Running a small business, or a startup business, can be a very daunting process, especially if it’s your first time doing so. There’s so much you need to plan research for when the time comes. You have a lot of competition you’re up against, there’s financial costs and worries, and then there’s the best tools and software needed for your small business to succeed.
Understanding which small business tools to go for, again isn’t easy. There’s just way too many business, marketing and management tools out there all claiming that you ‘have’ to buy them to improve your business and marketing strategy. However, that isn’t the case. You don’t have to buy every single business tool and software available because you’re a business.
Your small business may not actually need half of the tools that are available in the public eye.
It’s all about test, test, test.
You find a tool, you test it, you analyse it, and decide from them if it’s valuable to you and your business.
Below you will find 10 of the best tools for small business owners that I’ve compiled into this article. Many of these small business tools are free, whilst others are paid for.
Although Sniply isn’t free to use, it’s a great and very powerful online marketing tool that actually helps to increase conversions to your website through every link you share. Sniply allows you to add any call-to-action to any page on the web.
You are able to track and monitor any clicks, conversions and measure the progress of the links you share. View an introduction example of Sniply.
Hellobar, created by Neil Patel is a great tool for small business owners that acts as a free Exit Intent bar/tab that you can place onto your website to convert visitors into customers.
With the Hellobar you can announce a sale, discount, and collect new customer emails all at the same time. This is a great way to build a fresh email database if you’re having trouble with an old existing dying one.
Sign up for a free Exit Intent account at Hellobar.com
Foxpush is another free tool for small businesses and large ones too, that allows you increase click-through-rates and convert website visitors into subscribers, and send free website push notifications.
With Foxpush’s free plan you’re given up to 50,000 subscribers, with around 1,500,000 notifications allowed to be sent per month. This supports Chrome, Firefox and Safari. To improve your click-through-rates and drive more traffic to your site, sign up for a free Foxpush plan.
Canva is an online graphic design tool that allows those without the graphic design software and skills to create some amazing designs for your website and blogs. It’s also used by non-designers, as well as professionals. It’s just that simple to use, and it’s free. Grab your free Canva account today.
Hootsuite allows businesses, especially small businesses to seriously improve on their social media strategy with their free and paid for plans. Establishing an online social media presence helps customers to trust you and your business. However, managing all of these social media accounts can be a long and tiring process. Hootsuite can allow you (with their free plan) to register up to 3 different social media profiles, create basic analytics reports, schedule messages for various days and times, monitor relevant hashtags and much more.
Sign up for a free Hootsuite plan today.
Sending newsletters and building a database of subscribers doesn’t need to be an expensive process. However, with Mailchimp, it’s free. Every business, small, medium and large will need to implement an email marketing strategy to build their brands presence, and this can be easily done via Mailchimp which gives you up to a maximum of 2,000 subscribers, with the ability to send 12,000 emails per month.
For those thinking they’d struggle with the design of templates, then there’s no need to worry. Mailchimp is a great platform with amazing free templates that are easy to implement. Sign up for a free Mailchimp account.
The best thing about this tool, is that Google Analytics is free, and something that every website and business needs to have. There are various other analytics tools out there, however they don’t even come close to Google Analytics. If you want to measure your ROI, traffic, website stats, click-through-rate, bounce rate, check your users geographic locations, find areas of improvement, figure out user demographics, track campaigns, drag up tons of reports and more, then Google Analytics is the all in one tool you must have.
If you have an online eCommerce store, with Google Analytics you can track a shoppers movements, seeing at which point they dropped off, therefore giving you an introduction into how to fix this for the future.
Sign up for a free Google Analytics account.
Amongst other various project management tools, I only ever tend to hear good things about Trello. Their easy to use interface allows you to keep track of everything you’ve set out for the week or months ahead, whilst leaving any comments on any lists and boards you’ve created. You are also able to keep an eye on your entire team, internal and external with Trello as well, ensuring you are kept up to date with their tasks and work pipeline.
Trello does offer a free plan, as well as other paid options. However, if your team is small, the Trello free plan will do perfectly.
Hellosign, just like Docusign is just that. It allows you to send out document in a safe and protected manner that need to be signed. As well as being able to integrate with Gmail, Google Drive and Google Docs, there’s no hidden pricing, some great templates to use, has a team management capability, and you can add your own branding to it.
If you send out a max of 3 month documents a month, then the Hellosign free plan will do you perfectly, however moving up to their Pro plan will only cost you $13 a month when paid annually ($15 if paid monthly). You also get a 30-day free trial with this plan.
Everyone has most likely heard of Quickbooks, and although not a free tool to use, it is rather cost effective with the basic package costing from just £3 to £15 for the first 3/6 months (correct at time of writing) with a free 30-day trial.
For small businesses looking to manage their finances with an easy to use accounting software, manage VAT, run payroll, accept payments and more, with over 3.2 million businesses around the world signed up to it, then this is certainly an accounting software to get your hands on to.
Whilst I would love to add tons more of valuable tools to this article, it’s just impossible. There are hundreds out there that are all incredibly useful, and can provide tools all the way from communication purposes right up to entertainment.
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