Top Small Business Tools
There are so many small business tools on the internet these days that help with time management, invoicing, finances, social media scheduling, SEO, blogging, website hosting, and so on. There are also a thousand and one recommendations on which are the “best” tool for you. However I’ve learned through trial & error on what works best for me at this point in time. I’m sure as I grow and try new things the list will evolve. However these are the current small business tools that I can’t live without! I am going to start by sharing 5 of my top 10 today, and I will share the rest in a future post.
I’ve mentioned trello a few other times here & here. But I really have gotten hooked on it for organizing everything in my business and is the perfect project management tool for me. It is super versatile, I am able to use a weekly board to keep track of what I have planned for each day and chunk them into different categories. I have an editorial board to track upcoming blog posts & newsletters. I have a products board to track all of my Etsy products. I also have boards that help with overall business resources and business goals. It really is one of the best small business tools to help keep me organized and not overwhelmed by everything.
Here's my Trello referral link if you're interested in trying it out!
There are so many finance tracking programs out there which makes it hard to know which is best unless you have tried them all. Before I tried any programs I was using a Google doc to track all my finances and realized it was time for an upgrade, so I decided to try out Wave and have not looked back. I use it to track all of my expenses and income. I also use it for invoicing my customers which is super convenient! The only thing it doesn’t seem to work for so far is invoicing international customers so I use PayPal for that, but it’s not a deal breaker since it’s really easy to import outside receipts and sales. The plus side of Wave is that it’s free to use and the only fees are when I use it to invoice and even those fees are on par (sometimes less) with PayPal which keeps me happy.
I use WordPress for my website & blog platform and love everything about it. I love the variety of themes and plugins that are available. Plus it’s set up perfectly for blogging since that's why it was originally created, so it was really an easy choice. An added bonus is that I am able to add customization to my website by using CSS and HTML. I really think WordPress is one of the best small business tools for creating websites. I have used a few other platforms in the past and this is my favorite so far so I will definitely be sticking with it.
In terms of social media I’m still figuring out the best game plan. But the one I use the most is Instagram and I try to consistently post daily. I love using Later to help out with this. I still use the free version so I can only schedule 30 posts a month which works perfect for me. It has a lot of great features, like the media library so I know what photos I haven't used and which ones I’ve already posted. Also I like being able to preview what my feed looks like before posting the new images. Later also just changed to where it will actually post for you and not just alert you when it’s time to post, which is newly allowed in Instagram! I haven't used this feature yet but it's going to be such a great timesaver and awesome for vacation days.
The design in me also loves the great User Interface & User Experience in Later from the website to the app!
I actually still love email & don't believe it's dead at all! So I definitely wanted a good email marketing platform to use for my business to reach out to you all outside of social media and this blog. I decided to go with MailChimp partly because I wasn't ready to invest a lot of money into email yet plus it has all the features I need as I'm building my business. I am able to easily create campaigns and track my metrics plus there's a lot of versatility to create fun email campaigns with an easy drag and drop interface. Overall MailChimp is great especially since depending on your email needs it's free to use until you hit a large number of subscribers and need extra features.
That's all for the first five of my top small business tools that I love and can't live without! If you have any questions about a specific tool just let me know or if you want me to do a deeper dive in one specific tool I can definitely add that to my editorial calendar. Here's a quick breakdown of the top 5 in graphic form for you all!