Let’s make things simpler. Creating a startup is a ton of work, so to help you, I have pulled together a toolbox of some of my favorite resources so you do not have to look all over the web. I’ll add to it as I come across other great resources and will reference articles to these resources. Don’t forget to bookmark this page for quick reference. Please let me know if you have any helpful recommendations.
Disclosure: Please be aware that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you make a purchase. I recommend each of the companies because I believe they are helpful. Please take the time to evaluate how they will fit your needs and help you achieve your goals.
Shopify – (FREE 14-Day Trial) There are numerous e-commerce Solutions available, many are easy to use, however, there is only one that I would recommend. Shopify is easy to use, with 100+ professional themes, mobile ready, social media integration, built in content management, blogging, you can easily brand your storefront. As your business grows, you will be thankful that there is more to Shopify then just the sexy storefront; they have covered your back office as well.
Shopify is level-1 PCI compliant, so you don’t need to worry about the security of your customers’ credit card data, you can sleep at night while Shopify processes payments for you. They also will automatically handle major country and state tax rates to help you stay compliant.
Lastly, Shopify is works to make your life easy, with dropshipping integration with apps like Ordoro (discussed below) to manage all your sales channels on eBay, Amazon and many more.
WordPress Web Hosting
Hostgator – I run InspireYourStartup.com on Hostgator web hosting with 1-click automatic WordPress installation. I have had a great experience and have always been so pleased with their customer support, quick responses and services provided. It is super easy to use, with the 1-click automatic WordPress installation or their WordPress specific hosting. With 24 hour customer support, unmetered storage, unlimited Domains and unlimited email accounts, I have been completely satisfied using Hostgator.
Bluehost – While I use Hostgator, you could also consider using Bluehost. Bluehost is currently WordPress.org’s recommended web hosting. They also have 1-click automatic WordPress installation, updates are made available within 24 hours, unlimited disk storage, unlimited domains on one account, and one free domain name with your account.
Product Sourcing & Fulfillment
Salehoo – This is the first tool I purchased over 10 years ago, when I was looking to start my first e-commerce store. With over 8,000 suppliers and 1 million products in the wholesale database, you should be able to find some great products in here. Even better than the database of wholesale suppliers, is the member forum where you can ask questions, and get tips from the community.
Ordoro – (15 Day Free Trial) The Smartest Shipping App in the World, with built-in inventory management. Ordoro is a one stop shop that combines all of your shopping carts, marketplaces and shipping accounts together in one place. Don’t miss an order and upset your customer, while managing your inventory across your numerous sales channels. Ordoro integrates with Shopify, Bigcommerce, eBay, Amazon, 3dcart, Shopsite, FedEx, UPS and DYMO Endicia (for USPS shipping)!
Google Search – (FREE) What, you have already heard of Google? Me too! I still love it as one of my favorite tools to find new wholesalers that aren’t being used by hundreds of other e-commerce stores. Here’s my trick – I think of a niche product that isn’t saturated on the web and google “manufacture of (enter product here)”. The first page will be filled with all the manufactures / dropshippers that everyone is using. However, if you dare to venture on the third, forth even fifth page of the search results, you are going to start finding some great manufactures, that don’t have the internet savvy. That’s were I find great product that isn’t saturated on eBay and other online channels.
Website Design and Support
99Designs.com – Design is such an important factor in gaining your audience’s trust. 99Designs gets multiple designers competing to provide the best design to get paid. They can fulfill all of your creative needs from logos, to full website concepts.
CyberChimps – iFeature Pro Theme – This is the WordPress theme and framework that InspireYourStartup.com uses. The theme is fully responsive to mobile devices, lets you set up all pages at once, or individually design each page’s template. Already built in are new drag and drop elements including the new touch-friendly iFeature Slider, custom drag and drop header and logo options, portfolio, callout section, widgets, boxes, breadcrumbs, carousel, recent posts, Twitter bar and much more.
Social Media, Advertising & Email Tools
Hootsuite – (FREE 30 Day Trial) – Keeping track of all the social media channels is super challenging. Hootsuite is a comprehensive free solution to help schedule, manage and track your social media posts. Give it a try, its Free!
Google Apps & Email with your Domain – Stop looking like an amateur. Make sure your email’s are from your domain name (JonDoe@Yourdomain.com). Google makes it easy to look like a pro. It’s like using gmail, but with your domain name. Use our exclusive code CVDXDNAG3V6AF6 to save $10 per user for your first year on Google Apps.
Aweber – Seamlessly integrate with Shopify, WordPress, Facebook, PayPal, Salesforce, and many more to support all of your marketing programs. The mobile-ready sign up forms and email templates will help you reach your audience on any device. This is tool that I use to build my email list and newsletter.
SumoMe – (FREE Option) Another great app we use on InspireYourStartup.com! See where you readers are clicking on a heat map, build your email list and make it easy to share your content on social media. All with one easy to use and FREE app. They power over 100,000 websites, why are you using it.
Warfare Plugins – Increase social share and drive traffic to your site through social media. Warefare provides a powerful and beautifully designed plug-in that lets your readers share great content on social media.