You have a million and one things to do as a small business owner. And each of these tasks needs to be done well. Using the right tools and using them to set up an efficient system will help you run more things on autopilot. In this post I’m sharing my top 5 tech tools for running and streamlining my business . Effortlessly! If you’re just starting out in business then these will assist you in building a solid foundation right from the get go.
Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you try out my recommendations. This is at no cost to you.
1. WEBSITE AND BLOG
I use Showit
A drag-a-drop website builder that gives you all the creative freedom without needing to learn a single line of code? Stunning website design AND the blogging powerhouse of WordPress? Say no more! For me, Showit is a real game-changer!
WordPress is the #1 blogging platform in existence, yet a WordPress website isn’t exactly beginner friendly. Even though you want your blog to be on the best platform, you don’t want the steep learning curve of building a WordPress website. Conundrum right? Well, that’s why Showit is literally the answer to your prayers and your website unicorn!
Showit websites are stunning (I haven’t come across a Showit site I didn’t love). They feel professional, yet modern, and work seamlessly with all the other tech tools you need to run your business. With Showit you also have the capability to design your mobile and desktop websites independently of each other meaning you don’t have to compromise your user experience. In fact, you can enhance it!
Whether you choose to DIY your website with a Showit template or hire a designer to build a custom site, you won’t regret making the switch! Start your 14-day free trial and see what all the fuss is about for yourself.
2. GRAPHIC DESIGN
I use Canva
Canva was created for the non-designer in mind and allows you to create a variety of graphics and marketing material for your business quickly and effortlessly. Canva is incredibly easy to use thanks to its intuitive drag-and-drop interface.
This platform is available on both desktop and mobile, so it’s great when you’re on the go or need to make a quick update when you’re away from your desk/office. Canva boasts a huge photo gallery, hundreds of templates, colours, fonts, illustrations, graphics, and video and is free to use. However, if you want to unlock premium features (like uploading a custom font, or image background remover) then you should consider upgrading to Canva Pro.
I use Canva every day, so at $150 CAD per year it’s a steal in terms of value. If you’re looking to communicate across multiple channels and do so with consistent, quality branding, then Canva needs to make your top 5 tech tools list. You can showcase your brand personality and drive the ROI of your business by using Canva as part of your simple yet effective content marketing.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA
I use Instagram and Pinterest
Social media platforms can be amazing for getting more eyes on your business. And, like it or not, social media for business is no longer optional, it’s essential. It’s a cost effective way to improve brand awareness and engage with your audience.
But, not every social media platform is created equally. When choosing the right social media platform for your business, make sure you utilize at least one evergreen platform. Evergreen platforms (like Pinterest and YouTube) behave more like search engines. This means your content can be found indefinitely, without you stressing over algorithm expiry timers.
I use Instagram as my ‘trendy’ platform. This is where I can bring more personality to my brand and nurture my audience on a more casual basis. Pinterest, on the other, is my ‘old faithful’. Here, I can expand my content strategy to internationally drive traffic to my blog (is that how you got here?) and build my email list.
4. EMAIL MARKETING
I use Flodesk
Your website, blog, and social media efforts can all help do one thing – build your email list. Email is a powerful means of driving ROI, so your email campaigns need to be on point. Enter…Flodesk.
Opt-in forms and workflows (automated email sequences) are easy to design and integrate seamlessly with your Showit website so your audience won’t even notice that you’ve moved them into a new tech tool. And if you don’t yet have a published website but want to start growing your email list (kudos to you) Flodesk has a stunning collection of landing pages that you can use in the meantime.
Flodesk uses drag-and-drop email designs that work on a block system, which are super quick and easy to customize. You can design from scratch, or use a pre-built template for inspiration. What you see in the design editor is exactly what you get (no coding required!) and come pre-optimized for mobile viewing.
Unlike many other Email Service Providers (ESP) you’re not penalized for having a large email list. With Flodesk, you pay the same monthly subscription regardless if there’s 1 or 1 million subscribers on your email list. While it might not seem like the cheapest option to get started, you will benefit from cost efficiency in the long run. Here’s something to take the edge off: 50% off your first year with Flodesk.
5. PROJECT AND CLIENT MANAGEMENT
I use Honeybook
With the first four tools working their butts off for your business you will be inundated with inquiries and leads lining up to work with you! And if you don’t have a management system in place the overwhelm will kick in pretty fast (speaking from experience there).
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software will help keep you and your client journey organized in a convenient, all-in-one-place workspace. HoneyBook is the brain of my business and has made the most tedious tasks practically disappear from my to-do list. It’s my calendar, task manager, sales machine, contract keeper, payment taker, and bookkeeper that I couldn’t imagine business life without.
It all starts with effective lead capture. You can completely customize your contact form(s) in HoneyBook and easily embed into your Showit website. Once again, this provides a seamless client transition into your automated workflow and project pipeline.
Now, I won’t lie to you here, it takes commitment to get everything set up, but it’s time well invested. That’s why HoneyBook offers a 6 month long trial ($1 per month for 6 your first six months). This way you can really get into it and play around before making a long-term commitment.
There are of course other software and apps that I use to run my business, but these make my top 5 tech tools because of the way they work together. They keep my client experience consistent at every brand touchpoint, which enables me to spend more time doing the things I love!