We know what its like to be an entrepreneur. Like all businesses, you’re just trying to increase revenue and decrease expenses. Meanwhile, it’s just you juggling it all… or at best, you have a few folks helping now and then…which of course does the opposite of decrease expenses if you don’t see an immediate measurable, profitable return on that help. So we thought we’d throw you some resources that really can help you increase your efficiency, your offering capabilities, and your bottom line. In no particular order, here’s our first bakers dozen or so:

WordPress: Not just for bloggers anymore, WP is a fantastic platform for easy, fast, and friendly websites that are easy to continually update and change. If you don’t want to pay your web guy (or wait for him) every time you have a change or update, set your site up on a WordPress platform and it becomes easy, even for the non-techies. There are plenty of plug-ins, themes, and other bells and whistles that make WP your website or blog everything it should be without paying out the wazoo. You’ll even find YouTube videos that will teach you the basics if you ever get stuck. And if you do want to hire someone for the initial install or specific tasks down the road, its a common platform that virtually all developers know like the backs of their hands. So you can pass of the work when you are ready.

Skype: Relationships are key, and face to face is better. Skype is free and easy to download, and now offers multiple user options (some require a small $ upgrade- but there is a 7 day free trial even if you want to upgrade). In the free account, you can video chat and screen share with one other person or client. You can audio chat with multiple clients. Consider how you can plug in Skype to your offering by expanding your reach outside of local face-to-face meetings. For example, we coach many of our clients via Skype so we can both see them, and we often share our screen with them so we can see what we are teaching them from our documents and maps. What a great way to build your business for free!

Join.me We love this one. Where Skype leaves off, Join.me picks up. If you need to screen share with more than 2 people connected on Skype, you’ll need to upgrade. OR… you can go to Join.me, click to share your screen, and the others on the call can type in your assigned login code for that session and viola! They can see your screen! You can even pass controls, and its all free. (Upgrades also available, but the free account is robust on its own)

Odesk & Elance If you know us at all, we are all about doing what you are great at, and outsourcing the rest! Both of these spots are great places to find, hire, and track contractors on a task, project, or long-term basis…without the hassles of an employee. Need graphic design for a project? What about a copywriter for your press release? Or that newsletter or brochure you’ve been meaning to get done…. find the help you need here at a fraction of the price of full time help.

Care.com HUGE! From childcare to senior care, special needs, house sitting and dog-sitting… this resource will help you balance it all with a list of vetted care providers in your area. You can view profiles, background checks, and post your requirements. Imagine- the day of your important presentation in front of the investors- and your little one gets sick! Cancel the appointment and miss the opportunity? No way! Care.com has a last-minute service option, too! They ALSO have babysitting exchange options if you’d rather swap than pay. And we love that they have discount rates for military families. Super cool.

ULink This is the coolest thing we’ve seen in networking. Ever. ULink Network is the up and coming networking group that you want to plug into early because if features an awesome app that makes referring faster, easier, and way more fun than ever before. No longer do you have to remember what that lady’s name was from last month’s luncheon (or dig up her card somewhere) so you can refer her to a potential client you met today. With ULink Network, you just click a button on your phone. And you get reward points for doing so. And what goes around comes around…everyone else can click a button to refer business to you, invite friends or colleagues to speed meetings, join a “pod” of industry-like collaborators, see your promotions, or buy from you. Founded by former SNL writer, Jim Pelley and tech genius, Adam Frick, this networking group is not only here to stay, its about to sweep the nation and you want to be in it. New networks are going up across the country now, so if its not in your city, contact them on facebook and ask how you can start your own chapter. Tell ‘em we sent ya!

Mailchimp You know the list is gold. While there are plenty of other paid-for services out there, this one is a great place to start because its free up to 10,000 people on your list. If you need an opt-in box with auto-responders (face it, you do)…check out mailchimp.

Maestro Conference If tele-conference is your thing, this one’s a gem. It does not allow screenshare like a webinar, but it does allow for an online dashboard like no other tele-class service we’ve seen. Imagine sending your virtual audience into breakout rooms where they could discuss in small groups what you are teaching…. and you, as the facilitator, can virtually hop around and listen to the groups to make sure they are on task! Then, with the click of a button, you all end up back in the “auditorium” for more group session. You can poll attendees, give them the mic as they raise their hands to ask questions, and much more. Meeting set up, reminders, follow-ups, and reporting are very simple to implement. This is the one and only affiliate link in this post, but its worth it because it gets you a free 30 day trial if you want to check it out. Rates after that are customizable and very reasonable.

Score This one should be in your bookmarks. From free advice, to live and online workshops, and hundreds of templates, SCORE is fundamental and as close to mandatory as you get. And close to our hearts, there is even a section specific to women in business.

AmEx OPEN & BNet We can’t mention Score above without mentioning their amazing sponsor, AmEx OPEN Forum. And we can’t mention AmEx OPEN Forum without mentioning BNet. Both are fantastic resources for entrepreneurs for tools, ideas, articles, some research, and sometimes small business focused contests. Check ‘em out! They also have apps (yep, on our phones).

Google Calendar & Google Docs Easily, the go-to shareable calendar and document system. With multiple setting options, color coding, reminders, syncing capabilities, apps, and appointment options, this one is perfect for anyone who operates with more than the fly on the wall. Let your team pick their colors, your VA’s pick their systems, and GO! Great for busy families, too.

Lynda.com Need to learn an online platform or software fast? This nifty site offers user friendly video trainings, searchable by topic, platform, software, or author. Things like how to set up a facebook page, how to use twitter, how to run quickbooks, and on and on… go check out the topics and resources if you need to learn fast.

Alltop Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop is a great site that allows you to pull relevant topic-based articles, blogs, and postings. Use it for your own enjoyment or interest, for social media content (give credit and pingbacks or @mentions), research, and more. You can even customize your own Alltop page. If you are stuck for what to write about, go see what’s relevant at Alltop!

We hope you enjoy and more importantly, implement some of these resources. These are some of the many we share in our Heart & Sold community. If you want coaching and more access to us and more resources via the Heart & Sold program, start by watching this free (yet again) training video. It’s more than an hour of training, so feel free to push pause… but grab a pen and be ready to take tons of notes! Let us know how you are doing!

Author's Bio: 

This article was presented by Rock Star U: Aly & Andrea are identical twins, motivational speakers, and strength-focused success coaches with an emphasis on live-event presentations that inspire, educate, lead, and empower audiences to not only survive adversity, but to thrive in it. Hear their incredible story at http://www.rockstarsrock.com, orhttp://www.worldtourofsuccess.com. Hint: One is blind, both have Vision.
Connect with Aly and Andrea:
Twitter: (@alyandrea)
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