From the Blog

I thought quitting the 9 to 5 grind was supposed to freedom, while at the same time giving me the opportunity to do something I love. When you start out on your own you feel like you can take over the world and run your business by yourself. “That’s why I started this dream in the first place anyway, right?” Wrong. Starting and running any business doesn’t come easy. As time went by I started to pile on task after task, and eventually it started to get daunting. I got caught up in the maintenance and technicalities of it all.

You start to lose steam and the once kick-you-in-the-butt ambitions you once had are gone. I was right back in the grind again, working in my business instead of on my business. I was on the verge of finding another J-O-B (Just Over Broke). There’s got to be a better way I thought, so I started to research the possibilities.

How could I automate all the menial time consuming tasks into a well-oiled business machine? Product fulfillment, emails, marketing and social networking can turn a vibrant business into a stagnant business, if they’re not handled correctly.

If you haven’t automated your business yet, then now’s the time. I found and use 12 online automation tools that simplify your business and life, that you can start using right now. These powerful tools will finally make your business what it should be, a well-oiled machine.

1) MindJetManager: Are your thoughts and business plans as scattered as the papers on your desk? Don’t know where to start on your business from day to day? Or you’re like me and have bad time management skills? Well, MindJetManager can help you with this.

MindJetManager is a visual mind mapping software that does a whole lot more. MJM can help you come up with ideas, structure your tasks, plan your business structure and a long list of other features.

MJM needs to be at the top of your list of tools to try out, and with a 30-day kick the tires trial, you can’t lose.

2) SalesBoom: is a powerful all-in-one business management tool that makes running any business push button easy. Contact management, customer service and support tools, sending mass emails, business intelligence and analytics just scratch the surface of this great automation tool. There are no large upfront fees to start either, so you can compete with the big boys now.

3) Attaain: Any business owner worth his weight in gold needs to keep up on current trends in his industry, and monitor his competition on a day-to-day basis. With Attaain you can accomplish this and then some. Over 32 million companies from around the world, people and markets are extracted in real time from news sources, articles, blogs, social media, online documents, company websites and lots more.

This is great intelligence overload in a powerful automation tool, and its affordable, for under ?96 a month, you can’t beat it.

4) 1Shopping Cart: When you’ve got products to sell you need a streamlined shopping cart system. 1Shopping Cart processes online payments, helps you deliver digital and physical products, run affiliate programs, track sales and contact your customers and affiliates.

Big name marketers on and off the net depend on this tool for their day-to-day business activities. If you don’t have this tool yet, then go take a look.

5) DLGuard: Got a downloadable product? Well, DLGuard is for you. This software script takes about 15 minutes to install on your website, and password protects your digital products by issuing new customers a unique username and password.

It’s enough to make you angry when thieves steal the hard work you’ve done. This shouldn’t be a worry anymore with DLGuard.

6) Acquisio: If you use PPC to market your business then Acquisio is the right tool for you. This nifty tool integrates optimization, reporting and bid management all in one. Not only that, Acquisio brings it up a notch with trends monitoring, rules based bidding and advanced optimization tools.

If you want to win at PPC then this tool will give you that edge.

7) Aweber: The most powerful autoresponder tool on the market today. This is a must for any serious business owner. You can also send messages to your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and a 64p first month trial is great if you’re pinching by.

8) and Onlywire: Two marketing automation tools that must be in your arsenal if you want to maximize profits and time. At the push of a button mass syndicates your articles and blog posts to the top 40 social networking sites on the web.

Onlywire is a similar tool with a few different bookmarking and social networks as, with 42 sites instead of 40. When you sign up for both powerful marketing tools, turn off the duplicate services in either one or you’ll double post your content.

9) Twhirl: is another free tool that goes hand-in-hand with Twhirl connects to your Twitter account seamlessly, while at the same time automatically posting to your account every time you post to your Twitter page. This is pure synergistic power in a couple tools. Use Twhirl to let the world know you’re there without expensive SEO services.

10) BYOAudio: Do you use podcasts to promote your business? If you’re not, then podcasting can get you to the top of the search engines quick. The only downfall is submitting your podcasts to hundreds of podcast directories.

That’s where BYOAudio comes in. BYOAudio shares and syndicates your podcast to top podcast directory sites on the web. More exposure in different marketing mediums means more traffic and sales for your business.

11) TubeMogul: Google loves video, if you’re using video to market your business then you’re on the right track. Submitting your video’s to the top directories across the web is monotonous and time consuming. Time is money, and you need everything you can get.

TubeMogul helps with this menial time wasting task. At the push of a button you submit your video to the top video sharing sites on the web, and you can do all this for free.

12) SubmitYourArticle: The last automation power tool on the list is the cherry on top. SubmitYourArticle is an article promotion service that gets you more backlinks and exposure at the push of a button. SYA has 7 high-powered features that give your articles more exposure and backlinks, than if you were to submit to just one article directory site.

Running your own business isn’t easy, and don’t kid yourself, you couldn’t do everything even if you tried.

If you want to build an empire in your industry, automation and delegation are the keys to success and simplification of your life. Focus on what’s important in your business, and leave the menial time consuming tasks to your tools.

If you give any of the 12 tools above a try you’re sure to find your day-to-day sweet spot. Just keep going and try one or two tools each day until you’ve built a well-oiled business machine for yourself, that works even when your on the beach having fun and enjoying your money, instead of being a slave to it.

Copyright © 2011 Muse Design Guide:: Ideas and Development for Passive Income Streams.

Muse Design Guide: Ideas and Development for Passive Income Streams


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