The life of an entrepreneur is a stressful yet rewarding experience. Juggling between daily tasks, ensuring cash flow is at optimal levels, and the quality of service is at an all-time high is the highlight of a business owner’s worries. If you are running a small or medium-sized business, chances are you are micromanaging everybody and everything to a large extent.
Your company could be running smoothly, but you feel you could do better. Maybe it’s the quality of the service, time, or structure; you feel that urge to improve your business holistically.
To be honest, we agree with you. Change is inevitable.
Your efficient system today may not be so efficient tomorrow. The ability to adapt to changes in the business landscape over time is a trait that separates successful entrepreneurs from struggling up starters. Fortune 500 companies like Apple, Microsoft, Coca Cola, Disney, and Nike started as small businesses and managed to grow and survive through the decades before they became behemoths in their industries.
For small and medium-sized business owners, creating new ways and opportunities to grow their business is a full-time job in itself. Utilizing tools that help improve efficiency and increase revenue is crucial to growth and survival. You don’t need to keep holding long meetings, going back and forth with suppliers, customers, or employees. It’s time to create a system that allows you to focus on the most important things and do away with mundane tasks.
Today’s post is all about making “you”; the entrepreneur that has paid his/her dues, often exhausted and can’t wait for that big breakthrough. You need to focus on lead generation, top-level strategy, and other long-term decisions that will change the future of your company. There are a wide variety of resourceful tools available to entrepreneurs that help bootstrap and maintain your business model.
Our list of “11 Effective Tools That Improves Small Business Efficiency and Revenue” covers the most critical aspects of business process automation.
So, let’s begin, shall we?
Customer Service Tools
Customers can make or mar a business. It is essential to maintain your customers’ satisfaction at every touchpoint. These customer service tools will help you meet orders and enhance your after-sales service experience.
Zendesk is a customer service software platform. The Zendesk platform allows you to create a personalized customer experience from the comfort of your home. With Zendesk, you can switch between phone call functions, email, social media, and live chat without interrupting the shopping experience for your customers.
Source: Survey Monkey
Customer Feedback is crucial to growth and performance. How do you get insightful feedback delivered directly to your screen without the vitriol usually associated with reviews?
Use Survey Monkey.
Survey Monkey is a platform that allows you to get critical feedback from your customers and improve business efficiency. Survey Monkey excels where other popular review platform fails. With Survey Monkey, you can be sure the reviews you receive are from your customers. Survey Monkey has a plethora of in-app features like survey templates, custom logo and branding, data analysis, and target market surveys.
Project Management Tools
Creating, executing, and monitoring the progress of a project is vital to running a successful online business. Project management tools help business owners, and their teams meet client requirements, deadlines, manage your budget, and scale efficiently.
Zoho Projects App is an online management software that allows entrepreneurs to create and execute projects on the go. As a Zoho member, you can ideate, communicate, and collaborate with employees and clients on specific projects while you focus on other pressing business needs.
Zoho provides reports and charts features in its business suite. Zoho is also a cloud application, which means your data is safe and secure. Zoho allows you to handle as many projects as possible with multiple features and tools at your disposal.
BaseCamp offers a robust project management system for online entrepreneurs looking to automate their project management system. With BaseCamp, you can create essential to-do lists for deliverables to clients, routine monitor checks, and progress updates. BaseCamp allows you to connect and consolidate with your team seamlessly and get stuff done at breakneck speed.
Sales & Admin Tools
Whether you are just kick starting your online business or looking to scale your existing business, selling is a crucial facet of your entrepreneurial hurdle. Sales represent revenue, and without revenue, there is no income stream. It is imperative to ensure the sales keep coming in. These sales and admin tools will help you define a deft sales strategy and communicate with your team and clients in a heartbeat.
Are you tired of the manual process involved with monitoring your sales numbers and process? This is where HubSpot comes in.
HubSpot is an industry leader in sales and marketing. HubSpot offers a sturdy platform that covers the entire sphere of sales, customer relationship management, inbound and outbound marketing, and so much more. HubSpot offers three major plans; HubSpot Sales Free, HubSpot CRM, and HubSpot Sales Professional.
HubSpot is the marketer’s dream platform as it allows you to collect website visitor data and what pages they visit. This kind of data will enable you to create a compelling sales strategy around your product and service. It also allows you to laser-target the right audience.
Quickbooks is an admin and accounting software platform designed by Intuit. Quickbooks is used by mainly small and medium-sized businesses who are looking for an affordable and scalable that provides cloud-based and user-friendly applications. With Quickbooks, business owners can access accounting applications that will help them manage payroll functions, settle bills, accept business payments, prioritize expenses, generate reports for tax, and so much more.
