Valuable Tools That Every Small Business Should Consider

Every small business needs a set of great business tools to be successful.

You undoubtedly have the passion and determination needed to run a small business, but if you want it to thrive instead of just survive, you need to be equipped with the right tools. Here are a few to consider adding to your toolbox (metaphorically speaking, of course).

If your business is family-owned, here are five marketing tips worth reading.

Productivity & Collaboration | Google Apps for Work

You’re missing out if you’re not already using Google’s widely-used and highly-adaptable work apps which include Gmail, Calendar, Google+, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Forms, and more. Google Apps is ideal for small businesses with less than fifty employees. And because it’s cloud-based, access to email, important documents, calendars, and other project management information is virtually limitless.

Pricing starts at $5/user/month.

Finances | makes online payments simple, invoicing easy, and setting up recurring deductions a breeze. There’s also a time tracking tool and a powerful dashboard which keeps track of unpaid invoices, overdue tasks, outstanding income, and more.

No set pricing; sign up for free then inquire about your custom rate.

Project Management | Wrike

To keep your team on the same page and get projects done on time, you’ll need a robust project management tool. Wrike features to-do lists and message boards, plus it can organize projects in detail, set deadlines, share files, and much more.

Pricing starts at $29/month for internal team use.

Legal Document Creation | PandaDoc

PandaDoc provides document automation with built-in electronic signatures, workflow management, and Configure Price Quote (CPQ) functionality. It helps you to build and deliver sales quotes and proposals as well as track presentations and close deals faster with legally binding eSignatures.

Pricing starts at $19/month/user.

NOTE: Another trust-worthy document creation platform worth considering is Proposify which starts at $25/month.

Marketing Stack | Salesforce CRM + MailChimp + HooteSuite +Google Analytics OR HubSpot

A marketing stack is a set of tools that marketers leverage to execute, analyze, and improve their marketing activities. Typically a stack includes (but is not limited to) a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, email automation platform, social media management tool, and analytics application.

Salesforce CRM— The Salesforce CRM puts accounts and contact information in a central and accessible place in order to streamline the sales process. It gives you a quick way to score and route leads, track opportunities and activities, and gain visibility into deal stages and business health for both prospects and customers.

Pricing starts at $25/user/month.

MailChimp — With MailChimp, you can collect email addresses, create segmented lists, and send & track e-blasts. This platform integrates with Salesforce and WordPress.

Pricing starts at . . . FREE (until you hit 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month).

HootSuite— HootSuite is a social media management tool that allows users to schedule and post updates to any pages or profiles for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and others from one place — the HootSuite dashboard. When you sign up, you are essentially given a dashboard with tabs organizing all the social profiles you connect to HootSuite.

Pricing starts at $9.99/month, but a plan for individuals is free.

Google Analytics— Google Analytics is a freemium web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. It lets you do more than measure sales and conversions. It also gives insights into how visitors find and use your site, and how to keep them coming back.

No price included, because it’s FREE!

HubSpot— This is our platform of choice. Instead of using a multi-faceted marketing stack, we use HubSpot, a one-stop-shop, all-inclusive, fully-integrated marketing and CRM tool. HubSpot manages customer information, email automation, website content, and social media accounts, plus it offers customizable monthly report and analytics.

Pricing starts at $200/month.

NOTE: This may seem like a pricey option, but when you add up the prices of all the other tools that comprise a marketing stack, you may end up paying more than you would for HubSpot alone. Find out why we love HubSpot so much. Additionally, this platform integrates with PandaDoc — woohoo!

What now?

If you need marketing guidance, give us a holler! We’re happy to help you identify which tool(s) would work best for you. If you’d like, you could start by signing up for our free marketing assessment.

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