When it comes to running a small or medium-sized business, managing every aspect on your own can be a challenge. Whether you’re falling behind on marketing, spending too much time on social media, struggling with your administration and booking, or you’re just looking for a new way to automate your online store, we’ve put together four ways you can use online tools to save money and make your day-to-day business life simpler.
To cut back on admin
For many small businesses, the administration is one of the most cost and time-consuming parts of the job. With online software such as Eviivo, bed and breakfast owners can manage online bookings, take payments and have an online presence. Not only does this cut back on the time-eating tasks that add to your workload, but they allow for a professional and automated approach to booking and billing, increasing customer satisfaction and negating the possibilities of double booking or underpayments.
To make social media simple
Managing your own business comes with enough tasks to juggle on a daily basis – and that’s without even mentioning social media. Whether you’re a butcher or a solicitor, maintaining a professional social media presence has never been more important. It’s possible to use tools to manage your social media channels more effectively, with platforms such as Hootsuite allowing you to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram snaps months in advance so that you can focus on what’s important in your business – keeping your customers happy and ensuring you make money.
To market your business
With 85% of retailers considering email marketing one of the most effective methods for acquiring new customers, there’s never been a more important time to focus on your email campaigns. Whether you run a mailing list for existing clients, or you offer freebies and downloads for those to sign up to your newsletter, it’s easy to build up a group of potential customers that you can target promotional emails. Tools such as MailChimp and AWeber can be used to send bulk emails, work from well-designed templates and add widgets to your website to increase your mailing list signups.
To launch an online store
While some entrepreneurs decide to spend thousands of pounds with a web developer to launch their ecommerce store, it’s possible to do so much cheaper – and in some cases for free – by using free tools such as Shopify or WooCommerce. Such tools not only allow you to post your products and get customer reviews and recommendations but also connect to your website and PayPal account to make transactions simple and effective.
One of the most important lessons in business is accepting that you cannot do anything on your own. If you’re not in a financial position to hire a marketing executive, web developer, social media manager or accountant, then be sure to look online to find free or affordable business management tools to free up your time and give you an opportunity to focus on things that will be most beneficial to your business.