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Why do Small Businesses need Automation Business Tools?
Alright! Before I list the essential small business automation tools to help you smoothly run your business, there is something you must know about the importance of business automation tools and why I place so much emphasis on using tools to automate your small business processes.
To start with – I am a preacher of using tools to do that work that would require your time or a full-time resource is because I know what it is like to be a first-time entrepreneur.
For a first-time entrepreneur – There are challenges galore!
And time is not your friend.
While your friends in the job world start staring at their watch at 6 pm to go home, you, my friend, would be staring at the clock at 2 am in the night wondering – if only the night was any longer.
Don’t worry, mate – there is nothing wrong with you 😊 – You are just in love with your business idea 😉.
To ease your pain and share your burden, you will hire employees; Since you do not have a high budget, you will obviously end up making compromises with employees going for the ones who are willing to work at a “decent salary” – only to train them and see them leave you after a while.
After you have burnt your fingers, hiring employees and seeing them leave, you will turn to freelancers.
Again, quality freelancers are not cheap.
Due to lack of budget, you will again compromise on quality and spend double the time fixing everything done by the freelancer – wondering, “Why did I have to hire these guys?”
Now when you waste your time training the teams or working with substandard freelancers, you lose your focus from the primary goal, “Grow your business.”
My experience has taught me that the day you take away your focus from “growing your business” is the day you start digging your Business’s grave.
According to what I wrote above, you are now in a precarious position.
You obviously have work that needs to be done, but you want to focus on tasks that help your Business grow or “move the needle.”
The million-dollar question is, “how do you do that?”
It is a stage where “Automation” comes into the picture.
My recommend is that you rely more on automation and less on people.
How do you do that “automation” in your Business?
You do it by using SAAS (Software As A Service) tools that make your life easy and help you with tasks that (in normal circumstances) would cost you a bomb.
Not to mention the money you will waste (remember the story I shared about losing money and spending time learning how to make a business plan before I stumbled upon LivePlan).
If only I had known about LivePlan, I wouldn’t have wasted my time hiring freelancers that submitted a sub-standard business plan and then spent hours studying how to make an “imperfect” business plan without anyone to validate it.
I hope I have convinced you of the utility of using tools.
The list of Business Tools
Let me cut to the chase and give you a list of tools and resources that will help your business run efficiently (some of the ones I have already mentioned earlier in the blog).
At the idea stage, the one Tool that will help you do excellent first-level research is Google. Head to google and explore the internet to learn as much as possible to give shape to your idea.
Online Marketing Research:
At the market research level, I recommend SEMRush for online market research as the Tool is one of the rare tools that provides a 360-degree online analysis of your competitors at an affordable cost.
Business and Financial Planning:
Use LivePlan to get access to their 500+ sample plans. Learn “how to create a business plan” from their template and case studies and then put it to use by creating a business plan on their simple and affordable Tool. Use the Tool as a mentor that guides you through every step of business planning.
The second Tool I recommend is Microsoft Excel.
Well – if you are getting into a venture, you must learn to breathe, eat, and live with Excel. It is a tool that will help you in every step of Business.
At this stage of Business, I would use it to complement Liveplan’s financial planning.
Getting your internet Presence Ready:
Website Content Management System:
WordPress is a choice of millions of websites across the globe. It is a godsend for guys like me who have an aversion to coding. Use it to manage your website.
Website WordPress DIY Editor:
Are you a creative person who loves to bring his or her ideas to reality? Use Elementor on WordPress, and you can design your own website without knowing any coding.
And designing your own website using elementor is just one of the benefits of using their service. With their service, you also get access to a few additional features like:
- Access to hundreds of website templates
- Access to their email optins plugin with a lot of free email optins designs (all free of cost)
- And much more
Use Elementor now and take your website design in your own hands.
Email Suite & Collaboration:
You love Gmail – I love Gmail…We all bloody love Gmail, which makes them the undisputed leader in the emailing service space.
When we all love Gmail, why can’t we let our Business too run their emails on Gmail and take the Gmail’s power to the next level by using all the add on features that they give with Gsuite, including Google drive, google hangout?
What is my favorite feature among all?
I would say chat and email in a single interface on my browser is what I love about Gsuite.
I can send emails, start simple chat on google hangout staying on my email interface itself (this feature is amazing and is rare to find with other platforms).
Team collaborations and Project Management
In a market flooded with a thousand of project management and task management tools, Asana has carved out a niche for itself because of a simple yet hardly acknowledged attribute of a task management solution – simplicity.
You will love it if you are someone who likes to keep things simple when it comes to team and project management.
Before I end the list, I need to mention the email marketing solution you should use. For years, I have used Mailchimp as a free solution.
However, when my email numbers kept increasing – I was asked to shift to the paid version of the mail chimp. I found them to be a bit expensive and probably, a bit less in terms of features, so I started exploring my options and recently came across another emailing solution that has served me quite well.
The name of the emailing solution is mailer lite. They have almost every feature that mail chimp has and a bit more.
Most importantly, they are affordable and value for money—something you definitely need as a business that has just started.