As a small business owner I understand how difficult it is to find tools that truly benefit your business. There’s a lot of different options out there and you want something that is liked, trusted and does the job it’s meant to do.
As someone who runs a small business and has worked with other small business owners, there are a lot of different tools I’ve worked with. Over time, I’ve tried out different options and narrowed down my choices, to ensure I’m working only with roughly 10 tools that do a job well, whilst also saving time, money and my sanity!
So, in no particular order, here are 3 of the top tools I believe every small business owner should know about. These are tools I use everyday in my own business and recommend all small business owners use.
I’d totally recommend Canva as one of your go-to business tools. Yes, there is a free version and it will give you a lot of what you need. However, if you want to save time, energy and frustration, I’d recommend you opt for the Pro version of Canva. Why? Because it WILL save your sanity and your time – and that’s totally worth the £10.99 a month price tag.
You’ll also always get a lot more from a paid version of something – and Canva is no different. Canva gives you access to several tools within their paid Pro plan and each tool is aimed to help you work more efficiently and quickly. These include my 3 favourites:
Background removal tool
This is a total game change for me! Up until recently, I’ve had to create my graphics in Canva, then upload them to another online graphics tool (with a limited trial and only a paid option moving forward), to remove the background. Then, I’ve had to re-upload the graphic back to Canva, to use in my ongoing graphic creation. The only other option available was free online background removers, and they only had limited success.
This is the time-saver of all time-savers! If you’re creating graphics for different social media platforms or purposes, it was a total pain to recreate them in the different sizes. And what about the times a platform has changed their sizing? It totally makes sense to have a simple one click resize option within the Canva platform.
Another great time saver is the branding elements within the Pro account. I love how you can save your logo and colours within Canva, so they’re easily accessible for all of your creations. And of course, if you’re using custom fonts – they can be uploaded too!
Tips – If you’re looking to save some money on the Canva Pro pricing, you have a couple of options. The first – if you use Canva a lot, opt for the annual renewal option as it will lower the monthly equivalent price down to £8.99. Secondly – if you can’t stretch to an annual renewal, cancel the monthly cost when you don’t need it. You won’t be able to get another free trial, but you’re not tied to a contract once you do sign up – so batch your work and cancel when you don’t need it.
[Want more information on why I love Canva and how I use it in my business? Check out this blog: Canva: A valuable tool for creating awesome repurposed content.]
Again, WiseStamp is another essential tool for the small business owner and it has both a free and premium option. WiseStamp enables you to turn your email signature into a useful tool, by giving you some great email signature templates to customise and use.
The templates include the ability to add contact icons and info, as well as social media links and links to your latest blog post or offer. You can then use WiseStamp to help you promote your latest special deal, as well as sharing other ways your email recipient can interact with you – all with no additional work on your part.
Works with different email accounts
WiseStamp signatures work on Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook and Mac accounts. You simply use a template to set up your signature, before connecting WiseStamp to your email account. What’s great about WiseStamp is you can tell it what email account(s) you want it to work with – perfect, if you have personal and work emails going into one email platform.
What you get when you upgrade to Pro
WiseStamp’s paid version gives you access to some important benefits. These include further templates to use, as well as the ability to create multiple email signatures and assign them to different email accounts. You’ll also be able to customise colours and icons, plus you can also remove advertising.
WiseStamp is a great tool for every small business owner. Not only does it help you look more professional, it also has the ability to help you make more money, by linking to your resources from within your email signature. What I particularly love about it is the fact you don’t need to go for the paid option, to get a perfectly usable email signature. However, if you want to make your email signature totally unique, then do check out the Pro account options.
I’ll start with a caveat right here – Kajabi isn’t for everyone. If you have no intention of having an email list, or providing online courses, products or downloads, you’ll probably want to give it a miss.
It’s also worth noting that the beginner pricing level of $149 a month is also an issue for some and being honest, it does put a lot of people off. However, I’d urge you to not be too hasty in that decision and to take out a free trial to have a look inside. Do your research, sit down and work out what exactly it will replace for you, as this is when it will start to make more financial sense for you. Also, you can save 20% on the price, if you opt for the annual payment plan – so bear that in mind too!
Having recently made the leap from WordPress to Kajabi myself, I now recommend Kajabi as one of my top 3 tools for small business owners, because…
It does save you A LOT of time, stress and money!!!
Everything is in one place within Kajabi. Your content, marketing and products. Not only does this save you time looking around for solutions and plugins for your site, you save time by not having to learn lots of different platforms. So what do you get with Kajabi? Here’s a quick breakdown of the main features:
Move your site and blog to Kajabi and you gain access to some great website templates that are both function and customisable. This also means you can cancel your hosting account, as well as the countless plugins you’ve needed, to get the functionality you need on your website. Kajabi also enables you to create standalone sales pages, opt-in forms and thank you pages – plus there are plenty of prebuilt pipelines and funnels to make this even easier for you. Oh, and you can do it all with either a Kajabi website or your own custom domain URL – at no additional expense!
Kajabi makes courses, subscriptions and digital products easy to set up and use. This means your Kajabi website can give you the space to grow and upscale, when you’re ready. If you’re a coach, you can also use it to sell services – by creating offers within the platform, linking in your Acuity Calendar and utilising the automated emails and assessments etc, within the Kajabi platform.
Within Kajabi you’ll find everything you need to create one-off and automated sequence emails for your business. The email platform is highly customisable and enables you to tag and filter, as needed (for some advanced automations you will need to be on a Pro account).
For months I kept looking at Kajabi and wrestling with the decision of whether to invest or not. It actually took a conversation with my husband, to get me past the initial pricing shock. He got me to sit down and write out what I was paying for everything each month – and Kajabi actually worked out to be a little cheaper. Added to this, the ability to create courses and membership sites without paying for additional platforms, it became a logical and cost-effective decision for me. I could see that there was room for my business to grow, without me having to find additional solutions to support my goals.
As a small business owner, I understand how difficult it is to find tools that truly benefit your business. There’s a lot of different options out there and you want something that is liked, trusted and does the job it’s meant to do – and that’s why I recommend the above 3 tools.
Canva, WiseStamp and Kajabi are all tools that will save you time and money. But, more importantly, they allow your business to grow. Nothing is worse than wasting time finding a tool that solves a problem, only to find it cannot cope when your business grows. If you want tools that do a job well, are easy to use and trusted by many – you need these three tools in your business life.