In today’s cloud and 4G age, you don’t have to meet with prospects at a physical location to do business. Zoom is a communication platform that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. There are several video and web conferencing platforms, but Zoom is considered the cream of the crop.
With over 300,000 customers, Zoom has continued to help businesses bridge the gap and open borders to limitless interaction possibilities. Whether you are looking to host a webinar for premium clients or present a business plan at a virtual conference, Zoom allows you to host a meeting with or without video, or with screen share only. Zoom has some fantastic features, including HD video and voice, Dynamic voice detection, fullscreen, and gallery view.
With Zoom, it’s never too late to join a meeting. The host or any participant can send an invite link to join the meeting and catch up with the proceedings of the day.
How do you set your reminders nowadays and never lose sight of your schedule?
Calendly might seem like every other regular scheduling tool except it’s not. The power of appointment scheduling tools like Calendly is its versatility. With Calendly, you can schedule anything and everything. Looking to wrap up a sales meeting, finish an interview, or present a demo, Calendly has you covered.
Calendly enables you to set your availability preferences and shows others when you are available to meet. You can also view your team’s availability if they all use Calendly and use the availability feature. This helps you plan ahead all from one platform without the usual back and forth.
Calendly offers a 14 day trial period that gives you access to the premium features. If you’ve found the tool helpful, you can decide to make a purchase commitment. There are also the basic features you can use for free without paying a dime. Calendly is a wonderful tool that will save you and your sales team time when fulfilling sales-related tasks.
Marketing is a continuous effort to ensure your products and services stay atop the minds of your clients and prospects. Pitching privately, sending emails, creating social media posts all at once is exasperating. While we agree there are some parts of your marketing strategy that shouldn’t be automated. There are still some marketing related tasks that can be handled effectively by employing the right tools.
Email marketing is still undoubtedly the most viable methods for lead generation and creating a value chain with your customers. If you are still using your own email, you will notice that there is a limited amount of emails you can send at a time amongst other limitations.
Mailchimp offers much more than the ability to send bulk emails. Mailchimp allows you to create automated email marketing campaigns from start to finish. With Mailchimp, you can categorize your prospects based on the stage of the funnel, track results, set up autoresponders. You can also create attractive email templates, target subscribers, and split test campaigns.
Social media is no longer a game; it’s a serious business. If you have been lazy with your social media marketing, it’s time to smell the coffee. Social media has been responsible for the rise and fall of many a brand. No matter the industry, size, audience, or service, social media is a vital element in creating a holistic brand outlook. As an entrepreneur running an online business, and multitasking throughout the day, social media posts may fall into the “I will do it later” category.
This is where Hootsuite comes in. Hootsuite allows you to schedule social media posts in advance. With this tool, you can schedule and manage social media profiles across all your platforms all from one dashboard. Hootsuite also allows you to engage, reply to comments, and mentions through the panel.
Create content in advance, attach images and schedule weeks or months ahead and let Hootsuite do the posting for you.
Social media marketing can work wonders for you, especially when you rely on tools like Hootsuite.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not just a buzzword thrown around by digital marketers. SEO is critical to your business’s online presence. Many businesses are looking to enhance their online presence. Hiring an SEO company can be helpful as they know how to cut right to the chase and get your pages indexed quickly. The only thing with hiring an SEO company is the high cost of service. This could be a setback if you are operating under a tight budget.
Attempting to learn SEO yourself is not a bad idea, but it requires time and dedication. You will have to learn how to implement the right SEO techniques and avoid black hat SEO tweaks. To accentuate this point aptly, every marketer needs to possess a basic understanding of SEO.
The big question is; do you want to get into the nitty-gritty of SEO with all the things you are currently dealing with?
Ahrefs makes your job easy and straightforward. With Ahref, you can do keyword research, track keyword performance, monitor your social media analytics. You can also perform backlink analysis, analyze your content, and see trending content.
Ahrefs is a cohesive all-in-one SEO platform that will take your SEO game to the next level. There are several free SEO tools, but few of them provide the quality and scope of information that Ahref provides. Ahref’s payment plan ranges from $79 to $2,500 per month.
Everyone can agree that running a business is an incredible feat. Not only do you have to meet the demands of your client, but you also have to worry about several aspects that are critical to running and maintaining a business.
Engaging with your customers and building a business relationship is critical for long-term success. Most people want to buy from someone that they feel they know personally, and their values resonate deeply with. Whether you are just looking to start an online business, or you run an eCommerce business, using tools to grow your business is a great idea.
Most leading businesses have the advantage of automation tools that make their systems more effective and efficient. Unless you utilize proper small business tools, your company will quickly find itself lagging behind the competition.