Throughout the month of March on the Webs blog, we’ve been talking about the tools small business owners need to succeed. From email marketing to promotional materials to ecommerce tools, we’ve covered a lot of ground.

Below you’ll find a quick reference guide to the kinds of tools every small business owner should have in their toolkit, along with some examples in each category to get you thinking. If you have other suggestions of great tools you find helpful, please share them in the comments below or on our Webs Facebook Page!

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No small business tools series would be complete without mentioning our friends at Vistaprint. Possibly best known for their business card services, Vistaprint’s specialty is really communication, in many forms, between small businesses and their present and future customers. While Vistaprint also offers a number digital services, today we’re going to focus on the uses of their wide variety of printed materials. These include tools to:

Communicate your brand.
Once you’ve decided on an identity for your business — a logo, tagline, colors, etc. — you need to make sure that all of your materials share that look. From the business cards you hand out when networking, to the stationery you write business letters on, everything that people associate with you should display the elements of your brand.

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In last week’s post about analytics tools for small business owners, we talked about how Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools can help you figure out where your traffic is coming from and how to get more of it. So what happens after you’re gotten those visitors to your page? Are they clicking and converting, or leaving without interacting the way you’d like them to?

To take your analytics to the next level and start making changes to your pages that will directly affect your conversion numbers, consider a heatmapping service. One popular choice in this industry is Crazy Egg.

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It’s hard to overstate the importance of Google for small businesses. While big brands are using their big budgets on flashy advertising strategies, Google provides an avenue for the underdogs to get their content out there by optimizing their sites for organic search. It doesn’t matter how big your budget is if your site isn’t coming up in your customers’ Google searches!

Google offers a number of helpful tools to help small business owners turn their sites into well-oiled traffic machines. Two we’d like to recommend that you look into are:

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Our roundup of useful tools for your small business toolkit continues today with a walk on the practical side.

If there are two things that small businesses are short on — almost by definition — it’s time and space. That’s why it’s important to have great tools on hand to help keep all of your files organized and out of the way. Enter: The Cloud.

Why store your important documents in bulky file cabinets and on breakable, scratchable CDs when you could store them in a magical place in the sky? Sure there are some documents you need to keep paper copies of. But for everything else, going digital can save you lots of time and space in your office (read: kitchen table)

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Our series on tools for small business owners continues this fine Monday with some options for editing your own images.

The importance of great imagery for your website and printed materials can’t be overstated. Images are a great way to draw visitors and prospective customers in and show them something about your business’s personality. But not all images are created equal. If your images are too dark, distorted from resizing, or show things that should be cropped out, they can have a detrimental effect on your brand.

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Planning how you’ll communicate and find customers for your small business is an important first step. But once you’re all set with tools for your small business website, your social media profiles, and your email marketing campaigns, it’s time to get down to step number two: selling stuff!

This is a great time to be a small business owner offering a product or service. Technology has made leaps and bounds toward allowing smaller operations to compete with big brands that can afford big brick and mortar locations. There are lots of tools out there to help you market and collect payment for whatever you have to sell. Today we’ll talk about two popular solutions: Etsy and Square.

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It’s a chilly, gloomy Wednesday here in Silver Spring, Maryland, so we’re happy to feature an example site full of beautiful photos of tropical fruits!

Today’s example site, Wilstra Foods, was actually built as part of a recent contest among members of the Webs support team. The challenge was to build a great site using Webs’ SiteBuilder3 platform and using the features to the maximum. And we think today’s website does just that! Which is probably why Damion was the contest winner…

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Here in week two of our series on helpful tools for small business owners, we’re going to talk about a new tool from our friends at Pagemodo that is really two tools in one. Pagemodo Posts is an exciting tool for social media content posting, but it’s really also a time management tool.

Any small business owner who has genuinely managed a social media presence (as opposed to the ‘set it and forget it’ approach of creating a profile and never interacting with it) knows how time consuming it can be to search the internet for engaging and relevant content to share with their followers. Not only finding it, but also remembering to log in periodically throughout the day to post multiple times (2-3 posts per day is recommended for best engagement).

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Our series on essential tools for small business owners continues with a guest post from our very own Email Marketing Manager, Erin King. A good email marketing program is an essential tool for growing your small business and increasing your revenue. The first step? Finding the right Email Service Provider, or ESP. Follow Erin’s advice, and your program is sure to be a success.

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Emailing family and friends is second nature for most of us, but sending an email on behalf of your business is a different playing field entirely.  Not only do you want a slick email design to attract customers, but there are government guidelines that dictate what you can and cannot send.  No need to be overwhelmed, though — an email service provider, or ESP, can help you navigate these challenges.

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