Welcome to my resources page. It contains a curated list of tools and websites that I use and strongly recommend to build and optimise your business or just make your life a little easier.
I have tested every recommendation listed and many of the resources are crucial to running my business.
Before going any further, please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
VOIPfone - business telephone numbers
I use VOIPfone for all of my businesses that require a telephone number. It allows you to set up a local (01 and 02) number, so you can make your business look like you operate in any regional area of the UK without actually being based there. You can set the number to forward calls to your home phone line or mobile. This is great as it allows you to divert calls to where ever you are but it also means you do not have to give out your private numbers.
You can also download their iPhone app, allowing you to quickly divert calls. There's also a useful feature that uses geolocation function on your phone - this will automatically divert calls to your mobile when you leave your house.
Use the link below and you will get a 30-day free trial, too.
AcyMailing - e-mail marketing
There are a huge number of options available to set up an e-mail marketing system. Like most, AcyMailing offers a few different versions depending on your needs but crucially there is a free version for to use and see if it's the right system for you.
I've used the Multisite version so that I can install it on all of my web sites.
Voipfone - telephone answering service
A service like this is crucial when you operate a small business. I used to use a separate service but Voipfone have now created their own which is the same price as I was paying before but a far superior service. The only downside, in comparison is that they do not operate a full 24/7 service like the previous company does however for me, this isn't important as I don't want to be accepting calls at all hours.
The service allows you to, when you're busy or in a meeting, direct your calls to Voipfone's team of receptions and they will take a message for you. They will answer the call using your business name, take the caller's details and then e-mail and text the information to you.
This is a great service, allowing you to receive calls even when you have other things to do.
I spent a long time finding a telephone answering service and these are the best and cheapest that I've used.
MyLiveChat - free live chat software
This software allows you to easily add a live chat system to your web site, allowing customers to contact you instantly. There's a free account which you can use with one account login. The best bit is that if you have lots of web sites, you can install the same code on each and login just once, to see the visitors on all of your sites, from one browser window.
Help Desk Software
I cannot emphasise how important this piece of software is to each of our businesses. It does not matter what type of business you run, there is almost always a need for a way to track jobs and customer enquiries.
I've used soooo many pieces of help desk software in the past but we have finally settled on Zoho Support. It is great for dealing with e-mail enquiries from customers and allowing us to keep track of tasks that we need to complete. It fully integrates with your e-mail system and sends notification e-mails to you when a new customer request comes in.
I have one login which allows me to access 'tickets' for each of our businesses that we've set up in Zoho. This gives me an overall look at how many jobs are outstanding but each business can be customised in Zoho with its own e-mail address, e-mail signature etc.
Quite simply, it saves us huge amounts of time, gives piece of mind because we can keep track of all of the things that we need to do and it's web-based meaning we can access it from anywhere.
Free Invoicing Software
QuickFile is a great web-based invoicing service which allows you to create custom one off or recurring invoices. Everything is done online and it's a really simple system to use. Best of all, if you process fewer than 1000 invoices a year, it is completely free to use. Recently they have added a charge if you use more than that but even that is only £45 per year.
Honestly, QuickFile is really worth considering if you are looking for an easy way to manage your invoices. It allows you to set up some really useful features like paying with PayPal and e-mail reminders, if your customers have not paid on time.
I have a number of accounts set up with them, for various businesses and the system and support have been fantastic.