I try to keep up with the latest technology. I receive all sorts of newsletters, product announcements and read as much as I possibly can. There’s no way to keep up with the multitude of products being launched each day. Finding the right fit for you is part research and part luck. I always recommend starting with a monthly payment plan to see if you like whichever product you’re interested in. Yes, the annual plan is cheaper, but you don’t want to get locked into a product that you don’t like or that doesn’t suit your business.
No matter what type of business you have, you will be accepting payment from your clients. There are simple ways to receive funds like Venmo, or directly into your bank account. There are also more integrated systems like Quickbooks and Freshbooks which allows you to accept payment, invoice, and have your basic bookkeeping done all in one app. Your accountant can even access it when preparing your tax return.
Automated Calendar Scheduling
After spending years emailing back and forth trying to schedule meetings, I changed my life by implementing an online scheduling system. Rather than offer up a time only to have it fill up by the time your client gets back to you, you can use an automated system like Calendly or Acuity Scheduling. Features and costs vary based on how much functionality you need. I find the ‘reminders’ feature the most valuable. They can be easily integrated into your website too.
As tempting as it is to let your browser save your passwords when you’re operating a business where customer information could reside, having a secure place to keep all your passwords is critical, especially with family users now accessing your home computer and network. I use LastPass, the free version. It easily creates and stores all my passwords and requires a separate password to open. I also have a hard drive back that’s encrypted.
While not essential, project management tools are super helpful, and basic versions can be accessed for free. I’m still figuring out which way works best for me. Whatever your preference there are all sorts of systems based on your way of organizing. Asana and Trello seem to be the most popular. I’ve been using Trello lately to track my blog postings. I like the way I can see everything on a board. For client work, I like the way Asan works.
Social media scheduler
Social media is a beast however you look at it. Your posting doesn’t have to be. There are tons of schedulers that take the hard work out of it for you. Bulk your posts, set up your calendar, and forget it for a month. I like SmarterQueue because of the intuitive calendar. Hootsuite is also a favorite amongst many. My most favorite however is Missingltr. Missingltr automatically takes your blogs and creates quotes and posts for you. It then auto schedules them too!
This tool in invaluable for anyone posting for the world to see. Grammarly automatically checks spelling and grammar on anything you put out on the internet. There’s a free version available.
We all know we need a video conferencing platform. The reason I’m including it here is that I recommend you get the paid versions. I use Zoom and I can schedule a meeting directly to my calendar. Zoom also integrates with my scheduling software so that when someone schedules a meeting. The free version limits your calls to 40 minutes. They also offer a webinar platform. There some others like Skype and Goto Meeting for those of you that are ‘over zoomed.’ I imagine we’ll see many more competitors in this space.
No matter what your business is, you can’t avoid automation. If you’re not sure what tools are right for you, schedule a free consultation and we can discuss it: