If you’re like me, you have been blessed to find that one thing that you are extremely passionate about; so much so that you’ve decided to turn it into a business. I absolutely love the fact that my clients allow me to assist them with creating lasting memories by entrusting me with designing custom stationery for their weddings and other special events.
But, as an entrepreneur, I know that it requires more than designing amazing stationery to run and maintain a successful business. You’ll often hear entrepreneurs discuss the resources and tools they use to improve their client experience through streamlining and automating various aspects of their business. With so many tools available to small business owners, it is easy to become overwhelmed when deciding which one will be the best fit for you and your business.
After tons of research and trial and error, I have settled on seven tools that have really helped me take my business to the next level. While I am in no way receiving any kick-backs for endorsing these tools, I do want to help relieve some of the overwhelm you might be feeling by sharing these amazing resources that have truly helped me.
So, without further ado…here are my top seven:
Client Relationship Management (CRM)
❧ Dubsado ($30 mo./$300 annually):
There is an ongoing debate about which CRM is best for managing clients, invoicing, and sending contracts all in one. While each platform has those few features that make it a tad different from the others, it truly comes down to a matter of preference. For me, Dubsado is superior when it comes to automating and streamlining my business. I can design contract, invoice, and client information forms in my company brand colors and logo. The Great client portal is great for storing documents that are specific to each client project. Dubsado is best known for automating the client experience by setting up workflows that make the entire on-boarding experience seamless. The Dubsado development team is the best around! They are extremely supportive and response in the Facebook community and are constantly releasing new features to improve the platform (scheduling meetings and calls feature is on the horizon!)
Whether you opt to go with Dubsado, Asana, or 17hats, a CRM is non-negotiable for sustaining your business.
Organization and Planning
❧ Trello (FREE w/ upgrade option $5 mo.):
Think online to do list guru! This tool is awesome for tracking client status, maintaining personal and business to do lists, and even scheduling and planning out social media and blog posts. Share custom boards with clients to increase communication and to keep them involved over the course of the project. Trello allows you to stay organized by creating list and cards for specific tasks or projects that you can customize by adding due dates, assigning team members, adding check lists, and uploading coordinating links, documents, and images. And you really want to get fancy, use Butler for Trello to automate your boards, or add other Power-ups to maximize this tool. To really get a sense for how to maximize all of the features of Trello, check out Trello for Business.
Oh, did I forget to mention…it’s FREE!!
❧ Google G-suite ($5 mo.):
Create an account in Google G-suite, and for just $5 per month your small business will instantly soar to new heights. Don't have an official website just yet? With G-suite you will be able to create a professional email account with your business name as a domain. Create and share professional spreadsheets, slide presentations, and other documents for your clients or team members. You'll also have access to Google Drive to save and share forms and documents with easy access from any computer or smart device.
❧ Acuity Scheduling (FREE w/ upgrade option starting at $15 mo.):
Acuity has been phenomenal when it comes to automating my business. Potential and current clients are able to schedule meetings and inquiry calls at the click of the button. I am able to set the days I am available and it helps to eliminate back-and-forth emails to confirm availability. I absolutely love the template for sending confirmation and reminder emails to clients. Embed a link to your calendar in emails as well as on the contact page of your website, Instagram, and Facebook. Upgrade your Acuity account to customize automated emails and you dashboard with your companies brand colors and logo.
These tools have completely changed the way I operate my business day-to-day. Are you looking for the perfect tools to enhance your business operations and client experience? I've got a few more resources that will totally change the game for you and your business!
Want to learn more about the other amazing tools I'm using to rock my business?