15 Of The Best Business Tools For Online Entrepreneurs
The tools you choose to implement in your business processes and workflows can make the difference between a smoothly running business versus an unorganized mess. Since starting my business in January 2018, I’ve tested countless tools and processes with the intentions of streamlining my client processes. Here’s a recap of the tools I started with as a solopreneur and the staple tools I use daily in my business.
Tools I Started With
Used for: Signing and sending contracts to clients.
Hello Sign is a quick, easy to use tool for turning contracts and other important documents into agreements where multiple parties can sign. I highly recommend this tool for budding entrepreneurs that need a place to send, store, and sign their contracts. I used the free plan for when I needed this tool.
Used for: Creating proposals, online documents, and quick landing pages.
Qwirl is a drag and drop design tool for creating intuitive marketing documents and proposals. I used this tool for presenting and sharing custom proposals to clients. I received fantastic feedback based on the ease of use and how it appears to be a custom webpage for their proposal. I attempted to use the free plan for some time with luck, but as my proposal load increased the paid plan was my only option which I opted against.
Used for: Email marketing and newsletter automation
Oh MailChimp, an email marketing platform that I loved and would still recommend if you’re in the market. You can easily customize email templates, welcome automation, and campaigns. For someone who has a simple email marketing strategy, this tool served me well for years. They’re now pushing for more paid users by limiting once free feature so I made the switch the MailerLite for a more robust free plan.
Used for: Virtual video and group calls
Zoom is a staple for many digital entrepreneurs that are looking for a place to host virtual calls. This free tool can host group or 1:1 calls along with offering settings and features including screen shares and the ability to record the call. The reason why I now use this sparingly is that new users are prompted to download the call link prior which can be confusing or time consuming for prospective clients.
My staple tools now
Used for: Graphic design for social media, headers, documents, and more.
Canva is a staple for all digital entrepreneurs that aren’t adept at design programs like Adobe Illustrator. This free tool is perfect for creating branded templates for just about anything. I’ve designed client graphics, proposals, slide presentation backgrounds, worksheets, and stories graphics to name a few. They have an excellent paid plan if you’re looking for more advanced design features.
Used for: Catching spelling and grammatical mistakes.
This blog post and many others were brought to you by Grammarly. This Chrome catches pesky spelling mistakes and offers a grammatical suggestion for sentence structures. Whenever I’m sending emails or proposals, I can rest assured that a second eye has caught my spelling mistakes to ensure for professional delivery.
Used for: Content calendar creation and organization.
Airtable is one of my favorite business tools for organizing just about anything. It’s similar to an Excel spreadsheet with the customization to be used for just about anything. I use it for client content calendar, organizing my newsletter and blog, and even managing my interns. Read more about 5 ways that I used Airtable in this blog post.
Used for: Managing tasks, projects, and daily to-dos.
This tool had been a game changer for my business. I tried managing my tasks in notes, my calendar, Asana, and a planner without any luck. Things has helped me organize every facet of my day to day including client work, Sol Studio, and personal tasks like grocery shopping. Read more about how I used the app Things in this blog post.
Used for: Scheduling emails and email reminders.
Boomerang is a fantastic tool for scheduling email replies. I love this for when I’m tending to email outside of my designated hours so I can respond within those hours. I also use the feature where you can boomerang emails out and back into your inbox. This allows you to tend to an email to a later time with a reminder as opposed to having the email gets lost in your inbox
Used for: Invoicing, creating recurring invoices, and bookkeeping.
Wave has been my day one tool for invoicing clients and collecting payments. I love the interface, the ease for creating recurring invoices, and the ability to send reminders. You’re able to create branded invoices in an itemized format.
Used for: Scheduling calls.
If you’re not using a scheduler currently, create a Calendly account right after this blog post. Calendly is a necessity for booking discovery calls, client calls, collaboration chats, and more. Instead of emailing back and forth times, you’re able to send over your availability that the other party can view in their time zone. You’re able to send reminders, intake information with , and customize each event. I used Calendly Pro for a year and loved the ease to book calls and collecting payments with PayPal for my coaching sessions.
Used for: Instant messenger for client and team communication.
Slack is the tool you need to get out of your inbox and communicate more effectively with your team and clients. Slack is basically an instant messenger for professional communication. I use this tool with my clients and interns to communicate daily for timely tasks, ideas, and check-ins. You can organize your conversations with channels and choose when you get notified with new messages.
Used for: Video calls and meetings.
Appear.in has quickly replaced Zoom for my calls because it’s easy and simple to use. I prefer this user experience since you generate a personalized link that allows people to hop on calls and share meetings. You have the feature to share your screen with meeting attendees and have up to 4 people with the free plan. There are a few quirks including the tool working best on Chrome, but I prefer the user experience overall to Zoom.
Used for: Screen recordings and filming videos.
Loom is a gamechanger for sharing and creating videos. You can easily film a video from your desktop with a video from the camera, a screen share, or a combination of both. You can share with a loom link or download directly. I use this tool for filming my course and sending quick videos when there isn’t time for a video call.
Used for: Contracts, on-boarding, automation, booking calls, and workflows.
Dubsado is an all-in-one CRM for managing and automating client processes. I transitioned to this tool to condense the tools I was using for the entire client management process. I’ve loved how Dubsaodo has streamlined this process with canned emails, their new scheduler, custom forms, and workflows that automate everything together.
These tools are sure to get you on track when running your business as a solopreneur. What’s your go-to tool for managing your business?
*Disclaimer: Some of these links mentioned in the post are affiliate links.