Small Business Resources

Following is a list of small business resources that we use as a company or recommend to our clients. Some of the links to these business and marketing resources are affiliate links. This means if you purchase their product, we receive a small bit of income. Although this is true, we don’t recommend products or services only based on their affiliate programs and many of these small business resources do not have affiliate links.

If you have a favorite resource not listed here, you can send us your recommendation by using our contact form.

Marketing Tip Videos

Home Improvement Marketing Tip: Google My Business

When a person asks Google where to buy something, how does Google know how to answer them? Learn more about Google My Business by visiting this article: https://blog.kathoderay.com/how-to-update-a-google-my-business-listing

Home Improvement Marketing Tips: How to Get More Customer Reviews

How do you encourage customers to leave a positive review? First, you want to claim your listings. Next, get in the habit of asking for reviews from your best customers. Finally, respond to your reviews. Before you know it, your business will have a large number of positive reviews.

Home Improvement Marketing Tips: Using Co-op

Would you walk away from a stack of 100s? That’s exactly what you are doing when your Home Center doesn’t use your co-op funds.

Home Improvement Marketing Tip: Use more then one tactic

Home improvement projects usually so smoother when you use more than one tool. Similarly, your marketing shouldn’t only rely on one tactic. There are a lot of marketing tactics or tools available for you to use. Some of them are free, and some take a little bit more time or money.

Home Improvement Marketing Tips: Customer Reviews

Knowing what your customers are saying, can help you understand what your business is good at. It can also help you improve, if your business falls short.

Home Improvement Marketing Tips: Automate (some of) your Marketing

Is your company keeping in touch with your customers and prospects, after they ask for a quote? A lot of times we forget to do that. Our usual excuse is we are waiting for them to get back to us. Which is cool, but really the main reason is we aren’t keeping in touch is we don’t have a system in place to do so....

Blogs and Articles

Author Kathleen McQuaidby Kathleen McQuaid

Step-by-Step Guide to Post a Job on Facebook

Your Facebook Business Page can help you successfully find people to join your team. Once you find where you need to add...

Author Kathleen McQuaidby Kathleen McQuaid

How to Create an Economic Development Marketing Plan

Are you creating an Economic Development Marketing Plan for your State, County, Town or Region?

Creating and...

Author Sara Beth Jonassenby Sara Beth Jonassen

What are the Benefits of having a Content Marketing Strategy?

At first, Content Marketing was the defiant, punk cousin to traditional advertising. She was the rebel who refused to...

Digital Marketing

Mail Chimp is primarily known for helping small businesses send Email Campaigns to their customers. They have added a lot more features, including social media management, landing pages, shoppable landing pages, postcards, and more — all from a single platform. MailChimp offers a Free Basic Plan and includes Guides and Tutorials to learn the software.

Hootsuite can help you manage and schedule posts to up to 3 social profiles for free. Intagrates with Google My Business and other Marketing solutions using apps. Hootsuite offers a limited Free Basic Plan, plus Guides and Tutorials.

LiveChat: Have you visited a website recently and seen a chat window and wondered if your small business can take advantage of this? With LiveChat, you can. If your team can be available to chat live with your customers, this will be the platform for your business. It has an easy to use interface, simple set-up and affordable pricing. Kick your online customer service up a couple of notches and sign-up today. LiveChat offers a Free 14 Day Trial and Webinar Tutorials.

ChatBot can help if your business doesn’t have enough people available to be available to chat online with your customers, but you still want to interact with your customers using chat. How this works is, you create conversations to help guide your clients to find information or solve problems online. To see a chatbot at work, visit KathodeRay’s Contact page, and our Chat Landing page to see how this can work. (Each page has a unique script.) ChatBot offers a Free 14 Day Trial, as well as Guides and Tutorials.

Virtual Meetings and Phone Systems

Microsoft Teams is a free secure service by Microsoft that helps teams chat, meet, call or collaborate from anywhere. Up to 500 users, also provides free file storage and works seamlessly with other Office Apps.

Zoom is a video conferencing/screen sharing platform that can host up to 100 participants and unlimited 1 to 1 meetings for free. Offers webinar features as well. They have a Free Basic Plan, with paid plans starting at $14.99/month.

DialPad Meetings is a cloud-based business phone system that allows you to talk, hold video meetings, screenshare and more. Plans start at $15/month.

Ring Central offers full phone, texting and video conferencing with plans starting at $29.99 per month per user.

Graphics and Video Creators

Canva is a great software tool to help you create artwork for social posts, posters, brochures, business cards and more. There is a Free version to help you get started. The paid version of the program is only $119.99/year for up to 5 people.

Doodly helps you all kinds of cool whiteboard animations that can be used for sales and/or social media videos, special occasions, or just for fun. Plans start at $39/month.

Operations and Productivity Hacks

Melio Payments is a service that integrates with most accounting software platforms and allows you to schedule payments, letting them print and send checks through your bank account. (You are in complete control of the authorizations.)

Google Drive makes it easy to share and edit document and spreadsheet files. You can even chat and share notes from within a document. It’s Free, with other options to upgrade if you want to.

Slack is a chat application that helps your team stay in touch and solve problems. Also offers 1 to 1 voice and video calls plus it integrates with Office and Google Drive. There is a Free plan with Paid Programs starting at $6.67/month.

Trello is a team productivity tool, that helps you track projects and ideas. Trello offers a Free Basic Plan with paid plans starting at $10/month per user.

Ecommerce and Website Platforms

BigCommerce.com helps businesses of all sizes sell products online, their platform integrates with Amazon, Ebay, Google Shopping, Facebook and Instagram. You can get started with a Free Trial. Plans start at $29.95/month. There are many Guides and Tutorial to help you learn.

Shopify allows anyone to easily sell online and at a retail location. Includes tools to place ads on Social (Facebook) and Google; as well as create email campaigns. Register for a Free 14-day Trial. Plans start at $29/month. There are plenty of Guides and Tutorials to help you learn.

SquareSpace helps small businesses start with a basic Website and grows with them. Advanced plans offer gift cards, online and retail shopping, email marketing, appointment scheduling, Adwords credits and more. Plans start at $12/month and they offer plenty of Guides and Tutorials.

Wix is a free website builder that also has premium plans that start at $39/month. They offer over 500 customizable templates, analytics, calendars and other features.

Grants, Financial Assistance and Resources

Annuity Freedom features a website analysis and marketing recommendations micro grant ($100 per month) for Black and Minority business owners. There is no fee required to participate.

Online MBA has an intriguing list of resources for Black entrepreneurs. Their site also has a lot of other information if you are interested in obtaining your MBA degree.

HelloAlice can help you find funding, discounts, opportunities, and experts to assist you on your your small business journey – all for free.

Restaurant Strong Fund was originally started to help employees who have been employed for more than three months at a restaurant, bar, cafe or nightclub. Recently, they teamed up with Grubhub to launch the Restaurant Stronger Grant to support over 360 restaurants nationally. The grant is helping restaurants get back to business as they still feel the impact from Covid-19 restrictions.

GrantStation has a searchable database of grants, funds and loans. As of August 2021, the website is kept up-to-date with new programs added.

* FYI: A small number of these recommended products have affiliate links that would provide a bit of revenue to our company if you choose to purchase their service.

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