No matter what the industry or product is, there’s one thing all businesses have in common: the bottom line. After all, entrepreneurs wouldn’t choose to start a business if it didn’t make them money. Sometimes, a business needs a boost to reach its goals and impact its bottom line in a positive way. If this sounds familiar to your situation, don’t let outdated systems bring down your success or your profits. Elevate your business to the next level by utilizing free and paid services that can streamline your operations and improve customer relations.
Take control of your business’s bookkeeping with an inexpensive program like Quickbooks for payroll, payments, and bills, or check out Wave for a similar service that’s free. If your company processes sales transactions use an all-in-one credit card machine for your payment system to help simplify operations. One gadget can do it all: ring it up, get you paid, and print receipts. You’ll have to pay a nominal fee for each transaction, but an updated machine could help your bottom line by preventing loss of revenue.
Customer relationship management, or CRM, is made easier with dedicated software. This business tool manages relationships with existing and prospective customers. Salesforce is a leader in CRM software, with the ability to streamline sales, service, analytics, marketing, commerce, integration, engagement, partnerships, and more. The plans start at $25 per month, but the value that you get out of it for your business and sales operations is priceless.
Email blasts are a great way to directly market to your client list with curated content, personalized communications, and product offers. MailChimp offers email automation and segmentation for free and costs up to $199 per month for advanced tools. There are also many options for paid email marketing services, such as Constant Contact, Hubspot, and Infusionsoft.
Social media marketing is a valuable tool for business owners who want to reach their target demographic. To cast a wide net, your business should have a profile on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. A benefit of social media is that it’s free to use, but if you want to get the most out of it, it might cost you money. Create an online presence for your business and develop a social media strategy that includes a posting schedule to keep your accounts active. For $29 a month, you can streamline your social media with an integrative platform like Hootsuite, which can increase online engagement and connect you with fans and customers.
With everything existing in a cloud space, you and your team can create and access files on any device from anywhere. Microsoft Office 365 has graduated from the desktop and is now available as a cloud-based subscription starting at $8.25 per month. Office can handle all of your business’s word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, emails, and more. G-Suite has similar functions for businesses for as low as $5 per user per month, but you can also use Google Drive for free if your needs are basic.
To streamline communications internally and with clients, check out online meeting software, such as GoToMeeting (starting at $14 per month) or Skype’s free video conferencing. If you need a digital hub and teamwork channels, your business could benefit from using Slack. Slack is perfect for collaborating and sharing information among teams, with prices ranging from free to $12.50 per user per month.
Starting and running a business is no easy task. From product development to product delivery, customer acquisition to customer retention, operations to advertising, client satisfaction to employee management, financial expenses to profit…there’s a lot that goes into a business. Don’t let money stop you from stepping up your game. You can easily find services for free, and when you do have to pay, the return is worth your investment.
Do you use any of the tools discussed in this post? Are there any tools we might have left out? If you have any questions about this post or any others, send us an email!