Tools for small businesses come in all shapes and sizes. It can be hard to tell what’s the real deal and what isn’t worth investing in. In general, though, it’s incredibly important to take advantage of the tools at your disposal. From streamlining your workflow to getting help with scheduling, it’s all freeing you up to do what you’re truly passionate about. Here’s a brief list of some amazing tools for creative entrepreneurs that you should definitely be getting your hands on:
The creators of Dubsado went into business after seeing a need in the market within their own community. It’s one of the best business tools out there for streamlining all the bells and whiles, making everything run smoother and more efficiently.
You can give it a try for free with no time limit and pricing goes up from there once you decide you can’t live without it – either $35 per month or $350 per year.
Some features of Dubsado include client management, contract and form creation, automated workflow systems – you get the drift. It’s pretty much an all-in-one service that makes entrepreneurial life that much easier.
Slack is all about collaboration. It might be just you for now, but if you’re smart, the next step is delegating and growing your team. Slack helps teamwork make the dream work – efficiently.
So, what can Slack do for you?
Some of its features include organized conversations, searchable history, and the ability to connect with other small business tools you might already be using like Zendesk or Salesforce.
For small teams, you’re able to get started with Slack for free. Then, once your team grows, prices increase to $6.67 per user per month for a standard subscription and $12.50 per user per month for the whole gamut.
For project management from start to finish, Asana is one of the best business tools on the market. Essentially, it’s a glorified to-do list and all those little things you which you could do – like add layers to your calendar or checklist, Asana has thought of everything.
To give you a small taste of what Asana can do, it’s imperative that we mention the Timeline feature. With it, you’ll be able to create detailed project plans (with dependencies – meaning one task might not be possible until another task is complete) making sure you meet those deadlines, even when plans inevitably change.
Plus, everything is customizable so you won’t be stuck with workflows like assigned, in-progress, and complete. As creatives, sometimes our work is just a little more complex. Asana gets that.
Basic membership is free and it’s perfect solopreneurs just gettings started in the world of project management. A premium subscription is $9.99 per user per month and a business subscription is $19.99 per user per month. But, you can give it a try for free regardless.
Most creative entrepreneurs probably have a love/hate relationship with PDFs. They’re super convenient when they work, but so annoying when they don’t. Well, I guess that’s the case with everything, but I digress.
One of the best business tools ever is Smallpdf and everyone should know about it. It can convert almost anything into a PDF and, conversely, PDFs into almost anything.
Need to re-sign the lease on your office space? You can do that with Smallpdf. Need to save one specific PDF page from a long contract? Smallpdf has got you covered. Plus, all the obvious conversions like going from Word to PDF, compressing PDFs, and JPG to PDF.
It’s a lifesaver.
Let’s face it – starting a business in this day and age without putting some effort into your online presence just doesn’t seem to be a good idea. The good news is that graphic design is the name of the game when it comes to Canva.
We can’t all be design gurus churning out killer graphics on the daily. Until Canva came along. Canva has thousands of templates and stock photos to make almost any graphic imaginable. From sale banners to Facebook posts, it’s all there.
They even offer tutorials and courses to help you enhance your skills. Start using Canva completely free and pay for only premium stock photos as you go. From there, you might upgrade to Canva Pro at $9.95 per month.
If you’re a business owner who feels overwhelmed by the sheer amount of meetings you have to plan and execute, you’re not alone. That’s where Calendly comes in.
With Calendly, you create simple “rules” and set your availability preferences. From there, you’ll get a link with your calendar to send via email or embed right on your website. When someone wants to have a meeting with you, they’ll pick a time and it’s added to your calendar.
Already use the iCloud calendar? No worries – because Calendly can sync up with your Google, Outlook, Office 365, or iCloud calendar so that you never have to worry about getting your dates mixed up.
It’s as simple as that, making it one of the best business tools for busy entrepreneurs.
At each pricing level, Calendly offers a 14-day free trial and from there you can either continue with the free Basic membership or upgrade to Premium for $8 per user per month or Pro for $12 per user per month.
There seems to be an app for everything nowadays. We use Gmail to send emails, Dropbox to save files, and Mailchimp to streamline our newsletter. These apps are supposed to be making our lives easier, not more chaotic.
The truth is, there are all fantastic tools. But staying on top of everything can be tricky. Zapier integrates all the apps you love and makes workflow processes even simpler.
First, you’ll link the apps you use every day with a few quick clicks. Then, you’ll create workflows using the shared data from these apps. That’s it.
For example, you might set a trigger as “getting an email on your Gmail app” which automatically takes the action of “saving any attachments to your Dropbox app” and finally “alerting you in Slack about the new Dropbox file”.
Everything is customizable and is one of the best business tools as it works with over 1,500 apps.
For simple automation, you can start with the free version of Zapier but if you want complex workflows to help your favorite apps start working better for you there are a few pricing options. The Starter pack is $20 per month, the Professional pack is $50 per month, and the Professional Plus pack is $125 per month.
With everything moving toward the online space, your internal laptop hard drive might be feeling the pressure. If you haven’t taken advantage of Google Drive yet, now’s the time.
Forget saving countless Word documents on the limited space you have on your Macbook. Google Drive gives you 15 GB of free storage space to store, share, and access your files from any device.
As one of the best business tools built by the mega-giant that is Google, Google Drive can be upgraded to Google Enterprise $8 per user per month plus only $1 per 25GB.
Especially if you also have Gmail, Google Drive is a no-brainer and it’s incredibly easy to integrate the two. Plus, your changes save automatically so you won’t have (another) mental breakdown at the hands of lost work.
😍 Want to become a guest contributor for Social Circle? We’re currently accepting guest contributors for this blog. If you’re a business coach or online marketer with practical ideas to grow an online business, we’d love to hear from you. Send an email to info[at]socialcircleinc.com for more details.
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