I created my first blog when I was 11 years old. Since then, I have come across hundreds of small business tools. I ignored some of them and couldn’t resist others.
When we discover new tools, it is easy to fall prey to the shiny syndrome—buying a tool and/or investing a lot of time in a tool because it is new and/or shiny. I don’t like long lists of tools because long lists of tools almost guarantees that the shiny syndrome will take over.
As a result, I created a list of my 10 favorite small business tools. Here’s the complete list.
If I could only use one tool for my social media growth, I would use HootSuite. HootSuite integrates many of the top social networks with one another. This capability allows me to schedule tweets for multiple Twitter accounts and Facebook posts from one platform.
With its tabs and streams, HootSuite also makes it easier for people to use social media more productively. HootSuite eliminates the temptation to look at trending topics, and it has all of the social media activity on one platform.
The free version of HootSuite alone is game changing. HootSuite Pro can transform your entire business. I schedule over 150 tweets per day across my accounts, and it would take more than four hours per day to manually schedule that many tweets.
HootSuite Pro comes with the bulk scheduler which makes it possible for me to schedule the same number of tweets in a few clicks. HootSuite Pro allows me to schedule over 150 tweets in just five minutes instead of four hours.
Canva is the best tool on the web for creating pictures. You get to add text and a background to pictures that you upload to Canva. You can also use thousands of pictures provided by Canva to create your ideal picture.
Want to see Canva in action. Take a look at this blog post’s picture. It was made with Canva, and I use Canva nowadays to create most of my blog’s pictures.
Canva gives you plenty of options and allows you to create a picture perfect for social media and Kindle book dimensions. If you don’t like their suggested pixel dimensions, you can always create your own custom pixel dimensions.
The best part about Canva is that it is absolutely free.
It doesn’t take long for a first-time visitor to discover that Fiverr is not free to use. However, it does take some time to discover how to properly utilize the tool.
Fiverr is a website that lists other people’s services for $5. These services are called gigs. While some of the gigs are downright strange, other gigs can be very useful for businesses.
I recently started hiring virtual assistants on Fiverr to manage some of my workload. Making this decision took some weight off my shoulders and made it possible for me to focus more on writing content while exploring new ideas I never thought of before.
TwitterCounter is a Twitter tool that allows me to track how my number of followers changes every day. I can identify the days I gained over 1,000 Twitter followers and the days I gained under 100 followers.
Knowing the good days and the bad days is important because I can look back and think about what I did on those days. What did I do to gain over 1,000 Twitter followers in one day? What went wrong and prevented me from gaining over 100 Twitter followers in a given day?
I get an idea of which tactics work based on knowing which days led to the greatest growth.
#5: Optimize Press
If I could only have one WordPress plugin for my blog, I’d choose Optimize Press. Optimize Press provides numerous features that really makes it 10 powerful plugins all wrapped into one. All of the landing pages on my blog were created with Optimize Press. If it weren’t for the landing pages on my blog, I’d still be stuck with 300 subscribers.
Not only does Optimize Press make landing page creation a breeze, but Optimize Press also allows you to create your own membership sites and training courses. The cool thing about Optimize Press is that you get 100% of the commission. While I do enjoy using sites like Udemy for my training courses, it’s nice to get that 100% commission for a $997 training course.
#6: Sticky Notes
I don’t know a world before social media. But that doesn’t stop me from doing things that would give me the “old-school” label. Even with websites designed to boost your productivity, sticky notes are still the most powerful tool to boosting your productivity. Sticky notes are the reason I get my goals accomplished.
Sticky notes don’t cost much, and chances are you have a pile of them lying around somewhere in your house.
I promise this is the last old-school tool I will mention. Notebooks allow you to write down your thoughts so they don’t get cluttered in your mind. Consider this. Each of your goals is a thought. The human mind has tens of thousands of thoughts every day. It’s easy for the human mind to forget most of its thoughts—like goals.
Writing goals in your notebook solves that problem. Not only does a notebook allow you to remember goals, but you can also use a notebook to plan out your entire weeks and months to follow. Establish how you will accomplish a big goal that will take up a significant amount of time and set up a calendar for yourself. All of this can be done with one notebook.
If you want to become a successful blogger, you must take your email list seriously. I made the critical mistake of neglecting my email list for a long time. The result was that even when I got my 100,000th Twitter follower, my income per month barely changed.
When I started taking my email list seriously, my income significantly changed for the better. I use iContact to send emails to my subscribers and to have new subscribers go through an autoresponder (a series of emails automatically sent to new people).
PlugMatter is a new plugin I recently purchased. It allows me to display an optin at the top of my home page and other places throughout my blog. This optin box gets subscribers for my blog. I can’t tell the impact PlugMatter has had on my business yet, but some people swear by it.
A word of advice for if you choose to buy the PlugMatter plugin. Go on Google and search “PlugMatter coupon.” I found a coupon in less than five minutes, and the coupon allowed me to save $19.40 on my purchase. All of the coupons I have found were 20% off discounts.
If you are looking to create your first blog, use WordPress. If you don’t use WordPress for your blog, you should look for a way to put your blog on WordPress. WordPress makes it simple for me to publish blog posts, schedule blog posts, publish pages, and make sure my blog has great navigation.
This simplicity makes it easier for me to focus on more important tasks such as writing the blog content. If you use WordPress.org, you also get access to plugins that people heard about in the legends. Certain WordPress plugins give your blog superpowers and a complementary cape.
I will come out with another list of 10 small business tools that you need to use. Until then, choose from this list of tools and utilize the tools that you believe will have a big impact on your business.
Chances are you have stumbled across many blog posts like this one. However, it doesn’t matter what tools you learn about if you don’t utilize any of them. By utilizing the best tools for your business, you can discover new opportunities of expansion and efficiency.
Which of these small business tools is your favorite? Do you have any recommendations? Sound off in the comments section now!