We’ve put together our 10 tools for small business owners, to help you be super productive and to get shizzle done.
Being a small business owner is tough, right? Yup, it’s a jungle out there. How many times have you found yourself doing the same task again, and again (and then forgetting how you did it in the first place, then Googling it, then remembering) and again, and again. Yep – me too.
So, for 2022 I’m focusing on mapping out processes, streamlining things around here, and putting the systems in place to stop me getting stuck in that hamster wheel of frustration. Sound like a plan? Let’s give it a go together.
Which tools though, Tahlia?
I’ve handily collated some of the best small businesses tools for 2022. You’re welcome.
Does anyone actually enjoy managing their small business finances? Anyone (no, not you, Will *rolls eyes* he’s my accountant). Xero helps me to manage cash flow, invoicing and quotes, and give me real-time updates on the health of my business finances. It’s like a mini Will in my IMac (plus his team can access it too, so they makes sure I’m keeping it in tip top condition for my tax affairs). Plus, you can try Xero for free for 30 days.
Hands up if you’ve got a website (I’m guessing everybody has their hands in the air right now, but if not, check out our blog on How to Set up a Killer website). If you’ve still got your hands in the air (you can put them down now) but you should have Google Analytics set up for your website.
I cannot stress how important Google Analytics is. It’s essential to help you understand who you’re bringing in, and what they’re doing on your site. Just by tracking a few key things every week, you can help fine tune your website into a sales (or if you’re like me, a service based business – a lead generation) machine. I like to take 15 minutes on a Monday over my morning coffee to look at these stats, and think about what we can do to improve the website (and our Customer Journey). Check out my handy little GA blog to find out more. (Told you we were a bit nerdy, but we’re quite proud of that fact, really.And it’s quite useful for you, too).
Dropbox or Google Drive?
Ok, so confession time. Our Dropbox is like a toddler has organised it. Don’t do that. (It’s on our to-do list)
You may not be sure whether to go for Dropbox, or Google or when to use either. Here’s my penny’s worth on how to store your precious files and things…
Dropbox – use it for any assets (or in non-marketing blah, Images, Photos, Logos, Video, Ebooks). Basically anything that’s your finished content. Helpfully Dropbox also suggests a naming convention, to help you organise things, and find them easily.
Google – us it to collaborate for working documents. Draft copy, content planning sheets, anything you’re working on. You can collaborate with your team and clients, and keep control of versions. Again, make sure you have a good filing system, otherwise this can become unwieldy and annoying.
Make sure your team (if you have one) is clear on the filing and naming convention. And allocate somebody to manage this, and not let people like me dump files in a higgledy-piggledy type fashion.
The most widely used website builder on the planet. And in my opinion, for great reason.
WordPress is user-friendly, SEO friendly, and most importantly, completely customisable to suit your brand and needs. Yes, you can build a website with Wix and Squarespace, but it a) might not be as great as you may think, and b) it can create HUGE issues with tracking sales via Google Analytics (yup, seen this firsthand). My point here, is make sure your website does what it needs to, will support your business needs long-term, and can be tracked with Google Analytics.
Life is too short for crappy stock photos, plus it won’t help you build any kind of relationship with your audience (unless you want them to think you’re unoriginal and slightly out of touch, sorry if that sounds a bit mean. It’s said with love). As a very visual person, the way something looks is SUPER important to me. Using the right kind of imagery (and consistently) can do wonders for your Insta feed, website images and other materials. If you can afford a photographer, then I’d always recommend you do that first, but if you’re not there yet then collate some beautiful stock imagery which complements your brand style. You can also take your own product pics, but make sure they don’t look like your nan took them. Our photographer and one of our most favourite people happens to have a Creative Hour Package where you can learn how to take your own wonderful product images.
Nowadays, everyone in the world knows Zoom, surely? Well my friend, some of us have been working virtually for years before the big C hit us. (10 years if you want to know) And guess what? We lived with Google Hangouts just great. So, if you do a call with us then we’ll be over on Google. Don’t even get me started on Teams…Better move on.
On Quora, you ask questions and interact with others who can answer with their unique perspectives and offer high-quality replies. Also, answering relevant questions about your industry is a great way of generating long-term, passive traffic to your site. Plus, its also quite amusing to have a little giggle at some of the questions over your afternoon cuppa.
The whole world uses Google, right? Which basically means it knows everything, about everyone. Google trends will give you the run down on what people are searching, and buying right now, by geography and region. Hope over and take a look for your industry and region.
You may, or may not use Pinterest for your business (if you don’t, now might be a good time to start as it drives more traffic to our site than our beloved Instagram).
Pinterest Trends looks at data from over 4m users across the big ol’ world and predicts future trends. It’s better than having your own crystal ball (although you do need Wifi, unless you can magic that up too). Go on, have a look.
Publer is the self-dubbed social media superhero that lets you collaborate and schedule social media saving time and stress. We will be releasing a how-to on Publer, so sign up for our newsletter to receive updates.
A super email marketing automation platform helping business owners to send the right message to the right people. It’s a powerhouse made to help small businesses as an all-in-one marketing platform, and has many benefits over Mailchimp, especially since they’ve updated their pricing recently. We’re affiliate partners, so you can sign up for a free Mailerlite account here (and we will get a little commission if you end us using a paid account, winner).
Phew, if you’re still reading, then congratulations you have won an award for concentration (sorry, it’s a virtual award, but we salute you for your commitment).
Give these tools a go, and let us know if you want us to create any mini training sessions for you.
Ooh, what’s next?
While you’re here, take our marketing health check to see where you need to focus your marketing efforts right now, with loads of handy ways to get started.
Check out our other blogs for more small business tips: