Work. Efficiency. Getting things done – this was and will always be one of those things that will drive us all crazy. There’s always too much to do but barely anything gets a check on the “to do list”. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools that help you achieve all that and more. Here is a list of a few tools that we think every business owner should use:
Follow-up is the secret to getting business and it’s not about all the fancy marketing paraphernalia that you’d deploy. It’s not about the hustle as much as it’s about the string of hustle-like follow-ups that we do following the first contact with a potential client. Follow-up makes you persistent and success is an aftereffect.
Given all that you have to do to promote your business each day, follow up is tall order. That’s why it makes sense to automate it to an extent. It makes sense to actually let a tool like RightInbox work in the background to help you keep in touch with your prospects while you are miles away from your inbox.
Just where is that business coming from? Out of all the channels available for marketing your business, what works and what doesn’t? Weren’t you supposed to know if Facebook works better or Twitter does? Last month, what exactly was the revenue? If you have a team working for you, how do you track everyone’s performance?
You don’t need Salesforce.com or SugarCRM for everything (some businesses do, most really small businesses don’t). What you do need is a cool web-based tool like Base CRM that does everything and it’s free to start with (you pay when you grow big enough).
Accounting is for the number geeks. It’s for those socially awkward, gutless kids who turned to numbers and calculations to keep their sanity intact. Accounting, for most people, is boring. For accountants, it’s a way of life. Businesses owners wedge themselves into an interesting conundrum now – they hate accounting but they have to do it. But how?
Enter Xero: it’s web-based, small business accounting software that makes accounting seem like a web-based game. It facilitates instant invoicing, quotes, and its integration with various other popular tools ensures that you bring your accounting and marry it to your business. For once and for all, your accounting is now fun and it tags along wherever you go.
For every gig you apply to, the phone calls you make, the emails you send, the follow-ups you do, and for the actual in-person meetings you accomplish you can track sales off these efforts using BaseCRM or other such Customer Relationship Management tools. What if you get business of social media? What about all those conversations you have on social media that’ll one day lead to sales and continued business? Recognizing that social media is a rainmaker, Nimble CRM works as an incredibly effective tool to manage your social conversations and still have a way to track sales and other business that accrues thanks to your social media efforts.
There’s no dearth of project management tools. While working with clients, we invariably end up using all available project management tools such as BaseCamp, Trello, PBWorks, DeskAway, and many others. Yet, for some reason, we still stick to Mavenlink for our own project management. The portfolio of websites we own and for all clients who didn’t consider using online project management software yet.
What are your favorite tools? What are some of the tools you can’t do without?