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3 Online Tools I Use to Run the Business
18th July 2011
As I meet more and more people in the landscaping industry and I learn more and more online I realise that it’s not just advertising that keeps us growing sustainably without too much pushing.Through making connections, building relationships and showing who you really are, there is so much opportunity to show people what your business can offer them. Technically you’re already selling yourself, by doing your job well and having an approachable presence should your services be needed.
Over the past year or two I’ve become much more aware on what lies in the future for landscaping businesses amongst every other business out there not seeing the common theme occurring.
I’ve listened to over 4000 hours of podcasts to learn all i could about technology, the internet, business, plant propagation, garden design..and the list goes on, while I worked hard to build the business through word of mouth and through ‘keeping my nose to the grindstone’ as my grandad would say. After work I would go home and practice what I had learnt, sometimes until I heard the birds tweet on the weekends!
As another birthday passes and with a beautiful two year old girl it becomes clear that late nights aren’t always as productive as they could be, so the tools I found online have also helped me to use what little time I had much more wisely. I wanted to share what i believe are the best places to get started online for your company and for helpful and productive tools that will make life general.
Friends, colleagues and family have started to ask me what tools I use to blog about our projects, build the site and invoice online so thought it might be great to give these resources through a post so that people could click on the links as they read the blog if they wished.
Below are 3 Tools I used to run different aspects of the business in the most efficient way.
Website Platform and Blogging
The website platform that is in my opinion the easiest to use for building a website and to incorporate a blog to document the companies happenings. This is used by hundreds of thousands of
companies from SMEs to huge corporations because of it’s ability to be easily adapted whenever you need it to through the admin system. I have a hosting account which costs no more than £65 year and offers a one click install button for wordpress making it even easier. This account is with Bluehost which I provide a link to on the next tool. WordPress is absolutely the best choice for most companies in my opinion and through my research and use of it for over a year I dont have a bad word to say about and I never endorse a product that I don’t believe you would benefit from.
An amazingly priced hosting company with unlimited domains and live talk should you have any problem. This allows you to type your questions and get immediate answers from a member of the bluehost team should you have any problems late at night! You have a control panel for everything including domain manager to enable you to keep control of your content.
An invoicing programme that I’ve only been using a few months but it, without a doubt has halved the time for invoicing and gives the clients updated, online records, notification of payment, paypal payments…and the list goes on! Highly recommended and easily branded with your company logo.
Although people might think I’m mad for giving these valuable tools away that I’ve learned how to use from scratch, I really don’t want to hold anything back, and like giving my clients the best service offline I wanted to give our readers the most valuable information online.
This is by no means all of what I use to help us to communicate with our clients but I thought as people were wanting to help their business grow and better themselves online then why not give away some of the best resources I’ve found to date. Let me know. Whether you’d like to hear more about growing your business at [email protected] or whether I should stick to the gardening!
I’ve been pondering this post for a few days with the anxiety of what this has to do with what we offer as a service, and I finally realise that i have a huge amount of thanks to give to online services in helping me communicate with the outside world being Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex.
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