Launching your own business is a rewarding experience, but it’s not without its pitfalls. For budding entrepreneurs who are new to the world of business, it can get tricky.
Thankfully, entrepreneurs have never had it so good, with plenty of great tools and resources out there that enhance your efficiency and grow your business. Keep reading for just a few essential resources that every budding entrepreneur needs in their life.
You already know that social media is a key channel for growing your business. But finding the time to actually create and coordinate your social strategy is tricky, especially for new entrepreneurs finding their feet in business.
Thankfully, social automation tools like Buffer make all that a little bit easier. For budding entrepreneurs, the tool’s free plan is all you need to craft a strong social presence that supports your new business. Beyond scheduling your posts in advance, you can also create trackable links to help you monitor your social success with ease.
While Buffer’s free plan lacks some features such as analytics, and it limits the accounts and posts you can share, its Pro plan is just $15 a month and will help support your business as it grows. Best of all, it’s easy to use, so entrepreneurs of any level can get started with it. You don’t need to be tech-savvy to be social-savvy with Buffer.
As an entrepreneur, you never stop working, and you’re always thinking of new ideas and strategies to grow your business. But rather than scrawling it on a napkin or takeaway leaflet, keep it all in one place with Evernote.
This super-handy tool makes it easy to stay on top of your notes, ideas, pitches, files, and more in one easy dashboard. Evernote also lets you cascade your content with colleagues, ideal for a growing team.
The tool is cloud-based and syncs across all devices, so you can access your files on the move, wherever you are in the world. And if you insist on using pen and paper, Evernote is camera-enabled so you can take snaps of your notes to upload with ease. Slick.
We all need a little fuel to keep us going as we grow our business. Beyond buckets of coffee, why not make the most of your commute with the eCommerce Fuel podcast? Hosted by successful ecommerce entrepreneur Andrew Youderian, eCommerce Fuel is 40 minutes of essential business know-how.
Sometimes we need a break from reading, and podcasts are the perfect way to digest knowledge on the move. Topics span virtually every aspect of running a business, from Etsy ecommerce to networking tips. As well as providing valuable insight into entrepreneurship, Andrew also regularly interviews other successful business owners, accountants, marketers, and more. This one is a must for those long train journeys.
Another podcast you need to listen to is Shopify Masters.
As the name implies, Shopify Masters is for entrepreneurs striving for the next level. Each week, Shopify guru Felix Thea interviews real entrepreneurs to learn how they built their business from the ground up into thriving brands in their own right.
While it touches on issues specifically related to Shopify’s own merchants, the bulk of the podcast is dedicated to universal issues facing entrepreneurs. Product idea generation, ecommerce tools, lead generation tactics, and growth strategies are just a few of the vital lessons the Shopify Masters podcast imparts to its listeners.
You Need A Budget
When everything else is automated, it makes sense to automate your finances too. You Need A Budget lets entrepreneurs safely access and manage their business finances through their existing online banking. You can track your debits and credits, tagging each according to where they fit in your business.
YNAB is great for entrepreneurs who need to stick to a budget, and it can notify you when you are close to maxing it out. And for entrepreneurs with a love for pie charts, YNAB also lets you create visual reports to make it easy to monitor your business expenses. Ideal for those who struggle with numbers!
As your business grows, so too will your customer base. But staying on top of all your customer data can be tricky: names, addresses, emails, social accounts, purchase habits, and more should all be tracked. That means you need a strong customer relationship management tool, and Zoho can do that for you.
Zoho is intuitive and simple to use, and lets you manage contact info, customer service comms, shopping history, and more in a single dashboard. It also integrates with most other systems as well, including several mentioned on this list.
Beyond its CRM function, Zoho also provides finance, email, collaboration, IT solutions, and more. It supports virtually every aspect of your business, from your startup days right through to your enterprise stage. Well worth your time.
A strong business is one that’s active in its growth strategy, constantly sourcing new customers and generating leads. OptinMonster is your go-to tool for this, letting you chase potential leads with sophisticated targeting criteria and personalized marketing messages.
And the options open to OptinMonster users are enormous: lightbox popups, inline forms, floating bars, countdown timers — all these and more are at your fingertips, making lead generation quick and calculable.
Prices range from $19 to $99 a month, and OptinMonster is super easy to use. A handy drag-and-drop interface means no coding experience is required — budding entrepreneurs of any experience can start generating leads with ease.
There’s not a single entrepreneur out there today who didn’t get where they are without a helping hand. The resources listed above are guaranteed to make your entrepreneur journey easier, guiding you on your path to success. Try a few today and get ahead in business in 2019.
Guest post by Kayleigh Alexandra
Kayleigh is a senior writer at Micro Startups, your online destination for everything startup. We’re dedicated to spreading the word about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup, entrepreneur, and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted