the parameters as well, then Wufoo is your choice.
If you are looking for a simple contact form software, 123ContactForm is your choice. Apart from the inability of passing data to the next page, 123ContactForm has better functionality than Wufoo. You can add calculations in your forms which makes it really good for generating quotes and it also has great cart features, so you can make dynamic shopping carts and so on.
Click Here to Learn More About 123ContactForm
I primarily use Wufoo because of a functionality that 123ContactForm at the moment of writing does not have. With Wufoo you can redirect your websites to another website while passing the submitted data. I found this very useful when creating a quiz where I wanted to personalise thank you page based on the answers.
Click Here to Learn More About Wufoo
Virtual Staff Management
Hubstaff simplifies time tracking of the virtual team. Apart from time tracking it also has other features that makes contractor management much easier. I especially like Activity Levels feature which helps me figure out if the work was really done during the tracked hours (I usually avoid micromanagement, but sometimes this information can be very useful).
Instant Productivity Boost
I spent quite some time researching what kind of music helps me focus the most and even though I tried a lot of different options (classical music, lounge music, etc…) nothing worked for me even close to Brain.FM. I heard a lot of successful people recommending it, so I decided to give it a try. Now I use it all the time, and it really boosted my productivity to a whole another level. I never had sleeping problems but brain.fm helped quite a few of my friends improve their sleep as well.
I use Pomodoro technique to make use of my time as productive as possible, and this app helps me stay on track. I can see exactly how much I worked each day, which time of the day I was the most productive and so much more. I love it because I can quantify my effort when I am doing my weekly review, so it also helps me stay accountable.
I rarely read all the articles at once. If I see an interesting title, I will save that title for later when I am going to batch read all the saved articles. I also use tagging feature so I can always refer to useful articles I read.
Storing Files and Documents in the Cloud & Collaboration With Your Team
Google Drive / Google Apps for Business
I can’t imagine my life without Google Drive. It makes my life so much easier because I can have a centralised place where I have all my files. Google Docs and Google Sheets are also really valuable because I can collaborate with my team in real time from any place in the world.
I love Evernote! I use it for writing down quick notes, saving articles, storing business documents, saving screenshots using the Web Clipper extension and so much more.
There are plenty of CRM and project management apps out there, but I found Podio to be the best fit for my businesses. It is completely customisable, and it integrates with other tools as well. I also set up some smart automations that save us dozens of hours each week.
Mind Mapping and Flow Charts
I like to keep things visual, and MindMeister helps me organize stuff using mind maps. I tried many mind mapping apps, but I kept switching back to MindMeister.
I regularly use flow charts (designing sales funnels, brainstorming website layouts, etc…), and this is the best app I have come across. It is cheap and easy to use. It also has Mind Mapping functionality, but I prefer using MindMeister for that.
I bought this app back in 2012 when it was still quite unusual to spend money on the apps. So paying $50 for an app was definitely not common, but this app is worth every penny! I have over 800 secure and very long password saved, so I do not have to worry about forgetting the password. Not only that, I remember one time when in Spain and I forgot my PIN code, but luckily I wrote it down in 1Password.
Even though I love 1Password, I also use LastPass because it is free ,so I can share passwords with my team without them paying for the app. LastPass also has a premium version which makes it similar to 1Password, but I do not use it.
Camtasia is a great tool for capturing your screen. I use it to record tutorials, webinars, video sales letter and courses. It also has video editing capabilities, so you do not need anything else to produce quality videos.
Jing is another tool for capturing your screen. I use it for shorter (limited to 5 minutes) instructional videos that I want to share with my team. The best thing is that after you are done recording you can automatically upload the video and immediately share your video with anyone you want.
Books You MUST Read
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
I heard numerous successful people saying that this book changed their lives, but I was postponing reading this book for months. The main reason why I did not read it right away was because I saw this book was originally published back in 1937 and I was expecting it to be outdated. I could not be more wrong! It is really interesting to read a book that was written 7 decades ago and yet everything still applies in today’s world. This book will shift your mindset to a whole another level. I highly suggest reading this book, so far everyone thanked me after I recommended reading this book!
