As an entrepreneur who runs your own business, you’ll naturally rely on yourself most of the time.
But you can still leverage certain tools and software to simplify your life and boost your productivity.
Today, we’ll explore some tools that will help grow your business.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through these links. Your support encourages me to continue blogging and help with the costs of hosting this site. Thank you!
1. Business Planner
As you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, I recommend that you get started with a business planner. There are many such books and printables from Etsy.
Business Planner includes planning sheets that will help you identify your business goals, create actionable steps and manage your day-to-day tasks
- Goals Brainstorming
- Monthly Goals
- Daily Plan
- Ideal Audience
- Promotions Calendar
- Email/Blog/Social Media Content
- Posting Schedule
- Post Planner
- Profit & Loss
- Order Form
This is great, especially when you’re just starting out. There are also software that includes such items which I will explain more later. But this is a more affordable tool and you’ll need to keep your expenses low when your business just started.
2. Thank You Cards & Stickers
For entrepreneurs who sell physical products, it’s a good idea to send thank you cards and stickers when you ship your goods to customers.
This will make customers remember you and ensure that your brand stays top of mind.
Do take note to include your brand name and website or social media handles, rather than a mere simple “thank you”. Your customers can then easily reach out to you should they want to repurchase your products.
Also, you can consider adding a promotion on these thank you cards, such as snapping, tagging and sharing for 10% off their next order or 20% off their next order with an exclusive coupon code. Or you can simply ask them to leave a review.
3. Google Workspace
Google Workspace offers a suite of business apps and tools. All the products included in the Google Workspace plan are meant to boost your productivity. It also helps teams of all sizes to connect, create and collaborate.
The benefits are endless. You can collaborate in real-time, store and share files in the cloud and secure your data and devices.
- Easily work on documents, spreadsheets & slides across your devices, with or without internet
- Multiple people can work at the same time & every change is saved automatically
- Keep all your work in one place with secure access from your computer, phone or tablet
- Protect your company’s data & keep it safe with security options like 2-step verification
Even the most basic plan, Business Starter, gives you the foundation you need to succeed in your business.
- Custom & secure business email
- 100 participant video meetings
- 30 GB cloud storage per user
- Security & management controls like 2-step verification
4. Business Management Software
In addition to Google Workspace, you’ll need another software to manage your invoicing, payments and time tracking.
No matter what business you own or what industry you belong to, you definitely need accounting software.
FreshBooks is one such software that is designed for business owners. It supports all types of businesses whether you’re a freelancer, self-employed professional, business with employees or business with contractors.
The double-entry accounting software ensures compliance with accurate reporting. FreshBooks shows your profitability, how healthy your cash flow is and where you spend the most. There’s also a mobile app so you can keep your finger on the pulse of your business wherever you are.
Here are some benefits of the accounting software
- Invoicing: send automatic payment reminders for overdue invoices, accept credit cards, get paid upfront with deposits, automatically calculate taxes
- Expenses: keep project spending on track, multi-currency expenses, secure receipt storage in the cloud
- Time Tracking: automatically create invoices for tracked hours, daily breakdowns of your tracked work hours
- Project Tracking: easily track a project’s profitability, manage team projects & deliverables
- Payments: offer clients flexibility with payment schedules & partial payments, payment options include VISA, MasterCard, AMEX & Apple Pay
- Reporting: profit & loss, sales tax summary, payments collected, accounting (General Ledger, Trial Balance, Chart of Accounts)
5. Payment Solution
As a business owner, one of the most important tools you need is a payment solution. This solution should allow you to send and receive payments globally and securely.
Wise (previously known as TransferWise)
Used by 300k+ businesses of all shapes and sizes, Wise is multi-currency banking without the bank. You can hold, receive, send and spend money using a Wise multi-currency account.
With Wise, you can receive multiple currencies without high recipient or conversion fees, pay invoices in 70+ countries from your phone or app, manage international payroll and employee reimbursements.
- Invoice Payments: pay invoices in 70+ countries with an exchange rate banks and PayPal can’t offer
- People Payments: pay 1,000 people at once & get employees paid without crazy transaction fees
- Banking without the bank: get an IBAN, routing number, sort code & more
- Receive Money: receive overseas payments into your account without high recipient or conversion fees
- Debit Cards: allow your team to spend online & in-store with no foreign transaction fees
- Cash Management: move money between accounts in seconds & manage all transactions in one place
Whether you create a personal or business account, I feel that Wise is an affordable way to send or receive money internationally. As an author with books published on Amazon, I used Wise to create a US bank account to receive royalties. And personally, I really love Wise’s interface. Its UX is great!
6. Proofreading Tool
If you provide content writing services, run content marketing or simply, write any type of content, it’s recommended to get a proofreading tool.
Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant identifies spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. It also checks your tone and style.
Grammarly works as you move between apps, social media, documents, messages and emails.
- Emails & Messages: Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, Slack
- Documents & Projects: Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Salesforce, Evernote
- Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Discord
If you’re a more advanced writer, I strongly suggest that you get ProWritingAid instead.
