Last week I wrote a post about software programs I use to efficiently run my small business, but once I started writing, I realized that it was WAY too much info to share in one post and so I decided on a series of posts to share.
These programs are great for small businesses that are service based or creative based and if you are a solopreneur manning the ship yourself, it's critical that you get systems in place so that you can be organized and efficiant!
Once you've read this post, you can check out Part 1 of Best Software Programs for your Small Business
Software Programs I Use to Efficiently Run my Small Business [Part 2]
I can't say it enough, but I LOVE Dropbox. My sanity lives and dies by my use of Dropbox.
Dropbox is secure file sharing system so that you can easily access files, folders and images via the web and other computers very easily.
Why I love Dropbox over say Google Drive or Box is that you can download Dropbox on your computer and, to me, it looks like a folder on my computer. It works like every other folder I have, but on the back end, it uploads the images/files/folders I put in that folder onto the web. Then it syncs with where I have Dropbox on other computers.
I can be working on my main computer on some marketing images. Save the images. Leave w/ my laptop, and as long as my laptop is connected to wifi, I'll have the updated images available where ever I am.
It's essentially like giving my small business its own network which is great.
I use it as an online backup for client images as well. If I were to have a client from 2012 email me asking me for images from their wedding because of any reason, I can literally have a link to their images in 1 minute.
If I have those images readily available if I need an image for a blog post or PR article or anything its' readily available no matter where I am or what device I'm on.
The one thing to keep in mind is that since Dropbox keeps those files on your computer and on dropbox.com and on any other computer you have Dropbox on, it can use up your space quickly. Luckily Dropbox recognized that and lets you "selectively" sync the folders depending on the computer you are on.
For example, those wedding backups I have, I have them on my desktop but I don't want them eating up space on my laptop which has a smaller hard drive, so I selectively sync what automatically downloads to my laptop to not include those backup images.
If I'm on my laptop and need one of those, I can go to dropbox.com and find them and download what I need, but it doesn't automatically eat up that precious space.
Email marketing is a smart strategy to be able to help you readers with content while staying in contact with you. Email marketing is ultra-powerful because, merely by signing up, you've told me that you are interested in what I have to share, and when I email you, you are more likely to open (cuz you like free content). So, I don't have to fight with algorithm changes or needs to pay to play like you need to do on Facebook to have my content seen by people like you who are interested!
I've used email marketing through most of my business, but have only recently gotten strategic and purposeful with it. I used to use Mailchimp using their free for under 2000 subscribers account, but once I started really using emailing more strategically, the functionality of Mailchimp was super frustrating and I found I was wasting a ton of time.
I had heard things about Convertkit and so decided to try it out. It's $30 a month, and the hours of my life I've recovered because their system is so easy and straightforward has made that $30 a month a majorly worthwhile investment!
ConvertKit makes it super easy to set up email drip campaigns and visually set up my automation to keep serving my list with minimal input from me after setting things up.
Many small business owners jump past email marketing, but I highly suggest if you are a service-based business, to use email marketing for your gain. The more you show up in people's inboxes sharing content and insights, the more familiar you will be and the more people will start to trust you and keep you top of mind.
Trust and top of mind when it comes to service-based businesses is critical!
Squarespace is the platform I use for my website. I love it because it's ease of use while also being functional, pretty and customizable.
They keep up to date on all the updates and make sure that the site is mobile responsive and looking current without input by me, it's worth it to me to deal with the occasional limitations that certain themes can give.
I use Squarespace for my website and blog all in one.
This is the best thing on the internet if you ask me. I'm not a grammar nerd, and I regularly make mistakes in how I say things (people who know me in real life know this well lol) and so Grammarly is an amazing tool that you use as a plugin and it will check not only your spelling mistakes but also your grammar ones.
Should there be a comma there?
Did you use the wrong tense of the word?
Is that a run on sentence or make no sense?
Grammarly will pop up with a red line under the word or phrase and give you suggestions for the change.
If you spend any time writing, it's literally worth its weight in gold. Plus there is a basic version for free, and then a paid version for those who need the advanced version! Get it now! Trust me, you'll be happy!
Once I am done writing a post or an email, I go through looking at the red lines and see what Grammarly thinks I should fix. Takes 20 seconds to do and makes my posts look ever better.
There you go! The rest of the software programs I use to help my small business!
Please note that some of these links are affiliate links which means if you sign up I can get a little kickback or a free month of service for the referral. It doesn't affect what happens for you at all and I refer these programs because I love them, not because of the kickback. But it pays to be transparent about these things :)
Before you go!
Check out the first part of this series to see the other best software programs I use in my small business?
Next week I will continue with part 3 of my list of software programs that I use in my small business focusing specifically on my photography business needs!