Running a business is a juggling act. As an entrepreneur, you’re in charge of decision making, sales, customer service, finances, marketing, employee management and more. It’s tough to productively and effectively do all of those things, that’s where technology comes! Today, we’re exploring our top picks for SaaS (software as a service) solutions and tools that can help you run your business more efficiently.
Project Management Software
As you read in our post on Project Management, honing that skill is essential to running a successful business. And these days technology makes project management way easier. While I’m personally a lover of old school planners for organization, I still rely heavily on project management software to be sure tasks are getting done, goals are being met and projects are moving along smoothly.
My top 3 picks for project management software:
If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you know we highly recommend all businesses have a website. The awesome thing is websites are easier to build and more affordable than ever before, if you’re willing to DIY it.
So follow my steps in previous blogs for creating a great website using one of these 4 user-friendly website builders:
Honorable mention goes to Google sites if you need something super simple!
Email Marketing Platforms
If you have a website, you need email marketing. Heck even if you don’t have a website, you need it. Email marketing is an owned marketing asset that has a much bigger return on investment than organic social media. So if you aren’t using it, now’s the time to start.
Here’s my top 3 email marketing platform picks:
Social Media Publishing Tools
While I’m not a huge fan of investing too much time into organic social media marketing, for most businesses it’s a necessary part of the bigger marketing strategy. And the best way to streamline it and make leveraging it less of a chore is through a social media publishing software.
Here’s my top 3 social media publishing tool picks:
If you have a team, especially if some are remote workers, you need a way to communicate and stay on top of everyone’s work progress. That’s where communication platforms come in.
For this category, I have just one recommendation…Slack! I’m a huge fan of this platform. It makes connecting with contractors, coworkers, staff, etc a breeze. It’s much more efficient than sifting through emails!
Yes you can go old school with your bookkeeping and keep a ledger or rock an Excel spreadsheet, but I highly recommend you leverage technology and use a bookkeeping software. This will make your life and your accountant’s life much easier. Plus, as long as you are consistently managing and reconciling your books with a click of a button you can get a snapshot of the financial health of your business.
My top picks for financial software:
Standard Operating Procedures Tool
As you build and grow your business it’s crucial you create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to help systemize, automate and manage the processes your business uses.
My #1 pick for SOP software:
- Arvo (Shout out to this awesome local business founded by Alane Boyd)
Document Collaboration/Sharing Platforms
Whether you need to collaborate on a document with staff or contractors, you need leverage Google Drive! This is a must have tool for all small businesses.
Not a fan of Goole, here’s another option for document collaboration/sharing:
Customer Feedback Tools
Smart business owners are constantly looking to better understand their customers. That’s why you should be using forms to gather feedback. Using online form tools allows you to create insightful surveys to help do research for new product lines, understand if you’re meeting the customers needs and more.
Here’s 3 options for form builders:
I’m a huge proponent of hiring a vetted graphic designer for your branding and logo. But once that’s complete, if you have some creative skills, you can DIY tons of branded collateral and graphics without always having to rely on your designer. Now if you aren’t design savvy, you may still need the expertise of your graphic designer, but if you have an eye for design, and know how to keep things on brand Canva is a great program to create everything from social media posts to brochures.
If your business deals with clients and involves a lead generation, nurturing and conversion you might want to consider using a CRM (customer relationship management) tool. There are a ton out there and some are even industry specific.
Here’s a few popular options for general CRMs:
Gone are the days of managing your schedule on paper. Make it easier for clients to book time with you and for you to manage your time with scheduling software.
Here’s my top picks for scheduling software:
Point of Sale (POS) Systems
Whether you sell products or services in-person or online, you need a POS (point of sale) system. And there are tons of choices out there. The best way to choose is to compare merchant processing rates, fees, benefits/features and customer reviews.
Here’s some options for popular POS systems:
And there’s More
This is just the beginning of the options you have to leverage technology to run your business like a well-oiled machine. We didn’t even touch on categories like HR, employee management, live chat, time tracking, document signing and more.
Which SaaS Solutions do you need?
How do you know what platforms you need? First, think of the tasks you do regularly in your business that are taking too much of your time and/or aren’t efficient for you, your team or the customer. Then go Google “software for ____”. I guarantee there is a SaaS solution for anything you need.
If you still aren’t sure which platforms to pick or which ones your business can truly benefit from investing in, reach out! We can help you think through the inefficiencies in your operation and come up with solutions.