5 must-have tools to help you run your small business

Have a business idea? Great! Now what? Running a small business is tough, especially when your team is a team of one. Luckily, there’s a ton of great tools out there that make running small businesses a bit easier. There are tools and apps to help you with your accounting, your email campaigns, social media, and even to run errands for you!

So, how do you know which ones are the real-deal and where do you start? Here are a few recommendations:

MailChimp

For most companies, creating a successful email marketing campaign can be really tricky. Luckily for us, MailChimp makes it easy. In a highly regulated industry, MailChimp helps navigate what is CAN-SPAM compliant and provides tips and tricks for making our campaigns more successful. With impressive analytics features we can really break down our email campaigns and learn more about how our customers are receiving and engaging with our emails.

MailChimp is also known for its hundreds of integrations and plugins that help make syncing your data and integrating contacts a breeze. Best of all, they offer lots of predesigned template so you don’t even need to be an html wizard to send a pretty email.

Take a look: Mailchimp

BatchBook

Research suggests that the average person can maintain 150 relationships at a given time – but when you have 100,000 customers, you need a little bit more than brain power to cultivate and maintain these relationships. This is where Batchbook comes into play.

Batchbook is a social CRM that makes it easy to track contact information and engagement with customers. Similar to MailChimp, its integrations make it easy to sync your data and contacts with other tools for a better customer experience. This tool allows you the ability to “tag” your customers for easier searching and sorting abilities.

Take a look: Batchbook

Argyle Social

In this day and age, knowing where, when and how people are talking about your brand is a must. That’s why we recommend Argyle Social. Argyle is an affordable social media monitoring tool that offers enterprise features, without the enterprise price tag – perfect for small businesses. It’s easy to use interface gives you real-time stats that help you better understand the impact social media has on your business. There are a lot of tools out there to choose from but this tool just makes sense!

Take a look: Argyle Social.

ZenDesk

Giving your customers the support they need and deserve is tough, especially for a small team.  Thankfully Zendesk helps alleviates that and although it won’t make your team bigger it will certainly make it easier to connect and track conversations with your customers, giving your customers a more positive experience with your business.

In a recent article on MediaPost, it was reported that 80% of consumers say they have bailed on a purchase because of a poor service experience. Can your business afford that? I didn’t think so!

Take a look: ZenDesk

Olark

Wondering why people aren’t converting when they hit your sign-up page? Then take a look at Olark. Olark is a great tool for communicating with your customers, if you have the resources of course. Enabling live chat on your site is easy and the benefits are endless. With Olark you can chat with customers and potential customers using your favorite IM client, have transcripts of each chat emailed to you (we love this feature!) and get a great deal of insight into how your customers interact with your site that would otherwise be lost.

It’ll also help decrease the amount of support calls, thus decreasing your call wait time, resulting in much happier customers all around! What’s not to love about that?

Take a look: Olark

Bonus tool:

Grasshopper

How could we write about all the tools we love without mentioning Grasshopper?  Grasshopper is perfect for small businesses and entrepreneurs on the go. With Grasshopper you can get a toll-free number, have calls forwarded to your cell phone and even have your voicemails transcribed and emailed to you!  Want to give Grasshopper a try? Then you’re in luck because we’re giving EnMast readers a $50 discount code towards Grasshopper. Just go to http://grasshopper.com/enmast to redeem it.

What tools do you use to help you run your small business?

 

About the Author

This post was written by the folks over at Grasshopper. Sound more professional and stay connected with Grasshopper, the Virtual Phone System designed for entrepreneurs. Want to learn more? Follow them on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.

 

 

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Comments

  1. All good apps that you have recommended here, but I think your missing a whole category of app’s that really should fall in here. Business analytics apps that help keep a pulse on how individual’s, functional areas, and the business as a whole are crucial for improved performance.

    • Hi Trendslide – its hard to get all the best apps into such a short list, but you’re definitely on to something! What business analytics apps are you using for your business?

      • Hi Allison – It’s Jeffrey from Trendslide. Sorry for my delay in response.

        In full disclosure, Trendslide is a business analytics application for iOS that gives a mobile dashboard for executives and managers. Aside from Trendslide, here are some others that I use:

        – MailChimp
        – Shopify

        All the best,
        Jeffrey Vocell

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