The new year is upon us. The question is what are you going to do with it? My guess is that like most of us, you want to grow your business. And having your business processes running smoothly is critical to increasing your income.
If your process is clunky it will be hard for you to grow. More employees or outside help may be impossible without the right tools. But which ones? These 7 tools should help you save time, money and get paid on time more often.
Manage your social media with ease: Buffer
I have touched on this tool before in other posts. It is one of my favorite for posting to social media automatically. With a little time spent in advance, I can create a queue of content to go out to each social network.
Having regular content posted on social media is important. But most business owners do not have time to sit on social media all day long. Buffer takes the daily grind out of the picture. This will save you a ton of time in the long run.
Gain a better handle on your projects: Freedcamp
If your business derives its income from projects then it is critical to track them properly. A project management program is the best way to get a handle on all the little details. You don’t want things falling through the cracks.
Freedcamp is a great project management system for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. With a free tier to get you started and low-cost advanced tiers, you won’t feeling like you are breaking the bank. The interface is easy to navigate. It can also integrate into things like Google calendar. And there is a mobile app, so you can manage it on the go.
Basic online storage made easy: Google Drive
Google Drive is an easy solution for small businesses to have cloud storage. Share documents between your business and clients with a simple link. Or store a backup of your most critical files. At the time of this writing, Google Drive gives you 15gb of online storage. The 15gb is in their free tier, with low pricing for more storage.
The platform has the ability to scale with your business, by moving from Google Drive to Google Cloud. Google cloud supports more advanced file storage and protection, good for large businesses. When it comes to keeping files safely online, Google has you covered. There is also a local installer, which will allow access to your drive files right from your desktop.
Maintain better customer relationships: Hubspot CRM
Hubspot has become known as the inbound marketing gurus in the industry. And they have some excellent free course to teach you marketing skills. They have also built a great customer relationship management tool. The Hubspot CRM works for companies of any size, with many of the features are available for free.
With an easy to use interface, you can add companies, contacts and create a record of your interactions. Schedule follow up interactions and track the emails that you send. This allows you to keep track of all your clients. Never leave your clients out in the cold again.
Set up a mailing list and use it: MailerLite
If you do not already have a mailing list, now is the time to make one. A mailing list will help keep your business in front of your clients, and may even ward off competition. And with MailerLite, it is easy to set one up.
Once the basic list is set up, you can add sign up forms to your website, and other places you do business. Then you can send out a newsletter on a regular basis, using a campaign template. There are some predefined templates or you can create your own. Everything is in an easy to use interface.
Get paid, both online and in person: Paypal
Paypal used to be for people using eBay, but anymore they cover payments all over the web and more. With a basic Paypal Business account, you can set up payments on your website. We have a pay online section that connects to our Paypal account. This allows for quick payment of our invoices.
Paypal also has a credit card processing system, called Paypal Here. With the new reader, you can take both emv chip and non-chip cards all with your mobile device. We use our reader to take payments in our office and while onsite at other locations. They also have a debit MasterCard that allows you to spend all that hard earned money even faster.
Keep your books in order: Quickbooks
Disorganized books can get you in hot water. From lost money to unpaid or unbilled invoices to incorrect tax data, it is easy to lose track of things. But Quickbooks can help you resolve all those problems. It scales to any size business, and can even handle things like payroll.
There are two versions of Quickbooks. An online version and a desktop version. The online is subscription based, always the latest version and is easy to use. The biggest problem is offline use. Without the internet, it does not always function well. The desktop version is a one time cost for each version and works well on most computers. Both will get the job done, and done well. They also allow for easy mapping of tax categories, which makes the tax season much better.
With these 7 tools, you can streamline your business and make this year be your best. Try each one out, many have trials or free versions. Not every tool is the best fit for every business. Make sure you test them before you use your business resources.
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