Running your own business, whether big or small, will always present challenges and a continuous flow of daily tasks. Even if you are totally organised there will be some days where you feel overwhelmed as you try to juggle everything on your own. If you automate some of the more mundane tasks with some online tools you will save yourself time and money.
Small business owners today are lucky to have access to many online tools that are becoming more sophisticated, convenient and offer incredible value to a small business.
These tools will assist in the daily management of your business making it less complicated and much easier to administer.
Smart business owners are using the web more and more to seek out cost effective, reliable tools that maximise all those activities like admin, book-keeping, marketing, project management, payroll, customer retention and much more.
If you want to ensure your business improves in productivity, saves time and resources, and increases your profit potential, part of your approach should be to utilise some of these tools.
I would like to recommend three of my favourites which I find invaluable and use on a daily basis. They all have free versions (and paid) and are well suited for small to medium businesses.
Online Tools everyone can use
Mailchimp: a quirky online tool that is easy to use
Mailchimp is a perfect tool for the beginner as you can be up and running very quickly.
It has many useful features – the best one of all being their effective email marketing solution which lets you create, send and track newsletters to your customer base. You can use your own branded design or choose from hundreds of free ‘out of the box’ professional templates.
Mailchimp has an impressive range of support options that include tutorials, articles and a live chat feature.
Evernote: a powerful, free notebook app
Evernote is a cloud based organisational tool that will definitely simplify the ongoing running of your business.
Its simplicity is in creating notes and putting them in a large notebook. No more yellow post it notes lying around or scrappy bits of paper cluttering up your work space.
Create an ‘external brain’ and capture items of interest and store them in your notebook to share with your colleagues or just for your daily ‘to do’ list. All your favourite web pages, articles and images can be added with just a click. All notes and files can be synced across all your devices. You can make it as simple or as complex as you like.
There are many other cool features as well.
Offload your thoughts and record your scribbles into Evernote where they stay until you delete them.
LinkedIn: Professional Social Network
LinkedIn is often overlooked by business owners and they miss the opportunity to capitalise on this essential social media site for online marketing and promotional needs. This online network brings influential people from around the world together in a very unique way. Create a company page and connect all your employees to highlight everything that your business has to offer.
Connect and build relationships with other like-minded professionals, share your content, get referrals and increase brand awareness.
Have a look at this beginners guide for tips on setting up your page correctly and how to get started. http://on.mash.to/1ohfKuH
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Midge Hand is a Co-founder and Director of High Profile Enterprises. Midge is one of only around 50 Copyblogger Media Certified Content Marketers and is the only one in New Zealand. When away from the demands of running High Profile Enterprises, Midge enjoys time with family, cooking for friends, Pilates and paddle boarding. This year her new challenge is to learn to play the melodica.