Business

Must-Have Tech for your Online Business in 2021

  1. Calendly 

Is the best automated scheduling system for you and everyone you meet. Calendly allows you to take full control over your scheduling experience with it’s highly customizable options There is honestly nothing this software can’t schedule. 

  1. Quick books 

Set this up to automatically sync with your bank account and automatically track every purchase you make for your business. Create filters and rules to make accounting at the end of the year a piece of cake Your online business is up and running like clockwork, and it’s starting to make some real money. Now time for the fun part — bookkeeping. Accounting might not be as exciting as launching an inventive email campaign, but it’s still essential if you want to stay in business.Freshbooks is an all-in-one online business accounting tool that will handle everything from payment acceptance to invoices and expense reports. With plans as low as $6 a month, it’s one of the most affordable bookkeeping tools on the market when first starting an online business.

  1. Asana 

Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or working with a team Asana is the ultimate to-do list. As a startup it’s crucial to track your processes – The only thing a successful business has to offer is its systems! Use this free tool to track, assign and organize all of it. 

  1. Later.com 

If you’re ever ran a social media account you know that it can feel like a full time job within itself. Later.com is the all in one scheduling platform that allows you to send only a few hours a month on your instagram, facebook and pinterest pages that gives you the option to automatically post or get set to your phone as a notification. It provides hashtag recommendations, in app picture editing and my favorite feature is a preview of your instagram posts so you can make sure it flows nicely together

  1. LivePlan for Business Planning

Having a good idea for an online business is the first step to launching your career as an online entrepreneur. Making a solid business plan for that killer idea is second. There are a number of great tools out there that can help you make a business plan and lay out the blueprint to turn your idea into a profitable venture. For example, LivePlan starts at $11.66 per month and walks users through each step of the business planning process and has over 500 different business templates to ensure that users find the perfect one for their business venture

  1. WordPress, Squarespace or Wix for content management 

Now that you’ve got your web hosting in place, it’s time to choose a content management tool to build and maintain your online presence. WordPress is obviously the best-known and for good reason. It’s incredibly customizable and comes with an array of free resources, tools, and plug-ins that can be applied as your business grows.Squarespace is another popular website content management platform that many newbies will probably find a little easier to use than WordPress. No coding required! Both products have several levels of pricing, with Squarespace starting at $12 a month and WordPress at $8 per month. Really, you can’t go wrong with either one.

  1. Weave, Mailchimp or MailMunch for Customer Communication

In regards to communicating with your customers, there are far more ways today than there were even 15 years ago. The online businesses that excel at customer communication are the ones that are going to succeed. Communication for online businesses needs to be both streamlined and natural, which is what makes Weave such a great tool that allows you to automate your customer communication with texting, appointment scheduling, and payment reminders. For email, Mailchimp and MailMunch are two wonderful and affordable online business tools for growing and maintaining your email list. Both have customizable features, such as allowing for custom landing pages and automatic syncing of email and newsletter campaigns.

6. Upwork or Fiverr for Outsourcing Tasks

There are going to be parts of your online business that you’re just too busy to dedicate the required time or aren’t quite skilled enough to handle. In the beginning, hiring a full-time employee to handle those tasks might not be feasible.

Whether it’s logo design, copywriting, software development, or SEO strategy, you can probably find a skilled freelancer to tackle the job on Upwork. The platform guides business owners through the freelancer hiring process all the way up through job payment and has qualified candidates around the globe.

To get started with outsourcing, check out this article.

8. Shopify or Stripe for Shopping Cart Software

If you’re going to be selling any goods or services through your online business, you’ll need a way of accepting payment from customers. This is one area of your online business where making things as easy as possible for your customers is going to literally pay off.

The second customers run into a glitch while trying to make a payment, you can expect a loss of sales. If your online business is going to be something in the retail sector, you really can’t go wrong with Shopify. At just $29 a month, it will provide tools to cover everything from social media management to website design, and, of course, payment processing.

Other sorts of online businesses may want to look into Stripe. It has a strong reputation for making payment processing easy and secure, and with a flat rate of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, and it doesn’t saddle business owners or their customers with a bunch of hidden fees.

9. ShippingEasy or AfterShip for Product Shipping

While eCommerce isn’t something that’s going to apply to all online businesses, for those that do fall under this category, a smooth delivery of the product is crucial. Two tools that online business entrepreneurs should consider using are ShippingEasy and AfterShip.

Both services help business owners find the best shipping rates, manage inventory fulfillment deadlines, as well as provide customer reassurance like automated tracking and SMS notifications about order updates. Even better, for businesses with fewer than 50 shipments a month, both tools are free.

Conclusion

Because every business is unique in its own way, not all of these tools will apply to your online business. As your business grows, you’ll likely find that the tools needed to get the job done will change. For starting an online business, though, the above categories and their respective tools are a great place to start.

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