My Favorite Business Tools (all 12 of them)
My Favorite Business Tools
One of the questions I get asked a lot is “what do you use for…?”
So, let me share what business tools I use and also see my clients succeed with.
Business tools save you time and money and make your business run much more smoothly.
One of the biggest challenges we face as entrepreneurs are staying on top of the necessary tools for startups. As entrepreneurs you must respond to emails, make sure your website works perfectly, organize projects, keep in touch with your network, and avoid getting distracted by social media!
- Namecheap: You have to get your domain name from somewhere and I don’t recommend getting it from your website host. Why? Because if or when you decide to move your site or change hosts, your domain will be stuck with them unless you get it transferred (which isn’t fun or usually free).
I’ve never had any issues with Namecheap as they are affordable, reliable, easy to use, and friendly. It’s just a no-brainer!
You can get your own domain name starting for around $12 a year and manage it from their dashboard which is clean and simplistic.
- To initially build an online presence I recommend starting with Instagram. Then you can move on by creating a website.
- If you are going to sell products Shopify is the simplest option to build an online store.
It allows customers to integrate a shopping experience directly on top of their own website. Shopify also helps with inventory management & order & payment processing.
Shopify starts at $29 per month, plus transaction fees.
- Planoly: is an Instagram scheduling tool. You can draft Instagram posts and set a future day & time for when they will post. I often schedule my Instagram posts 30-60 days in advance. There is both a free version and a paid version.
- Email Lists: I love the female-founded email marketing platform called FloDesk. These women answered all of the issues of the email marketing game with a beautiful, intuitive, and unlimited feature platform.
Honestly, FloDesk is about as affordable as it gets, and you’ll start with a free trial. It is $19 a month as of the time of this article. This is one of those services that’s worth paying for.
They are very designed oriented, they guide you through the process to create emails by telling you here is where an image goes, here is where the copy goes.
- Canva: A photo editing tool which you can use to create customized graphics for your newsletters, social media posts & presentations. You can alter your own pictures or browse Canva’s image library. It’s quite simple to use as compared to some other graphical tools.
There is a free version or you can pay $12.99 per month for the pro version.
The free version has tons of functionality, but I think the Pro version is worth the upgrade if you want to upload your own brand fonts and colors, and have access to library of stock photos, videos, and other elements.
- QuickBooks Online – One of the most popular and best accounting software options available. You can monitor income as well as expenses. It has a simple interface where you can easily send statements to your sellers and suppliers. Also, you can easily automate your everyday expenses in minimal time.
The cost is as little as $25 per month.
- Turbo Tax. Maybe your business is a startup and you haven’t developed much complexity. You can do-it-yourself until you can afford an accountant. Tax filing, especially for small businesses, can be really cumbersome. You have to consider all the previous year’s taxes, deductible business expenses, income, etc. That is why TurboTax comes in handy. You can synchronize TurboTax with QuickBooks to access all your income and expenses. It can also track the taxes from the previous year as well as deduct any business expenses associated with travel, advertising, materials, etc. The tool is available for for around $120 for federal income tax filing fees and $50/ state.
- Slack – A quick messaging app. It’s basically a communication tool that helps people working in teams. I think of it as a cross between text messages & emails.
Slack allows teammates to create a “channel” based on interest, project, or departments and chat with their colleagues in a streamlined manner.
You can also share files within Slack. Slack starts at $7 per month
10.Zoom has gained massive popularity during worldwide lockdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic and for a good reason. You can conduct online meetings and share screens with your clients. There is a free option with limited features and Pro plans starting at 14.99/month.
- Unsplash – photos that are completely free and are of high quality; so, it’s a perfect tool to go for when in need of stock and attractive photos. You can discover photographs of everything – business, landscape, food and much more.
- Calendly – appointment scheduling software. It eliminates the old school way of using email and phone tags for scheduling meetings. You connect your business calendar to Calendly and then Calendly will only present the days and times you are available to others so they can reserve an appointment with you. There is a free version and a premium version which is $8 month.
There you have it, some of the best business tools out there to help you run your business efficiently. All of these tools are great at what they do, and you cannot go wrong with any of them. Still, your choice is bound to depend upon various factors like the size of your business, a particular business problem you are looking to solve, and of course, your budget.
Remember: You don’t need all or any of these tools to be successful. If you have limited money to invest in your business, start with the tools that will save you the most time and take the place of hiring a human until you can build out your team.