As a small business owner myself, I am always looking for ways to save money and improve my productivity. Below, are some of the products, services, and websites I use on a regular basis that you may find useful in your business. Each one has literally saved me either money or time.
F6S is home to 1.5 million tech founders, 600k startups and more than 12,000 startup programs globally. F6S delivers founders more than $1 billion per year in opportunities, funding, grants and services. F6S founders apply to startup programs (including accelerators), pitch investment funds, post or apply for jobs, get free founder benefits and grow on F6S every day. The F6S name comes from shortening the six letters between F and S in the word 'Founders'. They're all about tech, getting stuff done and growing. To me, this is one of the most compete sites to connect and get yourself known to the startup world. It's also chock full of local events you can attend all around the world! I suggest you start here before looking at other resources for founders and startups.
Scottie Spurzem is an amazing Accent Management Specialist. She can coach you to sound more credible in how you speak, especially if you have an accent!
Scottie works with business professionals who speak English as a Second Language (ESL) and who can benefit from accent reduction, increased vocabulary in their field of expertise, as well as improved grammar and mastery of American English. Scottie's goal is to help ESL professionals gain more confidence when presenting and conversing in English. She is a trained ESL teacher and has the Cambridge CELTA certificate, which is accepted around the world for teaching ESL to Adults.
If you have an accent and want more people to understand what you are saying, reach out to Scottie for coaching. I promise you will notice a difference after the first session.
Score.org is one of the best kept secrets on the internet for finding highly qualified people (for free) who can help you with your business challenges.
It's one thing to speak to your mentor. It's another thing to talk with a complete stranger who just might be able to give you some insights into what you are doing based on their lifelong experience. I highly recommend using this site to find people who can affect your future.
Improv4Entrepreneurs is one of the most fun and enlightening things you can do for yourself to improve your presentation and platform skills. Mary Lemmer is one of the best at guiding you and showing you ways to get out of your box so you can explore another side of you. Mary delivers workshops and offers personal coaching. Feel free to contact her directly here.
Mary is also well briefed in how investors think and work and wrote an amazing book called Straight From The Investors Mouth, which contains 111 pieces of advice for entrepreneurs looking to raise money and work with investors. It's an excellent read and will give you new insights and validate some of your assumptions regarding how investors think.
sli.do is one of the most amazing audience interaction tools I have ever come in contact with. Using this product, any speaker can instantly give every audience member a voice.
sli.do allows the speaker to have people in the audience ask questions anytime without raising their hands using their smartphones, tablets or computers! It even allows other audience members to vote on the questions being asked by the audience so the most important ones get answered first!
In addition, sli.do instantly allows you to poll the audience for a real time response either anonymously or by name! By using the polling features of sli.do, presenters can engage their audiences more effectively and adjust based on the results of the poll. I highly recommend using sli.do, especially if you are a Prezi presenter.
VoiceBunny is one of the coolest resources around for anyone who needs a voice over on a video or a professional audio recording of any text or talk. You choose the gender, age, tone, and several other specifics about the voice you want.
I met this company at DEMO two years ago and they are going gangbusters with their service. I have used this service several times with great success. They have even modified their business so that you can actually select several voices before you decide which one you keep for the recording.
TranscribeMe is a wonderful service that can take any audio recording and transcribe it for you. Their automation is amazingly accurate and fast. I have worked with them on several projects and the results still amaze me, especially at $1 per minute for a single speaker and $2 per minute for multiple speakers.
If you have any recording you want to be transcribed into readable text, this is the place to get it done and fast! They also provide multiple languages to choose from so you get the most effective voice over you could hope for.
This is a group of amazing PhD'ers who love nothing more than to take your documents, websites, executive summaries, or any written material and correct the grammar and punctuation.
This is especially useful for people outside the United States. However, I personally use them for every public facing written document (except tweets and blog posts) because I did not pay close attention in Grammar classes in school.
The team at Edit911.com will literally take your document and return it with fully corrected grammar and punctiation very quickly. Please tell Marc, Nathan sent you!
Amazon Mechanical Turks is one of the best kept secrets on the internet. There are literally hundreds of thousands of real people or "Turks" waiting for you to ask them to do something that a computer is unable to do.
For example, maybe you have three logos to choose from and you cannot make a final selection. Ask 100 Turks what they think and your answers will be in your hands within hours. What if you need to find out which of the ten pictures you show them made them most happy and why?
Again, ask as many Turks as you want and have your answers in a very short time. You decide what you pay for each answer and you also get to approve or disapprove every answer. Warning: Be careful of Bots answering your HIT's. I go through every answer to be sure a Bot does not get paid.
Need a beautifully designed and professionally written brochure or flyer for your business, product, service, or event in a hurry? The people at Tweak.com have done 95% of the work for you.
All you need to do is choose the template for the resulting output you want to begin the process. Then, because the formatting, pictures, AND copy are already done, all you need to do is "tweak" it with your logo, company name, and contact information.
Finally, tweak the copy a bit to match more closely what you want and you are done in minutes rather than hours or days. Please let the good people in Ireland know that Nathan sent you their way.
When you find a tool or service that gives you an added advantage when presenting, please let me know. I am always looking for new and interesting ways to captivate an audience. If you offer a cool service and want it listed here, let me know. Feel free contact me anytime.