The creative part of running an online business is exhilarating, especially when its requirements and your unique gifts align. Selecting the tools you’re going to use to scale your business can be more challenging — there are hundreds from which to choose. Luckily, there are several new online tools that won’t require you to download an app and will make your life much easier. Here are a few of the most helpful.
The website for your business is launched, and you’re proud of it. That’s an achievement! It’s just as important, though, to keep track of how it’s performing on search engines. Some companies employ SEO (search engine optimization) specialists who command high rates. If you’re not in that position, it’s best to go an alternate route. First, make sure that you’re doing everything possible on the back end of your site to optimize your SEO; most website builders have tools built right into their dashboards. Then, input your URL into a free online analyzer to get a comprehensive view of how your website is performing SEO-wise, and what you can do to improve it.
Having top-of-the-line graphic design will immediately enhance your business’s image and make you stand out from the crowd. Employing a graphic designer for your online identity is useful but often cost-prohibitive. A high percentage of graphics tools have moved or developed completely online in recent years; many have professional-quality templates that are simple to use and produce eye-catching results. Don’t have a logo yet? Not to worry! An online logo generator can help you create an excellent design in minutes.
Team and Project Management Tools
Emailing will never go completely out of style — but there are several online team and project management tools that can make communication more productive, enjoyable, and efficient. Gone are the days of needing to track down every single communication thread. Google Drive has been around for quite a while and is satisfactory for many; newer team management tools like Slack and Asana integrate a social media-like interface to encourage spontaneous collaboration. Online project management tools (often called CRMs, or customer relationship management tools) streamline every stage of the business-customer relationship and many provide useful integration into Quickbooks or whatever accounting tool suits you best.
Keeping your work as distraction-free as possible is vital to growing a successful business. Productivity tools range from simple to full-featured, and can make a real difference in how much quality work you get accomplished. Need a simple all-in-one distraction blocker? The Freedom browser extension can help keep you in line. Evernote is a comprehensive virtual file cabinet/bulletin board (and much more!) that’s visually stunning and can help you organize your tasks and minimize interferences.
High-Quality Stock Photo Sites
Original, professional-quality photography for your online presence and printed material is ideal — seeing actual representations of you and your business builds trust and connection with customers. Sometimes it’s not possible to acquire all-original photography for every aspect of your business — it’s good to have a quality stock photography site bookmarked in case you need it. Try Unsplash for free, artistic, royalty-free images that can help enhance your brand identity.
There’s no shortage of valuable, easy-to-use online tools that’ll help your business run smoothly and productively. Try these suggestions to get started!