How To Choose the Tools & Software For Your Small Business
If you are a small business owner, you get how confusing it can be to figure out how to choose the tools and software for your small business. There are so many options, most of them new to us when we start out!
I get how confusing it can be and have helped many clients wade through their options to find the right tools and software for their small businesses.
I have a quick methodology I run through to determine if something is a fit (and actually a need, not just a shiny object!) for them and my business that you can use too.
Run through these questions to decide how to choose the tools or software for your small business:
1. What “job” does this tool/software fill?
Can you truly think of what you will use it for? Or it just seems cool/nice to have? If you can’t assign it a tangible job (aka it’s just exciting), skip it for now, you can always come back later to see if now’s the time to add it.
2.How much time/frustration will this tool/software save you?
Using the jobs you listed above as a guide, try to assign an amount of time and/or frustration that will be saved if you use this.
For example, I used to spend roughly 5-10 minutes a day searching for/trying passwords to get into platforms - and then I got LastPass. Now they auto-fill. That’s time I’m not typing old passwords, getting frustrated, or losing momentum.
Try to gauge if the cost of the tool/software correlates to the amount of time/frustration saved. If it costs more, are you ok with that because you truly need this tool to complete a job? If it costs less, is it a no-brainer price, or is it something you could just keep doing?
3. Is this needed now?
It’s very common when we are new in business to think we need all the systems and tools that we see the bigger names using.
Don’t get sucked in. Can you do with a more basic version of something (or none at all!). It can feel like we are making progress when we buy things for our businesses, but don’t get that confused with real progress.
Do you really need the tool/software now? Or are you avoiding work or tackling necessary, hard tasks by trying to buy your way out?
The Tools and Software I use now (the things that passed the test!):
Google Workspace - to get the work done.
I literally couldn’t function without this. My email, documents, presentations, sheets, photos - all the typical Microsoft replacements - are here.
I also use this for client “portals” and sharing. I know some people like Dropbox for that, but I think Google Suite is where it’s at.
Dubsado - to schedule calls, send contracts and proposals, and invoice clients.
Dubsado is my CRM (customer relationship management system) and my go-to place to keep all my client-related information organized.
It’s similar to what Honeybook offers, but I found it a bit easier to set up for my business. I now use it for all my scheduling (it can replace Calendly and Acuity), proposals, contracts and signing, notes on clients, invoices, and payments. It’s an all-in-one!
Slack - to communicate with my team and clients.
Slack is an awesome tool in my opinion. It’s basically instant messaging, but you can organize it by project or client, control who sees what, and use it instead of email to get quick back and forth work done. I much prefer it over email, phone calls, or texts and it keeps me and my team agile.
Sked Social - to schedule out my social media posts.
As someone who schedules out most of her social media, I’ve found this the simplest, most comprehensive scheduler.
I love that it allows me to schedule almost everything on Instagram (yes, including Carousels, Videos, Reels, and IGTV), shows me calendar and visual views, and loads quickly.
Zoom - to communicate with clients, host webinars, and record courses.
We all use Zoom by now, right?
LastPass - to store my passwords securely (and out of my head/notebooks/random pieces of paper I’ll never find again).
Literally the easiest, most impactful change I made to my tech life. Plus, now I can share information with my team and clients securely in such a simple way.
Loom - to film quick screenshares.
Loom is one of my all time fave tools, it allows you to record yourself, your screen, or a combo so you can send quick how-tos, or “here’s what I’m seeing” videos to others. Try including
Streak - to organize my inbox.
I use my inbox to do a lot of client communication, pitching, and general back and forth. Streak helps me organize my inbox so I can keep track of where I am in the process with each person.
Looms in your emails too, it’s fun!
Namecheap - to keep my domain for my website.
You can get your domain through your hosting provider, like with Squarespace, and in that case this won’t be relevant for you.
But I’ve had a long running relationship with Namecheap and always found their domain prices the most fair. Plus they don’t try to rip you off on other products like I’ve found with some other domain providers. They are my go-to.
Siteground - to host my website securely.
I work with some really tech savvy people and they all host their sites on either Siteground or Squarespace - do I do too 😉
Squarespace - to host (and build) my and clients’ other websites.
If you don’t want to be on WordPress, my other preferred website host/builder is Squarespace.
It’s easy to use, best for simple sites, and is always my option for someone looking for a more “out of the box” option.
Alright, I hope you found this helpful! And of course, if you feel you need individual help with choosing your tools and software, that’s the perfect use of a Power Hour!
*Please note that some links are affiliate links, which means I may earn a little commission should you choose to purchase their product - the price is the same to you, it just supports me a little! Thank you!