Quick Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to some of my favorite online small business tools and resources. Basically, if you click on a link and purchase a service/product from any one of the mentioned affiliates, I may receive a small commission. ?
TOOLS BUILT TO HELP YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WORK SMART.
Setting up your small business for success in the early stages could be what truly sets you apart from your competitors. And having the right online-based tools in your pocket keeps you working efficiently which allows you to focus on the important tasks of your business.
These 19 essential online tools were created to help any business owner stay on top of their schedules, projects and other day-to-day tasks without experiencing busy-bee burnout.
Project Management & Collaboration
Project management tools can help you stay on top of multiple tasks for both your business’s projects and personal to-do lists.
These tools also allow you to efficiently collaborate with your business’s team so that everyone stays on track to complete their given tasks.
- Google Docs/Drive: Google Drive makes file sharing and storage super simple. You can easily create and edit Google Docs to share with your team and clients.
- Asana: This tool is a great way to organize and manage your projects with the ability to collaborate with a team and your clients. With Asana, you’ll use interactive project boards, lists, and in-app messaging for organizing and prioritizing. Bonus: The mobile app is a dream to use.
- Zoom: Great for video conferences, teaching classes/workshops/etc. Zoom also allows you to record your screen!
- Slack: Slack makes it simple for teams to communicate without getting lost in email chains or getting distracted in Facebook Groups. Conversations are organized with easy to follow channels. It also integrates with some of the tools mentioned here!
Social Media Management & Automation
Social media account management can be a pain. You’ll have to maintain more than your business’s Instagram account. To really reach your ideal clients/customers, you’ll want to stay active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and any other accounts that your audience are likely to use daily.
Social media management tools allow you to strategically organize your pre-made content and set it up to auto-publish on your desired dates and times! This keeps your business consistently present across these platforms which increases awareness and engagement for your brand.
- Later: This tool allows you to visually plan, schedule and analyze posts for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
- RecurPost: This tool allows you to automatically share your updates at the best time, saving you countless hours and increasing your social media engagement every week.
Website Tools & Integrations
Your website is your main marketing tool. It’s where your target audience will learn all there is to know about your business. Whether you are a service-based business or sell products online, your website must work efficiently to convert visitors into customers.
Tools like smart e-commerce integrations for product fulfillment to the right hosting plans that keep your website online 24/7 are essential to your business’s success.
Side Note: I recommend purchasing your website’s domain name separate from the site’s content management tool that you decide to use.
- Google Domains: When it comes to claiming your business name online, I suggest Google Domains. Their domains come with free privacy protection, 24/7 customer support, and ICANN fees included. You’re also able to easily set up a professional email address with G-Suite as well!
- Flywheel Hosting: I build most of my websites in WordPress. And for the best WordPress managed hosting, I turn to Flywheel for my client’s websites!
Scheduling and Time Management
Time is your business’s most precious resource. Being able to manage and claim back your time by using online scheduling and time tracking tools will keep you working efficiently.
For schedule management, it’s critical to use a booking tool that keeps you from scheduling meetings and appointments through emails. This means less distractions from your inbox PERIOD. Having the right booking tool is especially important for service based businesses.
Time tracking keeps you accountable of the time that your spend on your important projects along with taking note of time spent on the not so important things. Adding time tracking into your entrepreneur’s toolkit will enhance your focus and productivity for where you need it the most.
- Calendly: Calendly makes it easy for your clients to view your availability and self-book their appointments online. This tool even allows you to take any up-front payments.
- Timely: Timely tracks and categorizes work activity from multiple sources and creates a timesheet for you automatically. It gives you insight on the time being spent on your various online tasks so you can analyze it later.
It’s important for your brand’s identity to be consistently displayed across both print and digital media. Having the right graphic design tools in place to create things like flyers, business cards, brochures, social media graphics and more will help keep your brand’s visual identity on point.
Whether you’re a graphic design beginner or you have someone on your team that handles it, these tools are great for all experience levels.
- Canva: This is a great tool if you need to create graphics if you’re not a designer. I enjoy using this tool to spin up quick and visually appealing designs in a flash. They even offer awesome design elements and templates that make your projects pop!
- Adobe Creative Cloud: This option gives you the full suite of Adobe’s amazing design tools for a monthly fee. If you’re comfortable with tools like Photoshop and Illustrator, signing up for this option gives you some serious design power.
- Unsplash: Unsplash offers free professional photos to use for your website, blog posts, and social media content. There is a large selection of free stock images to choose from. A great option if you have limited photos available for your design projects.
- Creative Market: Creative Market is an amazing source to grab up design assets for your design project. They have tons of awesome graphics, fonts and social media templates to get the look for your brand just right.
Staying in consistent contact with your customers and leads is an amazing way to build brand loyalty. Along with building an email list, a solid email marketing tool makes it easy to send out mass communications to your audience to keep them notified of your business’s promotions, events and other important info.
ConvertKit: This is a great option for those who are both new to email marketing and to those familiar with using a tool similar to this one. With ConvertKit, you can create beautiful emails and newsletters through their easy-to-use drag and drop designer. They also make it easy to create landing pages and pop-ups for lead magnets.
Staying on top of your business’s budget and expenses doesn’t have to be a chore. Make bookkeeping and receiving payments pain-free with the tools below!
- Wave: Wave is an incredibly powerful accounting tool for entrepreneurs. Easily create invoices, recurring payments, manage various bookkeeping tasks and payroll setup with this tool.
- Stripe: Stripe is an excellent payment processor option for most business types. A very secure option for accepting payments both online and through an in-person terminal, Stripe seamlessly handles payments and payouts to your business’s bank account.
Client Relationship Management (CRM)
Managing customer information, communications, proposals and contracts can get tedious. Having an all-in-one solution through a solid CRM tool will allow you to build relationships with your current client-base that makes it easy for them to come back to you for any new services.
HoneyBook: HoneyBook is the perfect business management tool for small businesses and creative solopreneurs. From organizing projects to templating your most used documents, it handles so much for you. Bonus: Plans start at $40/month but you can get 50% off your first year using my referral link here!