I have run an online business for over 20 years. I have found tools that work and tools I can live without, and I have also learned to automate everything possible to save time and frustration for my team and me.
If you are a solopreneur or run just a small team, you need to automate as much as possible in your business. Tools and technology make business more accessible and ultimately increase your productivity so you can earn more money or crush more goals. Technology keeps you organized and consistent, allowing you to keep up with your competition.
Give these 13 tools a try today to increase your business productivity:
*Please note: the products I am recommending are products I use EVERYDAY in my business to help automate my business as much as possible, some links might be affiliate links
EVERY online business needs a way to organize its projects effectively. You need to make sure your projects and clients are not following through the system. There are a ton of project management systems out there. Still, I highly recommend/Clickup is an online, cloud-based project management system that allows you to work anywhere with an internet connection.
I have used several different project management systems over the years, but Clickup is the closest to EVERYTHING I need in one. Create message boards, lists, cards and organize or delegate tasks to different team members. It also has an online chat feature, timers, and lots of integrations; I guarantee it will save you a ton of time and frustration.
Cloud-based software that allows you to save and share files from any location. Google Drive is an excellent option for businesses that need to share, transfer, or save large files like video production. I used to use Dropbox, but after more recent changes with dropbox, I have moved 100% to Google Drive only for storing and sharing my files. It is also great because I can access my files from any computer or device.
Connect all your different applications to automate your workflow instantly. This application moves information from different social media platforms, email applications, and more. Choose your medium and trigger, and watch Zapier do the work for you. For example, anytime someone signs up for your Facebook event, you can automatically tell Zapier to send them a message.
Every business requires accounting, and that's precisely what the Dubsado app makes a little bit easier. Create professional invoices, track your business expenses, incoming revenue, and more. It also allows me to set up automated proposals, collect signatures on contracts and keep notes on my consulting clients. They do have a project management system if you don't require much for it, but I need a more in-depth app (hence ClickUp). I am waiting for the integration between Dubsado and Clickup!
As a mom of 5 kids and a business owner, my schedule is full. I could hire someone to manage my calendar at this point. But I have found using a scheduling software like Calendly tied to my Google Calendar (which I live by) keeps a personal touch and saves a ton of back and forth time in scheduling consultation calls.
I am a BIG believer in building your list. I don't care if it is an email list or a list of cell phone numbers. Those are people who are seriously interested in your products and services, and the hope is they will eventually buy from you. I won't get into how to do this effectively. But ActiveCampaign helps me automate my communication while I build my email list. It helps me easily sent up email funnels based on actions as well (all automated, of course)
Batching content and scheduling the majority of your post is something that saves ALL business owners time. I used to use expensive scheduling software, but I found once Facebook released the business scheduler for posting, I love it, and I get more interaction to my post. The best thing is, you can set it up a week ahead or a month ahead, and it will Automatically Post each day at the time you schedule it.
I used Dux-Soup in combination with Sales Navigator on Linkedin. The software literally does the hard work while I am working on something else. I research and make a list of people I want it to connect with, and it sends a connection message and follow-up messages.
I fell in love the first time I used Group Funnels; this app is AMAZING; it allows me to automate growing my email list while growing my Facebook Group. It pushes the answer to my Facebook group questions (including their name and email) into an excel sheet once a week; I then download that sheet and upload it to Active Campaign.
#10 Dollar Eighty
Dollar Eighty is a very interesting tool that I use in conjunction with Instagram. This tool encourages you to make nine meaningful full posts in 10 categories every day. It keeps track of that, allowing you to streamline your as much as humanly possible your Instagram engagement. Remember, if you are not engaging, how can you expect people to engage in your content.
One stream allows me to Live on 40 + platforms at a time; it also allows me to pre-record and schedule a pre-recorded Livestream to play as if it is live.
ThriveCart is an AWESOME shopping cart software that allows you to connect to Stripe and Paypal (which I use) or several other merchant account options; the checkout pages are easy, you can zap them to your active campaign. It makes upsells, downsells, and A/B Testing VERY simple. It also has an affiliate tracking program. And did I mention it has an amazing price behind the product too?
Tailwind allows you to schedule a week of pins at once. It is the best I have found to grow your Pinterest followers. It is very easy to use and beats having to pay someone to do the same things this app does for you automatically once you set the schedule.
Your business might not need all of these, and it really depends on what your goals are currently for your business. I use all of these tools almost every day in my business. It took a lot of trial and error to find what works best.
When you find the right tools and technology for your business, it will help you become more productive to spend more time doing what you love in your business.
Start by adding just one of these productivity tools to your daily routine. Remember, technology will only go as far as you allow it. Learn how to use it right and give it time to see the rewards and benefits.
I would love to hear from you; what are some of your favorite productivity and automation tools? Why do you love them?