When it comes to running a small business, it isn’t unusual to feel slightly overwhelmed by your limited resources or budget. Keeping on top of your work is vital however, as is the use of tools which will help you to streamline your workload and continue on your path to success.
Below are 6 online tools that I swear-by and use every day in the running of Whim Magazine. Don’t just take my word though, as these are also some of the most popular tools used among successful business owners around the globe. The best part though? They’re all FREE to use!
1. Google Analytics:
If you have a small business, chances are you’ll have a website or even a blog to advertise your services and connect with your customers. If this is the case, then you’ll also need to install Google Analytics in order to track incredibly valuable information such as the location, gender, age, and interests of your customers or viewers, as well as what pages are most popular, how long each visitor stays on your site for, and so much more! Armed with this information, you can then tailor your content, products, services, and even marketing material to your target customers.
If you don’t already have a PayPal account set-up for your small business, you’ll want to do so pronto! This handy platform not only allows you to send and receive payments without risking your personal bank account information, but it also lets you send, track and receive invoices for your goods and services. Many customers will prefer to use a PayPal option upon check-out online, therefore it’s important that you can provide them with this service.
Don’t risk losing important business-related files by simply storing them on your computer or even an external hard drive, as these have been known to crash, with users sometimes losing all of their hard work! I like to use a combination of storing files on my laptop and on a cloud storage system such as Dropbox.
To store up to 2GB is completely free and the next option up is still quite affordable for small business owners at around $8 USD per month for 1TB of storage. Another great aspect of this online tool is that you can access your files from other devices, such as your smart phone or even by logging into your account online from any device.
Another great marketing tool for small businesses is to send out regular email newsletters to previous and potential customers who opt-in to receive your updates. MailChimp is one free service which will allow you to do this quite easily, with pre-made templates and examples all ready for your use!
While Pinterest might be viewed as a social media platform, it’s actually an incredibly useful (and free to use!) online tool for small business owners. Not only can you use it to engage with other like-minded business owners, but you can also share your products and services with users, as well as promote your online content through Pinterest optimized images (tall and skinny images with beautiful designs and eye-catching text).
Here's a few tips on how to create a dazzling pin.
This last must-use online tool probably comes as no surprise, but BeFunky’s Photo Editor and Designer Toolset are go-to platforms for many small businesses. Not only does the Photo Editor provide users with an affordable alternative to more expensive programs such as Photoshop, but the Designer also helps users to create a wide array of files like social media graphics, business cards, website and blog headers, invitations, flyers, and so much more.
Small business owners on a strict budget can use the free options on these BeFunky platforms, or for a small price per year, they can get access to every feature that their heart desires with BeFunky Plus! And last but not least, they even have a nifty Small Business series filled with all sorts of tutorials, DIY projects and epic inspirational blog posts just for you. Can't you just feel the love?
Want to create awesome graphics for your small business? (Hint: yes you do).