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16 Online Tools Every Small Business Should Use!

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Running a business can make you feel like there’s never enough time in the day. Small or solo businesses that don’t have the benefit of tons of employees or assistants have a lot on their shoulders.

The more time you can save during the working day, the more productive you’ll be. Online tools are a great way to organise and manage your business, while saving yourself time. Here are some tools small businesses shouldn’t do without.


Accounting Tools

There are many accounting tools that businesses can make use of online. It’s important for small businesses to keep track of money. Businesses that fail to keep track of how money is spent or how much money is coming in are bound to fail. Your income, expenditure, debt and more should be available for you to see at the drop of a hat. Using online software will allow you to easily do your accounts and budget for the future.

Calendar Scheduling

Have you ever found you’ve double booked yourself or forgotten about a meeting you booked months in advance? When you haven’t got the use of an online calendar, it can be difficult to keep track of where you need to be and what you need to be doing. Tools like ScheduleOnce can help you to keep your meetings and projects in order. With this particular tool, you can even block off sections of your week to show you are free for meetings with clients or colleagues.

Email Management

It can be difficult to keep up with emails throughout the working day. Not only do you have to switch between windows while you work, but you also have to prioritise emails and plan follow ups yourself. With software like Copper’s Gmail integration, it’s all done for you. You no longer have to worry about setting time aside to manage your emails yourself because this handy tool will do it all for you.

Communication

Sometimes, it’s easier to explain something face-to-face. What could take an hour via email can often be accomplished in five minutes during a telephone call. Using tools like Skype for business means you can quickly and easily talk face-to-face with clients and colleagues to accomplish your goals. It also means you don’t have to leave your work base to get things done. So, if you work remotely, you don’t have to travel in order to have a meeting about a particular project.

Creating Content

No business can thrive without creating content for websites and social media platforms. It’s marketing and advertising 101 to have content that engages your audience, but it isn’t always easy to find the time to create said content. Using tools like PicMonkey can almost half your time when it comes to editing images and getting them post worthy. The same goes for editing blog posts and other pieces of writing. Sometimes you need that little bit of extra help to spot mistakes and correct them. Tools like Grammarly are great for this.

Ecommerce Shopping

When you run an ecommerce business, it’s important to have a quick and reliable checkout process. You can use online tools to integrate checkout software onto your website with relative ease. This kind of software helps to convert visitors into buyers, not just because it makes buying easy but also because the set up looks trustworthy. There’s nothing more important than designing a checkout process that looks and feels safe to shoppers. Tools like Shopify are ideal for the task and don’t cost much to install.

Answering Questions

When it comes to running a business, there are always questions to be answered. Think about the amount of times per day you ask yourself a question you don’t know the answer to.

It may seem like an obvious tool for business and life, but Google is still worth a mention. When you aren’t sure about something, enquiring via the search engine will almost always get you your answer.

You’ll also be able to do searches on your own business, your competitors and upcoming trends in your industry.

Entertainment

When the work day is long and hard, sometimes you just need a little break. Listening to music is one of the best ways to change or enhance your mood. Tools like Spotify allow you listen to music while at your desk and it can even make you more productive at times.

It’s free to use, as long as you don’t mind listening to a few adverts in between songs. If you want to pay for a subscription, those adverts will go away, and you’ll get to listen to non-stop tunes for as long as you want to. The tool will even make suggestions on artists you may like to listen to based on your song choices.

Document Sharing

It can be easier to have one platform where everyone has access to the same documents and files. This kind of software can also double up as storage for documents and way to communicate with clients and colleagues. For instance, tools like Basecamp or Google Drive are ideal for all of these things. They can be especially useful for anyone working remotely who has to communicate with others online on a daily basis. It’s also great if there’s a time difference between people you’re working with in different countries.

Mental Health Wellness

Being an entrepreneur is hard work and it can sometimes get the better of you. If you’re stressed about deadlines or you’re having difficulty working with a client, it can affect your mental health. There are plenty of online tools that can help you focus on your mental health and put your well-being first. For example, one tool helps you to keep a gratitude log. The aim is to write something you’re grateful for every day in order to train your mind to stay positive during stressful times.

Marketing Advice

There isn’t a business owner alive who isn’t wondering how to market their business in a better way. Marketing is one of the main keys to converting your audience. So, using an online marketing tool could be exactly what you need to gain a boost in sales. Tools like Moz can help you to rank your website in a better position and gain the lead over your competitors. You can get services, products and even ready-made content from some of the tools available online today. Why do it yourself when you can get this pre-designed insight?

Networking Guidance

Networking is vital to businesses of any size. You can build some great connections by meeting people in business and potential customers at networking events. However, it isn’t always easy to hear about events in your area- especially if your business is new. Using networking tools is the best way to find out about events in your area or more specifically, in your niche. It may mean that you have to travel to attend niche events, but what you gain from it will be entirely worth it.

Outsourcing

You may have times where you get more work than anticipated and need some help managing things. Whether it’s someone to take on the admin side of things by answering emails and social media messages or someone to help with projects, outsourcing could be the answer. Finding someone to join the business on a temporary basis from a remote location is often easiest online. Sites like Fiverr and PeoplePerHour can point you in the direction of reliable virtual assistants, content writers, web designers and many more.

Inspiration

Running a business isn’t just about hard work; it’s about inspiration and passion. Sometimes, that inspiration can be lost in amongst the piles of projects. It’s important to keep that inspiration alive, but a moment of inspiration can be easily lost if you aren’t ready to take note of it. Using an online tool to take notes will mean you’ll be able to log ideas as soon as they come to you. You can share notes, create voice memos and create file attachments too.

Project Management

If you work with a small team on projects, it may become time consuming when it comes to communication and assigning tasks. Tools like Asana will allow you to easily create and assign those tasks within minutes. Your team could even voluntarily take on the tasks once they’ve been created. Everyone has access to the same platform and can share ideas and ask questions on the project link. The tool will update you with the progress of the task whenever someone asks a question or completes a task successfully.

Industry News

It’s important to keep up with what’s happening in the business world. Using podcasts like Entrepreneur on Fire is a great way to learn through other people’s experiences. You’ll get to hear a new business owner describe their business journey every day. You’ll hear success stories and failures, along with suggestions and advice. It’s a great way to gain some new ideas and avoid some potentially damaging routes.

Online tools are fantastic way to boost a business without too much effort.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com

1 thought on “16 Online Tools Every Small Business Should Use!

  1. I agree with the vast majority of the suggestions but you lost me with Skype. Skype is no longer a successful competitor to business-friendly apps such as Brosix, Telegram, Troop Messenger, etc.

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