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5 Tools Every Small Business Owner Should Be Using

If you’re a small business owner, we enthusiastically commend you. Running a small business takes a huge amount of time, effort, and sacrifice. You probably work long hours to keep your doors open, your employees paid, and your profits rolling.

The good news is, there are a few helpful tools you can use to lighten your workload, streamline your workflow, and boost your profits.

Here are 5 great tools that every small business owner should be using, whether you’re a startup business owner or if you’ve been in business for a while. Some of these tools are for marketing, and others are for business management.

1. SEO

SEO is truly one of the most important marketing tools you can employ on your website. For the unfamiliar, SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s the practice of making your website rank higher on search results.

Google, for example, ranks pages in order of relevancy whenever you conduct a search. If your page has good SEO, Google will place your website at the top of the search results page whenever users search for whatever it is your business sells.

So, if your company sells gourmet soaps, you’d want your website to pop up in the #1 position whenever anyone searches for “gourmet soaps.”

SEO is an effective way to drive web traffic and generate more sales. But it’s a tough and complicated field that can have a relatively steep learning curve. However, just incorporating basic SEO principles on your website can significantly boost your online presence. You can do a lot with very little.

2. Online Review Tools

Digital marketing has become one of the most popular and effective ways to promote a business. When it comes to digital marketing, many companies focus exclusively on SEO, paid ads, and social media outreach.

It’s all too easy to forget about review sites. These are websites or web tools that allow users to rate your business based on their experience with your product or service. Notable review sites include Yelp, Google, and Tripadvisor.

We can’t stress enough the importance of online reviews. Bad reviews on these sites can severely hurt small business. If you don’t have many reviews posted on your company’s page, just a few bad ones can convince people to spend their money elsewhere. That’s why it’s important to do two things.

First, make sure you have a great core product, and that you and your employees always maintain friendly and helpful customer service. Second, do your best to convince happy customers to post good reviews online.

If you notice that a customer is satisfied, ask them to spread the word about your company by posting a review on one of the review sites.

3. Social Media

If you own a small business, you’ve got to have social media pages. At the very least, you should have a business page on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Social media can help you generate word of mouth about your business.

If someone loves your product or service, they might be inclined to post about, and that’ll expose your company to all of their followers.

If you feel confident that you have a very unique product, you could invite social media influencers to come and try your product for free in exchange for posting about it.

Social media influencers are personalities on social media who have hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of followers. Having your product featured on one of those accounts could mean that your product is exposed to thousands of potential new customers.

4. Task Management Software

The prior 3 tools are used primarily for marketing. Here are a few tools that you can use to help you manage your business and maintain an efficient and communicative work environment.

Use task management software, like Asana, to ensure that all tasks in the office are being accomplished. You can use task management software to:

  • Designate tasks to specific employees
  • Assign tasks for specific days
  • Track the progress of tasks

When you use task management software, you and your employees will know exactly what tasks need to be accomplished on a given month, week, or day so that nothing gets forgotten about it and there’s no confusion about which employee needs to do it.

It’s a great way to keep a handle on your workload.

5. Online Messaging Software

Use online messaging to foster communication in the office. This is very helpful if your company has a wide workspace where not everyone is the immediate vicinity of each other.

There are a ton of different online messaging programs on the market, like Slack, GroupMe, and Google Hangouts. Use these programs to send memos to employees, or to communicate with employees who you’re unable to reach in person.

You can even create subgroups for different departments.

smallbiztoolsRunning a small business will never be easy, but you can earn higher profits or streamline your workflow all by using these 5 simple tools.