9 Important Tools for Small Business Survival
Small business survival requires companies to leverage the technology and tools around them. The right tools can help a small business focus on what’s most important by taking care of all their to-dos efficiently. And when they’re selected carefully, the right tools can even help small businesses improve sales and stay at the forefront of their industry.
So where should a small business start? These are the most important tools for improving your visibility, saving time, and making sure your brand stays front and center:
Website and Blog Tools
For many businesses, a website is their link to the world. Here are a few tools to make sure you look good without investing too much time or money:
- WordPress. The go-to blogging platform for businesses and blogs alike. Plugins and themes allow for small businesses to get their website up and running rapidly.
- Themeforest. Speaking of themes, Themeforest offers a variety of themes that small businesses from across the world can start using on WordPress. Affordable, updated often and prices as low as $2 allows you to start using over 43,444 themes.
- Hostgator. A great, affordable option when you don’t have too much traffic to your site. Hostgator allows you to get up and running quickly with prices as low as $2.75 per month. There are also options for WordPress, Cloud and VPS hosting. Dedicated hosting is also available, so Hostgator is a great starting point for lower traffic sites, with solutions for high-traffic sites, too.
You’ll also want to start looking for resources on how to properly set your site up properly. You’ll want to think of things, such as:
- Site speed
Pixellogo is a great option for logos, and you’ll find a few other options on Google. You’ll need to have a logo that promotes your brand and sticks in a viewer’s mind.
Small businesses also need tools that will allow them to take care of all their back office work. While what happens in the back office is important, spending too much time on your business’ accounting, inventory, HR, and finances can mean you’re not spending enough time focused on your customers.
Tools and software that can help ease your administrative and tax burdens include:
- OnPay, which is a tool that can keeps business payroll running smoothly. OnPay allows for automated tax filings, payments, employee self-service, unlimited pay runs and all payroll processing needs. Starting at $40 a month, you’ll save countless hours in the back office by making payroll easier
- Business Plan Pro. A cloud-based solution for your business plan needs. Business Plan Pro helps you through the startup phase of your business and allows you to create a business plan that will act as your blueprint to success.
- Legalzoom. The go-to choice for all small business legal needs. LegalZoom will guide businesses through everything, from choosing the right business structure to creating contracts and other legal aspects of your business.
While these administrative tools can help a business run smoothly, you should also check in with an accountant or business lawyer to make sure you’re doing everything right (and to avoid fines for things like payroll tax mistakes).
General Marketing Tools
Tools can give you marketing team superpowers, too. From automating or streamlining repetitive tasks to giving you stronger analytics, here are some tools small business marketers should consider:
- AWeber. An email marketing service provider that allows you to control your newsletter and email marketing campaigns.
- Buffer. Social media scheduling and analytics unleashed. Buffer is a great, affordable way to manage all of your social media campaigns.
You may also want to consider Hootsuite as an alternative to Buffer. These email and social media tools make it easier to get your message in front of your audience — even when they’re not looking for you.
Good luck with saving time and money, getting more done, and giving yourself more mental bandwidth to run a brilliant small business.