Finding the right tools to help automate your processes is not always as easy as it seems. So without further ado, or lengthy introduction explaining why automation tools are like having an extra employee for a low monthly cost, here are a few of my favorite software products that’ll keep your business on track and ahead of your competition. Make sure these tools are right for your business with demos and free trials before committing to any contracts.
Trello: Every project has a workflow, imagine if you could take your whiteboard or post it system and put in online, and customize it for every project. No longer do your employees need to waste money on office supplies or search for the post-it that fell off the wall or accidentally erase the whiteboard. Trello will allow your business to operate on a more streamlined basis. Do you want to quickly check in, or change something up? You no longer need to worry.
WorkflowMax: Historically, project management is a mess of paperwork, folders files, whiteboards, calendars, etc. WorkflowMax works in conjunction with other tools, like Trello, to keep track of every project, who’s working on it, due dates, etc. It. Will. Change. Your. Life.
Slack: Ever come up with an idea, but everyone’s’ calendars are already packed for the day? Plus, haven’t we established how much we all hate meetings? Slack is an amazing tool to help you stay in touch with your team, it’s a simple app without a lot of pizazz, but packs a punch in the productivity timeline.
x.ai: This may be my favorite thing ever. Every business owner needs a personal assistant if for nothing else, to manage their appointments. x.ai is an artificially intelligent assistant who communicates between you, your calendar, and your appointment requests without skipping a beat. All you need to do is… nothing.
Yesware: Getting leads is one thing, but making sure you’re doing the best you can to convert them is another. Straight from your inbox, you can create automated nurture streams, templates, get notified about responses, and see who clicks links or downloads content. You’ll be able to easier track who if moving through the sales funnel and who is getting stuck. This tool will save you time and lower your stress levels.
QuickBooks: Since nowadays everything is online, so is QuickBooks! The best part of QuickBooks? It integrates with almost all small business tools, so you don’t need to copy your data into another program, they’re already there.
MailChimp: One thing I’ve learned as a marketer is that as much as we think we hate getting emails, people still read them, and even if they don’t they at least see who is sending them emails. So getting into your potential, current, or past customers’ inbox is a joyous thing that you should take seriously. MailChimp allows you to create automated email campaigns, so you need to do the work once, and let them do the rest for you. Less of Your Time = More $ For You
AgoraPulse: Social media; some business owners love doing it, other hate it, all recognize it’s good for business. Love it or hate it running your social media is time-consuming, but AgoraPulse helps you plan your posts to a schedule that works best for your customers’ schedule and gives you your time back.
Instapage: Running a special? Offering a new product or service? Whatever it may be, you can easily create targeted landing pages and track their results easily without redesigning your website. You can quickly make multiple versions of pages to optimize your landing page success rate.
For Customer Service:
Zendesk: Customer happiness is the Mecca of the small business world. Happy customers tell other people about your business and create more loyal, satisfied customers. Zendesk gives you the flexibility to offer different options to best serve your customers’ needs.
Groove: Here’s one place where you can quickly and easily set up all the customer service options you’d want in one place. It focuses on helping small business grow through their offerings. If more extensive programs like Zendesk are too much for your business, this is a great option to keep your customer service simple and effective.
Your business will benefit from anyone or any combination of these tools and tips. Your employees will be happy because you’re saving them time and effort. Your customers will be happy because you can make things happen faster and more effectively than before. You’ll be happy because you’ll have happy customers and happy employees, which in turn creates more revenue. And let’s face it, isn’t that why we’re all here?