Every small business needs a tool belt. Initially many small businesses start out with an idea, a plan, and then grow to crazy and out of control without knowing how to organize/fix the problem. Many successful small businesses have learned that it’s important to devote resources (ie: time and money) to a few top tools. Small business ownership requires a customizable tool belt with different tools to do different things…
- Coaching/Consulting companies need: CRM, Emails Automater, Project Management, Images, Social Media Scheduler….
- Online Sales companies need: Really great online shop and really great website…and then the other things mentioned above
- Preschools/Dance Studios/Companies that offer classes need: really good online scheduler, website, online payment, online registration form, and all the other things mentioned above.
- Restaurant/Bakery companies need: Great following on social media, Email blasts, pics of food, really great website
- Blogger/Vlogger companies need: Great internet connection, microphone, upload speed, editing software, etc.
With these types of companies in mind, there are other adjustments to be made of course, however here are a few of our favorite tech apps and solutions and why we love them. Don’t take our word for it, what are your favorites? What have you thought about these options?
- CRM: Customer relationship management tool Hubspot is online, cloud based, free, but with options to move up with a larger company size. This is ideal for tracking sales goals, information about prospective clients, current clients, and what calls/emails need to be sent and when.
- Graphic Design Tool Canva, Lets you easily create many free beautiful graphic design pieces for free, and they have stock photos for cheap/free as well. Whether you need to create a post for social media, a Facebook cover image, a flier, or poster, this makes graphic design something very easy to accomplish in no time.
- Project Management: Everyone needs a tool that tells them what to do and when, all while assigning tasks out to other people and being able to communicate/attach the pieces that go with that task. I have a few favorites (remember, I am in LOVE with Project Management) Asana-very professional, sleek design, Trello, very similar but with a more casual design, Airtable-easily becoming a more popular option, made of spreadsheets that can do everything you ever wished a spreadsheet could do! ,
- Team Communication: Slack, This is great when you want to chat about different pieces of a team project, send documents that you aren’t sure are ready for a project management board, and question your boss or employees about how they do their job (we all have those days 😉 )
- Emails Automated: MailChimp – This software is like an onion, it has many layers. In it’s most basic form, your team can send emails to your clients/potential clients. In a more complicated form, your team can set up sales funnel email chains to send automatically, create lead pages, track SEO from different links created, send out invites to events, attach video, images, and audio all without (or with if you choose) using code and looking great while doing that!
- Social Media Scheduler: Hootsuite -Schedule multiple posts to go out through multiple social media platforms at different times of the day/night and then track who says what about those posts, what the current #hashtags are, and how your posts stack up in their SEO competition. My favorite function is getting a whole month of social media posts scheduled to be sent out in a couple of hours.
Here are two videos I made on my Facebook page previously that talk about these options and more in-depth. Getting my contacts organized and Funnels and Favorite Small Business and Life Hacks . Let me know what you think and what has worked for you. Thanks for all you do to build the small business community in a STRONG way!
Emily Gerber has a degree in Business Management, Minor in Sociology and is halfway done with her MBA. She is the CEO/Owner of Gerber Business Solutions LLC, a “one-stop shop” for small businesses offering coaching, consulting, and temporary administrative assistance with any marketing, process, and technology issues they may be facing. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or check out Gerber Business Solutions.