With more and more people opening small self-run or corporate businesses, it is important to take advantage of every tool available to help run that business smoothly. With often no time to spare, finding the right tech tools to help in running a smoother business operation is essential for saving time and money. In this blogpost, we’ll be touching on major business operations and some tools which help make those operations easier.
At the end of the day, every business depends on the performance of its revenue teams for survival, profitability, and growth. Here are tried and true solutions to help you bolster your sales and marketing efforts:
Google Analytics – Launched in 2005, this is the granddaddy of web analytics services. Use it to monitor website activity, track traffic sources, and optimize your online advertising campaigns.
GetResponse – This marketing platform helps enhance your email campaigns via autoresponders, conversation tracking, template customizations, and task automation.
Poor cash flow is a major cause of business failure, according to Investopedia. Here are some tools that can help you track and optimize your profits, funds, and budget:
QuickBooks® – Developed by Intuit®, Quickbooks is a full-featured accounting software that can handle business transactions, bills payment, and payroll.
Wave – This is a free online financial software that includes accounting, invoicing, personal finance, and other functions.
Having the right conversations will always get the ball rolling. Here are some of the most effective solutions small businesses can use to convey their message to customers and drive collaboration between teams:
Gmail – This is Google’s ubiquitous email service. For a cheap price, you can have your own domain address, plus access to other apps such as Calendar, Drive, and Docs.
Zoom – This is an online service for real-time meetings, video conferencing, and desktop sharing between employers, employees and clients.
Slack – A millennial favorite, Slack is a messaging app that integrates well with common business solutions, such as CRMs, project management software, and productivity suites.
You can’t grow a customer base without the right messaging. High-quality content is your primary means to catching the attention and influence 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:
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.
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.
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).
A digital marketing strategy is fundamental in modern business success. As you scale, however, your traditional marketing efforts will likely need a reboot.
Automation is a lifesaver when it comes to scaling a business. Extending your reach without additional effort is possible through the many tools designed to help automate marketing tasks.
Mailchimp- is an easy-to-use platform for email automation.
To build your customer base, it’s important to put adequate effort into spreading your message. This means alerting all potential and existing customers of your latest offering, and generating new conversion whenever possible.
Canva: Canva is another cool tool that the team used to create images. Canva can be a free online small business tool but at times the best images need to be paid for – should you do this regularly then it will work out cheaper and more valuable to pay for a monthly subscription from $12.95 per month. What Canva is cool for is that you can create much more than web images – book covers, banners, calendars, brochures and much, much more.
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.
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.
Your buyers are on social media and so should you. However, just having active accounts on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook won’t be enough to get them onboard. You need smart social media tools to not only optimize your brand presence, but also sustain deeper engagement with your audience. Here are some of those smart social media tools:
HootSuite – This award-winning social media platform comes with a dashboard that enables marketers to have full visibility on all aspects of their social media campaigns. It comes with the useful link shortener, Ow.ly.
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.
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.
To end this, 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.