Software tools are essential for running a successful business in today’s online environment. In fact, companies typically use 110 software solutions to power their business. That’s a lot of business tools – and the use of software use is only going up.
As a small business owner, you simply can’t run a business without the right tools. But before you go and invest in a bunch of online business tools, you need to know exactly what types of tools you need to match your operations and marketing strategy.
This is because your goal is to get the best possible ROI from any tool you invest in.
While all businesses are different, there are a few essential tools that any business needs to attract customers and operate in today’s online world. To help you out, we’ve listed some of the most vital types of small business tools that you need.
- Website Builder
- Email Marketing Software
- Lead Generation Tools
- Leads Database
- Popups Tool
- Social Media Tools
- Landing Page Builder
- Appointment Scheduling
- Payments Processing
- Marketing Automation
- Task Scheduling
- Graphic Design
- Choosing an Integrated, All-in-One Solution
1. Website Builder
Websites are the most important marketing asset for any online business. This means having the right website builder is one of the most important business tools for small business owners.
A website builder should make it easy to create, design, and update your website. These days, having a modern and user-friendly website is essential if you want to attract customers and stay ahead of the competition. A great website builder should make it easy to create a website that looks great and offers all the functionality you need.
The trouble is, many small business owners don’t have the technical knowledge to code and create advanced websites. However, using a drag-and-drop template-based website builder makes this easy.
This gives you more power, as you can effortlessly update and design your website without having to outsource the job to a web designer. You can also add and update web pages whenever you need.
Wishpond offers a unique website builder for small businesses. Not only do you get an easy-to-use template-based website builder, but the builder also comes equipped with all of the marketing tools your business needs to grow. This means you only need a single platform to manage your entire online presence.
2. Email Marketing Software
Email marketing is one of the most important marketing tactics for any kind of business. When done right, email can achieve an amazing ROI for small businesses. You can also use email marketing for many different objectives.
Check out these email marketing examples for the main types of emails online businesses can send.
Whether you use email to spread brand awareness, nurture leads down your sales funnel, or simply send transactional emails, having the right email marketing software is essential. This needs to be easy to use while offering enough functionality for your email marketing strategy.
Just like your website builder, try to choose email marketing software that is template-based with a drag-and-drop editor. This will let you easily put together different types of emails. You will also want to be able to add certain elements – like buttons and images. Of course, the platform should also offer detailed email marketing metrics to help you gain insights into your campaigns.
Email marketing software is one of the most vital online business tools, but you can’t run email campaigns without building an email subscriber list first. To do this, you will need tools to capture contact information.
Lead generation tools can take many different forms, and be used in different ways depending on your business and marketing plan. However, the general idea is that you use forms of some kind to capture your lead’s details.
This could include social promotion tools, booking widgets, simple online forms, or more. Whatever the case, you need to be able to publish forms that capture details and send them to your leads database (more on this later).
Once again, the best business tools for lead generation are easy-to-use and don’t require coding or specialist knowledge. They should also be able to fit into your website and marketing workflow seamlessly.
4. Leads Database
As we mentioned earlier, you will need a place to store all of your lead information. This needs to be connected to your email marketing software so that you can easily communicate with your leads.
A leads database needs to offer a few important functions. Besides storing the right information, you should also be able to easily manage this database. This involves creating different lists of your leads so that you can target the right people with the right messages at the right time.
Ideally, your leads database should offer automated workflows to effortlessly manage your leads and place them into the right categories and lists automatically.
Of course, this database needs to be integrated with both your lead capture tools as well as your email marketing platform.
Although they might seem annoying, popups are still incredibly effective online marketing tools. These are particularly some of the best online business tools for eCommerce stores especially, although all kinds of businesses can use them.
You can use popups to promote special offers and discounts, advertise your newsletter, or promote anything else important on your site. Popups can incorporate all kinds of different forms or messages, and they can also be set to trigger based on different times and actions – such as exit intent popups.
Make sure you use a popups tool that offers a range of different popup types and styles. You also want to easily edit and customize these popups with a drag-and-drop editor.
When it comes to digital marketing, a strong social media presence is essential. There’s a lot you can achieve with social media, which also means there are many different tools you can use to improve your social media strategy.
A great time-saver is a social media scheduling tool. This helps your content strategy stay more organized, and it allows you to post on social media at the right time, every time. This is important for a well-organized social media marketing strategy.
Another fantastic way to use social media is to run giveaways and contests. If you’re going to do this, then you’ll need to use the right social promotions tool to help you capture entrants’ details.
