7 Tools Small Businesses Need to Start the Year Off Right

Every busi­ness and brand needs tools to help them work smarter — not hard­er! Our list of tried and true busi­ness tools will opti­mize your time and pro­duce bet­ter results for your brand’s efforts!

7 Tools Small Businesses Need  to Start the Year Off Right

It’s a fresh new year! What­ev­er we’ve all been through in 2020, it’s hard not to look ahead and plan what we want to do — and how to do it bet­ter. The busi­ness tools list­ed below are ones we use and love for what it’s done for our pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, ease of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and busi­ness growth. We can’t wait for you to dive in! 

Adobe Spark: Every brand needs Spark in their life! Adobe Spark makes it easy for you and your team to pro­mote your brand or busi­ness with stun­ning graph­ics, videos, and ani­ma­tions. Start quick­ly from thou­sands of beau­ti­ful tem­plates. Cre­ate on mobile and desk­top and resize for any social plat­form in just one tap. Make all your and your team’s con­tent look and feel con­sis­tent with Spark’s award-win­ning, pow­er­ful brand­ing capa­bil­i­ties!  

LinkedIn Learn­ing: Whether you’ve been impact­ed by this eco­nom­ic down­turn or want to uplev­el your exper­tise, check out the incred­i­ble resource offered by LinkedIn, Microsoft, and GitHub! You can take 10 dif­fer­ent learn­ing paths fea­tur­ing sev­er­al excel­lent cours­es by my fel­low LinkedIn Instruc­tors. A few exam­ples to train for are: Soft­ware Devel­op­er, Project Man­ag­er, Dig­i­tal Mar­keter, and Graph­ic Design­er!  P.S. My Col­or Trends course is fea­tured in the Graph­ic Design­er Learn­ing Path. Watch it for FREE. 

Plan­nThat: This is our favorite tool to plan and sched­ule con­tent on Insta­gram, Face­book and LinkedIn. With it you can cre­ate a cohe­sive feed or fold­ers with your media files, and even devel­op a col­or-cod­ed con­tent strat­e­gy along with hash­tag sets. There’s both a free and paid ver­sion. 

Dub­sa­do: We LOVE this client rela­tion­ship man­age­ment system(CRM). Cre­ate pass­word-pro­tect­ed client por­tals, send pro­pos­als, sign con­tracts, access an auto­mat­ed sched­uler for those meet­ings, sched­ule auto­mat­ed emails and work­flows to save you hours, han­dle pay­ments, and so much more! The free ver­sion allows up to 3 clients, and the paid ver­sion is incredible!

Zoho: We also use Zoho Social to coor­di­nate and track our social media ana­lyt­ics. While there are no media file fold­er capa­bil­i­ties like with Plan­nThat, we love the visu­als that Zoho pro­vides to our social media chan­nels as a whole. We get an entire overview of our brand health in ONE spot.

Fresh­books: This is cloud account­ing mag­ic! If Quick­books takes you for an upside-down head­spin, Fresh­books is there to save you! Their focus is on empow­er­ing small busi­ness­es. They strate­gi­cal­ly pin­point their user expe­ri­ence to those needs. It auto­mates invoic­ing by actu­al­ly fill­ing them out and send­ing them for you! And it keeps track of your expens­es — no more shoe­box of receipts. Your CPA will love it as much as you do. 

Trel­lo: If Slack makes you feel lost in the com­ments space and crave visu­al orga­ni­za­tion, we rec­om­mend Trel­lo. This is the hub where we man­age our main con­tent cal­en­dar, work­flow for client projects, and video train­ing for the team, mak­ing on-board­ing new team mem­bers a breeze.

We want to spare you all the time and cost of exper­i­ment­ing and instead ben­e­fit from what we’ve learned to be the most effec­tive and user-friend­ly for you and your team! We hope it gives you that need­ed boost as we leave 2020 behind and start a brand new year! 

About the Author

Nicte Cuevas, Principal of Nicte Creative Design, empowers mission-driven businesses through strategic design & branding. Nicte has applied this when working with Adobe Spark and Twitter Business, LinkedIn Learning, Dogs on Deployment and Purina, Girl Scouts, The Houston Zoo and The Contemporary Arts Museum. Her excellence in communication design & marketing has been recognized by multiple national / international awards, including a coveted feature in Graphic Design USA's People to Watch.

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