Automate Your Small Business: The Best Apps & Software to Save You Time & Money
I’ve been running my small business for two and a half years now. I quickly realised that a lot of time is spent doing bookkeeping, marketing & social media, admin and all the other tasks we are face with when we go solo. Over this time, I’ve tried to use great software and apps to automate my small business, saving me time and money. There are literally thousands of options out there, but here are the ones that work for me and they’re all FREE!
- WAVE – Free financial software for small businesses. I love this software because it allows me to create slick looking estimates that at a click of a button can be converted to invoices. It links to your business bank account, so that you can see if you’ve been paid and allows you to send reminders and receipts with one more click. It also has a really fab phone app, where you can scan in your receipts and expenses. This makes me keep on top of all my outgoings rather than letting a huge pile build up ready for tax season!
- Hootsuite – This brilliant tool allows me to schedule in all my social media activity for the week ahead and I can then focus on getting on with my work! You can link it to up to 3 social media accounts in the free version. It’s also fantastic if you’re going on holiday but want to keep posting. But don’t forget you still need to interact after you post, thanking people for comments or answering questions. If your business only operates on Facebook, you can schedule your posts directly on there.
- Canva – This little gem allows you to design your own graphics. It’s so easy to use with loads of free pre-designed graphics that you can drop your own photography and text into. You can create everything from a social media graphic to an A4 poster, but beware, you can get lost in there for hours having a play!
- EventBrite – This is a great way to sell tickets for events and workshops you’re running for your business. It’s super easy to use and all the payment processing happens with EventBrite. If you use their ‘essentials’ version that keeps payment processing fees down. You can either pass those fees onto the buyer or absorb them into your ticket price. EventBrite also has a great phone app that you can check people into your event.
- Woo-commerce – If you have a WordPress website you can use this brilliant plugin to sell online. Their free version has loads of functionality that can connect to your PayPal account and start selling within minutes. It’s super easy to use with great functionality allowing you to control stock, shipping status and more.
- Mailchimp – Mailchimp is a brilliant email marketing tool. It allows you to easily import existing email data via excel and design seriously good-looking emails and newsletters to send out to your customers and clients. It’s drag and drop functionality make it super easy to use. I would recommend spending the time to create your own Mailchimp This allows you to drop in new text, imagery and links each time without reinventing the wheel. Make a template that mirrors the look of your website to keep all your comms consistent. You can also use separate lists of email data to create groups of people you may want to say different things to.
- join.me – This is a great platform to hold a meeting online. It allows screen sharing, so you can make a PowerPoint presentation online or demo something you’d like to show a client. It generates a link to send to the person you’re meeting and hooks you both up when you’re ready to go. You can also add more attendees and video conference. The handy recording function allows you to record the call if you want to save what’s being said. Note: this is a 30-day free trial only! If you want it free all the time, Skype also allows screen sharing now.
- Basecamp – this is a really effective project management tool. Take a look at its 30-day free trial if you’re managing projects with other team members or clients. It’s the end of long email trails that get lost in translation! Check out this great little video to see how it works:
Once you’re set up on all these great bits of technology, they quickly become second nature. So, it’s worth taking the time to get started with the ones that best suit your small business now and it will pay off in the longer term. Time to start saving your small business time and money through automation!
Comments are closed