Top 5 Small Business Tools

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Why I Switched My Email Marketing from ConvertKit to Flodesk

This summer, I switched my email platform for the blog from ConvertKit to Flodesk. I have been loving creating emails ever since! What once was a chore is now a fun activity for me. I look forward to creating pretty emails for my readers, without the stresses or hassle of complicated platforms. There are many pros to switching to Flodesk, and today I will share with you why I ultimately made the switch! I did it, and personally, I never want to go back.

But before we jump into email automation systems, perhaps you are just starting out your blog? Or you are considering whether blogging is for you? If that’s the case, check out these popular posts on my blog.

Flodesk Made Emails EASY

I am not a techy person and I did not get a degree in marketing. To be honest, when I started to create emails, I signed up for ConvertKit because it was recommended by another blogger. But I never got around to creating content. The ConvertKit platform was too technical for me. It was boring, designed mostly with code, and had complicated automation workflows that had me feeling lost. I spent a ton of time trying to figure it out, and never getting anywhere.

This year, I came across Flodesk. After being frustrated with my email experience, I decided to take a chance on Flodesk. I now love it! Flodesk took out the complicated stuff and made email creation easy. Pre-designed templates provide me with inspiring ideas. Customization is as easy as swapping out text and photographs. And making emails from scratch is also a breeze with the blocks that Flodesk provide.

Workflows Are Clear

Flodesk is a very visual platform. Workflows are clearly outlined by trigger labels. Each subscriber can be automatically assigned to an existing workflow. At the end of the series, they can then be subscribed to the next workflow. Automation is wonderful. All I have to do is select the number of days between each email drop. And on Flodesk, you can see the flow easily! In ConvertKit, I was always wondering where my subscribers were going and how to get them to the next email. Now I can focus on the CONTENT and send out beautiful emails without the headache of figuring out automation systems and workflows.

Flodesk is Cheaper

At the end of the day, Flodesk saved me money. To subscribe to Flodesk is only $39 a month (although it is $19 a month with my affiliate link here!) Unlike other platforms, Flodesk does not charge based on the number of subscribers you have. You can have an unlimited number of subscribers and still be charged the same fee. While ConvertKit is only $9 a month for a Creator Subscription, they charge $25 a month once you hit 1,000 subscribers. And the price only goes up from there.

Flodesk is a fairly new company, so of course, they are still growing and figuring a few kinks out. It is not as advanced as a more established platform such as ConvertKit, but to be honest, that’s what I like about it! It is simple and easy to use. Those with more experience may find Flodesk to be too elementary, and that’s totally okay! As always, I recommend choosing what works for you.

Personally, I have been enjoying using Flodesk, and I just wanted to share it with others who may be hoping to start a blog or an email list for their small business or company. I seriously think that Flodesk is the best email marketing platform for beginner bloggers who don’t know much about the technical side of marketing. You can always do a free trial to see how you like it.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I only share about companies that I truly believe in.

Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash