When it comes to having business tools in place to help a small business grow and become profitable, there are so many to choose from-it’s hard to know which ones work and which ones don’t. Business owners want tools that are easy, simple to learn, and don’t cost a fortune. We’ve put a lot of different business tools to the test over the last several years, and here is a short list of some of what we love and use the most which has helped to grow the business.
Ring Central: Ring Central is a phone system that requires NO equipment and uses the lines you already have in place-even if your only business line is your cell phone. As you work to grow your business, it’s important for your business to have it’s own identity and branding which is completely separate from you, the business owner. Ring Central allows you to have phone extensions for every person on the team. It has customized greetings like the ones you get from larger companies, and comes with the ability to receive electronic faxes-so you can get rid of your fax machine, save on paper and ink, and save a tree at the same time. Implementing Ring Central into our business was the start of PrinterBees having it’s own identity-I highly recommend it for every small business owner. It’s way too affordable not to consider. Get a free trial of the service, by clicking the banner, you’ll be so glad you did. You can try it free and it’s only $9.99/mo for your phone system.
Email marketing is another way to increase profits while reducing costs for as little as $10 a month. Emailing from your own personal email account could result in your emails being blocked if your internet service provider feels you’re spamming people. The details about how to avoid getting black listed are in this article and a highly recommended read.
Install WordPress on your smart phone and tablet. It’s hard to find time to blog and keep consistent with it. The only way I’m able to keep up is by using free moments when I can blog right from my phone or tablet. (I’m writing this article on my iPad.) It’s easy for me to note ideas I have for blog posts no matter where I am or what I’m doing, including the “after school pick-up my child line.” I always have a mobile device handy, I bet you do too! Your website will perform much better with a blog and ongoing activity.
Take advantage of automation wherever possible. I use apps like Buffer to schedule my tweets, Facebook posts, Google+ posts, as well as LinkedIn. I’m able to handle all of my social media once per day and I’m not spamming people by posting a bunch of stuff all at once. I’m happy to give Joel and the gang at Buffer my $10 a month to use their service, it rocks!
Consolidate your customer database management, email marketing, invoicing, and so much more with services like Infusionsoft. I can’t stress enough the immediate impact that Infusionsoft had on our business. It’s paid for itself a thousand times over and I highly recommend it to any and every small business owner.
These are just some of the tools we utilize to do what we do. There are far more details about how to “do it” in the book and as a subscriber to this magazine, so make sure you get your subscription and it won’t hurt my feelings if you pick up a copy of my book too! Seriously, it’s a great book! It’s got all the secrets in it.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@nadinelarder) and let me know “what ails you as a small business owner,” I’m here to help and if I can, I will!