With a treasure trove of online tools and software available, find ways to work smarter so that you can accomplish more in less time without the risk of burnout in the process. To help you get started, we’ve compiled such tools and software to help you run your small business more productively.
Shopify is one of the most well-known eCommerce platforms for small business owners - for a reason. It boasts a collection of more than 100 professionally-designed themes for you to choose from. Apart from that, Shopify also has up to 1100 different tools and apps to boost functionality for your online store.
This easy customisation process with 24/7 technical support for any potential glitches is what draws millions of users all over the world to choose this eCommerce platform over many others. Shopify has a 14-day free trial with the basic plan starting from USD$29 per month.
Inbound Marketing & Customer Relationship Management
HubSpot is a marketing software platform that helps companies gain new customers through what they call inbound marketing. This methodology focuses more on attracting customers naturally by earning their attention by providing useful, informational and most importantly, search-optimised content such as articles, videos and infographics.
If you’re a business that values producing quality content, HubSpot is the ultimate all-in-one platform to help you efficiently execute, automate and measure your inbound marketing efforts. Apart from marketing features, HubSpot can also provide additional support such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and creating lead profiles to help you track your potential customers as they move along to the next stage of the buyer’s journey. They have a free plan to help you get started so you can try it out before investing in some of the advanced options that they also provide.
If you’re looking for a way to build loyalty and trust in your brand, email marketing is the way to go. It is a crucial way to build relationships with prospective, current and even past customers as it gives you a chance to reach out directly to them at a time that is convenient for them.
To simplify the process, MailChimp can help create and manage mailing lists, newsletters, automated marketing campaigns and more. Similar to HubSpot, it also has a free plan for up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 sends per month, with a daily send limit of 2,000 so there’s no reason to not give it a try.
Creating and carrying out surveys
Want to carry out surveys to find out more about your current or prospective customers? Typeform is the solution for you. This is an app that allows you to ask questions in a casual and easy manner, making it an easy and effortless way for you to connect with your audience better. Prices range from USD$35-70 per month but there’s also a free plan for you to try out first.
While there are many great instant messaging apps to choose from, Slack is known to be a great time saver for work communications because of how organised it can be. Conversations in Slack are easily searchable and can be categorised neatly according to projects, topics, teams or whichever way that works for you. There’s a free version but even for small businesses, the Standard option is pretty affordable at USD$6.67 per month.
Team collaboration and management
Trello is basically the technologically-advanced version of the to-do list which will help your team work more collaboratively and effectively. It provides boards, lists and cards to enable teams to not only organise but also prioritise projects in a fun and rewarding way. Best of all, it’s free!
Trello can also be integrated into the apps your team already uses such as Google Drive and Slack and even has an app for your smartphone so you can access it anytime while you’re on the go.
Running a business means that there’s a lot of documents to be signed. Instead of having to print out each document, signing, and scanning it again, HelloSign enables you to sign anything electronically through your desktop or smartphone, saving you plenty of time and effort in the process. It helps you save the environment too so that’s a win-win for us!
HelloSign offers a free plan which limits you to 3 signature requests per month but there are also other options to choose from starting from USD$30 per month.
All-in-one accounting solution
QuickBooks is an accounting software program specially created to help small businesses manage income and expenses while keeping track of their financial health. You can use it to for simple things such as expense tracking, invoicing customers, paying bills to powerful cash flow management and reporting.
Accounting is a big part in ensuring your business success and longevity so it’s important to invest in a software that can provide all you need to manage your business finances. There’s a 30-day free trial with the most basic plan going for SGD$10.70 at a current discounted rate (Usual price SGD$21.40) so try it for yourself to see how well it works for your company.
It might seem overwhelming at first but it’s important to constantly find ways to improve your productivity if you’re serious about taking your business to the next level. To make the best out of the tools and software we’ve mentioned, sign up for the Aspire Business account which offers 1% cashback for online marketing and Software as a Service (SaaS) purchases.
As a small business owner, it’s normal to be saddled with a never-ending to-do list. If you’re thinking that you just need to work harder, that’s actually the opposite of what you should do.