It’s challenging to get your business off the ground, Technology has speedily become a small business owner’s best friend in the last 10 years. Whether it is Finance, Technology, or any business, technology has leveled the playing field, making it possible for small businesses to compete with the big players. Businesses of all sizes now have access to the same technology that is helping to improve productivity and sales.
17 Tools You Need to Start a Small Business
1 Online business plan services
The key to any successful business is having a solid plan in place to follow. One option many entrepreneurs turn to for assistance is online business plan services. The online business services provide several tools and templates needed to transform a good idea into a profitable venture.
Here is the list:
- LivePlan – Over 1 million small businesses use LivePlan for business planning, forecasting, and financial management.
- BizPlan Builder – Create a Strong Business Plan in 1/2 The Time w/ Twice The Impact.
- PlanHQ – Create your perfect business plan · Whenever, wherever. With a cloud-based tool, you can work on your plan from any of your connected devices
2 Web Hosting Services
To get a website up and running, a Web hosting service is required. The web hosting services store the files that make up a website on a data server, which then uploads them directly to the Web. That provides an Internet connection and a way for consumers to access the website through their choosing domain name.
Here is the list of web hosting providers
- InMotion Hosting
- 1&1 IONOS
- A2 Hosting
3 Shopping Cart Software
Having a well-designed website is good for business but it is only half the equation for online businesses that want to sell their products and services. To accept payments from customers through a website, the website must have good shopping cart software.
Shopping cart software should be designed to offer credit card processing, as well as check, PayPal, or other methods of processing payments.
Shopping cart software should also provide calculation tools for calculating the costs of shipping and taxes.
Here is the list of shopping cart services:
- Lob Address Verification
- Scribble Funnels
- Lightspeed Retail
- Magento Commerce
- PayPal Commerce Platform
- Stitch Labs
4 Credit card processing
In today’s world especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, cash is no longer king. Shoppers are habitual now with debit and credit cards, and they expect to use them everywhere.
Credit card processing services allow small businesses to accept all forms of payment, such as major credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks, and traditional checks, anywhere and anytime for the ease of customers.
The credit card processing services also use encryption technology to secure each shopper’s personal information and protecting it.
Here is the list of credit card processing services:
- Merchant One
- Payment Depot
- National Processing
- Flagship Merchant Services
- Chase Merchant Services
5 POS system
For retail businesses, POS systems are mandatory now and they offer packages that include terminals, monitors, barcode scanners, cash drawers, card readers, keyboards, receipt printers, and retail software.
For restaurants especially, POS systems usually include touch-screen monitors, terminals, receipt printers, cash drawers, card readers, and restaurant software.
Few POS systems provide dedicated services for other types of businesses, such as salons and grocery stores.
Here is the list of the top three POS systems
- Epos Now
- Upserve POS
- Revel Systems
- Heartland POS
6 Time tracking and management software
Time tracking and management software monitor what is being accomplished by the team so business managers can better and easily manage the time and productivity of their employees.
Time tracking & Management software monitors plus records employee hours, including work hours, vacation time, sick leave, overtime, and projects.
Here is the list of top time tracking and management software products.
- QuickBooks Time
- When I Work
7 Online Data Storage
Online storage services help small businesses to store their files online, if something happens to the computer, including accidental erasures, hard drive failures, and theft. Since the data is being stored online in the cloud, online data storage services also give small business owners the convenience of being able to access their files from anywhere with an Internet connection.
8 Online project management software
Small business owners always need a little help staying on track. Online project management software provides a way to efficiently organize and manage complex projects from start to finish.
Online project management software allows project managers to manage and allocate resources to team members, external resources, generic resources, documents, and physical assets. It also provides tools for teams to communicate and ways for clients to view reports and status updates.
Here are the top three online project management software products
MailChimp is an excellent tool for small businesses, to excite and entertain their current clientele. MailChimp tool helps you to create email newsletters to distribute to your list of current contacts. Without much tech or design experience, users can easily create a visually pleasing E-blast that will grab the reader’s attention and hold onto it. Sending these newsletters regularly can help keep your current database undated on your new projects and can send a huge traffic flow to your website.
New small businesses may be dealing with overseas clients and time differences, but with Skype, exorbitant phone fees are a thing of the past. MailChimp is a helpful tool to send documents instantly, even during a call. The phone, video, and chat multi-tools combine to make a powerful social structure and an even stronger business tool.
LinkedIn has dramatically changed the workplace meetup structure. Small businesses looking to source the best new talent for their startups now have access to not only their networks but also the networks of their contacts.
Quora has established itself as a pivotal resource for gaining information, informal polling, and voicing your own opinions publically. Simply you have just to create a free account and post your first question or answer. You can follow topics that interest you to gain access to exciting conversations in your line of work, or you can start a feed yourself and see how the topic develops.
Zoom is one of the more popular small business video conferencing apps on the market. Its free plan lets you host unlimited 1:1 meetings or group meetings of up to 100 participants with a 40-minute limit, and includes custom meeting IDs and screen-sharing capabilities in HD.
Semrush offers solutions for SEO, PPC, content, social media, and competitive research. Trusted by over 7000000 marketers worldwide.
Stay creative with your marketing campaigns & content. Semrush will take care of the data.
Semrush is an all-in-one tool suite for improving online visibility and discovering marketing insights. SEMrush tools and reports can help marketers that work in the following services: SEO, PPC, SMM, Keyword Research, Competitive Research, PR, Content Marketing, Marketing Insights, Campaign Management.
15 Google Docs
When it comes to sharing files and collaborating on documents, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are the way to go. Files are stored in your Google Drive and are a great way to avoid those endless emails while collaborating on various documents.
16 Google Analytics
Google appears once again on this list because its capabilities are great and free. Google Analytics shows you how and where your customers are coming to your website. This allows you to enhance your marketing strategy to generate more leads.
Hiring a professional graphic designer is a costly expense and one that you will not be able to afford immediately. With Canva, you have pre-formatted templates for everything. Including social media banners, marketing flyers, events, documents (presentations, letters, reports, etc.), and more. Canva is very easy to use and the results are amazing!
Starting a business is a daunting task for anyone. Most aspiring entrepreneurs just starting have to worry about spending whatever funds they have wisely to make the most of them.
Just implementing a bunch of tools doesn’t guarantee success. You need to be strategic about how you operate your business.