Wondering what tools other people use to run their business? Looking for recommendations of business tools that are tried, tested, and highly recommended?
Here’s mine; alphabetically.
This post includes some affiliate links, so I may receive some compensation if you sign up via the links provided. Some of these also mean I can offer a discount/bonus when you sign up via my link! My recommendations are 100% based on the business tools I personally use.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Canva by now, but if you haven’t, it’s a free/cheap user-friendly online/app-based design software. This allows anyone to create designs with minimal design experience, and a whole bunch of templates and graphics to play with!
Note: Canva is more limited in functionality than professional design software, so issues can arise when you try to get documents printed by professional printers. Canva also retains the intellectual property ownership of all graphics/etc, so make sure you check their licensing info if you’re using it for things like logos, or anything you plan to sell.
Offer: Get a free month of Canva Pro
Dubsado is my primary CRM. It doesn’t have the best UX (user experience), but it is incredibly robust, and I love their proposal/contract/invoice pipeline!
Offer: Get 20% off your first payment (if you choose an annual plan, that means 20% off the first whole year!). You also get a 3-client trial.
Should Etsy be on a list of business tools? Debateable, but it’s here. I’m not gonna lie, there are ethical issues around how Etsy treats its sellers, and the ever-increasing fees, but with over 90 million unique visitors a year, it can be a great marketing tool. Use it for stand-alone selling, or in addition to your own website (Etsy vs website comparison).
Offer: 40 free listings (note: listing fees are charged when you first list an item, and when it’s ‘re-listed’ after a sale)
Google Workspace (Email/everything)
Google Workspace is my top pick for business emails, and it’s basically a levelled-up Google account. In addition to linking custom domains, you get added business tools integrated into existing products, like recordings and transcripts on Google Meet video calls (no need to pay for Zoom as well!). I basically live out of Google Drive/Docs/Sheets, so I pay a lil extra for the plan with 2TB of cloud storage.
Link: Google Workspace
Liz’s Email Marketing Membership
Probably not technically a ‘tool’, but if you struggle with email marketing, then this is where you wanna be. Absolutely bonkers value-for-money at just US$9/mo.
Link: Liz’s Email Marketing Membership
MailerLite (Email Marketing)
Looking for an easy email marketing system to get started with? Step away from MailChimp and towards MailerLite. The pricing (and free plan) look similar at first glance, but MailerLite doesn’t charge you extra to use features like automation.
Moxie (formerly Hectic) is a new player in the CRM game, but they’re giving the older players a run for their money! In addition to the features you expect in a CRM (client info, sales pipelines, proposals, contracts, invoicing), it includes time-tracking, basic accounting functions, project management, scheduling, and a client portal – all of which are white-labelled on the Pro plan, so that your clients only ever see your domain & branding!
The only reason I’m not using it is that their proposals aren’t as pretty or robust as Dubsado’s yet, but they’re constantly updating and adding new features, so it’s prized to become one of the most valuable business tools available, and I expect I’ll be shifting over in the not-too-distant future.
Offer: Get a free month of Moxie Pro
Shopify is without doubt the best-value ecommerce website platform for small businesses (see my website platform comparisons). Between the ability to custom-code, a huge list of apps, and integrations with various business tools, there’s nothing you can’t do with it! They offer excellent 24/7 support, and it even includes free email marketing! You can also get their card reader for fully-integrated in-person selling.
If you’re starting to sell in-person but not ready to commit to something like a full EFTPOS set-up (or Shopify, to access their POS/payment options), then the Square reader is an easy way to get started taking card payments. It’s available via a huge number of retail outlets, so you don’t need to order online and wait for delivery. You can also set up a basic website through their system (see my website platform comparisons), and it includes other business tools like scheduling and invoicing.
Note: Square does not support businesses in the witchy/spiritual/occult realms, and will disable accounts without warning.
Offer: Your first $1000 processed fee-free
* Referral link comes from my other business, Nyx Apothecary
Offer: 10% off your first year
My go-to for time-tracking!
Link: Toggl Track
While I don’t recommend WordPress if you’re DIYing (see my website platform comparisons for why), if you’ve got the technical skills or support, WordPress is a really powerful CMS.
I’d love to hear what business tools you use and love in the comments!