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Growing a business

5 Essential Small Business Tools for Running and Growing Your Business

In the rapidly evolving business world of today, it is essential for small businesses to have the right tools to achieve success and grow. These tools range from optimizing procedures and handling finances, to promoting and communicating, and provide a wide range of options to assist in effectively managing and leveling-up your business.

The challenge lies in the task of picking the right tools for your business needs. But fear not! We've handpicked the ultimate small business toolkit to save you from wasted time, drained funds, and endless hassle.

In this article, we’ll explore:

1. Product Management Tools

In the early stages of your business, getting information is as easy as asking a colleague. You can simply go to Jen for an update on her report progress or ask Dan for a specific client email. But as your business expands, it becomes increasingly challenging to stay updated on all ongoing tasks. Even minor tasks can quickly become time-consuming endeavours.

A common issue faced by small businesses is the hindrance of their productivity due to knowledge hoarding, where certain individuals hold onto crucial information needed for others to perform their roles effectively. This challenge can be overcome by utilizing project management software, which consolidates all projects and assignments in a single location.

Manage Projects in One Place Using Teamwork Projects

Teamwork Projects consolidate all of your projects into a single location. The platform is task-oriented and can be viewed on a shared dashboard by all team members. Tasks can be assigned or left open for team members to claim. Progress and collaboration on tasks can be monitored once they are in progress. 

A project management tool eliminates the need to constantly request updates or information from employees, as all current and completed work and associated details are readily available.

Streamline Your Work with Trello: Your All-in-One Project Management Solution

Trello revolutionizes project management by providing a seamless experience. Picture a tool that consolidates all your projects into one well-organized hub. That's Trello. At the core of this software are boards, where your tasks are displayed on a single, user-friendly dashboard accessible to your entire team.

Furthermore, assigning tasks is a breeze. You can easily assign responsibilities or leave tasks open for your team members to claim. It's like having a virtual project planner that ensures everyone is on the same page. Then, once a task is in progress, you can effortlessly track its status and stay up to date on every new change.

Finally, there’s no more sifting through emails or chasing updates. With Trello, all your ongoing and completed work, along with vital project details, are instantly accessible. It's an effortless way to keep your projects organized and foster team collaboration – making Trello the top choice for those looking to enhance their project management skills.

2. Accounting Software for Small Business

It’s well known that small business owners feel bookkeeping and taxes are the worst parts of owning a business. That’s why many successful businesses use cloud-based accounting software to save time, minimise mistakes, and automate repetitive tasks such as invoicing, taking payments, categorizing expenses, and creating financial reports. 

Learn about the key factors to consider when choosing the right accounting software for your small business, and find out why small businesses are choosing QuickBooks over spreadsheets as their accounting solution.

Use QuickBooks Online for More Efficient Accounting

QuickBooks Online helps you automate all of your accounting. It keeps track of all the money that flows in and out of your business in one place, and if you connect QuickBooks to your bank, credit card, and any accounting apps, you can have all your finances centralized in one dashboard.

Additionally, QuickBooks offers one-click reporting, which means that a profit and loss statement or a balance sheet can be automatically generated for you to see how your business is doing.

QuickBooks does more than automate your accounting. With QuickBooks, you can also use free tools and templates to help you with all aspects of your business, including inventory management and invoicing

Grow Your Business with QuickBooks

3. Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

Let’s take a look at the best marketing tools for small businesses, including email, website building, and marketing analytics to help get your company in front of the right people. 

Email Marketing Tools

Use an email marketing tool like Intuit’s Mailchimp, to put together quick and effective, professional-grade emails.

Mailchimp is an email marketing tool built specifically for fast-growing businesses. You can use their drag-and-drop interface to quickly put together beautiful emails that you can then send to some or all of your email list.

As your number of customers increases, you have the opportunity to utilize their tools for dividing your emails and focusing on specific groups within your list. This allows your emails to maintain a personalized feel, even as your customer count grows to hundreds.

If you’re new to email marketing, read the Mailchimp blog on email marketing strategies.

Website Building Tools

With website platforms, you have the ability to create a portfolio, an e-commerce site, or a business website. These platforms not only host and protect your site, but also offer tools for easy and efficient website creation. You won't have to learn coding, as the platforms feature drag-and-drop editors for adding and modifying text and visual elements.

There are many good website building tools available including WooCommerce (built on the WordPress platform), Wix or Shopify. QuickBooks Online integrates with apps like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Squarespace to streamline your business operations and make running your eCommerce business seamless. 

Read our article on how to start an ecommerce business on Amazon, Etsy or Shopify if you are considering starting an online shop.

Marketing Analytics Tools

Discover the realm of digital proficiency by utilizing Analytics Tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar, crucial allies in the field of website development. As you progress, track the performance of your website through these analytics platforms.

Website monitoring with Google Analytics

Google Analytics seamlessly blends into your chosen website builder. It offers a wealth of information ranging from page views and conversion rates to valuable insights on your most engaging content – all conveniently accessible from within the Google Analytics dashboard.

Gone are the days of deciphering intricate lines of code to comprehend your website's performance. With Google Analytics at your disposal, you get an all-in-one solution. It's like having a virtual companion that empowers you with valuable insights necessary for refining strategies and optimizing user experiences.

