As a small business owner, you need the right tools to help you manage and stay on top of everything. I wanted to share with you five must-have tools for your business. Now I will start by saying, I have no business partnership with any of these companies - these are all tools I genuinely use (almost daily) to help launch and grow my platform.
I personally manage about seven different full social media accounts. It's safe to say I need a social media scheduling platform that can do a lot! In comes Later.
This platform has many functions that work well for service and product-based businesses. They can manage various accounts including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
They offer a free version that gives quite a bit but for the full potential of this tool, I would suggest opting for the paid version.
My favourite features include:
1. The platform runs seamlessly with your phone and desktop. Why do I love this feature?
I can easily upload images/videos from my phone to my desktop.
I prefer typing captions on my desktop (call me old school) vs phone keyboard because it gives me time to think about what I'm saying and build valuable content.
2. You can choose what posts are automatically posted and which ones you get a post notification for. This is very important. There are times where I may be waiting on bits and pieces of content but want to get my weekly plan going, that's when I opt to use push notifications. This allows me to make simple edits and post away. That said, my favourite feature is automatic posts. This allows me to take care of what really matters - my business. I don't have to worry about things going out on time and generally spend a couple of hours once a week to plan out all content. Later takes care of all the posting from there!
3. Last but certainly not least DETAILED Analytics! Analytics are so important in understanding your online growth. Later allows me to see what is working and not working on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. This tool brings together data that helps get results geared to your ideal client. Need I say more?
I'll be honest, the list could go on but it's time we talk about other tools as well...
Finding a POS system is not easy. You want something that is secure, works for your business and is easy for your clients to use. For me, PayPal covers all this and more. My business doesn't make daily transactions - in fact, they are infrequent and generally larger sums. Paypal has a flexible plan that charges per transaction vs. a monthly fee. This works better for businesses like mine.
My favourite features with PayPal include:
Keeping track of unpaid payments
Sending out reminders to clients
Creating invoices where clients can securely make payments directly and easily
Setting monthly reoccurring invoices for my subscription clients
Creating an address book (perfect for storing returning client info)
Creating a price-list for repeat services - this way I just type in the service and the price and tax info is already stored
The ability to brand my invoice (you should always look the part)
Yes, there are fees involved but for the ease of mind - I think it's worth it!
I don't dread anything more than going back and forth via email to find the perfect time to chat with a co-worker or client. It's a huge inconvenience and a waste of time that can be better used. That's why I can't live without Calendly.
I update my calendar on a month-to-month basis with my availability, that way, potential, new and old clients as well as co-workers can easily access my calendar link and book a time that best works with them! I get an email notification and it's automatically placed into my Google Calendar. It's like having a receptionist take care of all of my meetings.
Google Workspace (Formerly GSuite)
Many people underestimate the power of Google. Google Workspace (formerly GSuite) is a series of Google Products that help you stay on top of everything. This includes Gmail, Google Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and more. For today I'm going to focus on just a few of my favourite tools.
Not only can a Google MyBusiness page make you look professional, it collects user reviews and assists in a little thing called SEO. Think about it. You want great SEO - then use the platform you're trying to build that SEO on. It's also a great place to share news and updates on your business. After all, most will probably Google you before working with you!
If you don't know already you can have a Gmail account with your website address (in my case [insert name]@roopcreaitveagency.com). Gmail is honestly one of my favourite tools. It organizes your email into 3 sections automatically - Primary, Social and Promotions, allows you to schedule emails, send confidential emails, set vacation mode/automatic emails and the list goes on!
Drive (+Docs, Sheets and more)
Collaborative work involves a lot of file sharing. Whether it's working through spreadsheets, building content in docs or saving everything for a website design in one folder. Google Drive allows me to seamlessly work with clients and my team.
Google Calendar is what keeps me organized on a daily both with my business and personal life. Plus it seamlessly works with tools like Zoom and Calendly (two amazing tools I can't live without).
Wix Ascend allows you to build a subscriber base, send out campaigns/newsletters to the masses all while accounting for analytics that help you grow your business. Oh and that's not all, this program also lets you set trigger emails and automation. This way when someone fills out their Brand Interview or my Contact form online they get an email confirmation. Automations can truly heighten the brand experience and is something that every business should look into.
There you have it five business tools I can't live without!