In the wee hours of this morning, I had a message come through Instagram.
‘Pip, with all the tech that is going on, how do you simplify it down for what you MUST have in your business’.
Here’s my answer:
👉 You need to have something to create and send an invoice. Ideally, this is a form of financial software (such as Xero, Quickbooks etc.) so that it helps to streamline other parts of your financial processes.
👉 You need to have something to manage your to do’s and what is going on in the business. Now this could be as simple as a piece of paper and a pen however to really have control, you need to up the game and have some dedicated Project Management software (such as ClickUp, Asana, Trello or even something like ToDoIst). If you are a service-based business, this will also help you to manage the delivery of your services to your clients.
👉 You need to have something to communicate to your clients. Email (Gsuite, Office365 etc.) and phone are the two things we are talking about here.
Now there are a WHOLE bunch of other things that are going to help you in your business (keep reading to see what these are), however at a minimum, the above three things are going to allow you to communicate to your clients, get paid, and manage what is going on.
So what other things are going to help? These are some of the things we use here daily and couldn’t live without!
- Google My Business – crucial to helping you to be found online
- Cloud file storage – somewhere to store all of your files and documents online so that you can access them from anywhere (things like Google Drive, Dropbox)
- Web conferencing – to allow you to meet and talk to people without the need to meet them face to face (examples include Zoom, Skype, Teams) – inside tip, you can also use this to record your screen to create training videos!
- Graphics and content – something to help you design images and content to be used online (tools like Canva)
- CRM – a tool to help you communicate to your clients in bulk via means of email marketing but also to record client information and your potential sales pipeline (things like ActiveCampaign, Pipedrive etc.)
- Social media accounts to allow you to educate, promote, and talk to the world (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn)
The next question – how do you decide what you need and which platform to go with?
Work on what is essential RIGHT now. You can always add to this as your business grows.
THEN to work out which tool is suitable for you, grab a bit of paper, write down a list of the things it MUST be able to do. Your non-negotiables.
Then write down a list of the things that would be NICE but you can live without.
Add to the bottom of the list your budget. You need to be openminded with this. It can quite often be worth paying additional costs to help save a lot of time.
Then go and search for tools that cover everything within your MUST list. This will help you to narrow down the search.
From there, you can bring in the nice to haves.
And finally, sign up for a trial and start to play within the tool. We all react differently to the way software looks and works so make sure you jump in and have a play. You need to be comfortable in it, find your way around, and make sure it says it can do what it says it can (some sites are VERY misleading around what it can do vs what it really can do).