Managing a business is a lot of work.
You have a website to run, clients to bill, employees to manage and piles of paperwork to get through each day. But having the right tools at your disposal can make all of this a lot easier.
There are hundreds of online tools that can help you streamline the tasks that you perform every day, but who has time to try them all out?
That’s why we put together for you a short list of just the 5 tools that you need to manage your business.
As your business continues to grow you can add other tools to your arsenal but these five will provide you with the core essentials that you need right now.
There are more than 3 billion people on the Internet today and your website is what makes it possible for them to find you.
Having a professional-looking website is crucial for your business and with WordPress you can set one up fairly quickly.
You don’t need to know any coding to create a website with WordPress. Simply create an account and find a template with a design that you like. You can also hire a designer to create a WordPress template for you if you don’t find a template that meets your needs.
One of the best things about WordPress is the large variety of plugins (many of which are free) that you can add to your WordPress website to incorporate more features, like a scheduling calendar or contact forms.
To find out more about creating a WordPress website take a look at these articles:
- How to Build Your Own Business Website with WordPress
- 20 Awesome Examples of WordPress Sites
- WordPress resources
As your business grows you will begin hiring more employees and assigning them projects and tasks to work on. Having a good project management tool in place is important in order to help you track the progress of all the activities and to keep communications open within your team.
Dapulse is a great project management system for businesses of all sizes. The central dashboard displays your current projects and the tasks related to each one, which can be viewed by everyone in your business or team. This makes it easy for everyone to track the progress of each project and to see what needs to be prioritized.
You can also use Depulse to set goals and deadlines and delegate tasks to individual people or teams.
Depulse will help ensure that everyone in your team can easily see the “big picture” of where your business is heading and what steps you need to take to get there.
You can read more about Dapulse and its features in this review from Finances Online
Managing your invoices and expenses is an important part of your business, but you don’t want it to take up too much of your time.
As a small business, you don’t yet need sophisticated full-featured accounting software, which can be complicated to set up, as well as expensive. For now, a good tool that allows you to collect payments and track expenses should do the job well, and for that we recommend Freshbooks.
Freshbooks is an easy-to-use invoicing tool that allows you to track expenses, track time spent on individual projects, invoice clients, receive online payments and create reports for tax purposes and annual assessments.
It’s a great option for small businesses that don’t yet need a full accounting solution.
Take a look at these articles to learn more about Freshbooks:
- Why FreshBooks Is A Great Accounting Solution For A Small Business
- FreshBooks Review: Simple Bookkeeping for Small Business Owners
- Want Your Clients To Pay Faster? 7 Surprising Tips From FreshBooks
A lot of people don’t realize this but Google Drive actually offers many of the collaboration and sharing tools that you need as a small business.
You can use Google Docs and Sheets to create documents and spreadsheet, which can be shared with other people and collaborated on in real-time, eliminating the hassle of emailing documents back and forth.
You can also store all of your documents in Google Drive, which can help prevent the loss of data if someone forgets to save a document, or if your computer crashes. And since all your documents are saved in the clouds you are able to access them from any device, even when on the go.
Google also offers an upgraded package of services for businesses, called Google Apps for Work, which includes double the amount of storage space, 24/ 7 phone support, calendar sharing, custom domain emails and video meetings via Google Hangout.
Read these articles to find out more about Google Drive and the Apps for Business:
Social media has become an integral part of most businesses marketing activities and with Sprout Social you can manage all of your social media in one place.
- Post messages to social media: Sprout Social allows you to schedule and post messages to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn personal profiles and Google+ company pages.
- Schedule social media updates: Create a schedule of set times that you want to publish to each social media platform each day and then add content to your queue as you find it.
- Curate content with Feedly: Sprout Social integrates with Feedly so you can read through the blog posts that you subscribe to and share articles with your follows from within Sprout Social.
- Track your analytics: Sprout Social also integrates with Google Analytics so you can track the results of your social media activities and make appropriate adjustments.
- Monitor your brand and relevant keywords: Use Sprout Social to track mentions of your company, product or brand as well as keywords relevant to you and your industry that are mentioned on Twitter and Facebook.
- Create reports: Sprout Social offers several reporting options, such as allowing you to see information from Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, or get a trends report with frequently mentioned topics and hashtags.
Take a look at these articles to help you decide if Sprout Social is a good option for your business:
- How to Use Sprout Social to Manage your Social Business
- Throw Out Hootsuite and Use Sprout Social?
- 8 Reasons Your Business Needs Sprout Social [Review]
Apart from generating traffic, one of the most significant challenges business owners face is how to convert website visitors into leads and paying customers. As a matter of fact, only 2% of website visitors really are converted, while the other 98% slip through the cracks. That’s why it’s super important to know exactly who has been on your website.
Albacross, the B2B lead generation platform, is exactly the tool for this purpose. It will enable you to identify and monitor the companies that are visiting your site. You’ll get a full profile of each lead which includes such data as company size, its revenue, industry, location, and contact details of their chief decision makers.
What’s more is that Albacross integrates with Zapier, which means numerous applications are at your disposal, such as different CRM systems, email marketing tools, etc.
What are your must-have tools for managing a business? Tell us about them in the comments.