Ironically, small business owners have limited time and resources to find tools that make their businesses more efficient. So we made a quick list of 7 online tools that make running a small business easier, more efficient, and more affordable.
1. Canva (Free)
Canva is a free design tool, that utilizes drag and drop technology, for creating beautiful marketing and branded materials. Even with limited to no graphic design experience, Canva can help business owners quickly create social media posts, business cards, menus, posters, and more. No need to hire a graphic design, learn Photoshop, or send out dull presentations. Canva is fun to use, intuitive and makes materials look like a million bucks.
Canva offers pre-designed templates for inspiration and custom dimensions for free creation. With a wide array of elements, backgrounds, images, and icons, Canva makes designing a breeze. The free version offers a robust amount of features and the paid version offers a few additional tools small business owners may enjoy.
Small business owners are sure to fall in love quickly and enjoy the fruits of their (easy) labors for a long time with Canva.
2. G Suite (Paid)
Google’s G Suite is really a bunch of different tools that can be easily created and accessed from one account. G Suite provides small business owners with access to custom email addresses, team calendar sharing, and cloud storage. Small businesses can increase efficiency, communication, and collaboration from one place with G Suite.
For as little as $5 an employee, business owners can get access to a business Gmail account. With a little effort and research, small business owners can finally set up that much-desired @yourbusiness.com email address that they’ve always wanted.
One of the best features that Google and G Suite offer with their Google Cloud services is access to Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations. These programs are similar to Windows Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but they can be easily shared via URL, stored in managed folders, and collaborated on in real time.
If you’re looking to make your small business more efficient while looking more professional, look no further than the Gsuite from Google.
3. Google Analytics (Free)
After you’ve set up your company’s access to G Suite, it’s time to look at another powerful Google product — Analytics. Google Analytics
is a free to use software that can be installed on any website for tracking visitors. Measure, track, and compare website data and traffic across many different important segments and see which channels are driving people to your website. All from one place.
Every small business should be interested in measuring growth, and there’s no better indicator of growth than traffic to a business’s website. Curious if that marketing campaign is getting your business in front of customers? Check your website’s traffic on Analytics. Want to see what site visitors are doing on your website? Check Analytics.
Using analytics properly can help a business owner make important decisions based on historical website data and results.
4. Square (Paid)
Square is a credit card processing technology, software, and hardware company. They help businesses process credit cards from virtually anywhere — on the go, in their store, and even online. The best part, businesses don’t pay a monthly fee to use Square technology and their credit card processing fees are the best in the industry.
Square software is extremely robust for a free option and features inventory, employee, customer, and analytics management built in. Their hardware allows for credit card processing from phones, online, and from their ultra-cool POS desk stands with touch screens.
If you’re using an old cash register or expensive POS, you need to check out Square. It doesn’t just make business easier, it also “wows” customers.
5. Homebase (Freemium)
We can’t say enough great things about Homebase, a free to use employee scheduling, timesheet, time clock, and hiring software. You can access all of your employee management and communication from your phone or desktop app, making it perfect for the busy owner.
Homebase helps small businesses run more efficiently by removing some of the more tedious tasks that come with having employees, hiring, and management. For example, employees can request time off, swap shifts, and track their daily work tasks from their phone. Business owners can even monitor employee clock-ins, sales, and payroll remotely, or on days off. All from one single location, all in one single app.
6. Buffer (Free)
helps small business owners schedule, post, and analyze their social media posts across different social media platforms. Not only does it schedule posts, buffer helps determine the best time to send out these posts to each of the individual 6 social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, G+, and LinkedIn).
Small business owners focused on social media engagement will free up a lot of time by creating social media posts ahead of time then letting Buffer do the rest. Analyzing results and then adjusting social media strategy accordingly is easy with Buffer. Small businesses will benefit from more efficient social media distribution and execution.
Don’t forget to create those sleek new social media posts in Canva and track the results of your posts in Google Analytics. Bring your social media campaigns full circle with Buffer for free.
7. MailChimp (Free)
When it comes to email marketing, no company does it better than MailChimp. With MailChimp, businesses can easily organize, send, and design winning email marketing campaigns. With affordable pricing and intuitive interface, MailChimp makes it easy for any busy small business owner, regardless of email marketing experience, to make an impact on their business and customers.
The best part of MailChimp is their easy to understand reporting features that are available seconds after an email campaign is sent. Small business owners can see the results of every email sent to their customers by using their custom MailChimp dashboard – open rates, click-throughs, and impressions. With a little practice, any business owner can become an expert email marketer with MailChimp
and we all know how valuable email marketing can be.
8. G2 Crowd (Bonus)
Finding and sorting through new tools to make a business more efficient can be a time consuming, and thus counterintuitive, task. That’s why we also recommend using G2 Crowd when searching for that next software or service for your business.
With G2 Crowd
, small business owners can find and research the best online software and services other people are using and recommending. Get insights, read reviews, and compare different online tools in minutes, straight from other people who have actually used them.
G2 Crowd will make finding an efficient new small business online tool, well…more efficient.
Best Online Tools for Small Businesses in 2018
Although this is not an all-encompassing list, we feel as though with these tools, your small business can be more efficient and profitable in your day-to-day operations. Most importantly, these tools should help you, the small business owner, have more time to spend with family or running your business rather than your business running you.