Truth- I never thought I’d be a business owner. If I’m honest, it was more like Plan Z in my life. Found at the crossroads of disappointment and a college degree, I simply feel into it. I had changed careers and knew I needed to get started. It was a simple thought and has evolved every year.
As a creative, there’s been quite a learning curve when it comes to small business. You get into this because you love what you do. Whether it’s a firm belief in the way food should be served, buying a home should feel, or developing a positive social enterprise. Most likely systems, accounting, and organization aren’t your strong suit. I’m right there with you. (During accounting season, I totally am behind and am so thankful for a good accountant every year.)
In this post I share my Top Tools for Small Business Owners to stay on top of the daily grind.
You’ve spent thousands on a custom website; however, no one is going there. Look up the Google Analytics behind your site. If you’re struggling to generate sales, look at where the missing holes are. Recently Google rolled out a feature called “Goals.” Based on your ad budget and findings, create goals for both your sales and how you want to drive traffic. Ask your audience to clearly act and direct traffic. Begin to adjust your site, social media, and assets to tell your audience what you would like them to do!
I know this one feels obvious. However, I’m always amazed when working with new clients and teams, how many people are unfamiliar with the way Drive works. If you’re used to working with Dropbox and wonder why I recommend using Drive. While Dropbox is a great option, when inviting others to folders, it also takes space from those you invite to your shared folder (Costing you both in storage and possibly the need to upgrade the storage.) If you are using Google in a larger capacity for a team of 10+ people, I encourage shifting to G Suite. This will allow you to retain ownership and a stronger file management system with multiple people collaborating on a team.
Perfect for team communication, I can’t rave about Slack enough. This app allows you team to have boundaries without the endless threads of emails. With the ability to have multiple groups of communication, you are able to see when people are on or offline. No more worrying about when someone else sees a text message and the wait time here. It’s a great way to respect and honor those you work with while still moving forward.
When it comes to finding out where traffic is going and your results, there’s nothing better than Funnelytics. While they have multiple account options, you will be able to both map and track your sales funnels. I love this to use this platform as a visible place to map my various offers, split A/B testing, and the ability to discover what is working and what isn’t. If you’ve ever had something you’re trying and it just isn’t working, try Funnelytic to see what is broken.
This guy is one I can’t recommend enough. Ditch the days of a paper trail and tracking down signed contracts with DocuSign. Intuitive and user friendly (Say goodbye needing to explain this over a sales call!), you will be able to send any Word or PDF contract with legally binding e-signatures. This allows an immediate signature without the steep overhead of other similar signing programs. (Many creatives reference Honeybook for their project management, client onboarding, digital signatures, and invoicing needs.) However, for my clientele it makes the most sense to use programs people are familiar with, rather than onboarding them to additional platforms they’re not aware of.
With it’s scheduling feature and latest release of Paypal.me, we love the ability to use PayPal for a variety of our needs. Have recurring invoices, but forget to send them out? Automate your invoicing with their scheduled invoice feature. (It’s amazing and we love it!)