The Top Five Web-Based Tools for Small Businesses
in Small Business Tools on June 12, 2019
Get More Sleep at Night and Get a Handle on Your Business
You’re crushing it. Your “small” business isn’t feeling so small anymore, is it? You’re feeling like you need three of you just to get through the day. Well, since cloning yourself isn’t currently a viable option, your next best bet is to get yourself some more tools in your tool belt. These web-based small business tools will save your time and sanity, and make your days so much more productive that you actually might catch a wink or two of sleep at night.
We’re not talking about a trip to The Home Depot here. We’re talking about jumping online and finding tools that can help you manage your business and bring more dollars to your bottom line. These are tools that will benefit most any small business owner who does project-based work, whether you own a construction business, law firm, marketing agency, photography business, or anything in between.
Our top 5 recommended small business tools.
As we’ve already established, no matter how hard you try, you can’t be in two places at once. But, you also don’t have time to drive all over town for meetings. Sure, sometimes an in-person meeting is the only way to go, but video conferencing is the next best thing to being there. A basic Zoom plan is free, with an unlimited number of meetings for up to 100 participants.
2. Mail Chimp
If you’re coming home from networking events with your pockets stuffed full of business cards and you’re currently just piling them up on your desk or randomly sending one-off emails, it’s time to tame that tiger. It’s not enough to just connect on LinkedIN and hope for the best. You need to reach out directly to customers and prospects on a regular basis and keep them up to date on your business and your services. Mail Chimp is also free for small businesses, with up to 2000 contacts. If your list has grown past that point, you can upgrade to a paid plan. However, if you need to be able to track customer activity and automate your leads, it might be time to convert to a program like Infusionsoft, which starts at $99 per month.
Yes, it’s true. No matter what business you’re in, you must do social media. You don’t have to do all of them… just pick the ones that are relevant to your business. If you’re an accountant, you should focus on LinkedIN. If you’re a graphic designer, Instagram is for you. But the worst thing you can do for your business is set up a profile and let it languish. It’s like putting up an open for business sign and not turning on the lights or failing to unlock the door. So pick your platforms and commit. Hootsuite is an online social media management tool that allows you to link your social accounts and schedule out posts so you don’t have to think about it every day. They offer a 30-day free trial and it’s only $29 per month after that for up to ten social profiles. It’s well worth it.
4. Intuit QuickBooks Online
Of course, you need an accountant. But you also need to be able to access your financial data in real time. Whether you have a bookkeeper doing your payables and receivables, or you’re still doing it yourself, you need an easy-to-use system that your accountant can also access. While many other systems have hit the market recently, QuickBooks online is still the king of small business finance management. They offer a 30-day free trial, and their “Plus” program covers the majority of the bases, including payroll, for just about any small business.
While programs like QuickBooks are necessary to get a handle on your P&L and balance sheets, you also need a tool to help you get a handle on the all-important cash flow position. Financial forecasting, project management and capacity planning are the kinds of things you need to feel good about in order to close BOTH eyes at night. FuelGauge is just the tool to help you manage project chaos and get the big picture view of your business. As your projects stop, start and finish, FuelGauge allows you to easily drag and drop them to update their status. FuelGauge offers a 45-day free trial and is only $49 per month after that, and you can cancel anytime with no obligation.
Who are we? We’re FuelGauge.
We’re small business owners who use these tools ourselves. We’ve tried others that we felt didn’t work as well, so we thought we’d save you some time, money and leg work. The team at FuelGauge knows how hard small business owners work. We’re in the trenches too. We’re a small, but mighty, band of enthusiastic small business promoters who work diligently to make business owners’ lives easier.