Starting a small business can be an exciting journey, but it can also be a daunting one. There are so many different apps and services out there that it can be really overwhelming to know where to start. Are you in the same position, just starting your small business?
Let’s see what else you need, apart of a dedicated brand strategy and good website.
Need Small Business Tools And Software?
From web hosting and invoicing apps to email marketing platforms and password managers, this article covers 9 essential tools and software that every small business should use. With these tools in hand, you’ll be able to streamline your operations, boost productivity, and focus on what really matters: growing your business.
These tools to run your business can actually fit most small and medium-sized businesses. So read on to learn more!
1. Web Hosting Platform
Every small business needs a website, and to design a website, you need a reliable web hosting platform. A web hosting platform is essentially a service that allows you to host your website files and emails on their servers. There are many web hosting platforms to choose from, but some of the most popular include Bluehost, HostGator, or SiteGround. When choosing a web hosting platform, consider factors such as reliability, uptime, customer support, and pricing.
For years, I have used SiteGround’s (Grow Big Plan) for my websites (and my client’s websites) since, it’s one of the well known hosting providers. However, that changed when I discovered romarg.com a Romanian company delivering the best hosting services for small and medium sized businesses. My website is now much faster due to the LiteSpeed Web Server which is much better as compared to Siteground’s NGINX.
I’m using them to host websites open to global audience (with the focus on US market), as well as for local websites that receive visitors from EU. I definitely love the speed! Yet, nevertheless, for international accounts, Siteground still is one of my recommended hosting platforms.
2. WordPress Website
If you’re a small business, you totally need a WordPress website to show off your awesome products or services online! It’s like having your own digital storefront where you can reach more people and compete with the big shots.
But here’s the secret sauce: you gotta use an optimized wordpress theme, a friendly built-in builder, a strong cache plugin and a smart SEO plugin. These will make your website look amazing, load fast, and show up in search engines. And guess what? You don’t need to be a coding wizard to create a killer online presence, get noticed by customers, and rock the online world like a boss!
3. Easy Scheduling Tool
In today’s busy world, you need to make scheduling your next meeting easy. With calendar integrations, booking pages, and customization, you can quickly find the perfect time, let others see your availability, and make it all match your style. These tools free up your time so you can focus on growing your business and making meaningful connections.
Popular options include Calendly (monthly subscription), YouCanBook.me (monthly subscription) or Tidycal (affordable, one time pay). After trying most of the time scheduling services, I decided to stick with Tidycal for all my businesses and my husband’s business. It’s easy to use, friendly and affordable (one time pay apps are amazing for small businesses trying to keep costs under control). Tidycal is one of the useful apps I bought on Appsumo (to avoid monthly subscriptions.)
4. Accounting Software
For a business to thrive, it must sell it’s product or service, isn’t it? But, keeping track of invoices and payments can be a time-consuming task for small business owners. That’s where an invoicing app comes in. An invoicing app allows you to create and send invoices, track payments, and generate reports, when needed. There are some popular invoicing apps include FreshBooks, QuickBooks, and Zoho Invoice, but it’s best to check if they can be used in your country.
For advanced functionality, when choosing an invoicing app, consider features such as automatic payment reminders, integration with accounting software, and the ability to accept multiple payment methods.
If you don’t want to get it all complicated, just pick an app that is easy to use and issue the invoices, and manually email the stripe or paypal links to your customer. If your business is global, yet you’re more comfortable with the wire transfers, you can use an Wise account to have multiple currencies to work with.
5. Email Marketing Tool
Email marketing is a powerful tool for small businesses to reach out to customers and drive sales. Normally, an email marketing platform allows you to create and send email campaigns, track open and click-through rates, and segment your audience. Some popular email marketing platforms include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor. When choosing an email marketing platform, consider features such as automation, personalization, and analytics.
I personally have tested and loved MailerLite (one of the best free plan for up to 1000 subscribers) and I use it for both presentation websites and Wocommerce websites with great success.
6. Contract Signing Platform
While your small business grows, please, don’t neglect the contracts!
And having a contract signing platform can simplify the process and save you time. You can send contracts electronically, track the signing process, and store signed contracts securely.
Some popular contract signing platforms include DocuSign, PandaDoc, and Digisigner (most affordable platform for contract signing). Consider factors such as ease of use, pricing, language (for non-English-speaking countries) and integration with other small business tools when choosing a contract signing software (like payments, your email marketing tool).
I decided to go with Digisigner platform because it is the most easy to use for both me and my customers. It allows me to create “signing links” and place them on my website so that people can read and sign the contracts before placing an order, even on the most affordable plan (the PRO plan).
Plus, since I care about the data privacy, they have servers in Europe too! So if you’re an European business use this link to signup and keep all your data in European data servers: https://www.digisigner.de/
7. Virtual Place For Face Calls
In today’s digital world, face-to-face meetings don’t always have to happen in person. A virtual place for face calls, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet, allows you to communicate with customers, vendors, and employees from anywhere in the world. You can now discuss project briefs, monitor project progress and more, all in a virtual session.
Best apps for this are Google Meet (free), Zoomnotes (has a free plan) and Whereby (has a free plan) and they both allow for screen sharing and recording, as needed.
8. Organize Notes And Projects
Running a small business involves juggling many different tasks and projects, and keeping track of everything can be a challenge. That’s where an app to organize notes and projects comes in.
Well… the best project management tool is not easy to find, since there are SO many available.
Popular options include Evernote, Trello, and Asana. But over the past years, Notion has increased in popularity for note-taking and projects organizing. Plus, if you choose the Notion AI addon, your productivity at work will go skyrocket!! Nevertheless, when picking your platform, consider features such as collaboration, integration with other apps, and ease of use.
9. Create Beautiful Graphics
Visual content is a powerful tool for marketing your small business. Creating eye-catching graphics, social media posts, and flyers can be a challenge if you don’t have a design background. That’s where a design app like Canva comes in handy.
Canva is an easy-to-use graphic design tool that allows you to create professional-looking graphics, social media posts, and marketing materials quickly and easily. It offers a wide range of templates, fonts, and graphics that can be customized to suit your brand. Canva also offers a free version with limited features and a paid version with additional features.
For the past 1-2 years businesses have also decided to use Figma app, to collaborate on their brand’s designs with their designers.
With billboard advertising, you have the opportunity to increase brand visibility, drive more foot traffic to your business, and boost overall brand engagement. Don’t miss out on this effective and impactful marketing tool that can help your small business grow!
Pick Your Best Small Business Tools
I hope that, chosing the right apps and services can make all the difference in helping you run your business efficiently!
It’s also worth noting that while these apps and services are important, they’re not the only things you need to consider when starting a small business. Other factors such as business strategy, clear marketing, good web page design with an effective call to action button are also critical to your success. However, having these essential apps and services in place can help streamline your operations and free up more time to focus on these other areas.
As always, consider your specific needs and budget when choosing these apps and services, and don’t be afraid to try out different options until you find the ones that work best for you. With the right tools in hand, you’ll be well on your way to building a thriving business.
If all this is overwhelming, look for a web designer that can assist you with this. You can ask assistance from a website designer near me or hire a professional freelancer for remote web design services.
And let me know in the comments: what are your favorite small business tools to do business like a pro?