5 Neat Tools for Starting a Home-Based Business

Starting a home-based business used to require a huge investment, a ton of start-up costs, and a steep learning curve. Today, with the help of the cloud, starting a business out of your home is far simpler and cheaper. Not only are cloud-based services cheap and easy to use, most have extensive customer support to help you get set up and avoid the headaches of figuring out how to backup your files or how to build a website from scratch.

Our friends at NextAdvisor have laid out some great cloud-based tools to help get your home business up and running with minimal investment and no hassles.

LegalZoom: Starting a business can involve a ton of paperwork, legal issues, and worst of all – lawyers. LegalZoom is a web-based company that was created to help small business owners set up their business without having to spend countless hours filling out forms or racking up billable hours from a lawyer. LegalZoom can help you figure out the best business structure for your needs, find the right forms to get started, and even file the paperwork on your behalf. They also have a great resource section to help you understand the legal issues that your business may encounter.

Other options include RocketLawyer, BizFilings, and CorpNet.

eVoice: eVoice is a virtual phone service that allows you to set up a business phone line and forward it to any phone, anywhere. The service provides good call quality, and easy and intuitive interface, phone conferencing, and even additional extensions. eVoice also lets you record a custom greeting or automatic message that callers will hear when they reach you. The service starts at $10 per month for 300 minutes and two extensions.

Other similar services include RingCentral, Grasshopper, and Phone.com.

HostMonster: It’s next to impossible to start a business without a website these days but learning to code or hiring a web designer can be time consuming and costly. HostMonster is a simple-to-use affordable web hosting option that makes creating your own website or blog a breeze. HostMonster works with a number of simple and straight forward website building services like WordPress and Weebly but also helps you set up more complex add-ons like eCommerce solutions and email addresses for your domain in a clear and easy-to-follow way.

Other web hosting solutions include HostGator, Yahoo Web Hosting, Go Daddy and FatCow.

GoToMeeting: Online meetings have become the norm in the business world and GoToMeeting makes it simple to virtually host a meeting, whether you need to communicate with three people or thirty. GoToMeeting provides excellent VoIP call quality, screen sharing, and remote control. Plans start at $49 per month for up to 25 users.

Other options include WebEx, Fuze Meeting, and Acrobat Connect.

Carbonite: When you run your entire business out of your home, your files, documents, and data are typically stored on one computer. This makes it imperative to constantly backup your data in case anything should happen to that computer and Carbonite does just that. Install Carbonite and the service will backup all of your information to its web servers and then regularly syncs to add new information as you go. You can also allow employees access to any or all data that you have backed up. Plans start at $19 per month.

Other cloud-based backup options include Mozy, Dropbox, and SugarSync.

With these great tools, you can get your home-based business off the ground and perform like a large enterprise!

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Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is a freelance writer based in New York City. In six years of professional writing he has covered tech and business for COED Magazine, NYC Magazine, ThisorThat, Manwall, and Padalog. He is also the resident baseball expert at SportsJerks.net and a contributor to FantasyPros.com.

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