ONLINE BUSINESS SUPPORT TOOLSInformation & Recommendations
There are a number of tools available for every activity you do. It’s important to know the good ones, so that you don’t waste, time, money and energy mastering one and then finding that you need to switch to another because it doesn’t match your requirements. I have experimented with a lot because my clients all come with different systems, so I get to try them all.
Disclosure: I have listed some tools that I have used for my clients and the tools I use for my own business. Some of these do have affiliate links (the ones that I use in my business) which means that if you click on my link, purchase the tool, I may get a commission or a discount on my current month’s subscription. I do not use affiliate links if I don’t use the product myself!
If you are moving away from a free Email Service Provider because you’re subscriber list is growing but you’re not quite taking the world by storm (yet!) and you need more functionality than a free option can give you then I would recommend ConvertKit. I use ConvertKit for my business and I find it easy to use, the automation is good, you can have up to 1000 subscribers on the basic plan and move up from there.
Email Campaigns and Newsletters
Mailerlite is a great free tool for up to 1000 subscribers, I have used this for clients a number of times, you can create some great looking newsletters with it, just drag and drop the sections you want. You can also create landing pages as well as email campaigns. This is a good one to get started with.
The new kid on the block for client management systems. Dubsado is great, I use this for my business, you can manage your workflows, create Lead Capture forms, custom templates, email templates, as well as invoicing your clients all from your dashboard. It automates the onboarding process and the team at Dubsado update the software regularly to suit their customer’s requirements. The Customer Service is outstanding too.
This is great for designing your own social media graphics, they have really good templates and you can upload your own photos or images or use their stock images (not all are free but they do have a good selection to choose from). Very easy to use and saves so much time and you don’t have to pay someone else to do simple graphics for your business. I use this a lot and it’s free!
Task Management Tool
Trello is free and very easy to use, helps keep your projects in one place and you can share documents with your clients, create checklists, include comments. There isn’t too much learning to do in order to get to grips with it. This is good for starting out or for one-one work with clients.
This is a great tool if you need a system to facilitate a team or are working on a project with a team of people. You can assign tasks, get reminders, see where everything is at. I have just started to use teamwork in my business and I find it very good. You can get a free trial for 30 days then the small business plan is $49 a month.
Free accounting tool, I used this when I started and I found it very good, easy to use for creating and sending invoices, estimates and receipts. You can track the status of your invoices and payments so you can know when to expect money in your bank account. The reports are simple and quick to generate. I would recommend Wave if you’re looking for an easy to use accounting tool.
Clickfunnels is an all-in-one solution for building funnels and customising pages. It is logical and easy to use. However, it is not cheap, so would not be recommended for people starting out or don’t have a lot of pages to build but is a great option when you’re up and running and building funnels to beat the band!
Acuity has a free plan, it is an easy to use scheduler. You can embed the code on your website so that visitors can schedule time in your diary without having to email back and forth. You set up the time blocks and it integrates with your google, outlook calendar. The paid version lets you send emails, texts and questionnaires and reminders for appointments to your clients. I use Acuity scheduler on my website.
Live Webinar Platform
Go To Webinar is extremely reliable and easy to use. It’s not cheap but I would be surprised if you have any technical hitches with this platform.
This appears to be the most popular for Live webinars, as it’s the one I have used most with my clients.
I have recently changed my website theme to Divi from Elegant Themes and it is so easy to use. Divi takes the hassle out of website design if you’re not familiar with coding. There are regular updates to the functionality and the training provided by Elegant Themes is great, you’re not on your own if you want to build your website.
Online Course Software
Teachable is an affordable and reliable platform with lots of features, these vary depending on the price plan you have. It is easy to set up and you can add videos, images, text, audio, and PDF files, as well as importing content directly from Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive. The different pricing options enable you to charge a one-time fee, sell a subscription, or set up a payment plan for your online courses.