“There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas–what’s missing is the will to execute them.”
Seth Godin had a good point when he said this. However, even if you have the ideas and the will, that does not necessarily tell you how to execute them! Fortunately, we have a list of the 10 tools you need to run your business successfully and carry out your best ideas.
- Website – The first thing people do when they are seeking out a service is Google it. People will spend a few minutes of their day shopping around different websites and choose the one that fits their desires the best. If you do not have a website, you miss out on this opportunity altogether. An online presence is a necessity in this digital age, and even a simple website can help your business build a reputation and remain relevant. The website should have a simple but attractive design that is also mobile-friendly. It should incorporate keywords for better SEO (search engine optimization – basically how often to you appear on google searches relating to your business), and the content should be updated regularly to avoid looking stale. Contact information and an appropriate call to action will complete this feature.
- Google Analytics – Once you have a website, you should use Google Analytics to track online traffic. This can give insight into how much traffic your site generates, where that traffic comes from, and the key demographics of its visitors.
- Social media – Different social-media sites can meet different needs and target various audiences. A Facebook page, with sponsored posts and ads, can be used to target an audience as broad or as narrow as you want. If you intend to be more visual in your marketing, consider a YouTube, Instagram (+ Instagram stories), or Snapchat account. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with other professionals and find potential employees. Twitter is best for shorter, frequent postings. Never think that your business is too boring for social media; use it as a platform to show others how interesting your trade is and attract them to using your services.
- IT security plan – IT security is a growing issue among businesses of all sizes, and even the smallest organization cannot afford to skimp in this area. According to top cybersecurity experts, cyber attacks against smaller companies is on the rise. This can compromise data security, threaten profits, and negatively affect a company’s reputation. Look on government or small-business websites for security best practices, or get help from a qualified security consultant.
- Referral network – Networking will help you increase your professional connections, business opportunities, and knowledge. You can seek out local networking events, do a search for some of the best business networking groups, or even host an event yourself to build up your referral network. Remember to give as much as you get when it comes to referrals–it can help build your reputation and encourage other leaders to send you referrals in return. If you have clients that you like, ask them if they know anyone like themselves who would benefit from your services. You’d be surprised how much you can get by asking a simple question.
- Skype or other video chat handles – With Skype’s free calling and video chat features, professionals can hold meetings at all hours and across all borders and time zones at little to no cost. You can also check out Google Hangout – we use this handle for our own staff meetings and it works out excellently.
- Online resources – The U.S. Small Business Association’s website has many resources for all industries. This site can point you toward financing options, webinars, mentoring, and help from local organizations.
- CRM Software – Many businesses do not use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, but I would strongly recommend it. CRM can help you manage your interactions with customers and monitor your leads. While basic CRM software stores customer contact information, there are more powerful versions that can help your organization track client demographics and interests, schedule follow-ups, and turn leads into paying customers.
- DropBox – This cloud-based tool offers both free and paid plans that include a range of storage space. DropBox can help you store and share different file types among users and devices.
- PayPal – More people are making payments online and using mobile devices to send money. Business growth could suffer if you don’t accept online payments, and PayPal is an easy way to remedy this. The site and its mobile app are fairly simple to use, have no sign-up fee, and enable online credit-and debit-card transactions.
When combined and adapted to your particular business, these tools will give you a head start on the road to success. For more information about the best tools for your business, contact us today!