Useful Tools to Run a Small Business

Useful Tools to Run a Small Business

Running a small business can be a challenging venture. Keeping up with everything that needs to be done and making sure that you are optimally operating your business can seem like working on a never-ending list of tasks with no rest in sight. Add to this unexpected issues that may arise with clients, employees, changes occurring within your industry, etc., and you suddenly have more on your plate to contend with. Thankfully there are many tools that small businesses can take advantage of that can help reduce the small business operator's workload so they can focus more energy on other areas in their business or in their personal lives.

There are tools that can help in virtually every area of business that can help you save time and increase customer satisfaction and profitability. In this article, we will cover some of the most useful tools that can help you run a small business and which areas of your business in which they can be applied. The various tools and software in this article will be listed underneath the area in which they apply to your small business.

The following list is some of the areas of your business that can be aided by the use of different tools and software:

  • Accounting and Bookkeeping

    Regardless of your level of math skills or your affinity for keeping your company's books, accounting and bookkeeping can be one of the more time-consuming tasks a small business owner undertakes. Fortunately, a number of high-quality and user-friendly tools can assist in this area and greatly reduce the amount of time that is spent managing your books. The following tools are some of the most popular amongst small business owners for helping with accounting and bookkeeping:

  • Quickbooks
  • Freshbooks
  • Wave Apps
  • Xero
  • Website Design

    A website is the world's first impression of your business, so it's essential to have a quality website. However, hiring a web designer can be an expensive endeavor, and learning how to code and build websites from scratch can take a lot of time. You can use a number of easy-to-use website-building platforms to create your website yourself. Many include customizable options and various features you can build into your site. If you are on a smaller budget and don't have much coding experience, you can utilize one of these different platforms to build your own website. Some of the most popular DIY web design platforms include:

  • WordPress
  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • Online Payment Processing

    Processing payments online can be a very important part of your business, depending on the type of business you operate. If most of your business occurs in a more traditional setting offline, receiving payments online can add additional convenience for your customers, helping you reach more people and convert more sales. A number of companies offer online payment processing systems that make accepting payments online easy and secure. Using a well-known and secure payment processing system can also give your customers the peace of mind of knowing that their information will be safe. The following are some of the most well-known online payment processing platforms:

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Square
  • Shopify
  • Apple Pay
  • Venmo
  • Document Creation and Sharing

    The creation and sharing of documents within your organization and amongst your clients will likely be an important aspect in most businesses. However, the contacts that you are sharing documents with may use different document creation platforms, which may require others to download and learn to use new software where they may be more familiar with another platform and share documents from it. In addition, emailing multiple people back and forth and sharing documents this way can become confusing and tedious, resulting in a time-consuming and cumbersome process. Thankfully there are several tools that can be used to help streamline this process and make sure everyone is on the same page. By utilizing one platform that everyone can use to create and share documents amongst one another, you will be cutting out a lot of unnecessary effort that is exerted while multiple people are creating and sharing documents from numerous platforms and via email. These are some of the best document creation and sharing tools that will help you communicate and collaborate with others:

  • Google Docs
  • Microsoft 365
  • Zoho Docs
  • Dropbox
  • Airtable
  • Notion
  • Communication and Meetings

    Nowadays, many small business owners are choosing to use online communication tools to host their meetings instead of holding in-person meetings. Holding online meetings can help businesses save their employees, clients, and their own time, money, and effort. Online meeting platforms can increase convenience, productivity, and profitability as meetings can be held much more easily. Those attending the meetings do not have to be physically present or travel to the same location to attend the meeting. This saves the company money in travel expenses and allows them to address company issues much more quickly and frequently, which helps the company operate more efficiently. With remote work on the rise, these types of platforms are likely to increase in popularity and use. Some of the most popular online communication and meeting tools are:

  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Meet
  • Slack
  • Skype
  • Marketing

    Marketing is obviously an important aspect of any business. A company can have a great product or service, but it will not gain many customers if no one knows about it. Creating the right marketing strategy and converting sales, though, can be challenging. Several companies, however, offer online marketing tools that can help small businesses successfully navigate this territory. These include data analysis tools to better understand your reach and target audience and direct marketing tools that help you reach more potential customers. The following are some of the top online marketing tools that companies can take advantage of to help understand their target audience better and convert more sales:

  • HubSpot
  • Google Analytics
  • EngageBay
  • KWFinder
  • Canva
  • Email Marketing

    Email marketing can be an easy way to help get your message and product seen by more people. As your email list grows, more people will see your product, and in turn, you will start to convert more sales and grow your customer base. These are some of the best email marketing platforms that are available to help small businesses:

  • MailChimp
  • Active Campaign
  • Campaign Monitor
  • MailerLite
  • Zoho Campaigns
  • Drip
  • GetResponse
  • Social Media Marketing

    Social media marketing can be an important factor in your company's marketing strategy and is yet another way to reach more people. Expanding into social media marketing or increasing your company's visibility on social media can help increase sales and word of mouth about your company. Social media users that fall within your niche's audience can be directly targeted through ad campaigns. Users can click on ads from your company and make direct purchases or can share your content where more potential customers will be able to see it. Here are some of the best companies that can help your business succeed with social media marketing:

  • Hootsuite
  • Buffer
  • Sprout Social
  • SocialPilot
  • Social Hub
  • Sendible
  • eClincher
  • Agorapulse
  • Customer Service

    Ensuring that customers receive good customer service is one of the best investments a company can make. A company with good customer service will be much more likely to have repeat customers as well as gain new customers from positive word of mouth about the company. When a customer has an issue with a product, delivery, or anything else and contacts a company, if they receive good customer service, they are likely to continue to think positively about that company and recommend them to their friends, family, and colleagues. There are a number of services and software that can assist your company with providing top-notch customer service, and the following are some of the best:

  • Help Scout
  • Zendesk
  • Zoho Desk
  • Freshdesk
  • LiveAgent
  • HappyFox

Using different tools in various areas of your small business can save time and effort while increasing your profitability and customer satisfaction. In addition, by using the right tools, you can increase your proficiency in a number of areas and operate your business more efficiently.

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