Essential Business Tools To Start Your Business

Get Inspired Jerry Lieveld 28 Mar 2017

Starting your own business can be overwhelmingly busy. Write a business plan, approach potential clients, make a website or app, arrange and track social media… and in the end there’s hardly time for your service or product to sell. Use these time-saving business tools to give your company a head start.

We have selected the business tools that support your starting company best, from presentation and cooperation tools to production tools. They’ll help you to organize your business and streamline the workflow.

Capture: Evernote, Pocket, Keep, Dropbox

Capture your ideas. Gather links, images, anything you come across that inspires you. Evernote, Pocket and Google Keep are great tools to collect lists, concepts and inspiration. All three work on your phone, tablet and laptop or pc and can be synchronized cross device.

evernote

Evernote has the most extensive features in the paid version where freebies Pocket and Keep are easier to use.

Save your documents, photo’s and video’s in Dropbox, the cloud saving solution which can be accessed from all your devices. Dropbox enables you to share files with partners, clients and colleagues.

Mobile first website: Impress.ly

impress.ly

Whatever your business is, you must be online. Period. Creating a professional mobile presence is one of the cornerstones of your marketing strategy. Easy to use site builder Impress.ly lets you create high quality app-like websites that perfectly suit the mobile screen.

Impress.ly is affordable and a great tool for small businesses with limited budgets. Making a professional website with Impress.ly takes about minutes and includes a domain name and a business email address.

With Impress.ly you get a website with powerful features such as blogs, contact forms, events and reservations. Even e-commerce and web shops are available with diverse payment methods as PayPal and credit cards.

Impress.ly is free to use until you publish your website.

See the actual creation of a website in minutes

Design website: Websitebuilder

websitebuilder

Websitebuilder offers more options than Impress.ly but spares you the WordPress hassle of building a website from scratch. Simply choose a template and use the drag and drop function to make your own website in three simple steps. Site builder offers more than 10,000 template combinations so a unique design is well within reach.

Websitebuilder comes with a custom domain name, plenty of e-commerce options and integrated tools for search engine optimization.

Native app: AppMachine
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Are you serious about mobile interaction with clients? Go for a native app, the most versatile mobile communication channel for smartphone use. Where websites mainly function as marketing tools to attract new clients, apps are the tool to maximize client retention and repeat purchases.

Apps offer plenty opportunities to personalize your marketing with push messages, discount coupons or even a customer loyalty card. Apps have proven to be profitable for restaurants, shops, clubs, health and spa centers, and basically for every business that needs to directly inform loyal clients with news, special offers or new products.

AppMachine is the app building platform that enables you to make your own app without the need of programming. Simply use the drag and drop blocks to add functionality to your app and customize your design.

Building an app with AppMachine is free until you effectively publish the app.

Start building your app

Cooperate: Slack, Join.me

slack1
Your own business doesn’t mean you’re all on your own. Let’s say you are a web designer. Team up with partners in the programming field. Find an Excel expert when you’re making professional apps, partner up with a JavaScript specialist or a copywriter for website content.

Working in a team of partners asks for team communication and that´s where Slack comes in. Organize team communication through channels for each project, create private channels for sensitive content, send direct messages to team members or start a voice of video call.

Join.me, a tool to share your screen, comes in handy when you have to show something to someone remote in real time. You invite a person to an online meeting and that person sees what you do on your screen. By doing so you easily explain to clients what your idea or concept is.

Are you a garden designer? Show your drawings or the plants you have in mind with Join.me. Architects show their plans with Join.me to construction engineers to see if their plan meets the requirements. And many app builders or web designers use Join.me to show clients how to maintain their website or app with a CMS. It saves a trip to the client’s office or home and you´ll  make a professional impression.

Email: Constant Contact, MailChimp

Email? Really? Yep, there is still life in the old dog. Email marketing remains one of the most effective low-cost marketing tools with great ROI. Publish newsletters or send out personalized special offerings and keep in touch with clients.

With tools such as MailChimp and Constant Contact you set up an email marketing campaign virtually effortless. Split up target groups and create differentiated campaigns, choose one of the customizable templates, send mails automatically on the right time, track conversions and follow up.

mailchimp

The emails in your campaign are responsive and come with in-depth analysis of who opens the mail, click troughs, bounced mails and much more.

Social media: My Social Suite, Hootsuite

Social media are effective means to promote your business, service or product. You might know Hootsuite as the tool to arrange your social media, but My Social Suite is a good alternative.

My Social Suite

My Social Suite lets you manage your social media on multiple devices. Simply connect your various profiles from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and have them uncluttered in one place. Then schedule your publishing, monitor keywords and get insight into your performance.

Now get that smb started!