15 Tools Needed To Grow Your BusinessDrew Hendricks
With the basics of your business now in place, it’s time to focus on growing your business by attracting the right talent and influentials, gaining traction in the marketplace, and maintaining cash flow. Many of the tools you might already be using can still serve you well by alleviating any growing pains as you build your empire.
Here are 15 tools that you should put to work:
1. Constant Contact helps you market your business through email, which has still proven to be one of the most effective ways to reach customers. This tool starts you off with a free email campaign. It also provides a way to send customized email newsletters that can be created with its drag-and-drop functionality. You can also use this tool to manage your email lists and track results. The company provides an extensive trial offer to see if this email marketing tool will grow your business.
2. Speek delivers a way to communicate with your staff and clients by providing a conference calling service that is easy and free with no PINs, phone numbers, or software required. This is a great way to make personal contact with everyone involved in growing your business. The free version supports up to five callers while other features can be added on for a small fee, including transcripts of the calls.
3. ShipHawk makes sure that growing your business does not have to cost that much in terms of shipments and logistics. You need to sell more products, which means there is more to ship. However, ShipHawk offers prices from different shippers to get you the best quote possible while assisting with scheduling pickups or showing users where they can drop packages off. Having this type of shipping service can keep that expense down as the number of packages you ship increases.
4. Due.com offers a way to make it as easy as possible for clients to pay you in order to maintain cash flow and keep those receivables down to a minimum. Offering a professionally emailed invoice with the option of paying directly from the invoice in the currency of their choice has been found to speed payment. The faster the payments, the better your cash flow will be to cover other expenses or use the funds to further expand your operations.
5. Yopine is an app that helps you better understand what your employees are interested in or thinking about by collecting their opinions and ideas through a survey format. This data can then be used for motivation strategies as well as for market research. The result is that this approach can facilitate higher performance levels and generate greater revenues.
6. Searchmetrics provides you with the rich data you need to better understand how your tactics are working and what is really contributing to the growth of your business. For example, you can see who is coming to your website, where they are coming from and whether they are new or a returning visitor
7. Intercom is another analytics tool that tells you who is using your product and the activity involved in using it. This way, you get more information on how your product is used so you can make improvements along the way or alter your marketing messages to better highlight those uses. You can also engage directly with your users to solidify those relationships
8. Buffer speeds how you share information across your social media profiles, including Twitter and LinkedIn as well as other sites, saving you time while getting a consistent message out to all your influencers no matter what social network they prefer.
9. Pandadoc lets you send and receive documents in the cloud. Now you can have clientsesign your documents and track everything.
10. Wishpond provides a way to create promotions, contests, pop-up forms, and landing pages that can create new leads and generate more email subscribers that you can mine for information and market to during future campaigns. All of these marketing tactics provide a way to better understand your targeted customer and identify trends that can help shape the products or services you offer.
11. Crazy Egg delivers even more analytics that help you decide what to tweak about your marketing efforts, especially since it tells you which pages on your website are viewed the most. It offers heat and scroll mapping reports that tell you what is important and interesting to visitors so you can hone your content and change out that content where you see visitors quickly losing interest.
12. fm gives you the content you need to use on social media channels when you are struggling to develop enough that keeps your profile full of relevant information. You can share it directly or create a schedule that directs when it is uploaded to your profiles
13. Helpshift knows that, to grow your business in a sustainable way, you need to offer the kind of personal service that builds a loyal following. Happy customers tell others about their experience, so the more you can make happy, the larger your customer base. This tool provides a way to integrate a customer-service module into your app to resolve any problems that may occur during their experience with your app.
14. Kabbage helps with one of the biggest challenges with growing a business: capital. While you are getting revenue that is sustaining the business, it may not be enough to expand into new territories or produce larger quantities of your in-demand product. The company offers online loans in the form of a credit line so you only take what you use, helping you to be prudent in your borrowing while getting the funds you need to expand operations.
15. Pomodairo realizes that to grow your business, you first need to know when to take a break and re-energize those creative juices. This tool is based on the Pomodoro technique developed around mental efficiency that proposes that 25-minute increments of work followed by a short break will help you get more done. Not only will it remind you to stop, but it will also track your time on projects so you can gauge how much you are really accomplishing.
While there are many more tools available to take your business to the next level, these 15 tools address some of the most critical areas involved in growing an entity. With these tools, you will be able to combine the growth ingredients of research, market, engage, interact, communicate, understand, measure, improve, borrow and balance into one recipe for success.
Drew Hendricks is the Organic Growth Marketing Manager at Nextiva. Drew has also written for many major publishers such as Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine and The Huffington Post.