As entrepreneurs who are always wearing 5,000 hats, there’s always so much more we could be doing to keep growing our businesses. I have found some incredibly helpful tools this last year that help uplevel my business and really save me time and money (and when you’re an entrepreneur, you know time IS money!)
Here’s a list of my favorite tools and resources that I use every single day:
Website Design- Squarespace
Everyone who knows me and follows me knows that for me, this is a no-brainer and I am constantly yelling to the rooftops about how much I love Squarespace. It is so easy to design beautiful, functional sites on Squarespace that are still user-friendly enough for clients to be able to really take them over and make updates whenever needed. After having a past with designing Wordpress sites and having a job where I had to update a Wix site, I realized that Squarespace is by far the leader in the web design world for small businesses. I actually have an entire other blog on why I love Squarespace so much that you can read here.
Stock Images- Unsplash
Stock photos from a lot of sites can be boring, uninteresting, or just weird. Unsplash has so many beautiful, trendy options that don’t look as staged or as obnoxious as a lot of stock photos on other sites. They have a really strong brand and are a little more “edgy” than competitors (ie: pixabay, shutterstock, etc.) They also integrate directly with Squarespace now which makes finding stock images for blogs or content a BREEZE! Everyone who uploads photos on Unsplash is a photographer and you can really tell the difference in the quality of these images compared to a lot of other stock images.
Social Media Graphic Designs- Canva
Canva is a god-send for small design projects (think: Instagram posts, Pinterest graphics, blog graphics, etc.) It is user-friendly and easy to still really cultivate your brand through fonts/ colors/ design elements when it’s for smaller based projects. It totally does not replace Adobe Creative Suite for logo designs and bigger projects, but it is really useful for day-to-day things and I help clients set up templates on Canva all the time so they can continue to use a branded newsletter every month by just placing their content inside. It helps save them so much time and I love that I am able to help them in that capacity.
Instagram Scheduling- PLANN
I absolutely love the PLANN app for planning my social media. It lets you see and plan out your grid, prewrite captions that you can just copy and paste, and schedule your posts. You can even look at competitors’ hashtags and feeds as a “sneak peak” and plan your posts by categories. It saves me so much time to batch my instagram content bi-weekly so when I know I need to post I can just go, copy and paste, and post! It also helps tremendously with ensuring your entire feed is branded and matches so you look like you’re the expert with a curated feed.
Docusign makes sending client contracts a BREEZE! I use it for every single contract because it gives you the ability to just upload and mark where you need you clients to sign, then emails it directly to them. It works as legally-bound contracts, just electronically, to make life on your clients a bit easier- so all they have to do is press a button and sign without worrying about having Adobe Acrobat or similar programs to sign PDFS. It also allows you to enter other fields if you need to customize it a bit more, and add your own branding. It’s a really nice user-experience and my clients love how easy it is to get their project started.
Receipt-bank is a LIFESAVER for me. I have a bookkeeper and I would be horrible at having to send her everything I purchase for my biz- but instead all I have to do is login to receipt-bank and upload a screenshot, pdf, or image of my invoice and it is all there. They also have an app, so instead of collective receipts for things like gas mileage or client dinners, you just pull out your app, snap a photo, and it’s stored there for them to document. It also allows you to hook it up with your monthly recurring bills so you can not have to worry about going all over the place to find all of your monthly charges.
Literally Everything- Google Drive
Google everything is incredible for business and I am SO glad I live in a world where it exists. I use Google for so many things- I use Google Drive to send client files, I use Google Forms to send my questionnaires, I use Gmail for my email, I use Google Slides for client presentations, and I use Google Docs to collaborate on content for clients’ sites. It seriously is a game-changer (and I cannot believe that Google is a free resource to us!)
Scheduling Calls- Calendly
Oh my gosh, I cannot even begin to imagine having to go back and forth with a client multiple times anymore to figure out a time to have a call. I did that for a few months, and realized after 15 emails and three searches on time zone converters when I was working with a client in Ireland, having an automated scheduling app like Calendly would serve to be invaluable for me. It is so easy to use on both ends, free if you just need the basic plan, and saves SO much back-and-forth and allows you to really schedule in times that work for you instead of constantly taking calls during the hours you need to focus. It has helped tremendously with my workflow and my days to only take calls on certain days and batching that just like anything else.
So there you have it- the tools that seriously help keep my business up and running in the most efficient way possible on a daily basis. I am so thankful for all of these tools and utilize them as much as I possibly can each and every work day.
What are your favorite tools for your business? Let me know in the comments below!