I recently realized my favorite part about being a creative is starting small businesses. In the past few years, I have started multiple small businesses. This list includes a blog, a micro-bakery, and a dog-sitting business. In my ventures, I get the most excitement from beginnings. However, when I am doing the actual work on the daily, I get this negative feeling inside. Is it boredom? After some self-discovery, I realized that my favorite parts are in growing the business. Creating a business idea, creating websites, working on marketing, optimizing financials, and brainstorming for new ways to grow are my favorite things to do. Once business becomes stagnant, I lose interest. I see now that growth is my motivator in life, both in business and personal. With that in mind, I wanted to share with you my top 5 small business tools that will help a small business grow!
Top 5 Small Business Tools
- WordPress. A website is very important to growing your brand. Actually, even if you don’t own a small business, I think you should still have a website for yourself. As we progress into the digital space, each individual should embrace a brand that represents them in the professional world. No matter what that looks like, it should be expressed on a website that is easily found online. Like a resume, it should include a brief bio, your mission statement, and what you’ve been up to in the past few years. WordPress is a user-friendly platform that costs very little to start. You can use my referral link here to get $25 off your first purchase – this could cover your custom domain.
- Tailwind. Social media presence is crucial these days. It is not only a social platform, but a place to sell your products and services as well. Twitter sells your brand, Pinterest sells your site, Instagram sells your products and services. The most important thing about social media is consistency. Posting and engaging every day is important. If you don’t have someone managing your social media then you have to do it yourself. Tailwind helps streamline the process by scheduling future posts at ideal times. You can time-block your schedule and set aside one hour to schedule all the posts for the week. Everything from there runs on auto. You can try Tailwind for free at first to see how you like it, but eventually you’ll want to post often enough to do a subscription of some sort. It really changed my life and freed up my time and to-do list! I love time-blocking so this app really worked for me!
- Flodesk. Growing an email list is very important to your business. Your email list should consist of subscribers who are interested in your product or services. Engagement is key as that boosts interest. And emails help alert people when you release a new product or service. This will then increase conversion rates. Sending out emails even once a month makes a big difference! I used to use ConvertKit but switched to Flodesk recently. This post explains why I made the switch. Since moving to Flodesk, I have had more fun creating emails, and they’re a breeze too. I genuinely believe people can tell when you are having fun doing your work, because I have also seen an increase in subscribers! Flodesk is great for email marketing beginners. Sign up for a Flodesk account to start growing your mailing list today. There’s no time like the present!
- Moo. People may say business cards are a thing of the past, but I don’t think that’s true. When I was growing my bakery, people took my business cards at Farmer’s Markets and I left my business cards at restaurants and coffee shops where I dropped off bread samples. For the dog-sitting business, I left my business cards at the local coffee shop and about half of my clients are from there! People will be drawn to your business if you have great cards. That’s why I recommend Moo. They’ve got easy-to-use templates, great quality cards, made in modern prints and sizes. My most popular cards are those in a square shape with a gloss print.
- YouNeedABudget. I am always promoting YNAB for personal finance but it is useful for small businesses too. Proper accounting of your expenses and income will drive future growth with the business. You need to know what the profits are, and where you are bleeding money. Analyzing the finances of small businesses is really fun for me. It challenges me to find creative ways to save, as well as new ways to make more profit. If you have a small business just starting out, YNAB could be a good option for now. Eventually, you will grow to a point where you could outsource the accounting and taxes to a professional. I highly recommend Prescott Tax and Wealth Management for my local peeps. Until then, sign up for YNAB and try to do things on your own while starting out.
There are many business tools out there, but these happen to be my top 5 tools for small businesses.