Wednesday, October 30, 2013

7 Tangible Tools for Success

While I'm always sharing on here and on my Pinterest boards some of my favorite fashion items, today I'd like to share with you some of my favorite tools I've used to build and grow my business. These tools can be helpful for anyone, including other small business owners, DIY musicians, and even people who need these tools just for personal use.

7 Tangible Tools for Success
Photo by Denise Carbonell, Creative Commons

  • Carbonite: I use Carbonite to back up all of my business files and my personal files (especially photos). For a very reasonable annual fee, an unlimited amount of my files get backed up automatically each day without me having to even think about it. The best thing is I can access all of my files from the Carbonite web site from any computer any place. This has come in handy when my computer has been in the shop for repair and I've had to use a friend's or the library's computer to get some of my work done. You can try it for free prior to purchasing, and if you do purchase you will receive up to $75 in gift cards.
  • Google Voice: Everyone asks me how I was able to get a phone number that spelled my name (615-37-LORIB). I just accessed Google Voice through my Google account and picked out an available number that included my area code and was personalized to me (digits that correlate to the letters that spell out my name). I was first trying to find one that the last six digits would spell out paNASH, but all of those 615 #s were already taken. If I had tried to get such a number through the phone company, it would have cost me quite a bit in extra fees. But through Google Voice, a personalized number is free (you just have to make sure what you want to spell out is a number that is not already taken). The greatest thing about it is that I can have all calls to the Google Voice # ring to all my other lines such as my cell and my land line. And, I receive text message transcripts of all my voicemails!
  • MOO: I know I've mentioned MOO before when discussing business cards, but I just can't recommend MOO enough! For years I've used MOO for stickers, business cards and more and I always get compliments on my business cards because of the quality of finish and the thickness of the card stock. Not only that, I get to have up to 50 different images on my business cards, making them unique. This allows me to use my cards as a mini portfolio since I'm able to put photos of my clients on them. 
  • Conduit Mobile: This is my latest discovery. This site builds for you a mobile app of your own web site for free with the basic plan. Check out the new paNASH Style mobile app and let me know what you think!
  • MailChimp: Most people have heard of this email campaign provider but I wanted to mention it because I like it much better than some of the other popular email campaign systems I've used in the past. Specifically, I like the look and feel of it better than others, I like how user-friendly it is, and I like how it's more affordable than some other popular ones out there today. I use MailChimp to send out my monthly newsletter which includes style tips, events and promotions, info on useful resources, and more. If you're not already subscribed, you can sign-up directly from the paNASH Style web site or from the paNASH Style Facebook fan page.
  • AnyMeeting: I have a lot of clients around the country and the globe, so many of my sessions are done via online chat. I started out using Skype, but quickly found it to be frustrating due to numerous dropped calls and bad connections. Now I use AnyMeeting which not only provides a clearer picture and better connection than Skype, but also provides 6-way video conferencing, screen sharing, meeting recording, YouTube video sharing, and so much more! The free version provides users access to most of the features. It's great for those who either do a lot of video conferencing for work or who chat with friends and family members located in other countries.
  • PayPal Here: Finally, I love that I can accept credit card payments directly on my phone using the PayPal Here app and card reader device. Everyone is familiar with the Square card reader, but when I first started looking into getting a Square, I discovered that it was not compatible with all my devices. Then I looked into the PayPal Here card reader (their's is triangle instead of square!), and not only was it compatible with my devices, it also made the most sense since I already have a PayPal account (no need to have to deal with two different account sign-ins). My money automatically goes into my PayPal account and doesn't take very long for it to show up there.
Isn't it great to have such wonderful resources right at your fingertips? I hope you find them as helpful as I have!

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