10 Must-Have Tools for Growing Small Businesses
If you’re the owner of a growing small business, you should be taking advantage of as many low-cost or free programs, resources and websites to help you. There are so many out there that can be of great use in many areas of business. Here’s our top 10 free tools for growing small businesses; all of which we’ve used ourselves and would highly recommend:
At the top of our list is a tool you have probably heard of due to it’s wide-spread popularity: WordPress. It’s used by a huge range of individuals and companies; from people who blog as a hobby to multi-million pound businesses.
If you haven’t heard of it- WordPress is a piece of software used to create websites.
WordPress can work for anyone and everyone, it’s so simple to use and it’s free! What’s more is that WordPress has thousands of free plug-ins to add onto your website to make improvements and customise your website as much as you like. You have full control and you don’t have to be a website designer to use it.
We would highly recommend WordPress for any small business starting out.
Having a website is a big step towards growing your small business but if you don’t know how many visitors you’re getting to your website or to a particular blog post, then you have no way of knowing whether your website or its content is doing its job.
That’s where Google Analytics comes in as one of many great tools for growing small businesses. Google offers a free version and a premium version of Google Analytics and the free version is effective enough for most small businesses.
It can be quite complicated but with a bit of time, you’ll get used to it and it will certainly help you to improve your marketing. You’ll have the ability to see how many visitors you’ve had to each page of your website, where the traffic is coming from, what page your visitors are clicking on next and at what page they are leaving your website. And that’s just the basics! With this wealth of data, you’re able to track and measure what is working best to engage your visitors and what isn’t working so well and make improvements accordingly.
Slack is ultimately, an instant messenger for businesses. You can set up your own ‘Workspace’ and your team can communicate via Slack, in a group message or 1 to 1 messages. However Slack can do a lot more than just instant messaging. It offers a whole range of Apps you can connect to your workspace, including Trello, Dropbox, Twitter, Google Calendar and Evernote.
This means you can complete tasks and collaborate together on other apps without leaving Slack, ensuring that everything is kept in one place!
Trello (as mentioned above) is a great tool for collaborating on projects. Similar to Slack, you can create your own team and within this, you can create ‘boards’. Each board could be a separate project that your team is working on. On each board, you have multiple lists (as few or as many as you like) and on each list you have what’s known as ‘cards’. Each card could be a task for example. It sounds complicated, but I can assure you, it’s really simple and definitely worth a go for small business that need to stay organised and on top of multiple projects and tasks.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of Dropbox; a cloud-based storage solution for businesses of any size. With Dropbox, teams are able to upload their documents from any location, on any device, as well as being able to edit and collaborate on documents stored in the cloud. Dropbox is free for up to 2GB of storage and for anything more than that, there are small monthly charges. But these are small prices to pay for extra storage, backups and easy and remote access to files.
The next on our list of tools for growing small businesses is Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a great little tool that allows you to schedule your social media posts, saving you valuable time to concentrate on more important things! You simply connect your social media accounts to the app, compose a post and schedule it to go out to all of your accounts at once, at whatever time you choose. Social media can otherwise be an extremely time consuming, but necessary task in the modern era and so being able to automate this task is a must for any growing small business.
Unsplash is a great website for completely free stock images. There’s a whole range of images to choose from for use on your blog, website and social media. High quality, visually appealing photos are so important if you want your brand to look professional and so we would highly recommend visiting this website and taking advantage of the beautiful photographs on offer.
Canva is another website that is a fantastic tool for small business owners. Canva allows you to create graphics, again for use on social media etc. and is so simple to use. It offers plenty of different and completely customisable templates to get you started, or if you’ve got an eye for design, you can start from scratch. Canva gives you options to create graphics that are optimised for different social media channels and even allows you to add your own logo. The website give you a whole range of free graphics to use in your designs but you can also pay a small fee for more complex or higher-end graphics. All in all, Canva is a perfect tool for anyone wanting to create sharable, eye catching graphics for online use.
Next on the list of excellent tools for growing small businesses is join.me. Join.me is a free video conferencing solution, making it really easy to connect with clients and colleagues remotely. It couldn’t be more straight forward to start a meeting with a client, simply send them a meeting code and direct them to the website to enter the code and they’re in!
The final item on our list of tools for growing small businesses is of course, a CRM system. If you’re aiming for growth in your business then a CRM system is absolutely vital because without it, it’s virtually impossible to keep track of every prospect and customer you engage with. But with a CRM system, you can offer a more efficient customer experience, your sales department can sell more effectively and as a team you can work more collaboratively.
We would of course recommend InTouch– combining CRM, automation, email marketing and more, into one in-expensive package, however there are so many solutions out there to choose from. So choose what’s right for your business but do make the investment. You won’t regret it!
So that’s our list of 10 tools for growing small businesses. Have we missed any off the list? Have you used any better alternatives? Let us know in the comments!