Starting a new business will cause you to spend a lot more than you planned and building up your income may take a lot longer than you had hoped. That may not be what you want to hear, but it is for your own good. I have heard different variations of the same advice time and time again, and I have experienced this first hand!
What does this mean for all of you?
It means that you should pay careful attention to anything of value that you can pick up for free. I want to share six of my favorite tools for your business that will make your world a more organized and efficient place.
Check these out:
There are quite a few good options out there for building a list and MailChimp is the service that I got started with. It has a good basic version and they recently decided to add all of their automation features to their free plan. This list building service is very user-friendly and integrates with a lot of different programs out there which makes it very versatile as well. If you are looking at building an email list for your business, this is a great place to start.
I have used a few of the workflow management tools out there and Trello is my favorite that I have seen. This is intended to manage all of your tasks on a different day, week, etc. It really becomes important if you are working with multiple clients or if you have a growing team that needs a clear path showing what their responsibilities are. Again, super capable free version and I don’t know that I will ever need to upgrade this.
Slack is potentially my favorite program of all time. I get excited just thinking about it! It is a messaging app for teams to keep in touch with one another. It has a messenger and a new video feature similar to Skype as well. Slack works very well from mobile or desktops and everything updates in real time. You can share files of all kinds with groups of people or via direct messages. I use it to talk to three team members in different time zones and it works very well for all of us.
4. Google Calendar
I would be so lost without my Google Calendar. It’s not terribly exciting, but it is very effective. I like the fact that it updates instantly across all devices and I can share it in “view only” or “edit” mode with my team. It keeps me organized in my personal and professional life and I would be less sane without it.
This is a scheduling tool that integrates with Google Calendar. If someone wants to schedule some of my time, I can send them a link and it shows them my availability and they can choose what works. Calendly then updates the calendars of both parties, eliminating the need for countless emails going back and forth trying to find a mutually agreeable time and date. This will give you a more professional appearance to your clients too.
I can still remember how happy I was the first time that I realized that there were social scheduling tools available. I started with Hootsuite and switched over the Buffer because I found that it was more user-friendly and visually “cleaner” to look at. I also ran into some technical problems with the old service provider, none of which I have ever experienced with Buffer. They do have a really good podcast out too, so it’s easy to see why I like everything that this company does. I would suggest giving them a really good look before going with another, similar social sharing tool.
My sincere hope is that everyone reading this was introduced to at least one new software to try out and enjoy for FREE. All of these programs can be upgraded to a more robust paid version (except for Google Calendar) so you can stick with familiar platforms that will grow with your business. I have tried others along the way and stuck with the ones that worked the best for my business.
If you are seeking a bit of support in your startup, perhaps one or more of these tools will be just what you have been looking for.