Have you ever had to assemble a piece of furniture? You know, the kind that comes with a 3 inch allen wrench and 300 bolts to put together. My fingers would argue that that is not the right tool for that job.

Whether it be a craft project, home improvement project, or maybe putting a toy together for your child, it’s so frustrating when you don’t have the right tool for job.

The same goes when you are trying to build your business online. There are so many tools out there for your online business needs. Sifting through them to find the ones that are right for you and your business can be difficult.

So, in this article I’m going to show you all the tools that I use for my business, how I use them and what they might do for your business.

13 of my favorite online business tools

1. Evernote

evernote

Evernote allows me to keep all my notes in one central location. However, I can access these notes on any device. The tools that I always find the most useful are those that work across all devices.

Because I can use Evernote on my phone and tablet, I always have access to save my ideas. Evernote allows you to add text, audio, images, scans, PDFs and documents to your notes. This is a powerful tool to organize your thoughts and never forget a great idea.

I do all my writing inside of Evernote and I have multiple swipe files where I keep copies of websites, landing pages and other content that I want to go back and read at a later date.

This is a tool I have been using for over 10 years and absolutely cannot live without.

2. Dropbox

dropbox

Dropbox is a cloud storage service. It allows you to keep all your files in one spot. As a website designer, I use thousands of images each year for my clients. The great thing about Dropbox is that I don’t have to keep all those files on a physical hard drive at all times. With it’s syncing feature, I can choose which folders to keep on my computer and which folders to leave up in the cloud.

Like Evernote, the Dropbox service works on pretty much any device. If I save a file on my computer in a Dropbox folder, it automatically syncs to my phone and tablet. If I want to share folders with clients or collaborators, I can do that as well. As soon as I drop a file into the folder the person I share it with has access.

3. Canva

canva

Having professional looking images for your business is a must. Whether it’s for social media, your website or a printed flyer, if you don’t have professional looking images then people will go looking elsewhere.

Canva allows you to create professional images in any size or format. The free version of Canva has templates for every social platform and print size imaginable. Do you know what size the LinkedIn Profile Header is? How about the optimal size for an image in a Tweet? You don’t need to know because Canva has all of those dimensions built in templates and ready to go. You can also create designs with customs dimensions for your website or any print material.

Canva also has thousands of FREE images and graphic elements available to use in your designs. If you upgrade to the paid versions, you will have access to millions of stock images, graphics and animations. This is only tool you need to create images and designs for your business.

4. Google Workspace

google workspace

Google Workspace offers Email is the lifeblood of any business that has a presence online. Anyone that tells you different isn’t doing right. Having a professionally branded email using your domain is essential. Both for branding purposes and for proper marketing strategies.

5. Hootsuite

hootsuite

Social media is all about engagement. In order to get engagement you have to be active. It can be time consuming creating consistent content for one social media platform let alone multiple platforms. Hootsuite allows you to connect 3 different social media accounts and schedule up to 30 posts at any one time.

Be careful to not just post all the same images and content to all your social media platforms. Platforms are different for sizes of images and the kind of content that you can share. For instance, you could use the same image to your Facebook page and to your Instagram account. However, links don’t work in the text area of an Instagram post like it will in Facebook. be sure to schedule posts separately when platforms don’t align on type of content.

6. Zoom

zoom

Zoom has been a great tool in my business over the past couple years. With the onset of COVID and essentially the end of in-person meetings (hopefully not forever), the need for online meetings has grown exponentially.

The great thing about zoom is that the free version allows you to have up to 100 participants in a meeting for up to 40 minutes and unlimited 1:1 meetings. You can also share your screen, chat and share files with others on the call.

I use this tool to meet with clients and share website projects, sales funnel  setup, email campaign design and also to provide training. The Pro plan allows for unlimited group meeting time, social media streaming and recording options.  Check out their pricing here.

7. Flipboard

Flipboard

Staying up on industry news is essential for most business owners to stay relevant. Industry publications are less and less available in our digital world. That doesn’t mean that the information isn’t out there.  Finding it and staying up-to-date, however, can be a chore.

Flipboard is a great tool to keep on top of the content that means the most to you. Flipboard allows you to aggregate news feeds, social media platforms, photo sharing sites and other websites. The interface is user friendly as it allows you to organize your content and “flip” through articles and other content. The app works across all your devices so you can get your news wherever you are.

