As a small business owner, you wear many hats and it’s important to find the right tools to help you stay organized and run your business efficiently.
There are so many tools out there that can help you do this and I thought it would be helpful to share the tools I use to run my business.
Siteground is where I host my websites and it’s also the hosting platform I use for all of my development sites for my clients. Siteground offers managed WordPress plans including installation, automated migrations, automatic updates, advanced caching and expert support. In fact, their customer support is the best I’ve encountered in ten years.
To learn more about Siteground click here.
It’s my preference to keep where I purchase my domain names and where I host my websites separate. Namecheap is one of the leading domain registrars and they offer a wide variety of domains at a reasonable price.
I get asked a lot why I chose to work exclusively with WordPress in my website design business. The main reason I only design websites with WordPress is simply because I want the best for my clients so I only work on the best platform. WordPress powers over 30% of all websites on the internet which makes it the most widely used website platform on the Internet! It’s free, SEO friendly, flexible and customizable, you have full control over your website and it’s easy to use.
I use Hello Sign to have all of my Service Agreements signed electronically. Hello Sign makes the entire eSignature process simple and seamless. Clients can initial and sign in different places on the document and you are kept updated throughout the entire process.
To learn more about Hello Sign click here.
WaveApps is a free web based software that allows you to simplify your accounting processes. You can easily send invoices, track and receive payments and much more. I love that WaveApps let’s me customize the look of my invoices with my logo and brand colors and that they will also send reminders when invoices are overdue so I don’t have to worry about staying on top of that.
Zoom is a fantastic way to video conference with your clients. When you work virtually, it’s really nice to put a face to the name and Zoom allows this. It also gives you the ability to record your sessions so if you ever need to refer back to something that was said, you can. It has a screen sharing capability which is very helpful for me when I’m showing a client a website or doing one on one WordPress training.
The ability to allow your clients to book online with you streamlines the booking process and removes all the back and forth. 10 to 8 is a robust booking platform that syncs with your Google calendar and integrates seamlessly with WordPress. While 10to8 isn’t widely known, their free version (which I use) offers more features than other platforms like Calendly and Acuity.
To learn more about 10to8 click here.
I use Canva to design all of my social media posts. It’s a wonderful graphic design platform that comes with thousands of templates you can customize for your business. I love that I can use my branded colors and fonts so all of my posts have a consistent look.
I use Google Drive to organize and share files with my clients. Your files in Drive can be accessed from a smartphone, tablet or computer. You can quickly invite others to view, download and collaborate on all the files you want. And, your first 15GB of storage are fee with a Google account.
When designing websites, image optimization is extremely important. Images are the number one culprit in slowing down websites so it’s so important to optimize images before adding them to a website. This means making sure the file size is small enough without sacrificing image quality. I use Adobe Lightroom for this.
Systems and staying organized are extremely important to me so I use Asana to track all my tasks and projects. Asana is a platform that will keep you organized, help you stay on track and meet your goals so your business can grow. I create a new project in Asana for each website design project I work on and I invite my client to that project so they can see the progress any time they want to.
It’s so important to stay organized with your time. I find the best way to do this is to use Google Calendar. I can set aside time to work on projects, it syncs with my calendar booking platform, it sends me reminders and I can access it from all of my devices.
Mailchimp is a good entry level email marketing platform. It’s free up to 2,000 contacts and it’s easy to get started building your list and sending out campaigns.
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I hope you find this list of the tools I use to run my business helpful. If you think someone else could benefit from it, please use the icons below to share it.