Business Resources and Tools

IEC Business Management Platforms

Cialfo (cialfo.co/). College counseling platform that automates workflows, simplifies team collaboration, and increases student engagement. Though subscription, IECs can manage documents, research colleges, create admission scattergrams, and communicate with students. It is also integrated with Common Application and Parchment.

College Kickstart (college-kickstart.com). IECs buy packages based on the number of student’s served. Offers to keep IECs up to date on colleges, admissions. They state: “We help manage the science so you can focus on the art.” I’m not sure what that means but it sure sounds good! They use the Common Data Set as their foundation, and claim to “scour institutional research websites, news releases and other credible sources to track current year early and regular admission rates, key application requirements, affordability data, and even admission rates for 300+ departments across 50 popular institutions such as Cornell, Duke, Tufts, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia Tech, UMass Amherst, UCLA and the University of Virginia.”

CollegePlannerPro (collegeplannerpro.com). Offers a suite of tools for IECs, including a built in time tracker, billing system, email list, and a variety of information about individual colleges. In addition to a mobile interface, CollegePlannerPro offers a communication and calendar view to communicate with students, set reminders and alerts, and share your availability with individual students. A files and folders module also allows you to keep all of your consulting information in one place. You can also track the time you spend on students, both with them and doing research for them. If you’d like, College Planner Pro’s built-in invoicing can either create invoices for logged hours or for your comprehensive plan. College Planner Pro features college profiles that easily enable you (and your student) to see how a college would fit your student’s preferences. The program uses tags to show how the student’s GPA and test scores match up to enrolled students. Other features include student profiles, printable college reports, contact profiles, college lists, consolidation of communication with students, and a student keychain that allows students to keep all of their credentials for the application process in one place. A handy campus map view also allows students to see how far apart schools are and to plan campus visits. Available for a monthly fee, which varies based on the number of active students in the program. HECA and IECA members receive a 25% discount.

GuidedPath (guidedpath.net). An online college-planning platform designed for IECs with five key steps in mind: surveys (background information/interests), testing (enter and record scores, add reminders for test dates), colleges (searching and identifying), applications, and decisions (review offers, choose the best one). GuidedPath also provides a search tool to compare and discover schools to add to your lists. You can see each college’s available merit scholarships. Survey tools provide you and your clients information about their personality, college affordability, etc. If you need more information from students, you can even build your own surveys. Guided Path’s college search tool allows you and your clients to compare colleges on multiple factors all on one screen. You can also track admission trends and patterns. GuidedPath charges a monthly fee based on the number of active students included in an IEC practice. Members of professional organizations including NACAC, HECA, IECA, or NCAG receive a discount.

Business & Office Tools/Broad-Based

360 Planner (360planner.com). Offers a variety of services including test prep, financial aid assistance, boilerplate, legal,ll and marketing documents, SAT/ACT test prep, and “student positioning” resources, which include generic files such as admissions questionnaires and essay brainstorming exercises. Documents and test prep sessions are available for various one-time fees.

  College Unraveled: Parent Education Workshop (collegeunraveled.com/parents). College Unraveled’s parent workshops consist of four 90-minute sessions about various topics to college success. Targeted toward students in ninth through eleventh grade, the program covers four topics, each in their own module as follows: an introduction to options after high school and admissions; the search for colleges including visiting, touring, and creating a list; applications and how applications are accepted/reviewed at various institutions; and financial aid and options for paying for college.

CollegiateZone – EDUsystems (edusystems.net). A management platform for students, parents, and counselors to find “good fit” colleges for students from sixth to twelfth grade. Offers an assessment called “theMindSight” to find career and post-secondary options for students. Also offers a system for students, families, and counselors alike to work together for a student’s success. EDUsystems offers two tiers of their platform: the lower EDU-Xpress tier and the MindSight assessment powered EDUsystems PRO tier.

DIY College Rankings (diycollegerankings.com). Offers a database of information on colleges, marketed towards parents. The website offers a number of tools, including the ability to create custom college lists, various free and paid resources on colleges, and information specific to college athletics and NCAA school scholarships.

Edswell (edswell.com). Offers a suite of features including help with test prep, invoices, college lists, plans, and a focus on essays, as well as data on many schools nationally. Edswell has an essay tool to view all required essays students may need for all of their applications and also has a review and drafts’ feature for the counselor and student to communicate and share essay drafts. Free for students; charges a monthly fee for counselors based on the number of students they counsel.

Focus 2 Career (focus2career.com). Platform that offers three products to inform students about their interests, potential majors, and careers. Focus 2 Career is the company’s main product, which offers “Major Exploration and Career Planning for College Students.” It also offers Focus 2 Explore survey for career and college planning for students.

IEC Forms (thecollegelady.com/products/). Wendie Lubic, IEC in D.C., sells forms such as contracts, decision matrices, and student intake sheets that can be personalized for IEC offices.

