10 Tools for Running a Smarter Business
Okay, who doesn't want to run a smarter business. Am I right? I know I do. After the past (nearly 9) years in business, I've tested a lot of tools out there. Tools meant to streamline, simplify, and systemize. These are the tools that I use on a daily basis in my business to make things seamless.
google apps for work + streak
Seems silly to list Gmail, but it truly is my most time-saving app out there. Caitlyn (my assistant) and I have figured out AWESOME foldering systems that make our lives so much easier. My foldering system (left image below) allows me to keep track of client work as well as all the internal things I work on. Caitlyn's foldering system (right image below) allows her to track all the work she's doing for me plus all the work she's doing for my clients.
Plus, we use Google Drive to organize all the files for my business and we even run my business off one main Google Sheet with about 15 tabs across the bottom. We even fileshare to clients and create products for sale in Google Drive.
Finally, Streak for Gmail is my hero. This creepy little Gmail add-in (and Google Chrome extension) helps me track opens, schedule emails, and even manage my sales funnel. If I have more than one person I send an email to, Streak helps me keep track of when each person opens
buffer + quu
Buffer and Quu are responsible for managing everything but my Instagram account as far as social media goes. As a marketing strategist, I teach that while you may need to be on all social media platforms for the purpose of maintaining a presence, you need to be investing your time in the platform that drives the best return for your business. Since Instagram has the best return for me, I use Buffer + Quu to automate the rest. Buffer is a social media scheduling platform and Quu is a hand-curated content suggestion generator. Quu selects topics based on the categories I've selected (below) and then auto-schedules up to 10 posts per day to my Facebook and Twitter accounts.
As far as email marketing goes, I have three different types, all managed by ConvertKit. I send a weekly email at 8am on Wednesdays with marketing content and stories about my nomad life - this email goes to my full list. I also send a monthly email specifically about my nomad adventures which goes to a subset of my list (as well as family members and personal contacts). Finally, I have funnels that I use for everything from launching to selling products. ConvertKit handles it all, seamlessly!
Honeybook is my go to project management platform (as well as my platform for basically everything). If you fill out the contact form on my website, that's hosted by Honeybook. If you work with me on a project, your contracts and everything will come through Honeybook. I love Honeybook's ability to centrally locate all my business processes (and the recent addition of workflows and tasklists are making it an even more integral part of my business).
If you haven't already guessed, I'm not in the business of design. It's not my strong suit, my forte, or even remotely something I'm good at. When I need something pretty for my business, I head on over to Creative Market. It's my go-to for all things collateral throughout my business! (Plus they have free goods each week which is an awesome bonus!)
quickbooks + intuit
As much as I'm not a designer, I'm also not a bookkeeper or good at tracking payments. I use QuickBooks to manage my money and reconcile things and subsequently use Intuit's invoicing software as well! The thing I love most is the ability to sync up the time I've already tracked and automatically drop it in an invoice. For my corporate clients, this makes life so much easier, as I'm able to have Intuit find all of our meetings and time together in Google Calendar and drop it all in an invoice nice and easy. Not only that, but they also give you quarterly estimates on your taxes which are automatically calculated for you.
If you're an entrepreneur, you have meetings. Period. I use Acuity to easily schedule my meetings by just sending clients and counterparts a link! I previously had used Calendly, but once I wanted to switch and house all my paid meetings and unpaid meetings all in one platform, Acuity was the right choice for me!
What are your favorite tools? Do you know of a gold mine that I'm completely missing out on? Let me know in the comments below!