There are so many business tools in the world today it can get very confusing as to which ones are actually good… which ones will actually work for your business. I used to think that all the good programs and softwares were the ones you had to buy into and I was so afraid to buy into something just for it to not work out. However, over time as I grew into my business and learned more about systems, I learned that it’s actually the other way around!
Many of the best softwares are the free ones! I also learned that a software will not work unless you actually use them consistently! Finding and using business tools don’t have to be scary! But using them is a discussion for another day… I have compiled a list of the best business tools (all of which I use in my business!) for any small business! I have categorized them based on the types of tool so you can easily scroll back and find then! So without further ado… the best 18 business tools recommendation for your small business.
Business Organization and Collaboration
1. Google Suite (Drive, Docs, Calendar, Sheets, etc)
Google Suite is a collection of collaborative productivity apps that offer businesses a professional email, shared calendars, online document editing and storage, video meetings, and much more! I use Google Suite mainly for email, calendar, and drive!
2. Microsoft Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel)
Microsoft Office suite is a collection of programs for common productivity tasks, including a word processing program, a spreadsheet tool, presentation software, an email program and more! I use many Microsoft Office programs, including but not limited to Word, Excel, Teams, and Outlook!
LastPass is a secure password manager that stores all of your usernames and passwords in one safe place. I store almost all of my passwords here, the best part about LastPass? You can share your log-in without sharing your password! This comes in handy if you are a business like me who needs client login information.
Zoom is a cloud-based video communications app that allows you to set up virtual video and audio conferencing, webinars, live chats, screen-sharing, and other collaborative capabilities. I have all of my client and discovery meetings through Zoom!
Website Hosting and Analytics
Siteground is a web hosting company that provides shared hosting, clouding hosting, enterprise solutions, email hosting, and domain registration. Siteground houses my domain and all that comes with that!
WordPress is an open source Content Management System that allows users to build dynamic websites and blogs. WordPress houses my website that you are looking at right now.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service that provides statistics and basic analytical tools for search engine optimization (SEO). I linked Google Analytics to my website so that I can see where my website ranks in a Google Search!
Google Analytics is a web analytic service that provides access to a large unfiltered sample of actual search requests made to Google. This is my number 1 tool when looking for keywords!
9. Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe XD, InDesign)
Adobe Creative Suite is a collection of graphic design, video editing, and web development applications made by Adobe Systems. I use Adobe for its photo-editing softwares (Photoshop) and their website development (Adobe XD).
Canva is a free-to-use online graphical tool that combines design, photo editing, and layout to help create beautifully finished designs. I use Canva for all of my graphic needs! Logo, social media posts, business cards, presentations, basically anything you can think of!
Slack is a messaging app for business that connects people to the information they need. I use Slack to connect and message my clients!
Financial and CRM
QuickBooks is an accounting software that provides online accounting applications as well as cloud-based ones which can process bills and business payments. I don’t use QuickBooks to process bills and payments, however I keep all of my accounting details in here.
Honeybook is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for small businesses. Honeybook allows users to manage projects, book clients, sign contracts online, send invoices and handle payments. I made the switch to Honeybook a few months ago and I absolutely love it! It handles all of my client relationship systems!
Clickup is a cloud-based collaboration and project management tool suitable for businesses of all sizes. Including features such as communication and collaboration tools, task assignments and statuses, alerts, and a task toolbar! ClickUp is the life and soul to my business. Almost every single part of my business runs through ClickUp! (If you’d like a blog post about all things ClickUp comment below!)
Airtable is a spreadsheet-database hybrid, with features of a database but applied to a spreadsheet. I personally use Airtable as an extension of ClickUp. Due to its database nature I store all of my content in Airtable then embed it into Clickup!
Zapier is an online automation tool that connects your apps and services. You can connect two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build the integration. I use Zaps for things such as connecting a Google Form to my email marketing!
Flodesk is an email marketing platform that is a highly visual platform equipped with simple tools and aesthetically pleasing designs. Flodesk is by far my favorite email marketing and allows you to create the most creative emails!
Calendly is a scheduling platform that allows you to schedule appointments, meetings and events. Easy and simple scheduling, no more emailing clients back and forth looking for the best time to connect!
We know that this is a lot to take in.. we also know the struggles that you may be facing. As a fellow business owner, I understand how it is to feel like you have no time, and that setting all this up will just waste more time that you need to do other tasks. The facts are that over 80% of small business owners still rely on paper documents and spreadsheets to run their businesses. It’s hard to shift your focus away from day-to-day operations when it’s still so ingrained in your mind.
Another struggle many business owners struggle with is the budget in which they have to spend on business operations. While it used to be too costly for small businesses, business software has become more affordable (most of it is even free!). Many of the platforms and softwares that we have mentioned above do have a free version. Although implementing a few tools doesn’t guarantee success, it is still important to keep a strategic approach in mind when it comes to running your business. Now that you have all the information you need to successfully set up systems within your business, it is time to get to work!
If you are still struggling with setting up systems or just don’t know where to start, I can help! Reach out to me so we can set up a time to have a quick chat on how I can help you grow your business!
Until next time…