Small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) have unprecedented opportunities to thrive in today's fast-paced and digitally driven world, but without the proper resources, it can be difficult. Luckily, there are hundreds of effective small business tools to help you streamline operations, enhance communication and boost overall productivity. Here, we’ll explore the some tools for small businesses and what they’re used for.
Some of the most essential tools for small businesses are those that help streamline communication and collaboration. Some of the most popular options for this include:
Slack is a platform designed for real-time instant messaging between teams. It helps you to organize conversations through various channels and improve project collaboration. Some features of Slack include file sharing, direct messaging, project-specific spaces and integration with a range of third-party applications. You can even set your status to alert others of your current availability. Various versions of Slack, from Free to Business+, offer different price points and features.
Microsoft Teams is another useful small business tool for SMBs. It offers chat, video conferences, file sharing and direct messaging. Like Slack, Microsoft Teams chats can be split into channels for optimal organization and collaboration. It can also fully integrate with other Microsoft programs, such as Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Outlook.
Zoom is one of the most popular options for video conferencing and online meetings. It allows SMBs to connect with remote workers, distant clients and diverse teams worldwide. You can use Zoom for screen sharing, webinars and breakout rooms. There are also options to record meetings so they can be shared after the fact.
Small to medium-sized businesses tend to operate in fast-paced environments that can be a little chaotic. To help keep things organized, consider some of these project management tools for small businesses:
Trello is an online project management tool that allows you to visualize progress on various projects. It’s designed to help simplify task management through boards, lists and cards. The layout is user-friendly and helps promote collaboration and teamwork while adhering to various deadlines.
Asana is another option for online project management and organization. This small business tool can help local or international teams organize their projects, assign and manage tasks and create a seamless workflow that helps businesses work towards their goals.
Notion is a workspace that allows users to take notes directly in the app to be used more efficiently for task management and collaboration. It’s extremely versatile and can be used for everything from simple notes to complex databases. Notion also uses strong security measures to help keep sensitive information secure.
Customer support is essential for small to medium-sized businesses, as it can help increase your overall brand image, company reputation and word-of-mouth referrals. Some great small business tools for that include:
An option for SMBs is Freshdesk. This business tool helps to streamlining customer support with automated tasks and ongoing analytics.
HubSpot has a ton of great small business tools that can be accessed. The HubSpot CRM is a free customer relationship management tool. It can be used to help manage customer interactions but is also great for tracking leads and nurturing ongoing relationships.
To help advertise business efforts, SMBs need a good marketing strategy. Since hiring an entire team to do this can be difficult when you’re just starting, supplementing your efforts can help. Another important part of running your SMB is email marketing. While some people find it an outdated tactic, email marketing remains one of the most effective aspects of digital marketing. Some great marketing and automation small business tools include:
Beyond its CRM capabilities, HubSpot offers marketing automation tools for email campaigns, lead nurturing and content management. When used strategically, it can be one of the most powerful tools for online lead generation.
Canva is great for SMBs who don’t have an in-house designer. It’s a user-friendly platform that helps you easily create eye-catching graphics, social media visuals and marketing materials that can be used for a range of projects. Just make sure you stick to your company’s brand guidelines to help you develop a stronger brand image.
A user-friendly platform for email marketing campaigns, Mailchimp offers templates, automation and analytics to help small businesses connect with their audience.
Constant Contact supports email marketing and event promotion by providing customizable templates and list management. It’s been used for years and continues to adapt to the increasing demand of digital marketing efforts.
Social media can make or break a business these days, so it’s worth putting some effort into it. However, you might not want to spend all of your time managing your platforms. To help, consider some of these great social media management tools:
SMBs who want to maintain a strong social media presence need to post regularly and engage with their audiences. Hootsuite is a great option to help and can provide unique insight into your efforts.
Similar to Hootsuite, Buffer allows scheduling and publishing content across multiple social media platforms. This can help your small business maintain consistency on social media to help build your audience and monitor social engagement. Buffer is often considered an all-you-need social media toolkit for small businesses.
Later was designed specifically for visual content. It focuses on scheduling and organizing your Instagram grid, Pinterest and other posts saturated with images. It also helps you by telling you the best time to reach your audience for maximum effect.
Creating, designing and launching a great website will help you build your online presence, but it’s not something you should just create and then forget about. Tracking website performance allows you to see what’s working and what’s not so you can make changes that propel your business forward. Some of the best tools for website performance and analytics include:
Google Analytics is one of the leading tools to help you understand your website performance and customer behaviors. It can track website traffic, analyze user behavior and measure engagement metrics. Google Analytics also provides valuable insights to optimize online strategies.
Hotjar is a unique way to look at how people interact with your website. It uses heatmaps and session recordings to see where people go when they arrive at your site. It can also integrate user surveys to help SMBs better understand how people are affected by your content.
Semrush is considered an all-in-one tool suite for improving online visibility and discovering marketing insights. It provides competitive analysis and keyword research to maximize your search engine optimization efforts and drive organic traffic.
Accounting and payroll can be challenging for SMBs. You should consider what you need in accounting software. To help with accounting functions consider some of these tools:
QuickBooks is an accounting software that many small businesses utilize. It includes things like invoicing, expense tracking and reporting and can help SMBs stay organized.
FreshBooks is a user-friendly, cloud-based accounting software. Like QuickBooks, it helps with invoicing, expense management and time tracking.
Rather than trying to hire an entire in-house HR team, consider outsourcing to a professional employer organization instead. TriNet is a comprehensive human resources company providing SMBs with comprehensive HR solutions.
SMBs require a lot of work, but plenty of small business tools can help you along the way. For access to a team of HR experts and countless features that complement your SMB, work with TriNet. TriNet offers access to big company benefits while providing support and resources to help navigate complex employment-related rules and requirements along the way. TriNet provides help with payroll processing, compliance and risk mitigation and can be integrated with certain accounting or bookkeeping software. This can help keep SMBs functioning efficiently and smoothly. Learn more about how TriNet can help today.
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