Starting a small business takes a lot of work. Luckily there are many tools now available to help you run, manage, and grow your business. From website building to protecting this investment, here are eight useful tools to help you start a small business.
1. Website Building & Hosting Platform
It’s rare for any small business today to succeed without a website. This is a space where you can showcase your brand, share information about your products and services, process sales, and communicate with customers.
Creating a website is easier than ever. There are many user-friendly platforms that guide you through building your own site—no HTML or CSS experience required! Many of these platforms offer free templates to get you started, and paid plans that give you access to more designs, features, and support.
These platforms also guide you through the process of registering a URL and will host your site on their servers for free or for a small fee (depending on the options you’ve chosen).
2. Online & POS Payment
An important part of doing business is getting paid. For this, you need a reliable and secure way to process payments from your customers.
Wi-Fi, along with smartphone and tablet technology, has created an explosion of payment services to suit small businesses. Portable options make it easy to accept payment from anywhere—whether that’s in a traditional brick and mortar shop, at a farmers’ market, or even inside a client’s home.
3. Email Marketing
Email has been a big part of business for nearly three decades. It’s a cost-effective way to communicate with your customers quickly and efficiently.
There are many email marketing tools on the market, with tailored packages to suit most businesses’ needs. You can easily create professional looking email messages, target specific customer segments, and track how successful your campaigns are.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms are becoming a bigger part of business marketing every year. This is another great way to reach your customers, showcase your brand, share your expertise, and find new clients.
Most businesses have at least one social media profile, but many are now found on more than one. Creating and posting content in several places can be time consuming. However, social media marketing tools can help you schedule future posts to most platforms. Many also let you track engagement and automate some customer service responses.
5. Communication Apps
Collaborating as a team is a big part of getting business done. Communication tools can help your team connect in the office, working from home, or a combination of the two. They also provide another way to reach your clients or customers.
Communication apps include video chat and text-based messaging services. Some are free but may come with restrictions on how many people can join a meeting or how long a meeting can last. Paid apps typically offer more collaboration features, fewer restrictions, and sometimes better privacy and security.
6. Document Management
Whether you’re a one-person operation or a small team, you will likely need a reliable way to create, edit and store digital documents. Online and cloud-based services can allow you or your team to create many types of business documents, such as invoices, contracts, spreadsheets, and presentations.
Many of these services allow collaboration, so multiple people on your team can edit and add to the same document. You can also share documents within your business or with clients and other third parties. Document management apps also offer secure storage, helping keep your business documents private when needed.
7. Accounting & Bookkeeping
Keeping tabs on your finances is an essential part of running a business. Accounting and bookkeeping tools can help you (or someone you hire) manage your business’ income and expenses with ease and accuracy.
There are many small business tools and apps available to manage all aspects of your business finances. This includes invoicing, accounting, payroll services, and tax filing.
8. Small Business Insurance
You may not think of business insurance as a tool for starting your company, but it can be an essential part of keeping everything running smoothly. When the unexpected happens, business insurance can help protect the company you’re building.
There are many small business insurance products available, covering just about any risk you may face on the job. Common types of business insurance include:
- General Liability insurance protects businesses against the risk of customer injury and property damage.
- Professional Liability insurance protects you from claims raised due to unintentional mistakes made in the professional capacity.
- Workers’ Compensation insurance provides protection for employers if an employee suffers a work-related illness or injury.
- A Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) is a combination of policies, combining covers such as general liability insurance and business personal property coverage, to help protect small businesses from costly interruptions to service.
It takes a lot of work to start a small business, and even more to keep it running smoothly. The tools and apps discussed above can help you get started, and business insurance can help protect what you are building.
To find business insurance policies to fit your small business, visit BizInsure today.