3 Web Tools for Your Small Business

By Andrew Lock | Posted November 23, 2010

Andrew Lock

Get Things Done with Small Business Web Tools

Any one of these three Web tools will make a great addition to your small business marketing toolkit. Whether you use 5Min to learn more about business or to promote your own expertise, find free photos for your marketing materials on StockVault or create slick covers for just about anything you can publish, these Web tools will help you do it faster, better and cheaper.

5Min

This handy Web tool, 5 Minute Life Videopedia, is kind of like YouTube in that it allows anyone to post videos, but it’s unlike YouTube in that it is a central repository for short -- less than 5 minutes in length -- videos that explain a solution to a problem, provide a practical tip, or help people learn something. 

5 Minute Life Videopedia; Web tools
5 Minute Life Videopedia (5min.com)
(Click for larger image)
.

The site offers how-to or instructional videos on a whole bunch of projects ranging from how to make an omelet, how to do a task in Photoshop, or how to play a particular song on a guitar.  And it also has videos that might be of interest to you as a business owner or an entrepreneur. 

If you look under the Business category, you'll find videos on how to balance your budget, effective ways to ask for business help, or how to manage your credit card debt. Subcategories cover topics like career coaching, the economy, investing, legal matters, sales, and legal issues. The marketing section offers copywriting tips, how to do split testing, segmentation and other subjects dealing with marketing. 

If you're an entrepreneur on the Web, and you want to be recognized as a knowledge-leader in your area of expertise, it would be a good idea for you to produce a short instructional video on something that you’re particularly interested in and upload it here. 

Whether you want to find answers to a lot of your business questions, learn how to do something new or brand and market yourself as an expert, you can do it at 5 Minute Life Videopedia.

StockVault

Welcome to StockVault, a freat Web tool with almost 14,000 photographs that you can get for free.  Now, just yesterday I paid several dollars to pull photographs on another site.  If I had known about this, I would have had a free solution to my situation. 

StockVault.net; Web tools
StockVault.net
(Click for larger image)
.

For example, you could type “Yoga” into the site search box to see if they have any yoga photographs. And they do.  So if I needed a photograph for a yoga page or a yoga studio, I could find a bunch of them here.

The site also offers other things that you can get for free. For example there's a tutorial on how to use Photoshop to make a sinister-looking sky.  And they’ll walk you step-by-step to make the photograph look a little bit dangerous and a little bit sinister.  Again, it's absolutely free.

They have a number of how-to videos to learn all about photography: the essence of photography, depth-of-field photography and all sorts of hints and tips for photography folks. Plus, there are all kinds of photography articles that you can read. 

This Web tool offers free images and all manner of tips on photography. Be sure to go take a look at StockVault.net.

Cover-Action Pro

It took me a long time to find Web tool, but boy was it worth it.  Everyone I share this with can’t believe the amazing quality.  It’s called Cover Action Pro.

CoverActionPro.com; Web tools
CoverActionPro.com
(Click for larger image)
.

In one or two clicks it creates the most stunning graphics -- e-book covers, CDs, DVDs, magazines, software boxes, and so on.  And not only is the quality the best I’ve ever seen, it produces the graphics in 300 dpi -- which means they’re print-quality.  So you can use them on postcards, mailers, and the like. 

The only downside is that you need Adobe Photoshop version 7.0 or higher because it’s a plug-in for Photoshop.  Now on the positive side, I had a look on eBay and I found Photoshop 7 for less than $100, so bear that in mind.

But the bottom line is, if you need these kinds of graphics, there’s nothing that comes close to the ease and the quality of Cover-Action Pro.


You'll find lots more small business marketing tips and resources from Andrew Lock in our Small Business In-Depth series, Lock in Your Marketing Resources.
Andrew Lock is a self-described maverick marketer and the creator and host of Help! My Business Sucks, a free, weekly Web TV show full of practical small business marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses "get more done and have more fun."

Do you have a comment or question about this article or other small business topics in general? Speak out in the SmallBusinessComputing.com Forums. Join the discussion today!


Comment and Contribute


     

    Get free tips, news and advice on how to make technology work harder for your business.

    Submit
    Learn more
     
    You have successfuly registered to
    Enterprise Apps Daily Newsletter
    Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date