When building a website that is optimized for different devices, Google Analytics becomes an invaluable tool. It provides insights into the effectiveness of your strategies and helps you make data-driven decisions to achieve success online.

Website Monitoring with Hotjar

Hotjar plays a vital role in website monitoring by offering a unique approach that combines quantitative data and qualitative insights. Unlike other tools that only rely on numbers, Hotjar helps you understand the user experience better by shedding light on what captures visitors' attention and the challenges they may encounter.

At the core of Hotjar's capabilities are its features that delve into the intricacies of user interactions. Heatmaps visually display user behavior, like intuitive maps, highlighting areas of interest and potential areas for improvement. Recordings provide a detailed look at individual user sessions, giving you valuable insights into moments that may lead to frustration or sudden exits.

Funnels, another powerful feature, act as a guide to help you identify and optimize critical paths for user conversion by pinpointing where users tend to drop off. Additionally, surveys and feedback tools provide a direct line of communication with users, allowing you to gather valuable, detailed feedback and gain insights into their experiences.

4. Content Management Systems

Content Management Systems (CMS) act as a central hub where all your content-related activities converge, providing you with a user-friendly dashboard. Website-building tools such as Shopify and WordPress are considered content management systems.

Hootsuite is another CMS tool that revolves around content streams, offering you a consolidated view of your entire content landscape. From its unified dashboard, your team gains visibility into ongoing content creation, editorial tasks, and campaign metrics. Assigning responsibilities related to content becomes a streamlined process, allowing team members to either claim tasks individually or collaborate on assignments, fostering an environment of shared content creation.

Monitoring the progress of your content initiatives is effortless with just a glance at your Hootsuite dashboard. You can easily track the status of content creation, identify contributors involved in each piece of work and observe the collaborative efforts shaping every aspect. No more searching through emails or hunting for project updates; all relevant information about your ongoing and completed endeavors is instantly accessible within Hootsuite.

Efficiency takes center stage here! With Hootsuite as your trusted partner in content collaboration, there's no need for constant status inquiries. Every detail. From tasks related to creating engaging content to performance analytics. It is thoughtfully organized in one place. 

5. Password-sharing Tools

Using these tools and moving your management to the cloud has a lot of benefits—particularly saving money and making your company run more efficiently. But it also opens the door to security threats. Data breaches can result in loss of intellectual property, compliance violations, malware infections, and, worst of all, the loss of your customers’ trust. 

You have to be smart about who you give access to sensitive company information and how you do it. Use a tool like 1Password to share documents and software logins with team members securely.

Use 1Password for Added Security

1Password is a simple tool that holds all of your passwords. They keep all your data secure with AES-256-bit encryption, which protects your information at rest and while it’s “in transit”— i.e., being shared.

All your data is locked away behind a Master Password, an Account Key, and a Secure Remote password. You can share different passwords with your whole team, just a few people, or keep them for yourself. 1Password also allows you to organize your passwords and provides you with a search bar so that you can get to the password that you need more quickly.

You can save private passwords or team passwords so everyone in your small business has access to your payment apps, your productivity tools, and anything else you share.

Benefits of Using Small Business Tools

When you start your small business, you need every advantage possible to thrive. One key ally in this journey is technology. Tech tools make running a small business smoother for everyone involved. Let’s take a look at some fantastic benefits that tech tools bring to the table: 

1. Time-Saving

Tech tools are like time-saving wizards for small businesses. They automate repetitive tasks, letting you focus on what matters – growing your business. From managing appointments to sending out invoices, these tools can do it all, leaving you with more time on your hands.

2. Cost Efficiency

Saving money is a big deal for small businesses, and the majority of tech tools are budget-friendly. They help cut costs by streamlining your processes, which reduces the need for extra manpower. This means more money stays in your pocket.

3. Improved Accuracy

Tools and apps can help automate time-consuming processes and manual data entry that is prone to error. Automated small business tools such as accounting software help minimze errors and improve accuracy so you can make important business decisions based on reliable, accurate data.

4. Customer Connection

Tech tools create a bridge between you and your customers. With customer relationship management (CRM) software, you can keep track of your customers' preferences and provide personalized experiences. This will help you to build lasting relationships. Think of CRM software as a virtual assistant for customer care. 

5. Real-Time Access

One of the biggest advantages tech tools offer is the ability to run your business from anywhere. Whether you're at home or on the go, you can access your business data and tools anywhere, anytime.

6. Smart Decision-Making

Tech tools are like advisors guiding you in making smart decisions. Analytics and reporting tools help you understand your business performance and customer trends. This also helps you get a better picture of the dynamic of your market. Armed with this knowledge, you can make informed decisions that steer your business in the right direction.

Support your Small Business with QuickBooks Online

In the ever-changing world of managing small businesses, it's crucial to use effective tools for efficiency and success. QuickBooks Online accounting software for small businesses is a valuable financial companion that not only automates your accounting but also brings all your financial aspects together seamlessly. With QuickBooks, you can effortlessly keep track of the money coming in and going out of your business, ensuring transparency and accuracy in your finances.

As you navigate the intricacies of running a small business, QuickBooks Online becomes a reliable partner that supports you every step of the way. From automating accounting tasks to providing valuable tools for comprehensive business management, QuickBooks Online is the complete solution that will elevate your small business operations. Take the next step towards empowering your small business by signing up for QuickBooks Online today or starting a free 30-day trial.

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