Must Have Business Resources

If it's one thing I'd like for EVERYONE running a small business to do, it's COVER THE BASICS, so with that in mind, please take these three steps when starting your small business:

1. Get a custom email account that represents you or your company: I've talked previously about "Getting a Custom Email Account", so I won't spend the time here convincing you why you need one, I'll just point you in the direction of GoDaddy, where you can purchase your name as a domain or your company name, and then create a FREE email account afterwards.COM domains still come with a FREE EMAIL ACCOUNT, which means that whatever price you pay to get your domain (I think the current sale price is around $8-$10/year), you also get a 1GB email address with it.  Word of warning when buying from GoDaddy though: KNOW WHAT YOU NEED BEFORE YOU GET THERE, BECAUSE THEY MAKE THEIR MONEY ON UPSELLS MOST FOLKS DON'T NEED!  Getting your own domain is probably one of the cheapest and smartest things you can do, and I can't tell you how many times I've shaken my head at someone seeking do to serious business off of a yahoo or gmail email account.  It ALWAYS sends the message that you're not serious about your business, so why should I be?

Sample Business Card | Bootstrapping Without Boots2. Get some business cards: I've caught some flack from folks when I tell them NOT to get Vista Print business cards, but that comes from people misunderstanding my instructions.  It's not that Vista Print is a bad company, in fact, they seem to offer very economical rates on printed products, even if their customer service is always bemoaned as lacking.  My biggest issue with people that have Vista Print cards is that they often have the FREE cards that have "Vista Print" posted on the back, and THAT I believe is a big small business "no-no", because once again, it says "I'm not serious enough about my business to pay any money into it, so why should you?".  So, to be clear, Vista Print cards are okay if you're putting a little bit of money into them, and just not skating by on the freebie cards they give you.  Plus, anyone that's ever gotten those free cards can tell you that it's just an "in" to an upsell on future products OR even an upsell into better business cards, that will end up costing you more than you would have spent had you originally visited the site with the intention to buy those quality cards in the first place.  So, with that being said, my recommendation for where you should get your business cards from is  Vista Print works, but MOO makes the best business card statement, in my opinion.  Of course if you're feeling REALLY adventureous, you can go with's miniCards to send a memorable message.

3. Get started in your company's website: After you've purchased your domain from GoDaddy, I'd suggest you put up a quick page that says your website is under construction.  Or, if you're feeling adventureous, you can always use GoDaddy's Website Tonight Program and plop up a few pages that state who you are, what you do, and how you can be contacted.  For the $4/month this costs, it's well worth it!  Also, I'd advise, if you're going to use Website Tonight, only get it on a month-to-month basis, with the long-term goal being to change it into a more permanent site at a date in the near future, unless all you need is an "online business card", in which case Website Tonight should suffice.

Once you get these three bases covered, you'll be ready to move on to the next steps of growing your business!