Boost Your Business with These 13 Must-Have Tools: Unlocking Efficiency and Success
Are you new to business and need help organizing your time and money? If so, below are 13 awesome tools that will help you start your online or brick and mortar business.
*This post may contain affiliate links to online business tools, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link!*
But before we dive into the best online business tools, let’s talk about your priorities.
Outline Your Priorities
Business priorities are important because they will help you spend your time and money wisely. One way to capture your them is through a business plan.
Your business plan should in essential part of your business toolkit. It will include a section on how you want to grow and develop your business, which includes how to reinvest your profits.
If you do not have a business plan in place, do not stress out – get one from here.
The most important thing your business plan should answer is, “What does my business need RIGHT now?” Similar to my earlier article Maximize Your Productivity, I distinguished the urgent from important.
|Not Important and Not Urgent||Urgent but Not Important|
|Urgent and Important||Not Urgent but Important|
Make that Money Work for You
Yes, you read that correct. Use your money correctly. One way to do that is by taking your business profits and reinvesting them back into your business.
So ladies (and perhaps you too gentlemen), do not spend the money on your hair, makeup and clothes. And yes, delay getting the latest and greatest iPhone or Android (unless you need it) and put the money back into your business.
Investing properly in your business now will pay off in terms of avoiding costly repairs in the future.
The sacrifice is well worth it. If you are serious about growing your business, you need to invest in online business tools & marketing tools that will work hard for you and your goals.
Now that we have cleared that issue, let’s talk about where to use that money. These are the places which you should invest in right now to help lay a good foundation as your business grows.
Your Business Buy List
Below is a list of things your business will need as it grows. It is not an exhaustive list but it will help lay a good foundation. Some of these items to are free or low cost.
Invest in a Business Coach
A combined business and life coach should be number one on your list. Your coach will help you avoid the pitfalls and help you from making poor business decisions. Don’t have one –let’s talk!
Buy a website. Unlike social media, you own it and control what material comes on it.
It does not matter if your website comes from Weebly, Bluehost or Square Space. Find a provider and pay for a website. And if necessary, buy plug-ins like EWWW IO to help improve the load speed of your website.
My first website cost me $150 and it was a simple WordPress website. Remember, people want to learn more about you before they pick up a phone or send you an email address.
Your website should be clearly organized and explain these elements: what you do, how you do it, who you serve and how they should contact you.
Search engine optimizations is essential if you want people to find you online. This SEO SWAT article is a great resource to help you identify areas of improvement.
Course or Teaching Portal
Professional Email Address
Say goodbye to your @gmail.com or @yahoo.com address and get a real email address.
If you want people to take you seriously, this little bit of money is worth the investment. If you already have a business website, you should already have one. You can obtain a business email address from GoDaddy for as little as $2/month.
Customer Relations Manager (CRM)
As your business grows, so will your list of business contacts. Make sure you have a good CRM. This will be helpful because as your list of customer grows, you can easily segment them by their unique business or personal needs.
Many companies like Hubspot and Salesforce offer FREE CRMs. Zapier created a list of the best free CRMs available. Take a moment and set one up now.
Online Business Email Marketing Service And Tools
Talking about your CRM, you need to keep in contact with your people. Remember I mentioned that companies like Hubspot offer free their CRMs for free? They did not offer it out of the goodness of their hearts, they know you will need keep in contact with your customers via email.
If you do not want to use them you can also online business email marketing tools like Constant Contact, Awber or Mailchimp. These companies will help you to create landing pages (also known as splash or squeeze) to help generate new leads.
You may not think you need a lawyer now but I promise you will need one in the future.
Legal Shield can offer you legal protection for as little as $25/month. You can also buy stand-alone contracts, terms of service agreements and other useful forms from companies like Artful Contracts.
Make your Business a LLC.
Shield yourself from liability and deduct your expenses using a LLC.
Virtual Assistant (VA)
Your VA will be your second eye to help manage your business. They can help you from everything from writing email messages, copywriting, email marketing, ad creation or graphics.
Contact me and I will send you a list of VAs that I recommend. If you need help with copywriting, you NEED to contact Tania Dakka. She provides entrepreneurs copywriting services at an affordable price.
It does not matter if it is online or in print, devote at least 20% of your profits towards advertising.
Do not rely on referrals alone to help create new business. You can advertise online, in print or sending old-fashioned mailers. Whatever mode you choose, make sure you track and monitor the performance of your campaigns.
People intermingle this issue with advertising. Marketing and advertising are related, but separate issues. Marketing is about understanding your customer and tailoring your products to appeal to them.
The Marketing costs include the research of your ideal customer (where they are, interests and spending habits). This includes money towards surveys or participating in focus groups studies. Make sure at least 1-5% of your business costs is devoted to marketing tools for online business.
Do not lose track of your money! Manage your books using Quickbooks or hire a bookkeeper, this will help make sure every penny you earn is accounted for. Once you got that your money organized, an electronic organization system will help make sure everything else is in order.
Electronic Organization System
Whether you choose to use Google Drive or Evernote, find a system that will help you organize all of your files in a cloud network. I personally had too many computer issues to realize that keeping my files local was a bad idea.
There will be many other investments you will need but the items above will help you stay organized and efficient.
If you are my client, we will help you nail down on investments that make the most sense for your stage in business.
Interested in working with me? Learn more about how business and life coaching works.