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Ten Websites To Help You Grow Your Business

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Are you thinking of starting your own business? Already have a business but could use some websites tips that will make your work easier? The following are 10 of my favorite, easy to use websites that help me grow and maintain my businesses, Holly Woods 'N Vines, Botanical Lifestyle Enhancers (a natural bath, body, and home product co.) and LUCIMAC Productions (the co. that brings you Here We Are).

You may recognize some of these sites; I hope you will explore the others:

1. Typepad: If it wasn't for Typepad, you would not be reading this blog entry. It is an easy to use platform with lots of bells and whistles. There is a bit of a learning curve, but after a few tries, you quickly get the hang of it.

2. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: How do you have a business without a name? You can start a business without applying for a trademark; but this topic is better explored early. Don't spend money, time, and resources only to find out later that there is a similar business using your name. This link gives you all the info you need to know before you select a name, and then what to do with it if you want to apply for a Trademark.

NOTE: Listen for our upcoming Here We Are Radio Show, we will be discussing, "What's Your Name?...Picking a Business Name & What To Do With It Next." No worries, we will post the air date on Here We Are.

3. Chrisg: The blogging guru, Chris Garrett, teaches all things blog related. If you are at all interested in starting or improving a blog for your business, learn from the master.

4 and 5. Boot Strap Babes: The name says it all. You, too, can Boot Strap your way to success, especially if you follow the advice of the Babes themselves, Donna Maria Coles Johnson and Jamila White. (Sorry, this promising site is no longer active.) And don't forget the suggested site listed on Here We Are, Indie Business where you will find another list of more great websites to add to your selection. Both blogs are packed with information, resources, and helpful discussions no matter what business you are in or thinking about starting.

6. Indie Biz Chicks: Crissy Heron is the Indie Biz Chick offering up terrific podcasts and entries to help you figure it all out. If you are wondering where to find answers about starting your "dream" business, stop by and click around, you will find them.

7. Twitter: Yes, I recently got on board the crazy train of micro-blogging. It takes a little time and practice to see results, but I have met people I would never have met without Tweeting on Twitter. I strongly suggest sticking to business matters, offering helpful information, RT (= re-tweeting) others Tweets to help get out their message, etc. If you are not sure about it yet, then at least sign up to reserve your business or blog name.

8. Dale and Thomas Popcorn: I mentioned this popcorn before as a fun holiday gift. It is a very responsive company with a great product line that I also use to send thank you gifts to business associates. Sadly, they have discontinued their Pop Club point system, BUT they are still fast at delivery, have never misplaced or sent an incorrect order, PLUS everybody who receives the popcorn likes it. What's not to like about that?

9. Staples: Tried and true office staples, PLUS free delivery for purchases over $50-; coupon specials to save money; large product selection; and great sales. Spend your valuable time building your business instead of walking the aisles looking at paper and ink.

10. American Express: Don't leave home without it...ever. The best credit card for great member benefits on travel, shopping, card protection, expense reports, and on and on and on.

As mentioned in favorite #5: The following blog, run by the Indie Beauty Network Founder and President, Donna Maria Coles Johnson, is also listing her favorite business sites to help you grow your business. We are kicking off a Tag Party for February to share information in a fun and free way to learn how to improve and grow your business.

TAG, YOU ARE IT at the Indie Business Blog!

Check it out and add your own to our list in the comments section. Wishing you much success!!!

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Thanks for your great list. I will be sure to check out the websites. The popcorn sounds fun!

Jamila White

Hey Luci!

Thanks so much for including our Bootstrap Babes blog on your list. I'm so glad you find our advice helpful! Also glad to have you as a graduate of my Supersize Your Web Sales Bootcamp - you go, girl!

Jamila White
"The E-Commerce Diva"

Luci Weston

@Bionic Beauty: What a good list you offered. Thank you! Checking them out today!

Oh BB, Wordpress is a whole other world to me...not being tech savvy made the choice easy for me to go with Typepad.

Again, so true about the trademark issue. Better safe than sorry!

Bionic Beauty

I love Wordpress. :) Nothing against TypePad, but each person has their own individual blogging platform fit, right?

And I second Twitter and Indie Business... both are so extremely helpful.

And your mention of the trademark office is perfect. So many people do not consider that until it's too late.

Here are a few that I consider helpful:
www.problogger.net (Darren blog's about blogging!), Yahoo Answers (Build up a profile on there by providing quality answers to people's questions in your area of expertise), Shai Coggin's 52 Weeks of Community (shaicoggins.com). 52WoC helps you be a better blogger/website owner/creative, assists you in learning new ways to build your online reputation, and plus it's actually pretty darn fun!

Luci Weston

@Penny: You are so right. This is a "must do" BEFORE you pick a name for any business.

Readers: If you haven't been to the USPTO site, it might seem a bit overwhelming, but use the link I supplied and go to the Trademark page directly. Start making your way through the info. By the end, you will have a better understanding of how to proceed. Who knows? If you realize the name you wanted is already used, it will spur you on to come up with an even better one!


Great list of links to help new or small biz owners. I highly suggest checking out the Patent/Trademark site. It saved me from picking a name that was already trademarked. Checking there saved me lots of time, money and future problems.

Luci Weston

@Donna Marie, @Janine, @Sharon, @Ching Ya: So glad my list helps. There are so many sites to surf, it saves time and worry to narrow down by recommendations.

Has anyone tried a new site they want to share? Could even be a bad review...a warning is important, too.

Sharon Gnatt Epel  La Isha Inc.

Hi Luci!

Very useful information for anyone thinking about starting a business...Will look forward to hearing more tidbits from you in the future!

Janine N

Took your advice in a past shopping post about Dale and Thomas popcorn. WOW! The ambrosia flavor was awesome! If anyone feels the need to send me a gift, this popcorn is "ear-resistable" Hah!

Ching Ya

Wow, very informative! Most of the notes here I hadn't heard of until now. Will give it all a browse. Sure hope one day could monetize the site while having fun doing it. Thanks Luci, you're always a great info-provider! Great job!

Account Deleted

Hi Luci! These are great resources. I have to try the popcorn. I love American Express too and I also love Staples. Thanks for including Bootstrap Babes too! I can't wait for your radio show!! Keep me posted! You are always up to something fun.

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