As a small business owner of several businesses I have searched all over the internet to find tools to help me run my small business better. These are some of my favorite tools and websites.

Small Business Tools – Google Mail

Google mail is a great tool for small businesses because it offers much of the advantages of a hard drive based email program like Microsoft Outlook, but on the web. Now, you and your employees can access the company email from anywhere in the world. Why would you want you employees to have access to the business email account?

Gmail offers much more than just a web based email service. One of the selling points to this free service is that it has an online calendar. This way you can post events, meetings, and appointments online. Now all your employees can be kept up to date even if they are on the road or work from home.

Another neat feature of Gmail is that it offers small business owners a web based word processor and spreadsheet program. This is just anther way to make important company info accessible by employee via nothing more than an internet connection.

Of course Gmail offers all the basic email utilities too such as folders, POP3 access, address book, and more.

Small Business Tools – Mind Map

This is a really cool tool I found out about by listening to one of my favorite small business podcasts. It is a free software program you can download online. The software is a program that helps you create files of mind maps. What is a mind map? You have probably made these before, but it may have been a while, like back in high school.

A mind map is just a logical way of organizing ideas. The basic idea is that you come up with your main idea and put it in the center of the map. Then you branch out mini ideas or sub categories of that idea. It may sound complicated, but I promise it takes less the 5 minutes to learn.

I have heard of all kinds of uses for this program. Some people use it for brainstorming, other for organizing a project, creating business guidelines, or even as a filing system.

Small Business Tools – TemplatesBox

A great website can make all the difference. A great website can also cost an arm and a leg to get built. A great way to solve that problem is to get a free website template. A website template is great if you have some basic HTML knowledge and the time to devote to working on a website.

If you don’t have the time or the know how to work on a website, templates can still save you money. By buying a website template you have taken all the hard work out of the web design. All you need now is a webmaster to make the changes needed to customize your template. If you search around for a good web designer they probably won’t charge you too much for this.

TemplatesBox offers a large number of free logos, banners, and templates. They also have a paid membership that lets you access the premium content.

Small Business Tools – FreeWebspace

Now that you got your free website template all ready to be published online you will need some free web hosting. FreeWebspace is a great tool because with the click of a button it will show you pages of results for free web site hosting. It will even compare all the results side by side to help you pick the one that is best for your small business.

Small Business Tools – BraveNet

This is a really great tool to enhance your website. You do need to have some understanding of how a website is built and some basic HTML skills. This website has all kinds of things you can add to your website like message boards, blogs, polls, chat rooms and more.

They have a free service and a paid membership. The only catch to the free service is that it adds a small link back to the BraveNet site on any of the tools you use. This is great for the small business owner who needs a lot of bells and whistles on his website.

Here you can even find more information about free web hosting, free templates, and even budget hosting services. This is an all around great toll for small business owners who have some HTML skills.