You can’t grow a customer base without the right messaging. High-quality content is your primary means of catching the attention and influencing of the buying behavior of your target audiences. From industry reports and infographics, to contract management and video guides, these tools will help you install your own content as king over those of your competitors:
PandaDoc – This is an end-to-end document automation suite that includes functions for authoring/editing, workflow management, e-signatures, CPQ (Configure Price Quote), and contract tracking.
Panda Doc Dashboard
Google Docs/Google Drive – Google’s productivity suite consists of Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. If shelling out the subscription fee for Microsoft’s Office 365 hurts your wallet, this cloud-based platform is a viable alternative. Meanwhile, you’ll need cloud storage for better access, collaboration, and management. Google Drive provides 15 GB of free storage.
Google Drive image with features
Pixabay/Unsplash – These two image-sharing websites provide free illustrations, graphics, and photos you can use for web pages and social media posts.
Animoto – It takes richer and more immersive content formats to influence the next generation of consumers and B2B buyers. Animoto is a cloud-based video creation tool that can help you create and publish professional-grade videos for your target audience.
Adobe Sign/DocuSign – If you need a dedicated contract and signature management software, then DocuSign and Adobe Sign lead the pack.
Get everyone on the right page with intuitive and capable project management software. Microsoft Project has been the leader in this space for many years. but we think the following are excellent alternatives:
Asana – This is an online service that helps teams organize projects, assign tasks, and track work progress. It integrates with third-party apps such as Gmail.
Image Of The Asana Dashboard
Trello – Popular among content development teams, Trello is a highly flexible, kanban-based project management app that is easy on the eyes and easy on the budget (it has a free bundle for teams with less than 10 members).
Image Of The Trello Dashboard
Time Management and Organization
Much of the leverage and competitive edge in small business, or in any business for that matter, lies in efficient time management and nifty organization skills.
The following set of business apps will help you achieve just that and find a better balance in your work and personal life.
Boomr: In a nutshell, Boomr lets you track employee work hours and automates much of the tedious scheduling process. The app automatically generates payroll reports, supports GPS tracking, and, best of all, can save a whopping 40 hours of the time you’d have to spend filling in timesheets. Simple.
Calendly: How many times have you tried to set up a meeting or schedule a call with a client but just couldn’t settle on a date and time that would stick? Calendly is a tiny business app that takes the burden of scheduling meetings off your back. All you have to do is define a preferred time window and share it with your clients so they can pick up the most suitable option.
It adjusts time and date according to the target time zone so it’s great for working with international clients. Calendly syncs with Google Calendar, Outlook, and iCloud.
Even with a great product, you can achieve profitability only if you have the right people behind your brand. That is why a global corporate war for talent is raging, and why you need the best talent management software for your business. Here are two of the best:
Bitrix24 – This platform goes beyond HR, having broad capabilities including CRM, contact center, telephony, and project management. But, its HR features stand out and are effective for companies of any size. You can use Bitrix24 for employee engagement, time management, collaboration, eLearning, gamification, culture development, and other purposes.
WebHR – Used by thousands of companies in around 200 countries, this full-featured HR platform has all you need to hire, train, evaluate, compensate, and develop top talent. It includes features for recruitment, payroll, performance analytics, leadership succession, and other HR concerns.
Managing Relationships with Customers
CRMs ensure that you have a powerful system of record that is consistent, organic, integrable, and insightful for all customer-facing and revenue-generating teams. Enterprise-grade Salesforce obviously dominates in this space, but there are excellent alternatives for small businesses. Here are two of the most popular and affordable:
Zoho – This is a brand, covering a broad range of business apps that include tools for office productivity, email marketing, lead generation, and customer relationship management. Their highly-rated CRM service provides sales pipeline management capabilities and comes with a free version.
HubSpot – HubSpot is the granny of all things inbound, and it offers a free CRM solution for startups and small teams. The HubSpot CRM clears up the clutter by helping teams log all customer management activities and providing visibility to your marketing funnel and sales pipeline.
Getting Payment Online
Getting a merchant account from a bank to process payments can be a headache. Payment platforms like Flutterwave and Paystack can have you set up and ready to receive payments in minutes. It has an easy builder if you need to collect payments within your app or on your website. It powers payments for organizations big and small including Target, Lyft, UNICEF, and Instacart.
Creating Legal Documents
Lawyers are expensive. If you’re a brand new business, the cost of hiring a professional to create basic legal documents can break the bank.
Docracy: From employment contracts to basic service agreements, Docracy’s open-source collection of legal documents can save you thousands of dollars on attorney’s fees. Of course, you’ll want to get those documents reviewed by a professional as soon as you can afford it, but using Docracy is certainly a step above having no contract at all. Bonus: Docracy also offers free digital signing of legal documents, replacing expensive subscription services for getting client contracts signed.
Business is tough enough as it is. Don’t make it harder on yourself by going far afield with inadequate tools and outdated technologies. Doing so just gets you on the bumpy road to failure.
The foregoing list of tools barely scratches the surface, but we think having many of the items we cited will improve your chances at success. There are other (perhaps, more powerful and appropriate) tools for your business, and it’s just due diligence that you discover what best fits your market, business model, and workflows.
What we’re giving you is just a head start for the long and grueling race ahead. Remember, the equation is simple and solid: better tools lead to better business outcomes.