Whether it’s managing projects, talking to your customers, handling your books, and developing your business idea, being an entrepreneur is both time-consuming and requires you to wear multiple hats. Thankfully, there are more than enough affordable and powerful tools that can assist you in achieving all of these various responsibilities. But, here are fifteen that are absolutely essential.
1. The Name App
Before you get too far with your business, or if you’re unhappy with your current business name, then make use of this free tool that allows you to check for available domains and social profiles. One of the last things that you want is to have an awesome business name picked out only to find out that it's taken after you've already started investing in the company.
Thanks to PandaDoc, you can get all your documents and esignatures all in one place. They are your all-in-one solution for client-facing documents. I've used them for the past couple years to sign contracts with clients and have a digital recrod for both sides to view.
Hootsuite allows you to schedule and publish content across 35 different social media networks and automate content onto RSS feeds. However, Hootsuite also monitors your social accounts so that you can always know when your brand is mentioned and then you can engage with both customers and influencers in your industry.
There’s also powerful analytics so that you can see how effective your social media campaign is fairing.
This is a helpful tool if you want to increase your email subscribers. For example, you can include pop ups on the top of your page and also include customize forms so that you can capture more leads. You can also track conversions and I like to integrates with tools like MailChimp.
This WordPress plugin is so easy to install that you’ll have it up and running in just 15 minutes.
Slack has completely revolutionized how you can communicate and collaborate with your team. Instead of exchanging emails all day, this messaging app gives you the power to send a group of private messages and share files to your employees, investors, or partners.
What makes Slack so awesome is that you can also categorize messages by project or task.
If you’re looking for a project management tool, then look no further than Trello. This nifty tool creates boards where you place cards on it so that you can visually track the progress of a project. You can also share and comment on files from Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box and receive notifications when there are any updates.
7. Google Drive
I don’t know how I could managed my business without Google Drive. Besides the email addresses, you can create and share Word documents and spreadsheets. What I love most about working in these docs are that changes are saved instantly so I never have to be concerned about losing content.
As if that wasn’t enough, you can also use Hangouts to host conferences or communicate with your team if they’re working remotely.
You never know when that proverbial light bulb is going to off. When that flash of inspiration hits you, you can use Evernote to keep tracks of your thoughts. You can also save relevant news articles, set reminders, and share your thoughts with others for feedback.
MailChimp is one of the most popular, and effective, email marketing tools available. For example, you can create targeted campaigns, send automate follow-ups, deliver emails based on time zones, and access valuable reports like website activity. This tool also integrates with Google, Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce, and SurveyMonkey so that you can streamline your entire marketing efforts.
Do you need to create, sign, and send legal documents? Of course you do. That’s when you can turn to Shake. Not only is this simple to use and understand - it's effective, it’s also free.
11. Due Payments
Looking for a powerful tool to accept payments and send invoices? Then Due has got you covered. With Due you can send professional invoices, accept credit cards for just a 2.7% charge, and receive customers from customers in anywhere in the world.
Due also has an intuitive time tracking tool so that you can know how much time you or your team members are devoting on a project or task.
User testing is vital when launching a startup and building a product or service. Unlike some of user testing tools on the market today, UsabilityHub offers a number of tests for you to try, such as a Five Second Test, Click Test, or Navigation Test. With this tool you can test practically everything you will need to run your company - like website design to wireframe comprehension.
Intercom has made conversing with customers incredibly easy and efficient. With Intercom you can directly chat with your customers and ask their opinion on things like the design of your website, send a targeted email or send in-app messages. You are able to let customers ask for help via email, app, or Facebook. Whenever a customer's reaches out to you, you’ll receive a notification so that you can respond to them immediately.
Zopim is another tool that you can use to chat with your customers in real-time. What makes it unique though so that is can be integrated to your platform or website. It also comes with analytics like chat reports, website visitors, and even automates chats so that you can answer any questions before they’re even asked.
Having trouble with focusing? Give this handy tool a spin. It’s just a website that plays music, which has been scientifically proven to help you increase both your concentration and productivity. There’s even a productivity tracker so that you can find which type of music works best for you, personally.
What tools do you have in your entrepreneur's toolkit?