When running a small business, especially when you are a sole trader, you need to be extremely organised.
There are so many different jobs that need your attention every single day – design, copywriting, social media scheduling, organising meetings, strategising and finances. And that is just the tip of the iceberg! To stay on top of all jobs that need doing you need to think strategically in order to move your business forward in the most efficient way. Thank goodness there are a lot of great tools out there that can help us do just that!
Below is a selection of tools I use in my small business working from home with regards to design, organisation, marketing, email and invoicing. Some have an affiliate link.
The first tool I use to organise my small business is Canva. This is possibly my all time favourite design tool. Whether you are a complete novice or more experienced graphic designer Canva is a must tool to use in your business.
Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create social media graphics, posters, presentation and other visual content. Users can use pre-made templates or create their own. The basic package is free to use, which when you are just starting out is more than sufficient, or you can upgrade to Canva Pro and/or Canva for Enterprise. You can now also get Canva on your mobile phone which is marvelous as it increases productivity.
I use canva for my own business as well as for my clients. Read more about Canva in my blog.
Tailwind is a scheduling tool for Pinterest and Instagram. I use it extensively for Pinterest but not for Instagram. I am not sure why but I have never been able to get my head around how to use it for Instagram. If I am completely honest I found it quite laboursome using it for my Instagram scheduling.
I use it exclusively for my, and my clients’, Pinterest accounts and find it very easy to use. Tailwind lets you set up your own daily pinning schedule and the SmartGuide will tell you when you are ‘out of line’ with current pinning practices! It is marvelous. Furthermore Tailwind lets you use Smartloops for recurring/seasonal content so you don’t have to remember it all.
It is easy to join Tribes and they have a good analytics section indicating which boards and pins are performing the best. Again, like with canva, there is a free version and a paid one. If you want to upgrade to the paid version, click here.
For instagram scheduling I use Planoly. Planoly is super easy to use and that is mainly why I went for it. Funnily enough you can use Planoly to schedule to Pinterest as well as to Facebook and Twitter.
The best feature of Planoly for me is the visual grid it provides. It let’s you see in an instance if your branding is up to scratch which for my business is very importa
You can start using Planoly for free, which is ideal if you only want to use it for one social media platform, however you only have a limited amount of posts. However, when you upgrade and you only use it for one social media platform it is not expensive. Find pricing options here.
Another great tool I use to organise my business is Gsuite. Gsuite, or as it is now called Google Workspace, has been fabulous for my business. It is a great productivity tool as you have everything in one place and the fact that you can store everything in the cloud makes it, in my eyes, even easier. Like Gsuite says on their website it is ‘an integrated workplace that is easy to use’. What i really like about it is that you can work from anywhere, from any device and even offline! And it comes with a custom business email. What is not to like!
Trello is a great tool to help you organise your business. It is a project management tool which I use for my business as well as for my private life (is share it with my hubbie!). Trello works with boards, lists, cards and collaborators which enables you to organise and plan your business and projects in an efficient manner.
Simply put you can have boards, cards/tasks for you but you can also set them up for a team and invite collaborators. Team members can add comments, notes or attachments. There are all kinds of apps available to integrate with Trello and it is possible to integrate Gsuite! Trello syncs across all of your devices so it doesn’t matter which one you are working from you always have the latest version of your boards!
And the last tool to use to organise my business is for all my financial matters. For this I use Quickbooks! Smart and very easy to use. Quickbooks is an accounting software that shows all your incomings and expenses in an instant. It is possible to send invoices with an easy to create template. Quickbooks integrates with your bank account, so I have all my transactions in one place, which also means I can stay on top of any tax I owe. Brilliant!
The above tools are not the only ones I use in my small business but I would say these are the most important ones on a day to day basis. I hope this blog has been helpful to you to help you decide what tools to use in your business.
Good luck and let me know how you get on!
This blog contains affiliate links. If you sign up via my link I may receive a small commission. I only recommend products and tools I use myself and all opinions expressed are my own.