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Evaluating the new virtual tools for start-ups and small business management, financing and communications

Launching a new business in a 21st century digital world requires using a lot of new and innovative financial tools, not only to plan, but to be able to keep track of the growth and financial success of your business. Almost every day we are introduced yet another great tool that streamlines complicated processes and procedures that just a few years ago would have taken weeks or months to complete or achieve. Millions of U.S. small-business owners are spending a lot of time reviewing and screening the digital bazaar of these new tools.

As technology gets cheaper and easier to use, small firms and Startups take advantage of financial tools more than ever before to run and track their small businesses. And today’s proliferating selection of smartphone and Tablet app’s are providing advantages and conveniences that wouldn’t’ have been imagined only a few years ago.

This year, we’ll introduce you to some of the exciting and innovative new cloud-based financial, project management and communications tools, and offer advice on how to determine which ones would best help you get your business either up and running, or set for further growth and efficiency. 

Before considering a new digital tool, you should:

1. Take time to read the fine print. Determine there is no fine print clauses that make canceling a subscription difficult.

2. Do an online search about the product you are considering subscribing to and see if there are lots of bad reviews on that company and its product.

3. On the other hand, see if you can find good press and positive, verifiable testimonials for that company.

4. Consider and compare how long it might take to get your company integrated into different systems and what the actual costs would be over the long run.

5. Look for systems that are compatible with other platforms you have already invested lots of time and money in if possible.

6. On the other hand, don’t overlook the long-term benefits of switching if a system is far superior and has the potential to completely streamline a process. Short term inconvenience might pay off in the long term.

7. The world is moving onto the cloud and financial tools need to be collaborative and available anytime from anywhere, so make sure you’re looking at companies who have virtual solutions.

8. Find products that are easy to understand and that you and your team can use even if you don’t have access to an accountant or other professionals.

9. Make sure the annual cost is in line with your overall cash flow and fits into a budget you have established for yearly technology, work-flow or accounting expenses.

According to American Express “76% of consumers say they have better control of their finances as a result of using online financial tools.”

In the comments section, readers are invited to recommend new solutions that they are pleased with or curious about, and to further critique any products that might be discussed.


We couldn’t’ have imagined that the online launch of the Funding Roadmap TMwould coincide with the most profound economic crisis of our lifetime, but here we are, and as a world full of investors and lenders look to reboot, we’re here to provide an innovative, networked business planning and due diligence reporting system for funding professionals and entrepreneurs alike.
It also includes a video pitching platform, a document repository and deal flow marketplace so entrepreneurs will have an online medium to brilliantly communicate all the essential data – along with their personal passion and commitment.”

Ruth. E. Hedges is the creator and CEO of and Starups Across America. She has been featured in the New York Times, on ABC’s Home Show, and the Financial News Network did a two-part series on her for their show entitled ‘American Entrepreneur’. For more information please visit and

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