Hey there, small business owner. Feel like you’re always in survival mode and juggling it all? Want some tools to cut your time and stress?
Fortunately, there are a TON of digital tools that were built to help. There are people who can help too, but that’s another post. 😉
Read on for our list of top tech tools to help you run your small business. You’ll feel like an efficient pro in no time – one who can take a vacation!
Skip the back-and-forth messages. Instead of “What about Tuesday?” emails, you can simply send a web link (or have it on your website) for the person to see a calendar and pick a time themselves.
These tools make it super easy to put your scheduling on auto pilot and will sync with your calendar on Google, Outlook, iCloud, or others.
- Calendly – Free with limited features or paid plans starting at $10/month. Calendly.com
- Acuity Scheduling – Plans start at $15/month. Acuityscheduling.com
- Simply Book.me – Free with limited features or paid starting at $9.90/month. Simplybook.me
- Square Appointments – If you use Square for payments, add scheduling as well. Free for 1 person or paid starting at $50/month. Squareup.com/us/en/appointments
Project management tools for small business
Go beyond the basic to-do list with a project management tool. With it you can assign tasks to others, track progress and keep related documents at your fingertips for each project.
This type of tool has been vital to our own business as we’ve grown and we’ve used different ones with clients as well. Here are a few favorites.
- Teamwork – Our current tool, Teamwork allows us to assign tasks, share project lists, message each other, log our time and more. It has a free plan and paid plans starting at $12.50/month. Teamwork.com
- Asana – Asana is another project management favorite. It works well for small teams and lets you assign tasks, schedule dates, upload documents and stay on track. It’s free for up to 15 people, then starts at $13.49/month per user. Asana.com
- Clickup – The latest tool in this space, Clickup is a more advanced version of Asana, with more features and functionality. It’s free for up to 100MB of storage, then starts at $9/month per user. Clickup.com
Customer relationship management or CRM
CRMs have evolved from simple tools that track leads to programs that can help you manage your entire business.
Most of the newer CRMs combine project management with scheduling and invoicing. They handle everything from onboarding clients and communicating with them, to scheduling payments, giving clients their own portals and more.
If you need help deciding which would work best for your business, just send an email.
- Dubsado – A comprehensive CRM, it lets you manage most client interaction. It’s very helpful in setting up workflows to get stuff done and get paid on schedule. Take it for a free trial run with no time limit for up to 3 clients. Plans start at $35/month. dubsado.com
- Honeybook – Similar to Dubsado, Honeybook doesn’t have as many customizations, which may or may not matter to you. It also takes additional processing fees. Honeybook has a free 7-day trial, otherwise it’s $40/month for all features. honeybook.com
- 17 Hats – This one calls itself the all-in-one tool for business. The list of features is pretty comprehensive, but, again, it’s not as customizable. Give it a try with a free 7-day trial. Plans start at $45/month. 17hats.com
Online marketing tools for small business
If you’re adept at handling your own promotion on social media, you can be more efficient with tools that will post for you. You may be thinking: “Why use a tool when I can post directly to Facebook or Instagram?”
Let us count the ways these tools help…
- Save time by scheduling posts for a week (or a month!) in advance.
- Safely delegate social media tasks without having to share Facebook or Instagram passwords.
- Respond to all social comments in one place. (Only available in certain tools.)
- Approve posts before they go live.
- Get better metrics on what’s working.
Here are the tools we recommend:
- Hootsuite – Hootsuite is the OG or Old Guard of social media management tools. It’s still popular today and works with nearly all social platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and even YouTube and LinkedIn. It has a limited free plan and paid plans starting at $49/month. Hootsuite.com
- Buffer – Another of the OG, Buffer has been around for a while and is known as one of the easier tools to use. Their free plan is very limited (up to 10 posts/month), but paid plans start at $15/month. buffer.com
- Later – This began as an Instagram scheduling tool, but has since added Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. It offers scheduling and reporting only (you can’t respond to fan comments), but it’s still a good tool. Try their limited free plan or a paid plan starting at $12.50/month. Later.com
- Sprout Social – Like Hootsuite, Sprout Social is an all-in-one tool with many features. Unlike Hootsuite, it has a nicer interface, monthly reports and a great option to see all fan comments in one inbox. It has a free trial and plans starting at $99/month. Sproutsocial.com
Other tools we love
- Canva – Canva made DIY graphic design accessible to everyone with easy templates and features. We love Canva for creating social posts, website graphics and even print graphics. Plans start at $12.95/month, but you can do everything you need with the free plan. Canva.com
- LastPass – If there are too many passwords in your life, you need a password manager. LastPass helps you log in easily anywhere and even lets you share passwords with your team without revealing the password. Plans start at $3/month for business. Lastpass.com
Let us know if you try any of these! Have a favorite tool of your own? Let us know below or send an email.
Leave a Reply