6 Essential Tools for Small Businesses
Starting my business was one of my biggest achievements, but I still view it as a constant journey. Every year I grow a little bit more into the mission and vision of my work! These are six essential tools to getting started on your dreams.
1. Solid Website
It's most likely that the first place someone will become acquainted with your work is online. Even if you don't feel confident about launching your brand, having a website presence is the first key step to gaining the legitimacy of potential customers. Looking great online is like wearing a nice outfit to a job interview, you want to be remembered!
2. Google Analytics
The best way to improve your website is to learn about the people who are visiting it and their behavior! Doing regular check-ins to your analytics will give you an idea of how you are doing and what improvements you need to make to your site. One of my favorite tools will show you the search keywords someone used to navigate to your site. The other advantage is that when you're ready to start running advertising campaigns on Google, your analytics will already be set up and you can use that information to your advantage!
3. Social Media Streamline
You have to look consistent on every platform applicable to your brand. Choose the most manageable social media platforms for your brand and focus on those. Keep it simple and learn how to link posts between platforms for a seamless sharing experience. This is where you get to engage with your audience and show off your personality. It does not have to be dry and boring!
Newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your customers. With newsletters, I preach the motto 'Less is More' because you don't want to end up in someone's spam folder. Only send newsletters when you have a big announcement, or are sending out a promotional discount, and your audience will not only remember you, but will respond positively to an email blast. Make sure the aesthetics in your newsletter are consistent with your brand for reinforcing brand recognition.
5. Cloud Backup
Arguably the most important tool for a small business is a cloud backup. Having a hard backup drive on site is also recommended, but there are many advantages to having a backup on a cloud server in a different location. This is the safest way to make sure you never lose your work, should a hard drive fail, if there is damage to your equipment, or even if your computer is stolen. Most of our business lives occur in a digital space, and we have to make sure to prioritize protecting that space.
6. Accounting Software
Make your life easier by getting acquainted with the less glamorous side of the business. Using accounting software you're comfortable with will make things easier come tax time. Personalize your invoices with your branding letterhead. Organize your receipts. Open the tax code and see what deductions are available to you in your industry. Having your accounting in order saves you time and money.
I hope these simple tips can help you get your business tools in order! Maximize your time for greater efficiency and devote your time to clients while these tools do the work for you!