Wow. A Google search for “top business tools for small business owners” yields nearly 348,000,000 results.
If you’re just starting out on this journey to figure out what tools you need to help your business run smoothly, chances are, you’re overwhelmed with options and ads. I’m here to help.
Finding the right tools for your business is so important—they can help you save time, work more effectively, and better understand your business. But, knowing where to start can be challenging. Let’s begin with the core categories you should look for tools under: scheduling, task management, analytics, email marketing, and file sharing. Having these essential business tools at your fingertips will help you scale faster and work like a CEO.
Before we dive in, let me note that there may be tools out there that meet your specific needs better than the ones I’ve listed below. The tools you need may also change as your business grows. Take some time to determine which tools are the right fit for you and your business before you make any final decisions.
When you have multiple meetings each day to keep track of, it’s of the utmost importance to have an effective scheduling tool to help avoid missed appointments or overbookings. OnceHub is the ultimate scheduling tool for small businesses – it allows you to add booking pages to your website in literal minutes, saving you tons of time and headache. Plus, it allows your prospects and customers to choose their preferred meeting time based on your team’s availability, making it especially convenient. The calendar tool connects to Gmail, Office 365, Exchange, Outlook, and iCloud calendars.
Another benefit is the ability to add secure video meeting links to each scheduled call. This feature integrates with Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Webex, Google Meet, and more to help streamline your day.
A good task management system is a non-negotiable for any team with more than one person (but I highly recommend it even if you are a one man team). They’re truly essential to ensuring that work gets done on time and the right people have seen and approved it. Task management systems will take work out of your inbox and put it all in one organized place where you can review items, share projects, and more.
Asana is a great tool for organizing your team and delegating tasks. The basic version is completely free and lets you set up unlimited tasks, projects, messages, and storage. I love that it integrates with time tracking tools like Harvest and Toggl, giving CEOs insight into how long tasks and projects are taking.
Far and away, the gold-standard for business analytics is Google Analytics. This tool helps CEOs get critical insights into their business, such as:
- How many users are visiting your website and where they’re coming from
- How users are engaging on your website
- How much time users are spending on your site
- How much progress you’ve made towards meeting revenue goals
These metrics are important for understanding what’s working for your business and where you’re falling behind on goals. The best part? It’s free – all you need is a Gmail account.
Email marketing is a core tactic for nearly every business. If you’re still keeping your contact lists in Excel sheets, it’s time to make a change. Tools like MailChimp can save you a lot of time and do a better job of reaching the right people at the right time. MailChimp’s CRM tool keeps all your audience lists in one convenient—and secure—place. You can also easily design branded emails and send them directly from the platform, schedule emails ahead of time, or automate them based on form submissions. The platform also offers key insights into your email performance and offers recommendations for improvement.
Having one central place where you and your team can share, view, edit, and comment on work and notes is so, so helpful. That’s where Google Drive comes in. This all-in-one file sharing tool allows you to store images, videos, files, presentations, spreadsheets, notes, and copy with anyone who has a Google account. Chances are, you’re already familiar with this tool. But if you’re not, know that it allows you to collaborate and edit documents in real-time, leave comments for other users, and even click back through version history on documents. As a free tool, this is a must for all teams.
If you’re interested in learning more about digital resources for your small business, I have dedicated a whole page of my website to tools I know and love. These can help you build your business from the ground up with (or without) a team. If you’re still confused about what tools you need to help your business grow, reach out and let’s chat.