Experts Share Their Favorite Small Business Tools

Experts Share Their Favorite Small Business ToolsRemember how I say that you are the Director of Marketing for your business?

Well, Directors of Marketing know tools can make their jobs so much easier – and are always seeking out the best tools for the job.

I know I love it when I find the perfect tool to help me manage my marketing and run my business. Like many solopreneurs, though, it’s difficult to know which tools work best.

That’s why I asked six of my solopreneur friends about their favorite tools, and I am thrilled to share their responses with you. Most of these tools are no cost or low cost (because we all know that a solopreneur budget looks like!).

As you peruse the list of tools here, please take a moment to check out the entrepreneurs and their businesses too. We are in this together!

Cloud-Based Accounting Software

Lynn StrandWaveApps

Recommended by Lynn Strand, Outside Knowledge

With WaveApps, I track expenses and invoice my clients. This tool keeps me organized. I can upload a picture of a receipt from my phone to my Wave account. I can categorize my expenses and invoice my clients. This tool is super easy and doesn’t require an accounting degree to get it up and running. You can also connect your bank account.

You can get a Wave account for free, or upgrade to a premium option. For most solopreneurs, the free version works just great! Learn more:

Customer Management Software

Debby RippeyFiifu

Recommended by Debby Rippey, RipCord Communications, LLC

Fiifu stands for “fortune is in the follow up,” and this is a customer management system allows you to capture all the information on prospects and clients – when you met, birthdays, anniversaries, and when you last met/spoke, as well as prompts for your next follow-up.

There are a variety of plans, but the one I use is about $200/year. The Fiitfu team recently rolled out sales funnels, and included training on how to set up your own funnels within the system. It’s great for delegation and making sure to stay on top of relationship building, too. Learn more:

Rosetta MagdalenZoho

Recommended by Rosetta Magdalen, The Dynamic Divorcee

Until a couple of months ago, I didn’t even know what CRM was, and I was trying to handle follow-up with leads through an Excel spreadsheet, which became a mess when the follow up with contacts started to continue over the months. I love Zoho so much because it’s so intuitive, and I can put every prospect-related task into the system as an actionable item with a due date. Even when I’m late on a task, it doesn’t fall through the cracks, and I have an easy-access record of every recent divorcee who needs my help, exactly what her needs are and what our various points of contact have been so far.  This allows me to stay in touch in a way that is meaningful for my potential clients and gives them value as individuals, not “prospects.”

There are paid versions and many other sales tools at Zoho, but the free version has all the functionality that I could possibly want at this point. Learn more:

Learning Management

Irina BenedictJigsaw Box

Recommended by Irina Benedict, Entrepreneur Enlightenment Academy

Jigsaw Box is a great tool for coaches or anyone who wants to deliver content, or develop courses or programs. Once I put my coaching program in Jigsaw Box, things have become more streamlined for me. I am not going back and forth through email with my clients, and it’s much easier to file and find content and notes about each client. Each client’s work is in one place, and I can go in and comment or coach them directly in there.

I believe Jigsaw Box is an essential tool for any coach. It’s $67/month, or you can buy it for the whole year and save 40 percent. Learn more:

Time Tracking

Kellyann Schaefer Toggyl 

Recommended by Kellyann Schaefer, Task Complete

Toggyl is a very simple Time Tracking tool, but highly effective at making you aware of your time and how much you’re spending on any given activity. As solopreneurs, we need to do many things every day to run our businesses efficiently. Often times, with outside distractions, these tasks take longer than we realize. With this simple app, you can track the amount of time you are spending on individual tasks or projects. After tracking your own time and habits for a full week, you’ll have an eye-opening experience as to where your time goes!

Doing a project for a client? Toggyl can also be used for tracking time for client work. Simply identify each client as a “project,” and track your time and efforts. You can even color code projects and clients, set hourly rates, and categorize projects and tasks.

Although there are paid versions for larger teams, everything a solopreneur needs is available in the free version:

Webpage Design

Jen LevitzOptimize Press 2.0

Recommended by Jen Levitz, Connect With Your Client

Optimize Press can work as either a Theme or a Plugin for your WordPress-based website.  It allows you to create pretty webpages that can be used as squeeze pages, landing page, opt-in pages, and more.  Optimize Press uses modular coding for the webpages via “blocks” so you can add and delete things from the layout as needed.  This allows you to completely customize the pre-designed templates to match your brand without having to be a major techie.

Another reason I recommend Optimize Press is because it’s a one-time purchase (versus a monthly fee to keep up with). It’s $97 for the license to use on up to 3 domain names/ URLs, and you can upgrade to 10 sites for an additional $100, or unlimited for $100 more (total of $297). Learn more:

Celestial Marketing Academy is open for enrollmentDo you struggle with finding time to market your business? Is your marketing a disorganized mess? Do you wish you knew more about marketing your business?

I invite you to check out the Celestial Marketing Academy. It’s specifically designed for purpose-driven entrepreneurs (like you!) who want to become the Director of Marketing for their businesses. Through monthly curriculum and support, you will learn how to market your gifts and passion with the world. Click here to learn more about the Celestial Marketing Academy. 

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