This will involve a platform that allows you to set up different contest and giveaway types, and create a landing page for your giveaway. Of course, you will also need to capture your entrants details and send this information to your leads database.
Social media analytics tools are also important. They let you gain more meaningful insights to help optimize your marketing strategy. However, every social media channel offers its own analytics for business accounts – which is generally enough.
There are also plenty of design tools – like video editing tools or simple graphic design tools like Canva. Although, using social media platforms’ native design features are often all you need.
7. Landing Page Builder
Although this is probably incorporated into your website builder, you’ll also need a landing page builder for your site.
Landing pages are essential for your marketing campaigns, creating specific booking pages, service pages, and so much more. Online businesses are constantly updating and adding landing pages to their site, so having a great landing page builder is one of the most important small business tools.
As always, make sure that your landing page builder is user-friendly, and that it offers an easy drag-and-drop editor. This will let you create and edit landing pages without needing any coding or design knowledge.
8. Appointment Scheduling
Appointment booking tools are especially important for service businesses. However, all kinds of businesses can benefit from a good appointment tool.
This is simply a calendar that you can publish somewhere on your website. Users can select a time and date on the calendar, and effortlessly schedule an appointment with you. The appointment also automatically syncs with your calendar. Ideally, you’ll want a tool that also captures the information of the person making the booking, which you can add to your leads database.
You can use these business tools for booking service appointments, classes, meetings, and more. It’s a great way to stay more organized, add more convenience to your audience, and help you generate leads at the same time.
9. Payments Processing
Being able to accept online payments is a critical function for practically any online business. While there are a few different options you can take for selling online, your website will probably need a tool for accepting payments. You have two options here:
- Add a simple “buy” button to your site
- Access an eCommerce platform
If you only sell one thing – like services or a single product, then you don’t need a complete eCommerce store. In this case, you can simply add a “buy” button to your site, and start accepting payments directly.
If you have multiple products to sell, then you’ll need to turn your website into a complete online store. There are various eCommerce platforms out there. Whichever one you choose, make sure it works seamlessly with your website builder. You should be able to set up your store, manage products, and make changes whenever you want.
10. Marketing Automation
As a small business, time isn’t always on your side. This is why marketing automation will become your new best friend.
Marketing automation tools let you set up workflows that run in the background while you focus on other tasks. You can automate messages, like email marketing or SMS messages, and ensure they send to the right people at the right time. This helps you deliver high-impact campaigns with zero effort.
Marketing automation tools are available that work with your leads database, lead generation, and email marketing software. With the right platform, you can set up email drip campaigns, abandoned cart workflows, and more.
11. Task Scheduling
Being a small business owner is busy! You have a lot of tasks you need to stay on top of – especially if you also lead a team. Task management and scheduling tools will make your life a lot easier.
There are various tools available, like Asana or Monday, that let you set up tasks and easily stay on top of your to-do list. This is especially important as you get busy because keeping up with your day-to-day workflow only gets more difficult over time.
12. Graphic Design
An essential part of a strong online presence is making sure your brand looks good. To do this, you’ll need to use graphic design tools.
While you might want to leave most of your graphic design work to professional designers, you will still need tools for basic design processes. Luckily, solutions like Canva make it free and easy for anyone to create great designs.
An alternative to using a graphic design tool is to join an unlimited graphic design subscription. This lets you access professional graphic designs whenever you want, so all your graphic design needs can be taken care of whenever you need them.
Choosing an Integrated, All-in-One Solution
Clearly, there are many different business tools that you need to run your organization. The list above includes some of the most important tools, but realistically you’ll probably need a lot more tools than this based on what your business does and what specific marketing needs you have.
The trouble is, getting all of these tools separately can be a lot of work – not to mention expensive. Each tool will require its own management and monthly fee. You’ll also experience some difficulties getting all of your separate tools to integrate and work with each other.
This is why using an all-in-one platform is such a good idea. With an all-in-one solution like Wishpond, you get all of these business tools available in a single package. They all work seamlessly together, which will save your business loads of time, effort, and money. Try Wishpond out to see how it can work for you.
There’s a lot that goes into running a successful business in today’s online environment. One of the most important parts of this is using the right digital tools.
Software tools are essential for attracting new customers, managing your operations, and growing your business. Without the right tools, you’ll simply disappear underneath all the competition.
While it can be daunting to select the right business tools with all of the options available, it’s important that you get the essentials covered. The list of business tools covers some of the most vital for all kinds of businesses. Investing in a convenient solution for these tools will improve your business growth in a big way – not to mention make your life a whole lot easier.