4 Web Tools at Your Service

Andrew Lock

You know the small business credo: time is money. Well, check out these four small business Web tools for ways to save money on gas, avoid time-consuming website registrations, schedule meetings efficiently and outsource repairs and chores to skilled professionals.

Find Cheap Gas

A must-have Web tool, GasBuddy.com aims to help anyone in the United States track down the cheapest gas prices. Simply enter your city and state or your zip code, and in a few seconds you’ll see a list of the cheapest places to buy gas.

Site also features a handy display of the top 10 lowest gas prices by city, so you can see how much you’re getting ripped off compared to your neighbor in another state!

This is definitely a nifty use of the Internet, and you might want to bookmark this site for your next road trip, too. By the way, everyone living in St. Louis should feel very happy — they have the lowest prices right now!

GasBuddy.com; Web tools
Search for the cheapest gas in town at GasBuddy.com.
(Click for larger image)

Circumvent Website Registrations

Do you hate being bugged by pushy websites that demand that you register and login before you can access any information?  I do.  If it’s a site that I’m likely to use again then I’ll happily register, but if I’m in a rush or it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever need to access the site again, I resent having to go through a lengthy registration process.

Enter BugMeNot. A clever idea, this Web site shares logins for all kinds of sites that usually force you to register.  The site is clean, easy to use and very fast.  From the home page, you can search and find the specific login you need within a couple of seconds.

Schedule Meetings Efficiently

I really like WhenIsGood.net, because it’s so easy to use. It does one job, and it does it really well. What’s that job? It lets you plan a meeting — online — easily. More specifically, as a moderator you click a grid to indicate what times you’re available. Then you send the proposal to other people, and they can click on the grid to indicate when they’re free.

You get access to a “results” page and then see the best time for everyone — very handy indeed. WhenIsGood offers two types of free accounts, but you can also get your own branded version for about $250 a year. That might be a good option for a big corporation, but I’ll stick with the free version.

Outsource Odd Jobs

As a busy entrepreneur, you probably don’t have a lot of time to do odd jobs around the house, am I right? Well, now there’s a way to find a reliable handyman or other skilled tradesman to come and do the job for you. It’s a website called ServiceMagic, and it works like this:

First you choose a category that matches your need, next select a sub-category to get even closer to what you’re looking for, then enter your zip code and answer a couple of questions about your project. The system will then do a little bit of work behind the scenes, and it will tell you when it finds some suitable providers for your project.

You’ll need to enter your contact info at the final stage so that the providers can send you the quotes, but the whole process is pretty much seamless. I really like the fact that the providers listed are all pre-screened by Service Magic before being recommended. Check out ServiceMagic.com, and get all those overdue jobs done around the house.

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.”

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