10 Awesome Tools for your Small Business
I get asked quite often about tools and apps for business. As business owners, I think we all are looking for ways to streamline our business and work less on small tasks and more on, you know, our ACTUAL business.
When I started out, I think I had about 20 apps, tools and plugins going and honestly, that’s a great way to lose your mind. I had accounts with services that I didn’t remember I had!
There is a strong desire, in the beginning, to try every single thing that’s suggested to you but fight that. Pick things that work best for you and even better, that work well with each other. You’ll save yourself so much aggravation and time.
Here are a few of my favorite tools that I use for my business.
So, confession time. I’m forgetful, at least when it comes to dates. So thank the Google gods for Google calendar. If it’s not on my calendar it just doesn’t exist. I use my calendar to completely run my life. Deadlines, meetings, blog posts, product launches, appointments, and my personal stuff. It all goes on the calendar.
For appointment scheduling, I love Calendly. Who wants to go back and forth via email or text to set up a mutually convenient time to speak? Anyone? NO. This makes it so easy for my clients to set up a time to chat. It’s so convenient, I wish I could use it in my personal life as well. Ever tried to set up a dinner with 3+ girlfriends? Chaos!
Extra points that it integrates with my Google calendar automatically. Calendly has a free option that allows for 1 type of event, for instance, you can only have 45-minute coaching sessions. Upgraded plans start at $8/month.
Cost: Free option allows for 1 type of event. Upgraded plans start at $8/month.
I use Buffer to schedule my Twitter and Pinterest posts. I found Buffer to be the easiest to use for social media scheduling. Bonus: they also have a tool that lets you add RSS feeds from your favorite sites or blogs and then share them directly to your connected channels.
Cost: Free plan allows you to post to one type of social account per network, except Pinterest, and 10 scheduled post. Upgrades start at $12/month
I use Planoly to schedule my posts on Instagram. I really love that you’re able to see your current and future posts as a grid and you can make sure all posts look cohesive prior to posting. It also lets you use images posted by others (giving them the credit of course) if you run out of on brand things to post.
Cost: Free plan includes 30 uploads per month for 1 Instagram account. Upgrades start at $7/month
Canva. Is. awesome. I use Adobe Illustrator for more complicated images, but for quick, easy graphics, Canva is my go to choice. I use it for my blogs, ads, business cards, letterhead, handouts, and printables. There is a basic free option, perfect for those just starting out. If you need more, upgrade to the Canva for Work plan, to be able to save design templates, logos, brand fonts and colors.
I was late to the Asana bandwagon. Mainly because I thought I didn’t need it. But it is awesome. It’s a great tool to manage projects and clients. You can set up all of your systems and process flows per project in Asana, as well as your to-do lists, content ideas, calendar etc. It’s a perfect tool to keep your team all on the same page on and schedule.
Cost: Free for teams less than 15 people
Wave allows you to create customized and professional looking invoices super easily. It also allows for the collection of recurring payments, the ability to see when invoices are viewed, to add messages, to create estimates and to invoice for multiple businesses. Wave also provides an app called Wave Receipts, which allows you to quickly snap pictures of your receipts related to your business expenses.
I use Mailerlite to handle my email automation and newsletter as well as my pop up forms, opt-in upgrades etc. What brought me over was the email automation and the landing pages, all included in the free plan.
Cost: Free up to your first 1,000 subscribers[mailerlite_form form_id=4]
I’ve been using Evernote for years. I especially love the web clipper Chrome extension. I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. I love that I can save articles in a few seconds and read it later. I love that whatever I save in there, I can access on my phone and any computer.
You absolutely need to have some type of online file storage system which you use to share with clients. I use both Google Drive and Dropbox every day.
So that’s my list. Have you used any of these tools? I would love to hear about your experiences. If not, what tools do you use for business that you can’t live without?