It wasn’t too long ago when starting a new business was really complicated. You’d need to buy an office, inventory, and hire employees to help you with tasks. That era is long gone though. Today, there are countless software programs that help simplify everyday business tasks. From marketing tools to small business software, there are countless business software solutions in today’s market. It’s never been easier to run a business, even for those of you whose home office is your kitchen table. So here are some of my favorite business tools, along with insights from amazing entrepreneurs who dive into their favorite business software.
Best Business Software Programs for Small Businesses
The biggest challenge new entrepreneurs face is finding an audience to sell to. If money isn’t pouring in, your new business could go bust. But marketing can be complicated for new entrepreneurs. It isn’t easy. You won’t create one ad and hit jackpot. Fortunately, marketing tools like Kit help automate the marketing aspect of your business. It acts as a marketing assistant, sending you reminders to post on social media while also creating product ads or offering discounts to customers. Marketing software doesn’t get better than this.
Have you ever been so overwhelmed by your workload that you procrastinate? I have. I originally purchased this business software, Freedom, because I saw it had been recommended by Seth Godin. What I love about this software program is that it blocks websites for a certain time so that you’re forced to just get shit done. I literally use it all the time. So goodbye notification checks, it’s time to buckle down. Another handy trick I use this for is for minimizing my personal spending. Say you spend a lot of money on certain websites, you can add the website to your block list. That way you have more money to spend on growing your business. The shopaholism is now cured, you’re welcome.
#3. Google Products
No one creates more small business software than Google. And their business tools come in pretty handy. If you’re writing a blog post, you can use Google Docs, which auto-saves all drafts you write. Google Sheets can be used to create budgets or spreadsheets. Google Analytics is great for giving you data about the performance of your website – number of pageviews, conversion details, customer insights, and acquisition channels. Keyword Planner gives you insight into which keywords to rank for on your blog posts and webpages. Google allows you to create an email address for your @ domain name while using GMail’s interface. And there’s still a long laundry list of other business software by Google that you can use as well.
Slack is probably my favorite small business software. Mostly because who doesn’t love instant messaging? You don’t need to add your freelancers to your Facebook or spend money on roaming charges texting them while you’re abroad. With Slack, you can communicate with freelancers, business partners, and employees more efficiently. Because let’s be honest, we all get more than enough emails. Amiright? While productivity might go a little down, team communication will be improved.
Zoom is a popular business software for video conferencing. It’s free, which is awesome. You can use this business tool for chatting with freelancers, conducting interviews, or networking. I used Zoom a lot for mastermind groups with other entrepreneurs. Since we were all based in different time zones, video chats allowed us to get to know each other more personally. I found that this software program didn’t have as many glitches or issues with freezing as others I’ve tried in the past.
#6. Icecream Apps
Do you manage freelancers for your business? Maybe you get some help with customer support or website development. If you pay per hour instead of a flat rate, you can use software programs like Icecream Apps Screen Recorder to record your freelancer’s screen while they work on your business. It allows you to keep your costs low as you’ll be able to track how much work they were actually doing. It’ll also give you an inside look into how they’re doing their job so you can analyze the quality of their work each day. With a business software like this, you can easily keep track of remote workers.
Marketing tools like Privy add email pop-ups when visitors start to leave your website. Whether you’re selling to other businesses or consumers, getting an email gives you a second chance to communicate. Privy’s exit intent pop-ups can be gamified. For example, customers can enter their email to spin a wheel that offers them a store discount. Regardless, even if they don’t use the discount, you’ll be able to continue to market to that person – warming up the lead. Considering how big of a powerhouse email marketing is for brands, this email marketing software is a must-have for any business website.
When it comes to email marketing software, we might as well mention the most obvious: MailChimp. As the most popular business software for email, MailChimp is perfect for new entrepreneurs. Why? Their interface is user-friendly, their pricing is affordable, and they are integrated with some of the most popular tools. For example, if you’re a Shopify store owner, you’ll find several email/marketing apps that sync up with MailChimp, including Privy.
HubSpot has software programs for marketing, sales, and customer support. They even have business tools like a Website Grader that analyzes the performance of your website. When it comes to their software programs, they’re designed to help you increase website traffic, acquire new leads, and close and manage your leads. HubSpot has an extensive collection of free business tools that you can find on their website.
