5 Tools I Couldn’t Run My Business Without

When I decided to go self-employed I had absolutely no idea what it took to stay on top of my business administration, client management and marketing!

I’ve made some mistakes though, some costly. Signing up to tools I thought I needed, but didn’t. Or ones that really didn’t live up to their promises. It was frustrating.

So to save you the same hassle, I thought I would share with you the 5 tools I couldn’t run my business without.

They help me to automate a lot of the mundane and time-consuming tasks that are unavoidable when you run a small business and don’t have people to outsource to.

Without them, I think I would go insane. And I’m in no doubt my business would fall apart.

5 Tools I Couldn’t Run My Business Without

G Suite

From emailing to writing content and business planning… G Suite is my best friend.

It costs me around £5 a month, so it is slightly cheaper than a Microsoft subscription, which is great. But it also gives me everything I need:

  • Google Mail
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Docs
  • Google Drive

This suite of online tools lets me communicate with people, write my blogs and use spreadsheets to my heart’s content, all while being backed up safely and neatly organised in Google Drive.

One of my favourite features about G Suite is that I can collaborate so easily with all the people I work with just by sharing a link. There’s no need to email documents to a collaborator, we can work online together, make updates and see changes in real-time.

GET G SUITE FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Quickbooks

Honestly, I did use a bookkeeping spreadsheet when I first started out. It’s free and, being an accountant, I could set one up for myself pretty quickly.

But it really wasn’t long until I switched to Quickbooks.

It automates a lot of analysing and allocating. It also in links to my business bank account (Revolut) so all my transactions appear in Quickbooks with me needing to type it in.

I also do find it handy to take a quick look at my profit and loss and where I am making money on the Quickbooks app when I’m sitting on the sofa!

GET QUICKBOOKS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Canva.com

Having a visual brand with high-quality images is a MUST, especially in the blogging world.

Canva.com is an online design tool for solopreneurs, small businesses and large corporate teams.

All my images for my website and social media are sourced and designed on Canva.com.

And compared to other design tools I’ve tried, Canva is really one of the easiest to use.

Although I have recently moved to the paid version, there is a free one that you can get started with.

GET CANVA FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Later.com

Later.com is a social media scheduling tool.

It literally saves me hours of time every month because I can plan out all my posts and schedule them so they are automatically posted across all my different social media platforms.

The paid version has some great analytical and reporting functionality so I know exactly what is and isn’t working.

Going from accountant to social media manager was a natural shift, but even with my limited understanding of social media, I have found Later.com intuitive and easy to use.

GET LATER.COM FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Mailerlite

Mailerlite helps me to collect subscriber email addresses and then keep in touch with them.

It lets me create sign up forms that are embedded directly on my website. Then when anyone subscribes, their name is stored in the Mailerlite database.

I can then use Mailerlite to send out messages and updates to my subscribers.

If you’re not an email marketing expert, like me, then Mailerlite will probably suit you.

The basic package is free and, although some of the functionality is limited compared to the likes of Mailchimp, it’s a great starting point for beginners who just want to get the job done.

GET MAILERLITE FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Wrapping Up

There are loads more tools out there for managing your business.

Some may be more suitable depending on what you do for a living but hopefully, some of these five will help you to automate your business and save you a ton of time!

Anita Forrest
About Anita Forrest

Anita Forrest is a Chartered Accountant, spreadsheet geek, money nerd and creator of www.goselfemployed.co - a UK small business finance blog where she shares help and advice with the self-employed community to make topics like registering a business, bookkeeping and taxes easy to understand.