The Miracle Morning
I still cannot believe how a good morning routine can impact your day! And it does not even have to be early in the morning, just dedicate the first hour of your day to your personal development (Meditation, Affirmations, Visualisation, Journaling, Reading and Exercise) and you will be amazed how much that can change your life over the time. I slightly modified morning routine based on my preferences, but I kept most of the main principles. I introduced this book to a few friends that were not an early risers and now they are all waking up at 6am excited to start the day.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
I come from a poor background so reading this book was really an eye opening. While reading this book I started noticing really interesting differences in how rich people think compared to poor people when it comes to money. This book really helped me understand the role of money and shift my mindset in even more entrepreneurial direction.
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
If you are “busy” all the time and if you feel like there is just never enough time, you need to read this book. This is really great book that will help you eliminate the things that are not essential to your business or life in general.
The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
I should read “The One Thing” more often. This book goes way beyond focusing on one thing instead of multitasking. You will also learn more about effective time management, balancing your business and personal life, willpower, etc…
4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
This was the first book I ever bought! At the time I was not reading much because I still had the resistance from reading books from high school. I really enjoyed this book and it completely changed my view on work. I never really had a real job, but after reading this I started thinking more about building a location independent business around my lifestyle and not the other way around.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle. Most of the times habits do not stick, but in this book you will learn exactly how you can form positive habits and break bad habits, which will help you achieve your goals faster.
Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
It is unbelievable how small changes on a consistent basis can result in huge changes on the long run because of its compounding effect. Great book that will help you realise that even by starting slow you can achieve big and more importantly sustainable results!
The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster by Darren Hardy
Being an entrepreneur can sometimes be though and it is rarely a straight line to success. This book will help you understand what to expect and how to overcome setbacks towards achieving greater success.
Highly Recommended Podcasts
If you are not listening to podcasts already, you should start ASAP!
I have learned more USEFUL and ACTIONABLE information from podcasts that I have learned during attending the High School and University combined. I have never imagined how much you can actually learn by listening to podcasts.
I usually listen to podcasts for around 2 hours a day and I am listening at faster playback speed. Usually, at around 2.5x if it is not an entirely new topic, which means I consume around 5 hours of information daily only by only listening to the podcasts!
To improve the listening experience at higher speed, I use the Overcast app, because of the Smart Speed® feature. Smart Speed® cuts out the silences, so the sound is not distorted at a higher speed.
And the best thing?
I do not put 2 hours aside to do this, I listen to them on the go, basically minimising the time that would be otherwise wasted.
So I listen to podcasts in the gym, in the car, while cooking, while going for a walk, etc…
Here is the list of podcasts, in no particular order, that I am subscribed to. I do not listen to all of the episodes, but I decide daily which titles make sense to move myself and my business forward.
Most of them cover multiple topics, so it is almost impossible to sort them in categories.
Topics range from business and entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, digital marketing, self-development, startups, motivation, life hacking, productivity, public speaking, building a confidence, shifting a mindset, outsourcing etc…
I included the links to iTunes and OverCast so you can click and check the latest episodes.
Useful Mobile Apps
- Best guided meditation app I have tried. It helps me prepare for the day during my morning routine. Click HERE to get 10 sessions for free.
- Sleep Time
- Great app for tracking sleep.
- My favourite app for tracking my gym workouts.
- Great app for tracking nutrition.
- I use this app for storing all the documents in Evernote.
- Great news reader app.
- Simple app to stay on track of the tasks.
- Day One
- I Tried many journaling apps but this one is by far my favourite.
- Amazon’s reading app.
- Sometimes I just want to see what a book is all about before reading the full version. Blinkist is a service that summarises books, both in text and audio. Summaries are short (less than 15 minutes of reading time) and straight to the point.
- Hands down the best Podcast App Ever. I usually listen to podcasts at a higher speed, because I like to be efficient of course 🙂 This app has a Smart Speed® feature that dynamically cuts out the silences, so there is no distortion even at highest speed setting. I tried all podcast listening apps in iTunes store, and this one was by far the best!