Quickbooks is probably one of the most important business software programs you’ll need. Especially, if you consider money an important part of your business. And I know you do. When it comes to business software for accounting, Quickbooks is arguably the most popular software for small to medium-sized businesses. It allows you to keep track of your finances, manage payroll, keep track of your bills, set up recurring payments, create invoices, and manage taxes. And a whole lot more! It’s pretty much an all-in-one business software for managing your finances.
Here are 20 more business software solutions:
Amanda Abella, Creator of Make Your Money Honey
“I use Edgar for most of my social media scheduling because it automatically fills Facebook and LinkedIn for you by pulling from a master library (it’s essentially on repeat). It used to do the same thing for Twitter which saved us loads of time from having to manually load up and schedule tweets. Most of my social media posts offer a freebie where a potential client exchanges their name and email in return for a worksheet or webinar. Using Edgar to schedule posts simplifies the process and allows my team to focus on product creation, sales, and negotiations.”
Rhea Drysdale, Chief Executive Officer of Outspoken Media
“My favorite business tool is Content King. It has a silly name perhaps, but I’ve tried many SEO tools and this one has paid for itself in the first month. It’s monitoring capabilities are fast and accurate. They have a crawler that’s more aggressive than mainstream SEO tools like Screaming Frog or Deep Crawl. It catches content that Google catches, but helps us identify and solve problems before it’s indexed.”
Lisa Shepherd, Owner of The Mezzanine Group
“My favorite business tool is the dictation function on my iPhone. This tool saves me 30 – 60 minutes every single day. I dictate blog posts and whitepapers while I walk home from work, I dictate emails while I’m going from place to place, I capture random thoughts whenever they occur – all without having to type a thing. It’s one of the simplest, most effective tools I’ve encountered in the last decade. To use it in email, just tap the little microphone at the bottom of the email app on your iPhone. ”
Susan Doherty, Chief Marketing Officer of Fort Mason Games
“My favorite business tool is SurveyMonkey. It makes it fast and easy for me to run customer surveys at Fort Mason Games and gain valuable insight. Customer data is key for making the right business and product decisions. I particularly like Survey Monkey’s survey data analysis tools, and especially their Net Promoter Score (NPS) tool. By understanding and regularly measuring NPS, you can see if your business is making progress in the right direction.”
Maria Mora, Content Director of BigSea.co
“My favorite business tool is Trello. It’s free, incredibly user-friendly, and easy to supercharge with add-ons and integrations. At Big Sea, our teams use Trello to manage client-specific backlogs as well as our weekly tactics. Trello gives us company-wide transparency into what’s happening across teams and departments. It’s elegant and even a little bit fun, and that fun goes a long way when we’re in the weeds.”
Julien Raby, CEO of Combustible
“My absolute favorite marketing tool is SEM Rush. It allows me to get a relatively clear picture of the traffic of a website. Precisely which organic keywords it ranks for, which Adwords keywords they’re bidding on, what text/display ads they’re currently using, are they using social medias, to which extent, etc. You can also compare the traffic to another site to see which one is currently winning. It’s extremely powerful when assessing your competition.”
Eliza Barry, Marketing Director of Amata Solutions
“DOMO is my favorite tool for both business and marketing. Every marketing program seems to have analytics, but it’s nearly impossible to unite them into one dashboard automatically. DOMO accomplishes this easily and lets me make very quick, but still detailed, visualizations across channels. Most importantly, I can access sales data and match up marketing programs to specific sales. The ROI reports help keep feelings out of the equation when we are deciding what programs to repeat. Further, it helps us allocate staff for our team so we can double down on what’s already working and re-task people from sub-par campaigns, programs or channels to try something new.”
Derek Hines of West Coast Self-Storage
“We use a lot of the standard social media tools, seo tools, etc. But one tool I really like is Canva. Being able to quickly produce nice graphics for our website and social media has been invaluable. The tool has so many pre-built templates that it’s easy to create something unique within a few minutes. And the learning curve is really short. It’s got a drag-and-drop interface and layering, which makes designing easy. At roughly $13/month, it’s a pretty good deal. We’ve thought about getting Photoshop, but with this tool we really don’t need it.”
Mike Kim, Co-Founder and COO of KPOP Foods
“My favorite marketing tool is DojoMojo because it allows you to reach out to other brands and create partnerships and sweepstakes. My favorite feature of DojoMojo is the “Explore” page because you can apply for campaigns with other brands and engage in partnership marketing. As a startup, this tool has helped us by growing our email list size in a short amount of time and providing us with analytics that we can use to measure our success during each campaign. This is the marketing tool for growing your email list, getting more brand exposure, and creating partnerships.”
