When it comes to business, the best way to scale is to be organized. We collaborated with tech queen Jascha Mikka to provide you with a list of the best apps for creative business owners to use that will help streamline your systems, so that you can save time from manual work and focus more time on creative work.
Your calendar is the foundation of your business; knowing where your time is going and how to better maximize it is vital when scaling as a solopreneur. That’s why we recommend Google Calendar, as it gives you endless options to organize your business (and life)! You likely already have a Google Drive set up to store your files, and the Calendar comes as part of the Google Suite.
Whether you host big group meetings or just focus on 1:1s, you can save so much back and forth communication by creating an online calendar to show your availability, send automatic confirmation and reminder emails, and allow invitees to cancel or reschedule at their own convenience.
Why not try:
Calendly – Automated scheduling platform that makes finding time a breeze, meaning you can get more done. Free to use for one event, with paid plans starting from $8 per month.
Acuity Scheduling – Online appointment scheduling software where clients can schedule appointments, pay, and complete intake forms online 24/7. Try it free for 7 days, with paid plans starting from $14 per month.
Don’t forget to check out this post that takes you through the process of creating a seamless scheduling system!
Project management tools are a great way to keep track of exactly what tasks are involved in running your business. When set up properly, you can utilize the project management features to ensure you complete all tasks necessary to move the needle forward in your business. The best part is they are easily customizable to fit your business and perfect as you add more team members as you scale!
Why not try:
ClickUp – Manage everything with just one software, with thousands of integrations to easily import and sync so you can manage your projects in one place. Completely free to use for personal use, or upgrade from $5 a month.
Asana – Customize your setup to best fit your team so that you all can organize, track, and manage your work with hundreds of different integrations. Basic plans are free, or you can upgrade from $10.99 a month.
Monday.com – Cloud-based platform that allows you to manage your projects and create workflows that suit your business. Free for individual use, with paid plans starting from $8 per seat a month.
Customer Relationship Management
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool helps you manage your business relationships through the full journey, from leads to clients to offboarding. You can collect lead information via intake forms, create and send proposals, collect payments, and send emails all in one place.
Why not try:
HoneyBook – Offers everything you need to get business done, from managing projects, booking clients, and sending invoices. Sign up for a free 7-day trial then pay only $39 a month (or get two months free when you pay annually).
Dubsado – A business management solution designed to cut out busy work. Build relationships, schedule appointments, and create workflows to streamline your processes. Paid plans start from $20 a month.
A great way to expand brand awareness is to have a professional website that you can easily create with no code. Many websites include drag-and-drop features that make designing your website the way you want easy as pie. Plus, many talented folks out there create templates you can purchase so that all the work is done for you!
Why not try:
Squarespace – All you need to create a beautiful website with no coding. Browse their modern, elegant templates or buy one from a talented web designer. Get started with a free 14-day trial with paid plans starting from $14 a month (but keep an eye out on their website for frequent 20% off codes).
Shopify – An eCommerce platform popular with many small businesses. Perfect for product-based businesses to process orders, easily customizable website builder, and social media integration. Free 14-day free trial with paid plans starting from $29 a month.
Email marketing is a must-have for all businesses. Best used for collecting email addresses from lead magnets and nurturing your audience directly to their inbox (without pesky intervention from any algorithms).
Why not try:
Flodesk – The newest email marketing service provider that’s built for creators, by creators. Create and send beautiful on-brand emails and opt-in forms, segment your audience into different lists, and create automated workflows. Free for 30 days, then pay one flat rate of $39 a month, forever, no matter how big your list grows (and if you want your first year half price, use this code!)
ConvertKit – A marketing hub for businesses to help you grow and monetize your audience with ease. Free for email lists with under 300 subscribers, with plans starting from $9 as you grow.
ActiveCampaign – Small to medium sized businesses can save hours a day by using this platform for automating their email marketing. Also offers split testing and custom form building. Plans start from $9 a month for email lists with under 500 subscribers.
One way to save time as a small business owner is to batch and schedule your content once a week, instead of creating and posting on the go. Many scheduling platforms also allow saving your commonly used hashtag groups, automating the first comments, and tagging locations or other accounts.
Why not try:
Creator Studio – Lets businesses and creators manage posts, insights, and direct messages from all of your Facebook and Instagram pages in one place. Completely free to use!
Planoly – A dashboard that lets you manage your posts and content visually before posting it live on Instagram. Drag and drop your photos and videos around to visually see how they will look on your feed. Personal plans are completely free for one user, or upgrade to a paid plan starting from $11.25.
Later – An all-in-one social marketing platform to help you plan, analyze, and publish your content in a few clicks. Personalized insights, hashtag tools to help you reach new people, and an option to build a Linkin.bio page tp help you drive traffic from your posts. A free plan lets you schule up to 10 posts at a time, or you can upgrade starting from $18 a month.
We hope this list helps you get more productive in your business than ever. These aren’t every single tool available out there, but they are the most user-friendly and easiest to get support with from customer service or business besties who are likely familiar with them as well. And don’t forget all of these platforms have web AND mobile versions, so that you can work in whichever way suits you. Now go forth and create!
If you need an extra hand in cultivating healthy productivity, check out our membership, Magnetic Makers! We have tons of tools, workshops, and brainstorming sessions that will help you stay focused and creative in your business.