The amount of online tools available for small online businesses is staggering, and it can be incredibly overwhelming to sort the effective ones you need from the useless ones you don’t. To save you some of your precious time and energy, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite tools that we use on the daily. Enjoy!
Squarespace is a website publishing platform that allows you to build a beautiful, professional, and functional website. Because they are a website builder and host all in one, you don’t need to worry about paying a separate host fee or installing anything for maintenance. Their site templates are eye-catching and are designed to look great on all screens, including mobile devices, which is a huge advantage today’s online culture (well over half of your site’s visitors will be mobile users). Squarespace also allows you to edit your site relatively easily thanks to a user-friendly content management system. If you ever need assistance with your site, their award-winning customer service team is there for you 24/7. We build all of our clients’ sites using Squarespace (including our own), and recommend it for your site too.
MailChimp is a web-based program that gives you the ability to create and manage mailing lists, newsletters, automated email campaigns and more. It is simple and easy to use gives you access to a range of email marketing tools, all conveniently located in one place. Until you reach 2000 subscribers, Mailchimp is completely FREE. It’s also important to note that Mailchimp is designed to scale with your business, and offers paid plans for when you need to switch over.
3. GOOGLE DRIVE
Basically everything you can do with Microsoft Office, you can do with Google, with one incredible exception - it’s free! You can open over 40 different file types with Google Drive, including PDFs and MPEG4s, and work on Microsoft Word files straight from the Drive, making it super easy to do all sorts of work on one convenient platform. An added bonus is that Google Drive is in the cloud, meaning that everything exists online, and not on your local hard drive. This makes it so much easier to share files and collaborate with a team. All of your team’s documents exist in one central location, and because nothing is saved on a local hard drive, nothing is inaccessible. You can pay for added storage if you want, but you probably won’t have to, as Google gives you 15GB for free. That’s more than enough for most people for both their personal use and their small business. If you’re not using this amazing tool already, get on it now!
Canva is a web-based graphic design program that’s completely FREE. Once you’ve entered the online business world, you’ll often find yourself needing to create an eye-catching graphic, social media post, or other visual asset for your website. Photoshop and other image editing programs are extremely expensive, and honestly, super difficult to use unless you have time to take a course or to spend a week watching YouTube videos. Whether you’d like to beautify some images you already have, create banner images for your website, design social media posts, or make infographics from scratch, Canva has got you covered. You can create designs on your own or use one of the hundreds of beautiful templates Canva has pre-made for you to use. As an added bonus, you can save all of your designs in Canva (in the cloud).
Pexels is a FREE stock image library that we often use in our site designs. Visuals help to bring emotion to a page and work to keep readers engaged, and an effective visual can catch the eye of someone who may have otherwise skipped out on reading through your content. Whether you’re using stock images to enhance a blog post, build a social media post, or create a banner image for your blog page, Pexels will likely have an image to help you out. Bonus Tip: Combine Pexels with Canva to create amazing visuals for your online content!
We hope that this list saves you some time and helps you in creating your own, personalized online toolbox. If you’ve looking to save even more time and want someone to create your complete online platform for you, reach out and book a consultation with us today!