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Don’t guess. Research. Measure. Assess. Evaluate. Repeat.

Neil Patel has compiled an awesome list of 10 Tools You Need to Use Before Starting Your Next Business posted on QuickSprout. Ideally, you’ll use them before starting your business but it’s never too late to go back and revisit your plans already underway in case you forgot something. Some of his picks are free; others are fee-based products worthy of serious consideration where appropriate.

In his post, Neil provides the relevant background commentary and examples you’ll need to understand the value of these tools more fully. My comments highlight his recommendations and why you should investigate them further.

He also offers this cheat sheet listing the 10 tools (in exchange for your email address) for those who’d like to add it to their reference libraries and hear more from Neil.

Market research tools

Every business idea you’ll ever have needs to be vetted. You must confirm a receptive market with money to spend exists for your product or service for it to be viable. These tools help with that.

  1. Google Shopping Insights (for market research in addition to Google Trends)
  2. QWILR’s Ad spend calculator (for planning your initial advertising budget)
  3. SurveyMonkey (for talking to your target market and getting feedback)
  4. Buzzsumo (for keyword research and planning your content marketing)

Putting together your first impression

These tools can help you with branding and making a good first impression on your target market. You’ll have fun with these, I’m sure!

  1. NameMesh (for free help finding a great name for your business and website)
  2. Name Geniuses (for paid help finding a great name for your business and website using crowdsourcing)
  3. DesignMantic (for quickly generating generic-but-decent logos you can use temporarily)
  4. 99Designs (for buying a unique, professional logo you’ll love)

Payroll and accounting

You don’t want to tackle payroll and accounting responsibilities in an ad hoc fashion. Put the proper tools in place from the start and use them to simplify administrative tasks that must be done.

  1. Freshbooks (for help staying organized with your accounting)
  2. ZenPayroll ((now Gusto) for managing employee payroll for US-based businesses)

For all the details on these tools, read Neil’s full post on QuickSprout.

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

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