Personalized Newsletters for the College Advisor (thecollegeadvisor.net/consultants). Offering customized newsletters created by Gail Grand, IEC in California.

The Oracles (theoracles.com). A community of entrepreneurs and top businesspeople where strategies for success and experiences are shared.

The Practice Institute (thepracticeinstitute.com). An organization with information and resources for being successful in maintaining a private practice.

Therapy Appointment (therapyappointment.com/therapist-login/). A service that allows counselors to efficiently manage scheduling, billing, insurance, and other aspects of their practice.

Business & Office Tools/IEC Specific

99 Designs (99designs.com). Online design assistance available for needs such as logos, business cards, web design, business naming, and letterhead.

 Acuity Scheduling (acuityscheduling.com). Billed as a “super-charged scheduling app” that allows clients to book time and pay for services. Working from home can be a lonely experience. Acuity’s friendly, humorous “voice” is like having the office clown around to keep you company.

BestNotes (bestnotes.com/outcometools). Popular with consultants who work in the therapeutic field. Includes features in areas such as scheduling, client data, billing, and notes. Allows tracking of referral sources and contacts.

Campanile College Tours (collegetours.us). Offering customized, campus tours created by Elizabeth Stone, IEC in Southern California. Company that personalizes family travels to colleges: “Expertly planned and customized college tours for your family. In-depth itineraries for each step of your journal.”

College Essay Organizer (collegeessayorganizer.com). Search tool of college essay prompts featuring a guide designed to show how essays overlap.

College Interviewing: “I Got In” 5 Minutes to Successful College Interviews (igotinwow.com). Provides fee-based resources to improve students’ interviewing skills and to help with scholarship opportunities and awards.

Completo (completoapp.com). To-do app aimed at corporate executives that helps in juggling projects to maximize productivity.

Doodle (doodle.com). Scheduling website.

Dropbox (dropbox.com). Reliable way to share documents, writing, photos, audio and video file.

Educational Consultant Platform (educationalconsultantplatform.com). Branding, website design, and online marketing help for IECs.

EF College Visit Tours (efexploreamerica.com). Helps counselors plan college visit travel with students.

ePrep Test Prep (eprep.com). Test prep program designed for students taking the SAT, the ACT, or the PSAT. Program offers video explanations for each question on the included practice exams and vocabulary development. Includes a variety of different packages with more practices tests and videos with each price increase.

FreshBooks (freshbooks.com). Cloud-based small business accounting software.

Go See Campus (goseecampus.com). Provides tools to help determine which schools to visit and how to conduct college visits productively.

Kashoo (kashoo.com/home). Online cloud accounting software for small businesses.

OutcomeTools by BestNotes (bestnotes.com/outcometools/). Subscription site that provides administrative tools for users to develop their own questionnaires that can be administered, scored, and reported completely online.                                

PayPal (paypal.com). Reliable online payment processing.

Payscale (payscale.com/college-roi). Shows what skills and abilities are worth on the market.

Quickbooks Self-Employed (quickbooks.intuit.com/self-employed/). Separate business and personal expenses; automatic mileage tracking; create and send invoices on the go; maximize your Schedule C deductions; quarterly estimated taxes calculated automatically.

SAT/ACT Diagnostic (satactdiagnostic.com). Used to determine whether the ACT or SAT is the right test to take.

Sign Up Genius (signupgenius.com). Free scheduling website.

Simply Noise (simplynoise.com). White, pink, and brown noise app. Wash of steady noise blocks out ambient sounds and creates a continuity of mental soundscapes.  

Social Assurity (socialassurity.com). Designed to inform students about the power of social media in college admissions.

Virtual Staff Finder (virtualstafffinder.com). Find virtual assistants for business tasks.

Wave Accounting (waveapps.com). Free, cloud-based accounting program with features such as billing, contact management, invoicing, accounting, receipts, payments, and payroll.

Web & Graphic Design Services by Educational Consultant Platform (e-c-p.com). Designed for help with branding, web design, graphic design, e-commerce, and social media.

Web Design by Local Marketing U.S. (localmarketingus.com). Helps IECs with web design as well as ways to improve online presence and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Wow Writing Workshop (wowwritingworkshop.com). Helps writers improve their writing skills for flyers, websites, etc. Also designed to help IECs improve their essay analysis and review skills for student college application essays.

Zeemee (zeemee.com). Admissions platform in the form of a mobile application. Focuses on a student’s personal profile and includes student information as well as admissions-centered video clips. Colleges and universities can use these profiles to interact with students. Free for students.

ZipWhip (zipwhip.com). Monthly subscription tool designed to add texting capabilities to a landline and toll free number. Allows a separation between the personal cell number and a business-designated number.

Zoom (zoom.us). Video conferencing website.

Business/Marketing Books and Sites

4-Hour Workweek, Ferris, Timothy.

60 Minute Logo (60minutelogo.com). A quick way to design the ideal logo.

Accidental Entrepreneur: The 50 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Starting a Business, Urquhart-Brown, Susan. Advice about running a small business when you may not have a background in business principle.

