If you run a small business, chances are you’d like to grow it. Of course, growth won’t happen overnight — it takes time and effort. But, you can grow more quickly with the right team, organized processes and a set of tools to help you get through everyday tasks.
Many of those tools can really make a difference in your overall performance. Learn how you can find the best ones, and how they can help your business spread its wings.
1. CloudTalk — call handling
CloudTalk is a call center management software. Even for small businesses, CloudTalk comes in handy for managing inbound and outbound calls. If you run a customer service team or have a few salespeople who are in charge of turning leads into deals, it’s likely that your efforts revolve around calling.
With some smart solutions and built-in features, even a small business can take advantage of each call. CloudTalk offers call recording, call tracking and a range of integrations with other tools. It can save a lot of time that you can spend on focusing on your core business instead.
Even if your company doesn’t handle that many calls, analysing all of them can help you achieve better results and evaluate how your team manages customer relations and closing transactions. Spotting even small differences or mistakes and fixing them can be a real game-changer for the whole organization.
2. Walls.io — social walls
It is all about social media now, and to shine and stand out from the competition you need to do more than ever before. Using Walls.io can help you reach your customers and new potential clients. Walls.io lets you create a social media wall out of content available on multiple social media platforms. It gives you better chances to be spotted during events, but you can also use it for your website to streamline content from all of your profiles. It definitely gives a better impression to your potential buyers and can help you win more deals.
3. Livespace — CRM
A good CRM can sort you out from day zero. Tracking who you contacted, who you have reached, and what the outcome was with prospects you sent a proposal to is crucial to identifying whether your business is headed in the right direction.
But often, small businesses are a bit scared of CRM software, since they assume that CRM is not for them or that the features are too advanced. If you choose a simple, reliable, intuitive, yet powerful CRM like Livespace, you won’t have to worry about a long onboarding process or too many options that you may not.
4. LiveSession — site traffic analysis
Another thing that small business owners should analyze from the very start is traffic, user behaviour and visitors’ preferences. Are you wondering how visitors are interacting with your website? No need to keep guessing! With LiveSession, you can record user sessions to analyze and rewatch them as many times as needed. It’s a qualitative research tool — this means it will help you understand how the users navigate your product and what can be improved to achieve better performance.
Small businesses usually can’t afford more costly methods like focus groups or one-on-one interviews. They are very often afraid of over-featured analytics they can’t read or understand. Tools like LiveSession allow you to research user behaviour without having to splash out. What’s more, LiveSession can be integrated with some of the most popular tools for quantitative research, including Google Analytics.
5. RocketLink — retargeting
RocketLink is a URL shortener which allows you to use smart links to maximize marketing efforts. By using RocketLink, you can add retargeting pixels to the links that you share. That way, you can track visitors’ behaviour and retarget ads during future campaigns. Essential is the fact that you can add pixels to any links you want, not only to the ones that lead to your website. It’s an excellent option for marketers who use other websites’ content in their social media campaigns.
Small businesses often struggle with creating excellent content or don’t do it regularly. With RocketLink, they can take advantage of externally available content. Moreover, you can customize URLs to create short and memorable links. Another useful feature that RocketLink provides is embedding widgets such as videos, chat boxes, pop-ups and more. Small business owners often need to watch every penny, so combining many features in one tool is something they may seek.
6. Easil — graphic design
Not every small business can afford to hire a professional graphic designer. Does that mean that SMEs have no chance to sparkle with their creative content? Not at all! Fortunately, we live in an era where professional content can be created on the spot, with many advanced tools available online.
One of them is Easil, but of course, you can use many tools that let you create graphics online (alternatives include Canva, Design Wizard, Crello, Snappa or Stencil, to name a few). With Easil, you can create graphics that can help you promote your business on social media, on your website or via blog posts. If you need a promotional banner, you can create one here as well, in a heartbeat. You don’t need to be a graphics pro to manage the drag-and-drop editor and upload your artwork afterwards. And it’s free, too.
7. Biteable — video creation
An explainer video can ruin the budget of many aspiring small businesses. On the other hand, it can really help them land new clients. Is there any golden mean? Sure there is. One of them is called Biteable, and it can help you create professional videos in just a few minutes.
If you dream of a very personalized explainer video, this may not meet all of your criteria. But with Biteable, you can customize videos to a certain point, adding your own elements or logo. You also have access to thousands of assets, stock photos and videos, so you don’t have to buy them separately, and insert them into the videos. Definitely worth giving a go, especially if your budget for promotional materials is very limited.
8. TimeCamp — time tracking
Micromanagement can be a curse, but so can a complete lack of control. Small companies are at risk of doing too many things simultaneously or assigning resources in a less-than-smart way. Those are the common mistakes of many companies in the very early stages of development. To avoid burning resources and work in the most efficient way, you should implement time tracking and productivity monitoring.
While there are many tools available for this purpose, Timecamp stands out with extremely simple design and ease of use. Timecamp is definitely not over-featured, so it should not be troublesome to your team.
9. Shared Contacts For Gmail — contacts sharing
Gmail and Gsuite do not allow you to share contacts with others, which can make some sales processes and communication a pain in the neck. It’s especially bad for those who use the Google ecosystem for their everyday tasks. Salespeople or customer service teams have to share contacts manually. Working on the same address book would definitely help them.
Shared Contacts for Gmail, a small app from the Google App marketplace, makes it possible to share contacts with coworkers and automatically synchronize groups of contacts. Everyone who is assigned to a shared customer group has access to all addresses and can edit them for everyone. If you want to eliminate potential bottlenecks in your team and make sales or customer service a piece of cake, Shared Contacts for Gmail hits the jackpot.
10. Harmonizely — meeting scheduler
Harmonizely is a handy tool to automate scheduling your meetings. Making meetings a breeze is crucial to boosting your sales, increasing conversion rates and making communication with your clients more efficient. Instead of exchanging dozens of emails to find the right date, you can send a scheduling link with available time slots. Another nice touch is that Harmonizely comes with built-in timezone detection to avoid confusion.
Apart from the most popular choices, such as iCloud, Outlook/Office 365 and Google Calendar, this tool can be integrated with other CalDAV compatible calendars. And the cherry on top? A free version is available, which means even small businesses with a tight budget can use it to make their work easier.
11. Stackfield — messaging and collaboration
It’s tempting to think that communication in small companies will be easy, since very few people are involved in exchanging messages, sending files or keeping track of sales. But the thing is that once you scale your efforts, it gets more difficult to communicate in a clear and transparent way. You need to start good practices from the very beginning while maintaining the highest level of security and safety.
Sounds like a challenge? Indeed, but there are some solutions on the market that provide everything you need — Stackfield, for example. Stackfield, with its light and intuitive communicator, as well as two-factor authentication and end-to-end encryption, ensures safe and quick communication within a small company. And it will definitely be able to support it as it’s growing, too.
Wrap it up!
Can you grow a small business without tools? Sure, you can. However, it can take more time, more manpower, more efforts and, as a result, more money to get to the same point that you’d get to with tools.
Buying too many tools can be tricky and harmful, but choosing the right suite can be very beneficial for your business both at the very beginning and once your small business stops being small. Good luck!