Starting a small business is now easier than ever before thanks to the free online support available to aid business owners. While it is a tremendous task to set up a business from starting with a unique idea with a USP, then developing it fit for sale, through to marketing it; business owners can find great resources online to make light of some of the daily tasks which might have been more time consuming in past decades.
Here are some fantastic tools small businesses should utilize:
This great email tool allows you to organize your mailing lists and send out regular branded newsletters to selected mailing lists helping you market your business easily.
It is easy to manage from all your devices including your iPad or smartphone which is great if you are on the move, it allows to assess the performance of your email—such as open and click rates. You can then assess which of your email campaigns were more successful and why.
Friend or Follow
This great tool helps you monitor your social media accounts to help you organize who you follow and who follows you easily. It allows you to clear out any potential spam or unused profiles or worthless pages which might be filling you news feed so you can reduce your numbers to keep up to date with beneficial users and network more efficiently. As a business, if you have more followers than people you are following, it emits a more successful and powerful impression.
Alexa allows you to compare your website with your competitors providing you information on their pageviews, what audiences they might attract, how much time is spent by visitors on their website, and which keywords send traffic to their website. Overall it is a fantastic tool for analysis which can help you develop your own website.
Google analytics is an absolute must for any business with a website. No matter what your computer skill set, Analytics can be used by all. It can help you monitor your website traffic, see how much time visitors spend on your website, where your traffic is coming from, what pages are the most popular, and where you lose traffic. Out of all the free tools to utilize this is the best as it offers so much data for any online business to use to make their business more successful.
Social media is the king of marketing tools. It’s free, you can reach thousands of potential customers and it is quick and easy. Most businesses now have a social media presence either through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, Instagram or all of these).
Make sure you respond to your followers/fans, and achieve the goal of humanizing your business yet remain professional. Competition is tough to stand out, and gaining genuine fans and followers takes time, however it has been proven numerous times, that social media is worth investing that time into.
A free online survey tool which gathers valuable information for business owners to help them improve and deliver what the customer wants. You can ask your customers their opinion of your products, how you can improve your website, or what might be putting them off making a purchase; generally anything which might be able to help you develop your business. It is easy to use and comes with analytic features to help you assess the survey results.
Dropbox is a great way to transfer large bulky files, tasks or videos using an easy to use central database. For example, if you hire a photographer to take some product images, they can transfer the large files to your shared Dropbox file quickly and efficiently saving you from receiving a multitude of large emails. Dropbox can be synchronised with a range of your gadgets including your smart phone which allows you to access files on the move.
Dropbox is free for users who do not exceed the 2GB storage limitation; however this is often perfect for small businesses.
Square (US/Canadian Businesses)
Great for businesses looking to take easy card payments through their smart phone or iPad. The card reader itself is free and is simply plugged in, the commission rate per transaction is extremely competitive making this a great option for small businesses. This handy tool comes with its own analytic tools and deposits are made to your bank account the following day.
Sadly this is only available for American and Canadian business owners.
Evernote helps you keep on track of everything. As all small business owners will know, life is busy and fast paced with ideas, thoughts, meetings, and to do lists scattered across the desk. This helpful tool allows you to organise everything in one place using a range of devices so you never let go of a potential idea or miss a meeting. You can access Evernote on the move and share your ideas with friends or colleagues.
About the author:
Kirsten works with vouchercloud, a voucher site which offers deals such as Buyagift vouchers for their customers. Kirsten works with brands small and large and loves sharing the tips she picks up.