Throughout any given work day we go through a variety of tools that help make our lives easier. Tools that we use in order to manage and maintain our businesses. Small businesses are no different. That's why we're sharing tools that any small business should know about. And you can really benefit from these tools too. Below you'll find my top 10 tools perfect for building and maintaining any type of small business.
The following tools are merely a few of my favorites that I think you should know about. I've broken them down into several different groups to make it easier. Let's dive in!
1 EMAIL: G Suite
You might not consider your email as a tool, but I do. The best out there is G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps for Work). It allows you to create a custom domain name for your own Gmail email address. G Suite also lets you use your professional name, while still working within the Gmail interface. Which means you can use Google's other tools.
G Suite gives you the ability to maintain a professional look. It lets you maintain brand consistency and gives off the sense of professionalism that every small business owner wants to convey to their clients. Some other Google apps that are helpful include Google+ Hangouts and Google Analytics.
2 DIGITAL BACKUPS + FILE ORGANIZATION: Dropbox
Dropbox is another well known program. Dropbox's goal is to simplify the ways in which you create, organize, share and collect content. Just drop anything you want to backup or share into a Dropbox folder on your computer and to the cloud it goes. It feels just like a normal folder, only now it is automatically backed up and shareable. This includes images, graphics, content, music or videos. Dropbox allows you access to all your files no matter where you are, which makes maintaining a small business super easy whenever you're on the go.
3 SCHEDULING: Calendly
Calendly lets you effectively schedule meetings and events with clients. This is extremely helpful if you work in different time zones. It offers an online scheduling tool that allows you to create specific types of events with individual criteria. Which you can use for scheduling client meetings, appointments and events. Most importantly, you have complete control over your availability. It gives you a breakdown of your appointments and how many appointments you allow in a single day.
4 PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Basecamp
Basecamp is an online-based project management and collaboration tool. It offers functions that include things like to-do lists, files, messages, discussions, calendars and schedules. This tool is based around organization which helps to keep project content all in one place, while still allowing access to anyone else.
5 INVOICING: PayPal
PayPal isn't just for purchasing items from department stores online. Nowadays it's a popular way for creating invoices and for making or taking in payments online. PayPal is safe and reliable and, most important, it's been around for awhile now. It offers confidence to many online shoppers who trust them.
6 EMAIL MARKETING: MAILCHIMP
MailChimp is pretty popular among small business owners and bloggers alike. MailChimp lets you collect emails, create targeted lists, run email campaigns, send newsletters and collect analytics. All in order to improve your email marketing strategies over time. Which is super helpful. Most importantly, which is a win-win for small business owners, if you have less than 2,000 subscribers it's free!
It provides a great platform to help familiarize yourself with various marketing strategies to help create a branded email experience for your followers. If you're looking for ways to grow your email list here's an awesome way to do just that.
7 DESIGN: CANVA FOR WORK
Canva is a graphic design program that helps you create professional graphics for social media. This can be used for anything design related, like graphics or promos. Which makes it easier and faster to maintain a fine-tuned social media strategy. It also allows you to create editable designs.
8 SOCIAL MEDIA: Tailwind (Pinterest)
Tailwind is a Pin scheduling tool for small business owners who rely heavily on Pinterest and Instagram as a major source of traffic. It works as a scheduling and account management program to help maximize your efforts on Pinterest. In addition, there are some great features. Such as scheduling your pins with specific metrics per board as well looping pins. Looping pins allows you to pin as many times a day by recycling older pins that might still be relevant.
Also, if you aren't on Pinterest we highly suggest that you check it out because Pinterest just might be the new Google.
9 EDITORIAL CALENDAR: COSCHEDULE
CoSchedule is an all in one content marketing and scheduling program that links up with your Wordpress website. It allows you to log into one platform and manage both your site and your social media accounts. Which can save a lot of time when you think about it. It also makes delegating editorial scheduling to other people within your business. Having the ability to schedule out blog posts and social sharing all in one place is a massive timesaver. We have a full review of CoSchedule here: How To Plan Awesome Content: A CoSchedule Review
10 SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS: FOLLOWERWONK (Twitter)
Followerwonk allows you to quickly analyze your Twitter followers. This information can be used for your all your branding needs. You can search Twitter bios and compare accounts for overlap. In addition you can also see who others are following and identify influencers. It's a multi tool. Most important, it is capable of taking the hard work out of finding the people who could most help your small business brand.
Consequently these are only a few of the tools that are great for small businesses. While there are so many more out there that are equally fantastic. However, it's important to find the tools that work best for you. Because what matters most is the one that lets you achieve your goals of maximizing your online presence.
Furthermore, don't be afraid of trying tools that you comes across. Seems like pretty much every online program on the market today offers free trials. Which means you can find the perfect one for you and your small business!
So what tools do you use? Are there any that you recommend? Leave a comment below and let's discuss!