There are thousands of tools and resources available to entrepreneurs and business to research business ideas, niches, markets or their next move. Here are over 50 of my tried and tested favourites to unearth business ideas, develop products and unleash your entrepreneurship awesome into the world. Start something today.
BUSINESS IDEA DEVELOPMENT
If you haven't nailed your business idea yet, no sweat, check out this article on 6 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Find The Best Business idea for You to get you off on the right foot. However, if you have a direction but are fine tuning and then you can work out the kinks with some of these idea wrestling tools. There are some great solutions to help you capture your unique brand of genius and entrepreneurship ideas.
Of course start with Google. Simply go to Google Trends and type in keywords of phrases into the 'Explore Topics' search box related to your niche or idea - if you need ideas for keywords jump down to the next section on SEO and Keyword Research. Compare keywords and phrases side-by-side to see what is bang on trend for your niche now. Other trends, topic research and open source learning is available through for some of the worlds greatest institutions, including John Hopkins and Yale and it is all free at the Open Education Consortium.
SEO AND KEYWORD RESEARCH
Once you have a handle on your topic or niche you can get to grips with the keywords that will underpin your business and help you develop content for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). It's free, fast and easy, even if you have never done it before you will quickly learn what people in your topic or niche are looking for to satisfy their craving for content or purchasing. Plus with BuzzSumo you can discover influencers in your niche. Nice!
BUSINESS COMPETITOR RESEARCH
Hey sneaky, get an insider's view of the competition. Learn about the most popular articles in your niche, the advertisements that are running, which websites are your direct competition, how those websites are built and have changed over time and their list of backlinks.
NAMES FOR PRODUCTS
Choose a unique name for your product or business.
BUSINESS PLAN ON A PAGE
A lean canvas is a simple tool to help you focus on how your business solves a real customer problem and how it can be monetised. There's nothing like a business plan on a page to focus your mind and prioritise tasks.
TASK MANAGEMENT & PRODUCTIVITY
Once you have your handy-dandy business plan you can determine and schedule tasks. Trello is awesome, plus with Trello you can share tasks with designers, writers or developers and add notes and photos. Collaborate and get to done.
CREATE A WEBSITE
Not as daunting as you might imagine. In fact it can be easy-peasy. If you would prefer a what you see is what you get solution with all the hosting and coding handled try Selz (which you can plug straight into Facebook as a store) or Squarespace both have e-commerce built in so that you can start selling straight away. If you want to have complete control over every feature function and plugin and want to sort out hosting and a domain name yourself then you can't go past the industry standard, Wordpress.
BRAND AND LOGO DESIGN
Crowd source your logo, brand or even book cover design then pick your favourite from the submissions to your brief with 99Designs. Or simply post a job and pick a designer who's work you have reviewed carefully and like from Upwork or Fiverr.
Discover the best in blogging and find out the content and blogs that rank.
Video will be one of your most powerful tools to communicate your ideas and to cement your brand. You can host on the following platforms but of course you can do live video broadcasts from Periscope, Facebook Live, Livestream.
EMAIL LIST AND NEWSLETTER CREATION
Check out my picks for creating newsletters, lists and communications for your tribe. MailChip and Mad Mimi are both delightfully simple.
Turn visitors into customers with email collection direct from your website or circulate traffic.
COURSE LESSON PLANNING & CREATION TOOLS
Thinking about creating a membership website or home study course to share or sell. There are a number of great platforms and open source content that you can try
Insert yourself into the news cycle and create a profile for the media to connect with you.
- Sourcebottle (Australia)
- Help A Reporter Out (USA + others)
- PR Newswire
Snoop on the performance and ranking of your competitors’ websites. And your own.
Once you have created your product, ebook or home study course extend your channels and sales through affiliates. Or find prodcuts that your customers would love and add them to your website and take a clip of each sale.
Online Business In A Day Toolbox
When you just need to get your business idea live in a day you can't go past Selz, Leadpages and Mailchimp. Create your online business in a day with these three simple solutions. This is my recipe for success and a simple way to get your business idea out the door and live.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BUSINESS IDEAS AND STARTUP TOOLS?
There are many wonderful tools around and great new ones coming out all the time. I would love to know what tools you like to use to get your idea out of your head and into market. Let me know so I can add your suggestions to this post. Let's make it better together.