Designed for fiction/non-fiction authors, bloggers, content writers, editors, copywriters, business writers and students, ProWritingAid is used by over 2 million people to polish their writing.
ProWritingAid offers world-class grammar and style checking combined with in-depth reports to strengthen your creative writing, business writing and academic writing.
Here are the reports that ProWritingAid provides (each report focuses on a particular area of your writing)
- Overused Words
- Clichés & Redundancies
- Sticky Sentence
- Dialogue Tags
Armed with this arsenal of in-depth reports, you’ll be more aware of the mistakes that you make and hopefully, you’ll learn as you edit and thus, become a stronger writer. It’s almost like having a real-life writing coach guiding you.
However, do note that not every suggestion will work for every writer. So you’ll have to use your own judgment.
7. Creative Market
Get a wealth of design resources at your fingertips with Creative Market.
Home to more than 4 million quality resources created by artists in over 190 countries around the world, Creative Market is an online marketplace for design assets.
Whether you need graphics, fonts or templates, you’re sure to find a suitable design on Creative Market.
- Fonts: Serif, Sans Serif, Script, Calligraphy, Handrwriting, Modern, Vintage
- Graphics: Icons, Illustrations, Patterns, Textures
- Templates: Websites, Social Media, Presentations, Business Cards, Brochures, Flyers, Logos
Plus, Creative Market gives you 10% discount when you first join and 6 freebies every week!
If you’re a blogger or have a blog on your website, you can consider getting this keyword research and analysis tool which helps to boost your SEO so your business climbs up search engine rankings.
With KWFinder, you can find long-tail keywords with low SEO difficulty and get thousands of keyword ideas.
- Keyword Analysis: find keywords that you can easily rank for (low SEO difficulty & high search volume)
- Competitor Keyword Research: see what your competitors rank for by simply entering their domain or URL & finding out the best keywords they rank for
- Exact Search Volumes & Search Trends: get search volumes with historical data, identify seasonal keywords & hot topics that will boost the organic traffic of your website
- Local Keyword Research & SERP Analysis: find location-specific long-tail keywords for your website
As we all know, your email list is one of your most important assets. This list of subscribers that you own allows you to communicate directly with your customers.
Therefore, it’s important that you have an email marketing tool that helps you manage your subscribers. MailerLite is one such solution with powerful features
- Create professional emails & newsletters with ease: use your editor of choice (drag & drop, rich-text, custom HTM or start fast with pre-designed templates)
- Turn website visitors into loyal subscribers: landing pages, pop-ups, embedded forms
- Continuously optimize for better performance: A/B testing, segmentation, surveys
- Send highly targeted & personalized emails: easily automate targeting & workflows
- Monetize newsletters with a recurring subscription or selling digital products—directly from your emails & landing pages
You can easily integrate MailerLite with other software, such as WordPress, Shopify, Zapier, WooCommerce, Stripe and many more.
Most importantly, MailerLite is FREE up to 1,000 subscribers!
To grow your business, you’ll obviously need lead generation software like OptinMonster.
OptinMonster, a powerful conversion optimization tool, helps to convert and monetize your website traffic. There are only 3 simple steps.
Step 1. Create A Visually Stunning Offer
You can choose from pre-built templates designed for maximum conversions or start from scratch with a blank canvas. No code is needed. Everything is done with the easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder.
Step 2. Target & Personalize Your Offers With Behavior Automation
With OptinMonster’s targeting and segmentation settings, you can show your offer to the right people at the right time to skyrocket your website conversions.
Step 3. Test & Adjust In Real Time
Get all the data you need to improve your strategy, then easily split test all your ideas to keep increasing conversions.
Due to its minimal setup and impressive results, OptinMonster is loved by countless customers.
- Beautiful Lead Capture Forms (Proven To Convert): 97+ pre-made templates
- Multiple Form Types: popups, floating bars, fullscreen overlays, slide-ins
- A/B Testing Made Easy: test different headlines, content & layouts to see what converts the best
- Exit Intent® Technology: personalize your campaigns based on your visitor’s behavior to maximize conversions & sales
- Page Level Targeting: hyper segment your leads with page level targeting & segmentation rules
- Advanced Traffic Redirection: simply add a button, customize the action & track engagement
- Analytics and Insights: get data that matter, compare split tests & learn which pages convert the best
- OnSite Retargeting® & Personalization: show the right offers to new visitors, returning visitors & customers
If you’re just starting out, you can of course stick to your email marketing software. For instance, MailerLite offers embedded signup forms, landing pages and pop-up subscribe forms.
In my case, I’m using the WordPress theme Divi from Elegant Themes. Elegant Themes also has Bloom, an email opt-in and lead generation plugin for WordPress, which integrates well with their WordPress themes. You can then simply use their amazing pre-made email opt-in form templates or customize your own with their design settings. I’m kind of lazy so I just used the child theme from Divi Lover and thus, I have a beautifully designed email opt-in form that complements my website.
Now It’s Your Turn
Have you used any of the abovementioned tools? How was your experience?
What other tools do you use to grow your business?