Earl Choate, CEO of Concrete Camouflage
“My favorite business tool is CanIRank, an SEO software we use to manage our inbound marketing and keyword rankings in Google. I’ve been using CanIRank for more than one year and our organic traffic has nearly doubled in that period. I know the construction industry like the back of my hand. But when it comes to online marketing, you might as well be speaking another language. The reason I like CanIRank is because it simplifies SEO into actionable steps that are easy to understand.”
Helena Escalante, Founder of Entregurus
“As of today, my favorite business tool is Zapier. It enables me to automate many processes, such as posting on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook upon publication. But Zapier is not only good for that, it also helps me automate and link many other processes from app to app, such as creating a Google Doc from entries in a Google Sheet, or taking those same entries and creating a Calendar event, or a Trello card, and so much more. it seems that my imagination is the limit with Zapier, so I’m always thinking about how I could add another automation step to optimize all my processes.”
Lia Lubiana, Founder and Designer of Lia Lubiana
“The one social media tool that has changed the game and made social media marketing much more efficient is Later – Scheduler and Social Media Platform. It allows users to schedule posts far in advance for multiple social medias (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest ). Staying consistent with posts on social media and using their saved hashtags feature has greatly allowed us to grow and reach many more people in a much more efficient way.”
JC Matthews, VP of Marketing of Elifetools
“My one favorite email tool of all time would have to be Mailshake. This tool allows to you to organize and send Mass amounts of emails all with the click of a few buttons and automatically do follow up. This tool has improved our business by allowing us to get several guest posts in a very short time as well as help us better understand open rates and conversions over a larger sample of people. If you don’t know anything about email marketing, I would say give Mailshake a try.”
Sireesha Narumanchi, Career Blogger at Crowd Work News
“If it was something I could not do without, it would be Todoist. I know there are many apps around which help you sort your stuff and be productive but Todoist is the most simple and easy to use interface for me. The biggest feature that saves my day is the ability to share my to-do list with my team. Nothing better than working towards a common goal with a team, right?! The feature to share my list with my team gives me more time to focus ‘on the business’ rather than spending time to share my daily goals with them. This tool has helped me immensely in organizing my work, being more productive with my ‘business tasks’ and have the ability to be up to date with my daily goals from anywhere in the world. It’s the most underrated productivity tool which helps you to keep up to date with everything in your business, no matter where you are.”
Andrew Bull, Founder of Bright Arts Agency
“My favourite marketing tool is Answer the Public. You can use it to learn what people are searching for online. It’s driven by the auto suggest results from Bing and Google. You can use it to find topics to blog about and also get a deeper understanding of the thoughts and concerns of your target audiences. When I’m planning SEO content, I’ll often use Answerthepublic to generate a list of keywords (it allows CSV export), which I can import into my professional SEO research tool, Ahrefs – I can then check for search volume and competition. I’ve found this to be a very effective method for planning my articles.”
Carlo Borja, Head of Online Marketing of TimeDoctor.com
“Buzzstream has been a fantastic tool for us. My favorite feature is Sequences. It automates follow ups and reminders which we often overlook and not at the expense of sounding like a bot. It basically makes our work more efficient.”
Bernard Sury, Co-Founder of GuruWalk
“The one favorite email tool I use is Find That Lead, especially the one allowing to know the email based on the social media pages. Very helpful to get the email from someone you don’t know. I found many contacts that improved my business, publishing about my company. ”
Dean DeCarlo, President of Mission Disrupt
“One of my favorite E-commerce tools is Hotjar. I use this to provide User Experience insight to our team across the many e-commerce stores we manage marketing for. Another great one is Google Optimize which allows us to perform A/B tests, which is valuable to increasing conversion.”
Shervin Mohseni, Owner of The Source of All
“We use Shopify as our web host. There have been many benefits from working with Shopify, however our favorite tool Shopify offers is their abandoned check out recovery emails they send. Our conversion rate when these emails are sent is 14%. Currently the industry standard conversion rate when these emails are sent is 7%, and we have doubled this.”
Bob Herman, Co-Founder of Bloody Toe
“My favorite ecommerce business tool is the Sales Pop plugin by Beeketing. This FOMO tool pops a box to prospects surfing our ecommerce store that shows them other people have purchased items recently. For example, it will say, “Jane from Fountain Valley, CA purchased a Telluride poster 15 minutes ago.” It rotates through recent purchases so prospects can feel comfortable that other people are buying from our store. This plugin has helped us increase sales significantly.”
Which business software is your favorite?
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