As a business owner myself, I know how important it is to stay organized and on top of things. Back in the day, paper planners and notebooks were all that we had to sort out the inner workings of our businesses and keep all of our thoughts organized. Luckily today, there are more apps and programs than ever before to help you streamline your business and make your day-to-day life easier as an entrepreneur.
However, as more and more apps and systems hit the market, you might end up overwhelmed with all of the options laid out in front of you. Spending even 10 minutes in a few Facebook groups will have you questioning every platform you’ve landed on. Should I use Trello or ClickUp? What is the best communication tool? How should I send my invoices? Where do I even start?
Honestly, my head spins just thinking about the number of options that are thrown around daily. I’ve tried my hand at more of them than I’d like to admit, so I’m here to set the record straight and round up the top 5 apps or programs that you NEED to use in your business to streamline, automate, and reduce the headache that can come along with being a business owner.
- Communication: There are a ton of tools out there, but I personally prefer Voxer. This is a free app on your phone (with a paid option, of course) that allows you to “text” back and forth with your team or clients without having to share your personal phone number. Voxer doesn’t stop there though– this app also allows you to record voice messages and send them back and forth so your passion and tone can be heard and lessen the chance of being misunderstood.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): If you are an online-based small business and you don’t have a CMS setup, you are wasting precious time every time you chase down a new lead, rewrite a contract, or send a proposal. Enter in: Dubsado. This platform is AMAZING! Between the automatic workflows you can set up and the endless customization, there is nothing like it on the market. Don’t be fooled by other CMS platforms that offer a “drag and drop” setup, in the long run, you will want to put the effort into learning and using Dubsado so you can provide a top-tier experience for your clients.
- Project Management: This might not be a popular opinion, but all Project Management Systems have their pros and cons; anyone who tells you anything else isn’t telling the full truth. I personally use ClickUp and LOVE it, but I understand how it might not be for everyone. ClickUp has a lot of personalization and options that might overwhelm someone when they are just starting out. However, this is the exact reason that I love using it! If I need to see what my team is up to in a list form, 1 click and done. If I want to see what is coming up due on a calendar view, 1 click and done. I can embed documents, save files, and even chat with my team directly in their folders. I swear it is like magic!
- Screen Recording: This might seem a bit more abstract of a category, but if you are a service provider, you’ve likely needed to record your screen a time or two– if not more. My favorite way to do this is to use Loom screen recorder. Loom has a website based platform, but also offers a browser extension so you can save time and not have to go back and forth between websites. Once you’ve recorded your screen, it saves all of your videos to a cloud so you can easily share what you’ve recorded with others. Another fun feature that sets Loom apart is the comment function that those who watch your video can use while following along to give feedback at specific points or react with emojis. This makes the training or consultation process a breeze!
- Virtual Meeting Platform: Hands down the MVP of 2020 and beyond is my good friend Zoom. Sure, Google has been trying to close in on the virtual meeting world with Google Hangouts, but between the video quality, features, and overall user-friendly nature of the Zoom platform, Google doesn’t stand a chance. While this program allows me to meet with clients, record my meetings, host webinars, and more, it also allows me to connect with my family in a secure and private setting without having to worry about someone dropping in uninvited. Zoom really stepped their game up in the midst of COVID-19 and I’ve been really impressed!
My favorite Systems
So there you have it, a full rundown on my favorite systems and why I prefer them over their competitors. As mentioned earlier, every system has an “ideal user” so we might not see eye to eye on some of these platforms– but that’s okay! At the end of the day, you have to find the setup that works best FOR YOU. Hopefully, this roundup helps you figure out your perfect combination quickly and painlessly.
Do you have any favorite apps or systems you love to use in your business? Comment down below and tell me what platform and why! Who knows, maybe you can change my mind!
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