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Small brand, big mouth: 5 web tools for entrepreneurs

Not reaching the customer is one of six reasons says emerging enterprises fail. But social media channels, and other brand-friendly apps, are an incredibly useful — and cost-effective — means to attract the buyers who often just need the reassuring nudge digital interaction gives them. Shout out your brand to the online world with these free tools, and watch your business blossom.

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1. Logo Garden

Your logo is flawless in your head — but it’s the designing and printing that strangles your ad budget. Graphic designers cost money, and if you get a free one it may be at the expense of quality. Fortunately, Logo Garden free logo designs reflect your brand’s image by letting you sketch your vision in just eight minutes. With existing samples and a 60-second walk-through, programs like this one cater to users who need to make a good first impression without the extra cost.

2. Skype

Skype is important. Besides offering the means to stay connected to travelling relatives, the popular video chat platform has a laundry list of advantages for the solo businessperson looking to make a (clean) footprint in the market.

For starters, the potential clientele for B2B operations need not be limited by geographical distance. And what if building a workforce is your biggest issue? Meet local applicants in person, but don’t stop after the last local. Give distant candidates your account name and meet them via desktop or mobile. If it works out, remote work is an option, especially if your HQ isn’t that habitable yet.

3. FedEx/UPS

Delivery is cumbersome for any organisation, simply due to the frequency with which packages head out and the bills head in. Another few quiet assets endorsed by Vern Seward of the Mac Observer are the mobile order templates by either FedEx and UPS. Both of these parcel services travel internationally and offer multi-alert systems when purchases are en route, no matter the destination. Both apps are free and available on Mac iOS 5 or up.

4. LinkedIn

As for traditional social media, LinkedIn is your biggest asset. Whereas students and potential employees as it as a job-search site,  both you and your staff can generate more sales from a complete profile page that broadcasts your products, launches and promotions, exposes job openings and shares content that directs back to your website.

With a network consisting of users who are three times as likely to invest in a product, according to Business 2 Community, LinkedIn transports your brand’s reputation for you, by turning clients into “connections” and creating a ripple effect by exposing your business to the communities your partners are involved with.

5. Facebook

Speaking of a ripple effect, pretty much anyone can find a lucrative voice through Facebook. The soft blue banner is an icon for everyone who gets their news in status update form — often via the ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ of somebody else.

What this means to you is that a press headline is no longer the only thing that goes viral. Taglines to your products and awards you receive can turn your Facebook page into a place that hungry buyers listen to via ‘Newsfeed’ everyday.


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