From communicating with customers to collaborating internally and improving processes, entrepreneurs should know that there’s quite literally a digital platform or service for everything.
Here is an uncapped list of digital tools that we highly recommend to find further opportunities for integration, growth and success over this transitional period.
WEBSITE PERFORMANCE MONITORING
No matter how you build your website, you’ll want to know how people are using it (or not using it) so you can adjust and influence them to make different decisions. Try a tool like Chartbeat or Google Analytics to track your visitors and see if they’re “bouncing” (immediately leaving), what pages they’re clicking into, and other data you can mine to increase performance.
Understanding what is happening throughout your website will enable you to make better marketing and sales decisions. It will enable you to answer questions such as “Do people care what my company is about?” or “Do people like product A or product B more?”.
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Rather than spending all day and night checking your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, use a management tool like Hootsuite or Facebook Creator Studio to monitor feeds, schedule posts, interact and engage, and view analytics—all from one single dashboard.
Both platforms will enable you to not have to engage with your business social media real-time. You’ll have the ability to carve out some time to take care of all of your outbound activities, so you’ll gain the freedom to spend the rest of the week or month to engage.
Quickbooks is one of of the most popular and integratabtle platforms on the market today. This app is perfectly designed for the self-employed, for freelancers, and for independent contractors needing a more convenient way to organize their finances and find tax deductions.
The self-employed app allows business owners to track mileage automatically, photograph receipts for easy expense tracking, and even create/send invoices easily on the go. Use this great tool to capture all of your financial inputs and outputs so you can always have a snapshot of the fiscal health of your business.
The perception is, the easier you are to schedule with, the easier you are to work with. If you’re in a role that requires constant calendar coordination, it will dramatically benefit your front-end scheduling operations by using a scheduling tool. All of these tools are directly connected with your calendar, so it will enable others to only select times when you’re available, reducing the back and forth, and ultimately turning into more appointments.
And if you are really into digital tools and would like to leave your calendar inputs to someone – or something – else, look into x.ai. CC them on an email and their bot will coordinate with your meeting guest to find time on your schedule.
Email newsletters are one of the most popular and effective digital marketing tools out there. Use a platform like MailerLite or Constant Contact to easily design, send and review the results of your newsletters. You can drill down and examine who opened your emails, what links they clicked on, and who might be most interested in a follow-up message or offer.
There are many elements of our businesses that can now be digitalized to save time. Email messaging is one of them. Explore video messaging with Loom as a new, more personal method of communicating with customers, clients, and team members.
Loom can be used on the web, downloaded as an app, or as a Google Chrome extension for easy sharing. Recipients will receive a link to your video, where you can also add a call to action button, like “Schedule an Appointment.” [Edit: See Loom’s response to COVID-19]
If you need to correspond with a remote team, or have frequent meetings with clients, prospective employees or consultants, a video conferencing solution that allows multiple parties to join and collaborate is a must. Give Google Hangouts, Zoom, or Join.me a try! Remember, though, that they may max out at a certain number of participants, so you will have to upgrade to host more attendees.
KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOL
Understanding what information and news is distributed around the web is important because it will enable you to customize and tailor your content, ensuring that you are constantly producing content that is up to date and relevant to your audience.
For Small Business Owners who are consistently searching for certain things on Google in order to publish content, Google Alerts is the tool for you.
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
There’s no reason to operate your customer relationships on the fly any longer. Too often this leads to lost or forgotten leads, or turns repeat customers into ghosts.
Your CRM tool allows you to log and track every aspect of every relationship you build, letting you know how long it’s been since you’ve followed up with loyal customers, or which users are showing interest but not closing the deal. Free CRM software like HubSpot or Clickup helps you stay organized internally and top-of-mind with customers.
Every business needs a mechanism to help keep track of projects, goals, and progress. Email, phone, and paper (we’ve seen it all) are the best ways to create confusion, forget or mismanage tasks, and leave team member out of the loop.
Project management platforms like Trello, Asana, Microsoft Teams, or Wrike are more efficient. These cloud-based tools give a full and transparent look at where each important project is in its lifecycle and allows everyone to trace its progress from inception to completion.
With these tools and more, agile small business are getting very creative, rethinking patterns and operations, and reintroducing themselves to the tech-driven population they’ll be serving. Don’t get left behind.
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