All Business (allbusiness.com). Provides essential tools and resources to start, grow, and manage your business.

All Marketers Are Liars, Godin, Seth.

American Community Survey (census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/). Detailed source of information on population and housing.

Animoto (animoto.com/home). A video creation service with templates available.

Basic Marketing: A Marketing Strategy and Planning Approach, Perreault Jr., William D.; Cannon, Joseph P., and McCarthy, E. Jerome

BizTree (biztree.com). Business-in-a-Box includes business forms and templates for sale.

Bloomberg (bloomberg.com/).

Brainzooming (brainzooming.com/brainzooming-overview/). Daily email that gives short ideas, articles, thought-provoking questions about self-care, leadership, management, reflection, etc.

Business Insider (businessinsider.com). Advertises itself as “the largest business news site on the web.” Offers several useful newsletters for business owners.

Business in a Box (biztree.com). Standard business processes, templates, and tools to start, grow, and streamline your company.

Constant Contact (constantcontact.com/index.jsp). E-newsletters/online marketing firm.

Consultant’s Quick Start Guide: An Action Plan for Your First Year in Business, Biech, Elaine.

Consulting Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Expand a Seven-Figure Consulting Practice, Weiss, Alan.

Customers Included: How to Transform Products, Companies, and the World–With a Single Step, Hurst, Mark.

Factle (factle.com). Neighborhood boundary and demographic data.

Getting Started in Consulting, Weiss, Alan.

Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, Grant, Adam.

GRANTED Newsletter, Adam Grant (adamgrant.net). On topics such as motivation, meaning, ideas, and success at the University of Pennsylvania.

Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov). A way to check personal capitol records, and print forms and documents.

Law Depot (lawdepot.com). Free download and printing for legal documents, forms, and contracts.

Legal Zoom (legalzoom.com) Free download and printing for legal documents, forms, and contracts.

Lifehack (lifehack.org). Productivity tips.

Lifehacker (lifehacker.com). Productivity tips.

Marketing, Kerin, Roger A.; Hartley, Steven W., and Rudelius, William.

Million Dollar Launch: How to Kick-Start a Successful Consulting Practice in 90 Days, Weiss, Alan.

My Own Business Institute (scu.edu/mobi/). Starts Businesses that create jobs by providing training and resources to entrepreneurs worldwide.

New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, New Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyer Directly, Scott, David Meerman.

Pocket (getpocket.com). “A free service that makes it easy to discover great content that’s personalized to your interests, and save this content so you can return to it later.”

PracticaBilling (practicabilling.com). A service that helps therapists manage billing.

Practice of the Practice (practiceofthepractice.com/marketing-basics-private-practice/). A guide on marketing for private practitioners.

Principles of Marketing, Kotler, Philip and Armstrong, Gary.

Salary.com (salary.com). Provides accurate compensation data, resources, and expertise.

Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement, Collamer, Nancy. “A career guide that rethinks the golden years, this handbook offers 50+ income models for creating flexible, and profitable work during the encore stage of one’s career.”

Selling the Invisible: A Field Guide to Modern Marketing, Beckwith, Harry. A guide that “covers service marketing from start to finish.”

Small Biz Technology (smallbiztechnology.com). Tips, trends, and best practices for small businesses.

Small Business Administration (sba.gov). One part of SBA is SCORE, providing mentors to business owners.

Small Business Computing (smallbusinesscomputing.com). Research firm Jupitermedia’s online guide of small-business technology tools.

Small Business Marketing Consulting: Duct Tape Marketing (ducttapemarketing.com).

Small Business Technology Magazine (sbtechnologymagazine.org). Covers technology tips, trends, and best practices for small businesses.

Small Business Trends (smallbiztrends.com). Marketing, management, technology, finance, and resources for small businesses.

Small Giants: Companies That Choose To Be Great Instead of Big, Burlingham, Bo.

SmartBrief Business (smartbrief.com). Business news in a number of areas, including higher education.

Start & Run a Consulting Business, Gray, Douglas.

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, Gerber, Michael E.

The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice, Burchard, Brendon. A guide that “teaches everyday people how to share their story and wisdom with the world and build a lucrative business doing so.”

The Success Principles (thesuccessprinciples.com). 67 of the world’s most powerful principles guaranteed to give you everything you want out of life.

The Transformed School Counselor, Stone, Carolyn, and Dahir, Carol A.

Upwork (upwork.com). IEC’s can hire freelancers in areas such as: web developers, mobile developers, writers, and virtual assistants.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce (uschamber.com). Business support services.

U.S. Small Business Administration (sba.gov). Government website with resources for business owners and information about the needs and requirements of a small business.

Wework (wework.com). Provides private offices, shared workspaces and event spaces.

Yahoo! Small Business (smallbusiness.yahoo.com).Yahoo’s web-hosting and e-commerce site.