First, I should tell you that I am not an IT expert. However, I am fairly competent with IT (for my age). Although I the language I learned was "Basic" on a Wang magnetic-tape drive computer . . . I still have a basic handle on how computers and, simple, coding works. Thus, in my own assessment, I'm not entirely without "an idea" but neither am I a professional. I tell you this to help you put the following in context.
I am currently working to take much of my consulting services on line. With the dramatic changes that continue to occur in IT it is at times overwhelming to try and sort through the "chaff" to get to the "grain" (Forgive the agricultural reference, but I am from the midwest . . .). So here I want to tell you about the very best tools I have found. If you do any contracting (or want to) then I would encourage you to check these out.
If you are not very IT savvy, you can still go operate on line but you may need more "professional support." Once you get comfortable running, what I call a "team of teams" it becomes much easier to take on complex tasks outside your direct line of experience. This is critical in being a model leader, entrepreneur, or consultant.
All the best!
The best tools I have found for taking business on line:
For you website, I don't think you can do better than use this. My IT son would probably disagree (but then again, he has had to spend a lot of time helping me transfer over information from the origin website we programmed together several years ago). Why Squarespace? Because it is a locked down version that allows a lot of flexibility.
If you want to spend your time coding and creating your own very unique and specially designed website then Squarespace may not be for you. Although you can introduce your own coding, it is purposely limited. The upside? If you just want something easy to use, flexible, powerful, and professional looking then this is a great choice. After all do you want to spend your time building a website or building your business?
Trello is an awesome project management and organizational system. I use Trello to organize my operational tasks, as a marketing contact manager, to do project management, track my invoices and payment, create job-specific calendars for clients, share information and resources, and to promote and connect others to my products.
The primary reasons I use Trello are to build a strong brand for myself, develop products and processes that can be replicated (for myself and others), and connect clients with my business. It truly is one of the most flexible and useful tools out there.
Have some products to sell? Gumroad is a great place to set up shop and sell your physical and digital products. Easy to use and connect to your website there is nothing out there that surpasses it as a vendor at this time.
Want to do a survey for a client? Hope to set up a survey on your website to engage them and get people interested in your products and services? Google Forms is a great way to create surveys, collect data, and display the results.
For video conferencing (and sharing your desktop) I have found Join Me to be a friendly and useful tool. They software is easy to learn and the basic services work very well. The very first time I attempted to use Join Me . . . it worked with little or no struggles to "learn the software."
I have other services and software that I use regularly but none of them live up to the satisfaction I have had with these five. As I find other alternatives that are especially good, I'll share them here. I hope you will share your "finds" here as well. A good recommendation is a great way to cut through the clutter and find the few jewels that will set you apart and make succeeding more likely.
I have used Google Forms for multiple purposes. Created my own on line surveys, signed up attendees for conferences and had the fill out a post-conference evaluation, created employee satisfaction surveys, and other sundry items. It is user-friendly, intuitive, and can be shared with others easily. Check it out!
If you have some on line tools you find very useful, please share them and we will check them out, and write about it as well!
Thanks, in advance, for sharing!