BEST PROGRAMS YOU NEED TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS
Ever wondered what it would be like to build a business that created both energetic and financial freedom for you. Anything is possible, as long as you have a fantastic offering for your ideal customers, you have perseverance and you are smart in the way that you manage the back-end of your business! Today we want to share with you our choices for the best programs that you need to run a successful business to help you streamline things from bookkeeping to graphic design and all things in between!
We now live in a world where technology is truly at our fingertips and we are blessed to have access to so many amazing programs that truly help us run our businesses in a more efficient, and cost effective way. Let us share with you the main areas in your business that you need to plan your management efforts, and what tools to help you streamline your business flow.
BEST ADMINISTRATION TOOLS
The first thing you need to think about when starting a business is your administrative set up. Once you’ve come up with your business plan and fabulous idea, and even before the branding phase, we suggest you think about how you will set up your business from an admin perspective. As an entrepreneur, we wear many hats, so it’s important to learn to do as many of these things as possible, so you have a firm grasp of your business and how to manage things from the ground up. Here are our best programs you need to run a successful business.
INVOICING : SQUARE / HONEYBOOK
First things first! You need to be able to invoice your customers for your work and be able to accept credit card payments of all kinds. Depending on whether you are selling services or products, we would recommend you try out these options. We do love Square. It’s a fabulous system that allows you to easily accept both payments for services and products online. It is FREE and very user friendly and anyone can set up shop using this wonderful tech. Honeybook is a wonderful administrative toolbox with so many features to help you run a service-based business. You can set up invoices and payments, have digital contracts built-in, track your project flow, and create forms for your website that link up directly to your honeybook dashboard to make for a seamless onboarding experience. All round this system is amazing if you want an all-in-one system.
APPOINTMENTS : CALENDLY / ACUITY
Oh we love Calendly so much. Gone are the days where you need to go back and forth with clients to determine availability. Now all you have to do is have a Calendly account, set up your appointment types, add your availability and sync it all up to your Google or Ical Account and everything is automated for you! The system also notifies your clients when their appointment is coming up so they can get the reminder or reschedule their appointment in advance. Truly a god-send. Acuity Scheduling is another great system that allows you to do virtually the same features. You can also accept payments via these software tools, so if you wish to book an appointment and charge the client at booking, these systems allow you to streamline that service too.
BOOKKEEPING : WAVE / QUICKBOOKS
Every entrepreneur knows that to be successful you need to understand numbers and ensure you keep on track of your books! To have an all-in-one space to manage your business finances, we suggest using Wave or Quickbooks. You can link your bank accounts and manage the daily ins and outs of your bookkeeping, but also use this software for invoicing too if you are a service provider. Both systems also offer a Payroll option for an extra fee – we highly recommend this if you are growing a team as it makes paying your employees (and yourself) so much easier. If you’re wondering, we use Wave, as we find it has a better interface for creative-types.
BEST CREATIVE TOOLS
GRAPHIC DESIGN : CANVA PRO / ADOBE
It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, you’re going to need a great software to produce your marketing materials and social media graphics! For this we highly recommend getting Canva – and upgrading to the Pro version. You will get many more features and much better capabilities to create fantastic professional marketing materials for both digital and print assets. The other option, if you have a bigger budget, is to invest in both Photoshop and Indesign programs by Adobe. Photoshop is great for photo editing and Indesign is best for graphic layouts like books, brochures etc. But honestly, Canva Pro is a great alternative to Adobe.
SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULER : PLANOLY / TAILWIND
With so much energy going into Social Media Marketing these days, we highly recommend opting for a scheduling system to help you bulk-create and schedule your content. It will save you lots of time and make this process streamlined and easy to manage. Our top faves are Planoly and Tailwind, where you can manage Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook content.
WEBSITE PROVIDER : WORDPRESS / WIX / SHOPIFY / SQUARESPACE
Every business needs a website! Since we offer website building services for creative entrepreneurs, we are quite well-positioned to provide the best direction for you if you plan on starting your own business online. For e-commerce based businesses, we highly recommend using Shopify as your web provider. The Shopify team has studied and perfected the e-commerce experience and have made it simple for any new business owner to to manage a successful ecom space. For any other type of service-based business, we would recommend using WordPress, Squarespace or Wix as your provider of choice. Keep in mind that WordPress is a completely Free platform for which all you need is secured hosting to manage your site, and the main difference is that you have complete control and ownership over your files. Whereas Wix and Squarespace are providers that you pay to use their software in order to build and host your website.
BEST TOOLS FOR GROWTH
PROJECT MANAGEMENT : GOOGLE DRIVE / CLICK UP
For project management, we highly recommend everyone, no matter what – use Google Workspace as a place to store all your business files and documents – and not to mention, host your emails. You can easily share your files with your team, clients or manage things on your end seamlessly. Another great tool for project management if you have a bigger team or need a more robust system is Click Up. It’s a Project Management tool to help you streamline your workflow, assign tasks to your team and keep track of all the moving parts in your business.
EMAIL MARKETING : FLODESK / KLAVIYO
All successful business-owners know the importance of having and growing a mailist list. To do that you need a well-designed opt-in, attractive sign up forms and a robust email marketing system that allows you to grow your business. We can’t recommend FloDesk More!! Built by women, this platform has all the functionality you need to manage and grow your list, but it is also wonderfully easy-to-use and virtually impossible to create an email that doesn’t look beautiful! For large e-commerce businesses using Shopify, we would recommend using Klaviyo so you can get very detailed data about what your mailing list is purchasing based on your email marketing campaigns.
DATA & ANALYTICS : GOOGLE ANALYTICS & SEARCH CONSOLE
Once you have your website set up, we recommend you immediately set up your Google Analytics and Search Console accounts. To grow your business, you need to be able to see your numbers and data so you can monitor your growth and have a better understanding of what your visitors are searching for. Doing monthly analytics reports (or weekly) will help you to have a firm understanding of your company’s traffic and actionable insights to help you make the right decisions in order to grow your business.
We hope this was helpful for you to learn about the best programs you need to run a successful business! Keep in mind that depending on the nature of your business, you may require other types of programs to help streamline your workflow. There are tools for everything these days! But these are the BASIC of what you would need to get started, no matter what industry you are in. The beauty of our reality is that running a successful business is a completely different experience now than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Our lives are made so much simpler now that we have these tools at our fingertips. I remember 15 years ago in order to make a simple tiny little graphic folder, we had to pay a graphic designer over $1,800 for the work. Which now, would take 30 minutes on Canva for virtually nothing.
So you can see, it’s easier than ever to start a business for very little investment! If you need help with what direction to take in growing your business, or need assistance deciding how to position your business, book a Brand Strategy call with us . Or if you would like to have our team help you build-out your systems and branding assets, click here for more information. We love helping entrepreneurs just like you build successful businesses online and in the real world.
xo The Bloom Team