If you’re a small entrepreneur, you know the pain, and joy, of constantly searching for something that could improve your performance and the performance of your business. As an entrepreneur myself, I’ve spent countless hours thinking about small details and the tools for my business. What if I lower the price of my services by 10%, will it make me more competitive? What if I use that tool to automate my advertisements to all my potential clients; will it be more effective than a specialist? What if I start accepting all kinds of payments, including cryptocurrencies? Will it give me access to a new audience? A lot of questions. Luckily, a lot of questions are already solved, at least for me, and here I’m going to share with you the tools I use everyday, which can be divided into four categories:
- Tools that help us set and control tasks
- Tools that help us write and edit documents
- Marketing tools
- Financial tools
First of all, every business has to set both short and long-term goals. Also if you don’t work alone, if you have employees, then you need to manage them. That’s what a task management tool is for. I can name three of them that I’ve used personally:
The market leader right now is Asana, but it all comes down to your preference, because all modern task management tools are nearly identical, except for the interface. I prefer Trello because it’s genuinely intuitive, you just do things while you work instead of reading user FAQs.
Trello allows users to create various working tables, various columns for different tasks, you can add tasks, set a deadline for them, and assign someone to them. It’s a complex to-do list with a personnel management system combined, and using it or a similar service will definitely help you with your business, as it will make it easier for you to connect with your team and keep track of everything that needs to be done.
Marketing is another important area for your business. You have to always keep yourself in touch with the best practices of the market, and you have to be creative with your marketing campaigns in order to attract a large audience. There’s too much marketing tools to be described in one article, so we’ll mention only the most useful and important ones.
One of the final steps when interacting with your clients is them paying for your services. Someone might think that it’s not that important to leave a good impression at this step, but remember, it’s not over until the client’s money is in your bank account and your client gets what he/she needs. So it is, in fact, incredibly important to make everything seem great at this point.
Which is exactly why you need to have reliable invoicing tools. There are many of them on the market today for you to choose from. Some of the best are:
That’s not even the whole list! All of them are great tools for creating and sending invoices to your clients and managing them. For instance, QuickBooks, one of the most popular financial programs on the market, combines invoicing and accounting for a small business in one online platform. You can even connect it to your bank account. KashFlow is great if you have to deal with UK-based customers, since it was developed in the UK. And Invoicely is a fairly simple, yet reliable tool that comes with an affordable price tag – only $5.99.
Like QuickBooks, it’s also connects to the payment processing platform Stripe, and it builds statistics of your clients and monthly income. Overall, it’s another good tool for a small entrepreneur, and I use it all the time.
Every entrepreneur has a unique business requiring a unique approach. But it’s important to remember that the most basic tools can be more than useful for any small business, because they work well in any situation. Marketing, tasking, payroll, everything you might need in your daily operations is better of being optimized with small, simple tools. The sooner you find them, the better you’ll perform. Building a business is hard work, requiring dedication and tenacity, but hopefully this list will have made your job a little easier.
The author is not associated with any of the projects mentioned.