Running a small business involves wearing a lot of hats. If you’re ready to start the business of your dreams, you have to have the best business tools and apps, right? That’s why I’m sharing 24 of the BEST tools that make my business easier and more streamlined. These tools save me multiple hours a week!
When I first started my business, I had SO many questions and no one to ask. My husband would tell me that it’s like I’m speaking another language when I’m talking about business stuff. Believe me when I say, I know how confusing it can all get when you have ideas but don’t have a clue where to start. So, I put together a list of apps and websites that I wish someone shared with me when I first started my business. These are the tools and resources I use (or have used) to run and grow my online businesses. Affiliate links are noted with an asterisk (*), which means that I may receive credit or commission for your purchase through these links.
For your website
NAMECHEAP (*): Where I buy most of my domain names for cheap. User-friendly, reliable, and great prices.
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SITEGROUND*: One of my favorite hosting platforms for my personal sites. The customer service is top notch and super helpful, I can get help within 10 minutes with them. Getting my SSL and Cloudfare set up on my hosting was super easy with just a click of a button with Siteground.
WORDPRESS: Naturally! This is the content management system I use to develop all of my client sites, and what my own sites are built on.
GUMROAD: The easiest way to start selling digital products. Well-designed and very user-friendly, you can literally set up shop in minutes.
WOOCOMMERCE: The WordPress plugin I recommend for more robust e-commerce needs, particularly for physical products.
For email marketing
CONVERTKIT (*): Great email marketing system I use for my clients. Its automation features are easy to use and really can’t be beat.
MAILCHIMP: The email marketing system I personally use for my business. It’s free for up to 2000 subscribers, with well-designed and user-friendly templates. Plus, the free plan now has automation as well!
For blogging and social media
BUFFER : I manage my social media for both my personal businesses and clients with Buffer. You can easily share and schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn – all from one place. And it even gives you the best optimal times to post throughout the day.
CLICK TO TWEET (*): An easy way to create click to tweet links that you can use anywhere. I use it to add click to tweets to my ebooks and email campaigns.
PLANOLY*: Automate and plan the look of your Instagram feed with Planoly. It’s great for IG users who like their feed to look like a curated theme… or like Beyonce’s well thought out feed. Why can’t we all be like Bey?
ASANA: The day I stumbled upon Asana changed everything for me. Every client task I have gets added to Asana with a due date in the appropriate color-coded project list, and I’m able to invite my clients to view what’s next on the project timeline.
TRELLO (*): I keep all of my personal projects organized through Trello. It has a fun user-friendly interface and the drag-and-drop features makes getting stuff done less of a chore and more fun.
IFTTT: I love IFTTT, and I’m always recommending it to people. I use IFTTT to automate a lot of things. In particular, I use it to auto-add customers to specific email lists in my MailChimp. I also use it to add people who are tweeting a certain hashtag to a Twitter list, so that I can engage with them later.
FRESHBOOKS (*): Freshbooks makes small business invoicing and billing so simple, you’ll have time to focus on doing what you love and get paid much faster. And it’s extremely helpful during tax season, because all your numbers are in one place – from the money you’ve collected to the taxes you’ve already paid and everything in between.
DUBSADO (*): My go-to client management system. From capturing the lead on your website, automatically following up with a questionnaire based on the client’s input, to sending them a proposal process that will leave them selecting the big ticket packages, Dubsado has got you covered.
GUSTO*: One of the first things I did when I started my business was add myself as an employee to get paid. I love Gusto. They make payroll and benefits so much easier. Try it out and get a $100 Amazon gift card! (https://gusto.com/r/lJUOM/?utm_source=reflink)
G SUITE / GOOGLE APPS (*): G Suite, formerly known as Google Apps for Work, is where I keep all of my business documents so I can access them from anywhere and share with anyone. Want to look professional with custom email (like [email protected] instead of [email protected])? Get G Suite. Want to organize your client file deliverables in folders before you send them the link to view them? Get G Suite. Yeah, I’m a believer – I wrote about all the benefits here.
DROPBOX (*): I also store all of my business files in Dropbox for two purposes: To sync between my PC and MacBook Pro, and as a backup. I also use it to share files between other designers I work with.
HAUTE CHOCOLATE: One of my favorite sources for beautiful styled stock photography, including flat lays and images with models. The membership is affordable and she releases new items on the 1st and 15th.
UNSPLASH: This is definitely my favorite resource for free stock photography.
Of course, I could probably go on and on, but I’ll stop it there for today! Bottom line: there are so many wonderful business tools and resources that are essential to running a small business! Do you have any tools or resources that help make running your small business easier? Share them with me below!