If you are like most business owners I work with – you are always looking for how to do more with less. One of the easiest ways to create leverage in your business is through technology. There are many tools available to the small businesses – it can be difficult to navigate all the choices and how to prioritize.
As a business coach and a fellow business owner here are my top picks:
FOR ONLINE ANALYTICS. Google Analytics. This go to tool – is FREE, easy to setup and a MUST have for every business with a website and plans for growth. The information collected is priceless in evaluating your marketing efforts.
FOR CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT: Zoho. There are many choices when it comes to CRM’s, this is my favorite for businesses new to managing a customer database. It is popular among business owners because of Zoho’s simplicity to get started and its opportunity to add functionality as a business grows.
FOR EMAIL MARKETING: Constant Contact. This is an effective tool for communicating with your connections, prospects and customers. It allows you to segment your database to email just the right people, with a meaningful message just for them and schedule for just the right time. The support team is top notch and the reporting of open rates, click through rates, etc. is both meaningful and easy to understand. Monthly pricing is based on the size of your database with additional features as add-ons.
FOR FINANCE: QuickBooks. This tool is a must for every business to help track, budget, and plan their success. The desktop version is worth the moderate investment or an online version is available for shared and remote access for a monthly charge.
FOR MANAGING SOCIAL MEDIA: Hootsuite. A platform that schedules post to multiple social media sites at the same time. This is a real time saver as well as a way to stay disciplined in posting at appropriate times and with regular frequency. The free version offers a good starting point for most small business owners.
And the list of tools just keeps going….
- Dropbox – Securely share, sync, and collaborate files with team members or customers.
- Evernote – Remember everything. Manage it all. Simplify it with Evernote.
- Google Mail – Get branded email. Work from anywhere. Includes calendar, docs, & video meetings.
- LinkedIn – Communicate with a variety of business owners and engage them professionally.
- Twitter – Find community, conversation, and inspiration about the things you love.
- Facebook – Drive online sales, increase local sales, promote your app, & raise brand awareness.
Technology is so important for a small business to run smoothly, efficiently, and productively. The ability to save them time, energy and ultimately money while adding value to the company and the overall professionalism offering peace of mind because tasks get done professionally and consistently.
YOUR CHALLENGE: What small business tools are you currently using? Review your list and ask yourself if there’s something that could work better. Then look for those tools.
For your complimentary business coaching session visit www.bestchicagobusinesscoach.com. To register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, visit www.workingonthebusiness.com. Let’s work together to help your business grow.