When you finally make the leap and start your business – whether its full time or a side hustle – there are a lot of decisions to make and business tools to set up. If you are anything like me, you are used to an employer providing all the tools you need from business cards to Outlook to a cell phone.
It’s critical to build a strong foundation to grow your business from.
Get your foundational business tools set up and ready to go in minutes with this list of easy to use must have tools for any business. My husband and I use these exact easy to use business tools to operate our independent businesses.
This contains affiliate links. If you click the link and make a purchase, I receive a commission at no additional cost to you.
7 Easy Tools to Build Your Business
1. G Suite. Change can be hard but now is the perfect time to break up with Outlook and move to G Suite. For only $5 a month you get an email address with your business name plus Google Docs, Google Drive and Calendar for business plus so much more. *I’m loving Google Forms and making easy free surveys with real-time result reporting and exports to Google Sheets.*
2. FreshBooks. One of the questions that comes up most often is about which bookkeeping solution to use. I’m not naturally a numbers person so I did the free trial for both the big-name bookkeeping program and then FreshBooks. Hands down FreshBooks was the winner. (You can learn more about why I recommend FreshBooks on my post How to Setup a Successful Bookkeeping System.)
3. Vistaprint. Even in today’s digital world physical business cards are still a must have. Vistaprint is the perfect simple to use low cost option. And they almost always have an offer for 500 cards under $10. Pro Tip: Spend just a few extra dollars and upgrade the paper quality.
4. Trello. Now that you are CEO of your own business, operating on sticky notes or in multiple paper notebooks isn’t going to cut it. Not only is Trello free, it’s simple to use cards and checklist allow all of your must do’s to exist in one place. Effortlessly plan and track your business goals, must do’s and personal life in one place. You can even use it to keep track of all the random brainstorm ideas that pop-up during the day.
5. Canva. Have you ever wondered how people make great Facebook event graphics and ads? Or Pinterest Pins? They use Canva, a free graphic design site that allows you to create professional looking marketing materials for your company. Make can also use it to make your logo, your letterhead and resize photos for easy social media uploading.
If you’d like to personalize Canva’s templates I encourage you to sign up for Simplifying DIY Design’s FREE Canva 101 Workshop and learn how to rock the basics of Canva. Kara’s easy to follow lessons are the perfect foundation for using Canva.
6. Google Voice. A business cell phone number separate from your personal cell number is a simple basic business tool for both productivity and privacy. Protect your time from telemarketers and the inevitable boundaryless client by having a free business cell phone number. Voicemail and text are also included for free. The phone number is portable if one day you want to transfer it to a paid cell phone plan.
7. Cooper. Using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management Software) to track, manage and grow your relationships and lead generation activities can have great results for a business no matter its size. Its simple to set up and use Cooper due to it being built for easy G Suite integration. If sales are your goal and you are used to using Salesforce, toss what you think you know about CRMs aside and give Cooper a try!
I recommend creating your G Suite, FreshBooks and Trello accounts first. Add your goals and must do list to Trello then use Canva to create your logo to upload to Vistaprint for your business cards. If you want to include your cell number on your business card don’t forget to grab your free Google Voice number.
Then set up Cooper and track all your client development activities. With its G Suite integration, Cooper does most of the work for you!
Don’t waste your time researching endless business basics while setting up the foundation of your business. This list will get you set up and ready to grow your business with simple and effective tools quickly.