This post Business tools for small businesses contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
As a small business owner, I know first hand how daunting it can be when starting out on your business journey. In this guide, we are sharing with you a number of online tools that have helped me run my small business and will help you with your business. These business tools for small businesses are a must for anyone looking at starting their own business.
A bit about Me
I’m Jacinta, and I help small business owners and entrepreneurs just like you to create an online presence for their business through designing, editing and marketing their websites.
I started my journey back in 2007 and I wanted to share with you, in this article, some of the best business tools for small businesses I use that have kept me on track and helped grow my business.
Topics we will cover in this blog post Business tools for small businesses include
- Web Design
- Administration and Organisation
- Customer Relations/ Project Management
- Image/ Graphic Design
When it comes to creating a website there are so many options available to choose from that it can become quite overwhelming. Options include WordPress, Wix, Showit, Squarespace, Shopify and a number of other options. I always recommend to my clients to use self-managed WordPress.
WordPress is one of the easiest and powerful content management systems available when it comes to web design. WordPress allows business owners to be able to edit or add content to their website without needing to know HTML coding.
If you are new to creating a website I have a free 7 day email guide to create your very own website using WordPress. Download the course today. Download the course today.
Administration and Organisation
Administration takes up a large chunk of time for any small business so finding online tools to streamline the tasks that are needed to be performed is a must.
Google Drive is a free and easy to use service that allows you to save files and access them from any computer using the cloud. Google Drive also allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms and more.
You can also share files between yourself and your clients for ease of liaising with your clients.
Google Drive is secure and automatically backed up so eliminates lost work and the need to save your own files on your computer.
If you are anything like me I wasn’t the best speller at school so using a program like Grammarly is a great way to make sure that there are minimal spelling errors in my work. Grammarly will underline any errors and also make suggestions so sentences make sense.
This little robot sits in the background and underlines my errors whilst I am editing word documents, emails, blog posts, website content and any other files I am working on.
There are many options when it comes to how to lay out your daily tasks. I personally use a planner and a notebook to plan my days. However, there are many online planners and calendars out there that are amazing if you are more inclined to have everything online.
I use the amazing Stephanie Pase Planner which has so many options. She includes monthly goal sections and overview, reflections for the past month and even home, health and budget sections to keep me on track.
As for online calendar options, I recommend using Google Calendar as this can be accessed from anywhere. I have it on my phone so I am able to check appointments whilst out and about and it keeps me on track with both personal and work appointments.
Voice Assistant Apps
Siri, Bixby, Google Assistant or Alexa, I am sure you have heard of at least one of these. I have an Apple Phone and Siri is my best virtual friend. I find it handy to just say ‘Hey Siri’ can you add a reminder to do xyz, or ‘Hey Siri’ can you put in my calendar appoint with Joe Blog on Monday at 2pm or ‘Hey Siri’ set an alarm for 45 mins etc. It makes it so easy to just speak rather than having to open a program to add something in.
There are so many email options out there these days such as Outlook, Hotmail, Gmail, Bigpond, and Yahoo just to name a few.
If you are a business I recommend that you set up an email as part of your business such as firstname.lastname@example.org (name @ your web address) as it looks professional and then link your business email to your Gmail account. This is relatively easy to set up. If you would like help I can help you set this up.
Google offers two different options for emails. There is the free version which also includes access to Google Drive and all that is included with it, or there is G-suite which is now called Google Workplace. This would benefit a company that has several employees as it offers more geared towards larger teams.
Customer Relations/ Project Management
When it comes to customer support and management of client projects there are hundreds of options. Having a Customer Relations Management (CRM) in place is a must and these are some of the best business tools for small businesses including Hubspot, Slack, Monday, Trello, Asana, Dubsado, Pipedrive and Saleforce are just a few and they all have different features that may or may not suit your needs and you may even need to use more than one tool to suit your business needs.
There are three that we use as part of our business.
The first we use is a custom project software that we designed ourselves which allows us to track where we are up to with each customer and communicate and assign tasks to each team member.
The second is Dubsado which we use in a number of ways. Dubsado allows us to create forms that we embed on our website and once a customer completes the form it creates a workflow depending on the customer’s selection. If a customer selects ‘New Web Design’ then they will be sent an email thanking them for completing a form which will then have a questionnaire and information about our business and how we can help. From there it will create a project on Dubsado that will link the forms and questionnaires and all emails sent to the client from Dubsado. We can then also invoice the client, send them proposals and contracts and also allows customers to view their documents in a customer portal.
Dubsado allows us to streamline the process of our interactions with clients and customise forms, emails and invoices with our branding.
The third tool we use in this space is Trello. Trello allows us to create boards and workflows for goal setting, planning and management of data. We mainly use Trello for our social media management however the options are limitless as to how it can be used for managing projects and customer data.
Accounting is a must for any small business as a way to manage sales, profit and loss, taxes and of course GST.
We were using Wave however at the end of 2020 they announced they were no longer offering their services to Australia. We decided to change to a program that could meet our needs as we had registered for GST, so we researched the major players in Australia which are MYOB, Quickbooks and Xero.
We decided for our needs that QuickBooks would be the best for our business. We use Quickbooks to track our sales, see how we are tracking, and to calculate GST and BAS each quarter. We then share this with our accountant to double check and lodge our taxes.
Quickbooks has the ability to create invoices however we create invoices via Dubsado as mentioned above which then syncs the invoice and payment with Quickbooks so we only have to create the invoicing in one place and this streamlines our process with our customers.
Image/ Graphic Design
As a Web Designer, I create many designs for my client however I am far from being a graphic designer. So here are some business tools for small businesses I use.
We use many image libraries such as Pixabay, Shutterstock, and Pic Monkey for images and photos and depending on the image required these are free for use for personal use.
When it comes to design, you can not go past Canva. Canva is amazing and I use it for all my graphics, flyers, ebook designs, logo designs, social media images etc.
Canva is free to use (I do have the Pro version as there are additional features) and easy to use. With a drop and drag approach to creating and also has templates that you can use to help get you started.
And finally the last main business tools for small businesses is Marketing.
Once you are all set up it is time to market your business. Digital marketing is a must these days with 77% of your customers will find you online.
Digital marketing is delivering your business to your potential client via digital marketing channels such as search engines, social media, websites, email, and even direct messaging. For more information on digital marketing head to our digital marketing blog post.
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest are the main social media that we use however there is many other platforms such as Twitter, Tiktok, YouTube, Snapchat and many more.
It is important to have an email list to reach your clients and potential customers and send them out emails on a regular basis. Mailchimp, Convertkit, Aweber and Mailerlite are a few that help small businesses with email marketing. We use and recommend Mailerlite to our customers.
Conclusion of business tools for small businesses
When it comes to your business setting up your website, administration, customer relationships, accounting and marketing can be very daunting. We hope that this business tools for small businesses guide will help you heading into 2023 and beyond.
I’m Jacinta Thomas, also known as your humble wordpress web design tech whiz and online marketing consultant.
I’m a reserved yet highly motivated and adaptable digital marketing expert ready to use my online marketing knowledge to help your business be seen online and ramp up your sales. I love horses, dogs, cats, country music, chocolate and most of all helping people.
I help family focused entrepreneurs build top ranking, self-managed websites, help work through any wordpress tech issues and get set up with hosting, blogging, SEO and social media, so they can earn more money and live their dream life.
If you’re ready to get your business online, and seen on social media and all search engines then check out my blog, biz resources, jump into my free Facebook group and of course contact me at any time.
I hope you enjoyed my business tools for small businesses guide above.