Researching - What services have you used to make your business look better?

I’m doing research for an article and would like some real world suggestions.

This is relevant to anybody who owns any kind of business whatsoever. Not just media, programming, freelancing graphics etc. It could be dog walking, lawn mowing, hairdressing or a lemonade stand.

In the following categories, please share any services that you have used to improve the look and performance of your business. Feel free to add more categories or other helpful services as needed.

  1. Logo, branding, stationary (thelogocompany, 99designs, etc)
  2. Audio/video voice work (voicebunny)
  3. Estimates, invoicing (nutcache et)
  4. Payment processing (anything but paypal)
  5. Customer forms, proposals, contacts, surveys, data-gathering etc (Wofoo, Formstack)
  6. Animating or illustrating, storytelling, videos, slideshows, presentations etc
  7. Professional editing services, website analysis, content-writing.
  8. Website management services, backup, uptime (pingdom, statuscake, infinitewp, managewp, codeguard, etc)
  9. Photography services, photo retouching and editing, product photography.
  10. Phone, fax, answering/messaging services, call center

The focus is NOT on backend management tools like an intranet, or employee communications, email tools, or project management. We’re not talking about Slack or Podio or Sharepoint or Trello here.
The focus is on services which make your business look better on the outside. If it makes your business run nicer, look more professional, market better, reach more clients, make clients happier, then it belongs here. If it helps you look professional and not like a monkey operation, I want to know about it.
I included website management and analytics tools because, of course, it would look bad if your website was down and you didn’t know about it for days! Or if your contact form suddenly stopped working and you didn’t discover it for 6 months. I’ve even had people “forget” to renew their domains and not even realize they didn’t even have a website for 8 months!

If you could just name the service and briefly describe how they help businesses, that would be great! Even if you didn’t use them yourself, but have a referral.
Thanks for sharing!

Hi, my suggestions:

  • 4 payment processing: Stripe, 2Checkout,
  • 8 Paessler prtg monitor
  • 11 Translation and revision service : One Hour translation
  • 12 Time tracking and reporting (show hours spent on tasks) ; Nutcache
  • 7 clicktale (help us know what people are watching on each page so we can make them better)

That all I can see for now,
hope it will help you.


  1. n/a
  2. n/a
  3. Xero is my current due to the need for full accounting. I’ve also used Freshbooks for invoicing, previously, and it was quite good. I’m not sure which produced nicer looking or better products - both were reasonably customizable, and both looked professional.
  4. PayPal and Stripe - I’ve used and been quite happy with both. Stripe may be marginally easier to use for the customer, but they’re undoubtedly more familiar with PayPal.
  5. To be honest, almost all of my forms I created myself in Gdocs or Word and was happy for it. I’m good with writing and forms and documents, so… that’s not much help.
  6. Prezi is a bit of a fancy PowerPoint alternative. I’ve also seen a simple web page with FlexSlider or the like used for an image heavy presentation.
  7. I’ve always either written my own content or worked in collaboration with a marketing company locally.
  8. For self managing extremely simple websites, SquareSpace is fantastic, especially if you aren’t a developer. It is easy for you and looks modern and clean for the client. Pingdom and the like are awesome for both catching and preventing downtime but also has a tools suite to help you grade yourself on your site response times and what to do to improve them - directly impacts UX for sure.
  9. Retouching, I’ve always just used Photoshop. Bigstockphoto has always been my go-to for stocks, but there’s better sources out there if you look.
  10. n/a

Sorry if that wasn’t much help.

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