Growing your small business alone can be difficult, from having to play the role of CEO, sales manager, social media manager, customer service etc all in one, running day-to day business affairs can become exhausting and tiring quickly, which is why you need to use a little help here and there with your process as a small business owner.
Why you need small business tools
Small business software and tools can be used to achieve simple to complex everyday tasks from tracking your employee productivity and performance to managing people, customers, finance, streamlining communication and collaboration. They allow you as a business owner to focus on what really matters which is delighting your customers.
Things to consider before investing in a set of tools
Now while these tools can also help you increase marketing success and contribute to improved output for your business, there are a list of things to consider before investing in a set of tools. This way you are able to make the right choice fit for your business. Here are some of the questions you need to ask:
- How would this tool help improve our process?
- What part of our current procress would this tool improve?
- What is the cost / are there cheaper alternatives?
- How easy is integrating it in our current Process?
Now, answering these questions will give you a better idea of what you are trying to do or feasible goals obtainable as a result of investing in new tools.
The remaining part of this article outlines some of these tools, their pros and cons plus details to help you make the right choice selecting. We’ve tried to cover all the basics you need to get started.
1. Email marketing tools
Email marketing is a strong way to maintain and stay connected with your customers. As a business owner with customers all around, the fastest and most efficient way to reach everyone all at once is through targeted and customized marketing campaigns. When done right, your customers can know more about your offers, new products, sales and also see a bit of your personality with emails.
There are a ton of really good email marketing tools offering different features and benefits with different pricings.
Mailchimp is one of the leading email marketing tool in this space offering you a lot of creative options with it's free plan.
- Messaging and campaigns can be automated
- Lots of templates options to choose from that suit your goals
- Interface is simple and easy to use
- Multiple integration options across various channels
- As your audience grows, you have to pay more money.
- The MailChimp logo is attached to your campaign on the free version
- You can’t send an email to multiple subscriber lists at once
- Monthly email send limit is 10,000 sends with a daily limit of 2,000 on the free plan.
- Paid plans start from 10 dollars monthly with more advanced analytics features.
2. Project/ Time Management Tools
Nothing beats being organized and put together as a business owner but we all know it gets harder to keep track of all you need to put in place mentally so how can you do this better?
Project management tools help you track and organize your daily todo tasks, some of them come with cool features like reminders, can be customized to fit your brand aesthetics, you can also add members of your team to work and track task progress together etc
A perfect example of a good project management tool is Notion
- You can create different templates based on your current needs to keep track of tasks
- You can add and assign multiple teammates to a task
- You can share and export content from notion to other platforms
- It has multipurpose use. You can use it to organize both work and personal life
- Notion can be a bit complex to understand for first timers especially non tech savvy users
- Problems sometimes occur with formatting, copy and pasting documents
- Content can look a bit flustered and messy so keeping up is harder depending on how you use it.
Notion has a free plan but pricing starts in between 4 to 5 dollars monthly.
3. Customer feedback management tools
So you’ve spent time creating what you believe is a perfect experience, how do you hear from your customers on what they really think? It’s hard to keep track of every feedback manually which is where customer feedback tools come in
With feedback tools like Spirē’s , you can collect and manage customer feedback better to understand what your users are saying and create products they will love.
- You can use Spirē to collect feedback whether or not you have a website with FeedLink.
- Customers can send real-time feedback and you can respond right inside the app with Text or Media.
- You can create multiple Surveys and share to collect feedback from your users.
- Customers can report bots, rate and review products and experience in real time.
- Deep insight analytics are not yet available on the existing version
it’s free to use.
Start collecting customer Feedback better. Create an account here
4. Accounting Software Tools
Payment processing is probably the most important thing for a small business owner. From keeping track of your income and expenses, invoicing to successfully receiving payment in different currencies across borders with no hassle, there are so many tools to help you out.
Paystack is a leading payments processing company in this space.
- Payments are easy and very fast
- Easy to keep track and record of transactions
- Your customers can pay you how they want
- Excellent communication and customer service
No free version of Paystack
- Pricing varies per transaction but not more than 2000 naira/ 4 dollars
5. Website Tracking tools
Now that you own a website, studying the analytics becomes important to understand your user behaviors better and possibly pick on what you could be missing out on the customer experience journey.
Website tracking tools provide you with this information and one of the most commonly used is google analytics
- It’s free of charge
- A solid data resource for your business
- It’s really simple to navigate, interface is user friendly
- There are resources to learn how to use it
- You need to learn analytics to understand results shown
- It can’t track everything that happens on your website exactly.
- It’s free to use
6. Password management tools
Building and gaining followers organically on social media can be overwhelming, even more difficult as a small business owner.
So loosing your social media accounts after working so hard to grow it is not the outcome you want, password management tools help you reduce this risk by removing the risk of forgetting your password or getting hacked by intruders
Example: last pass
- Automatically syncs between devices
- Strong security framework.
- A bit costly compared to alternatives
- 36 dollars per year
7. Social media automation tools
For many small businesses,social media plays a very important role in driving growth from constantly engaging customers to even acquiring new ones.
However, it can become stressful to merge running a business with constantly showing up actively across all social media platforms you use which is where social media scheduling automation apps come in.
- Makes content planning and scheduling easy
- You can use across multiple social media platforms
- Analytics and insights options available
- It can be expensive for a small business owner
- More advanced features are only available on paid plans
- Limited number of accounts on free plan.
Starts from 49 dollars monthly
8. Designing tools
Content creation and graphics are survival skills many small business owners need to learn. But sometimes finding one tool that gives you all you need to create necessary social media designs can be a hassle.
That’s why apps like Canva exist to make this easy for you to create on your mobile devices.
- No entry barrier. Anyone can design with canva
- Ready made templates for designs across all social platforms
- Easy, straight to understand interface
- Limited options on the free version.
- You need technical know how to use some features well
- It costs $12.99 to use canva monthly
Generally, the size of your business, its maturity, the industry in which you operate, and your budget will naturally influence which digital tools you decide to invest in. There are so many tools to use and some of the tools we’ve mentioned in this article have other alternatives, however the hack is to find just what works for your business and stick to it.
Why Choose Spire for your Small Business to manage customer feedback?
Your customers need to know that you are listening to them but much more than that see you in action. With Spirē, you can set up an easy way for customers to give you feedback as they use your products, interact on your website in real time so you can build better products and create experiences that matters to them.
Get Started with Spirē now