Whether this is your first day, your side hustle, or you’re a veteran, owning a business takes guts. It takes grit, determination, hustle, focus, vision, sacrifice, and love. And while we all started our business with a big dream, it takes more than a dream to accomplish our goals. We have to take action and we need structure to get there. Oh and some serious tools and tech to help us along the way.
Today, I’m going to dive into the top five tools every business owner needs and how I use them in my business.
This is a hill I am prepared to die on: you 1000% need to have an amazing client experience. Your client experience is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. It is a deliverable. It is the very first thing you should focus on. Planning your client experience from the very first interaction, to the last, is part of your brand. It makes all the difference in the world and will set you apart from your competition faster than anything else.
I craft our client experience by designing my website in a way that invites the client to learn more about our company and gives them answers to questions they likely have. Our entire client experience revolves around what the client needs, helping them feel included, respected, and heard, throughout the process of working with us. From initial inquiry to final sign off, every interaction has been planned and thought of. We prioritize the client experience.
A sign of a well run business is clear organization. Once things really get rolling in your business, it’s often hard to keep track of all the moving parts. When did that lead reach out? When is that client’s work due? What deadline is coming up?
Without a project management system, it’s almost impossible to keep up. I use Asana for primary company and employee organization and I use Trello like a business Pinterest hub of all the notes, downloads, and items I want to remember or refer back to one day. Both are free to use and I recommend checking them out and seeing which one you gravitate towards!
You wouldn’t want to create a business and not give it a home, would you? Your website serves as your virtual “home” for your business. It’s the first place people go to check you out; it’s where you can send potential leads to warm them up before getting them on a call; and if done right, it’s a 24/7 salesperson that never needs a vacation and always presents your business in the best light.
A strategic website is absolutely a requirement in today’s online world. Whether you decide to DIY (check out our templates), or go custom (we can help with that too), you need a home for your business and an asset you can start building now to grow over time.
Once you’ve got your client experience, project management and website nailed down, now it’s time to sell! You’ll want to have some way to take payments for your products or service.
I use a service called Honeybook to take payments for all custom services and I use Thrivecart to process payments for digital items like our templates.
You’ll need to connect the service you use to take payments to a service to process the payments for you. So Honeybook or Thrivecart will ask you to connect with a payment processor of your choice. There are several options including PayPal Business, Stripe, ACH, and others. You definitely want to investigate which option is the best choice for you and your business as most processors do take a percentage of the payment, around 3%, as a processing fee.
There you have it. This is obviously not an extensive list, but if you are pressed for time or wanting to focus on the most important things, these are where you should keep your focus!
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