As a business owner, there are some fantastic tools out there that help you be more productive with minimal effort. In celebration of Thanksgiving, let’s take a look at 10 of these tools you should be thankful for. And if this is your first introduction to some of them, all the more reason to celebrate them!
You’re likely not skilled at designing graphics, posters, or flyers, unless you’re a professional graphic designer. And while you may not be able to afford to hire a designer for every project you have, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to create professional-looking graphics. Canva is built for you: you can easily create graphics for your website, blog, social media, emails, and more with templates and stock images. You’ll be amazed at what you can create.
What it costs: The service itself is free, and most images are too, though some premium images cost $1 each.
You want your social media queue to be filled with useful content shares, but you don’t have time to spend hours daily sifting through what’s out there and post it to your accounts. Enter Buffer: the nifty plugin waits for you to come across great content online. Then, you just click the button and add the page to your queue of social shares. They’ll be published at a regular cadence so you’re not spitting out 5 posts all at once.
What it costs: The Awesome Plan is free (and more than adequate for most entrepreneurs), then business-level plans start at $50 a month.
Instead of rushing to share each individual blog post with your social networks as soon as a blog post goes live, you can use CoSchedule to write your social updates when you create your blog post in WordPress. Then they hit your social profiles as soon as that post goes live, and you don’t have to think twice about it.
What it costs: CoSchedule is $10 per month per blog.
You’re probably not an accounting wiz either, but with intuitive accounting software like FreshBooks, you don’t have to be. You can invoice clients, accept payments online, and get reports on your finances easily. Plus, you can connect with payroll services so you pay your staff on time and get your payroll taxes taken care of with minimal effort on your part.
What it costs: A very basic account (manage 1 client) is free, and then packages start at $19.95 a month.
#5. Tweak Your Biz Title Generator
Ever been stumped on what your blog title should be in order to attract massive amounts of traffic to it? Never fear, the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator is here! This free tool allows you to enter the subject of your blog post, and then it gives you dozens of ideas for your title, each more creative than the last.
What it costs: Totally free.
If you’re looking for a tool to manage your social media profiles from a single source, Hootsuite fits the bill nicely. You can set up streams for each of your social accounts or for keywords or hashtags, and you can schedule content to go live in the future. There’s a neat new feature that produces relevant content you can schedule to share with the click of your mouse.
What it costs: There’s a free account for managing up to 3 social profiles, and then packages start at $9.99 a month.
Keeping your team on the same page for projects can be a challenge without a smart project management platform like Podio. With it, you can assign employees tasks, set deadlines, and upload files for access by team members. It’s great because it keeps all your communication on a project in one easily-accessible location.
What it costs: Podio Lite is free for up to 5 employees, then Teams plans start at $9 a month.
#8. Google Drive
Being able to access your documents from any computer makes business travel stress free, and Google Drive lets you do just that. You can also create word processing documents, spreadsheets, forms, and presentations and then share them with clients or employees. Anyone with access can make edits, which are viewable by anyone else who opens that file.
What it costs: Free, if you already use Google Apps.
#9. Nimble CRM
Customer relationship management software continues to evolve. Nimble is particularly useful in that it not only lets you record important client data, but also view their activity on social media, emails you’ve sent them, and tasks you or your staff are assigned.
What it costs: Nimble is $15 a month per user.
If customer service overwhelms you, get smarter about how you approach it. ZenDesk utilizes innovations like chat and an intuitive dashboard to help you analyze customer service requests and make decisions that keep your customers happy.
What it costs: Pricing starts at $1 per agent per month.
What small business tools would you add to the list? Which ones are you thankful to have?
Images: ”Happy Thanksgiving word cloud on a vintage slate blackboard surrounded by pumpkins/ Shutterstock.com“
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