Web Tools for Small Business Marketing

Andrew Lock

For stock images, that is photos and illustrations that someone else has created, arguably the most well-known name is iStockPhoto.com — you might be familiar with them.  But there’s a new player in town that’s causing quite a stir.  It’s called Vivozoom.

I don’t particularly like the name, but it has two unique selling points: Firstly, it guarantees that the images are safe to use.  In other words, there’s no likelihood of any problems from the owners of an image.  Apparently that’s a bigger issue than most of us realize. Vivozoom makes a big deal of it, letting you know that even some well-known stock photo sites don’t guarantee that their images are safe to use without any legal recourse. 

The other big benefit to Vivozoom is that it claims that its images are at least 40 percent cheaper than iStockPhoto.  Now that’s a pretty wild claim, and I decided to put it to the test.  Sure enough, it does appear that the images are significantly cheaper than iStock, which I always considered to be one of the best values. 

I’ve also been very impressed with the variety of images available at Vivozoom. I searched on some pretty obscure topics, and I actually found plenty to choose from.  So I’m happy to recommend Vivozoom to you.  Watch out, iStock — there’s a serious competitor hot on your heels.

Tungle: Appointment Scheduler

Have you ever had one of those email exchanges where you’re trying to set an appointment for a meeting and it goes something like this:

“How about Wednesday at 2:00?”

“No, I can’t do that.  How about Thursday at 1?”

“No, I can’t make that.  I could do Thursday at 4 instead.”

Well, I’m traveling then; what about Friday at 3?”

Sound familiar?  Well, all of that nonsense is easily fixed with a nifty resource called Tungle.me.  It’s an online scheduling system that ties into your existing calendar.  When you want someone to arrange an appointment with you, just send them to your Tungle page online and they can easily see exactly the times when you’re available. 

They can also pick a day and a time based on that information and then Tungle will email you with the details.  Really, it makes the whole process of arranging meetings so much faster and easier.  There’s also an iPhone app that goes with it.  I also forgot to mention that Tungle is completely free.

Rentometer.com; small business marketing, Web tool
(Click for larger image)

Rentometer: Rent Analysis

In this economy housing rental prices seem to have fallen in many areas, unsurprisingly.  So you might be wondering if you’re getting a fair deal.  Well, there’s a site for that. 

It’s called Rentometer.com and on the homepage you simply enter your address and the amount that you’re currently paying, and the site will cross-reference other homes in the area to show you what others are paying.  You can easily see if you’re getting a good deal, or maybe you’re being robbed by a greedy landlord. 

I love sites like this that do one job really well.  It’s a useful service, it’s fast and easy and it’s free, too.  You can’t beat that.  Check out Rentometer to compare rental prices anywhere in the U.S. of A.

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 marketing tips, advice and resources to help small businesses “get more done and have more fun.”

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