8. Kartra

kartra

For a small business owner, finding the tools it takes to effectively market your company can be daunting. Sales pages, email campaigns, lead generation, membership areas, appointment scheduling, online checkouts, videos and customer support are all things that you would have to have separate tools for. Many business owners still have separate tools for all these services. The costs for all these tools adds up very quickly. In some cases it will keep business owners from effectively marketing their business.

Kartra offers an all-in-one solution for all of these tools and more. And the best part is that it is extremely affordable. Some of the tools for sales pages and email marketing can cost as much as this all-in-one tool. Since I started using Kartra for my business and for my clients’ businesses, we have all started to save money and create more effective marketing programs.

Kartra has been so effective for my business and my clients that I became a Kartra Expert providing services and training within the platform. If you would like a FREE Consultation to see what Kartra can do for your business click here.

9. 1Password

1password

How many passwords do you have in your life. Looking at my 1Password account, at the time I am writing this article, I have  513 passwords to keep track of. Holy cow! There is no way I could do it without a password manager.

1Password is an easy and efficient way to manage all your passwords across all of your devices. The ability to make changes or add passwords on one device and have all of my devices stay up-to-date is incredibly valuable.

You can also add family members to your account and create shared access to certain passwords. This is a great option for family members, business partners and clients.

10. Fiverr

fiverr

Sometimes as a small business owner we have to wear many hats to run our business. But let’s be real, you can’t do EVERYTHING. And that’s ok. Some of the best business decisions you will make is when you decide to outsource work. That is not easy but, if your business grows the way you want it to, it will be necessary.

Fiverr is a great resource to find freelancers that can help you with many aspects of your business. Here’s a list of just some of the areas where you can hire an expert for your business.

Graphic Design
Website Design
Social Media Management
Copywriting
Video & Animation
Music and Audio Creation
Programming and IT
Virtual Assistants
Business Consulting

Whatever you need help with, Fiverr has experts that you can hire.

11. simplemind

simplemind

Mind mapping allows you to analyze and structure your thoughts. Simplemind is an excellent mind mapping program that works on your mobile device, tablet or computer.

In can be used in a number of different ways.

You can map out your business processes., organize the different responsibilities for your employees, or use a mind map to present your ideas. For me, I use mind maps the most when I am planning out the design of a website or when I set up the structure of a sales funnel and email sequence.

Sometimes it’s just great to organize your thoughts about your business. Where do you want to go with your business? Having a place to put those ideas and organize them can be very valuable. In some cases it allows you to have that ah-ha moment.

12. NordVPN

nordvpn

Mind mapping allows you to analyze and structure your thoughts. Simplemind is an excellent mind mapping program that works on your mobile device, tablet or computer.

In can be used in a number of different ways.

You can map out your business processes., organize the different responsibilities for your employees, or use a mind map to present your ideas. For me, I use mind maps the most when I am planning out the design of a website or when I set up the structure of a sales funnel and email sequence.

Sometimes it’s just great to organize your thoughts about your business. Where do you want to go with your business? Having a place to put those ideas and organize them can be very valuable. In some cases it allows you to have that ah-ha moment.

13. Slack

slack

Communication is key amongst any team. Email is a great way to communicate and a method with which we are all familiar. However, there are drawbacks to communicating via email with a team.

Slack offers a better way for teams to stay in touch. With slack you can do more that just communicate with typed messages, you can also make calls, share files and connect other useful apps.

Conversations inside slack are much easier to follow. You can create projects and channels to organize your conversations. This is critical in tracking down information. We all know what it’s like to look though hundreds of emails to find a message or a file. Slack allows you to keep it all organized and easy to find.

Need some help with your small business?

Building and marketing your business online can be overwhelming. We specialize in working with small and medium sized businesses. Let’s set up a phone call or Zoom meeting to discuss the challenges that you are facing with your business. No obligation. Just a conversation to brainstorm about growing your business. Click the link below to schedule your FREE consultation.

 

CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE A FREE BUSINESS CONSULTATION.

I hope you found value with today’s post.

If you did, please leave a comment and share with your fellow small business owners.

To Your Success!

Steve Stark
steve@starkwebdesign.com
262-378-0234
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