Small Business Tools 2013
Small Business Tools and Apps in 2013 can make a real difference to a small business often being free or available at a low cost.
Earlier, this year I discovered one of the most powerful Facebook groups for business owners. It is dedicated to a particular group of business owners and there are over 3,800 members that are in this group (not all of them post at once of course).
For me, this has been an essential lifeline especially as I joined the group not long after setting up my business. There are many different types of businesses represented and what has made this group so powerful is meeting people in real life from the online transactions.
It has also been useful for referrals as well as when I have needed a product/service such as a banner designed by Matthew Smith from Impressions Design and Print. Another regular contributor to our group is Linda Reed Enever from Media Connections and Thought Spot PR who has helped me out personally with media releases, PR coaching and Business Coaching for Tech Coach HQ. Craig Wyrill from ‘The HouseCall Lawyer’ was also recommended recently for Business and Contract Law issues.
One of the questions that I posed on the December 16th, was ‘What has been your favourite small business tools for 2013?’ Here are some of the responses that I received from the group and I have grouped them into like categories. There are also some of my own suggestions. These will form the basis for later blog posts for Tech Coach HQ in Janurary, 2014.
Like with anything, you will need to experiment and play with each of these tools suggested. If you get stuck, type your EXACT question into Google for support or help. I have also found YouTube to be an amazing source of information when learning a new app/tool as I can stop the video and then proceed when I mastered a step.
Social Media Monitoring Tools
HootSuite, Buffer are Social Media Monitoring tools where you can automate posts to your social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I use both of these tools and so have most of the group members who I asked this question to.
I recently was introduced to ‘SumAll’ where you can get an overall picture on how your Google Plus, Twitter, Instragram, Google Analytics (just to name a few). At the time of posting this blog post, this service is currently free (but there will be a paid service in the future).
Social Media Tools
Apps/Tools for Images
I have always enjoyed being creative with images (whether it’s black and white photography with a SLR) to creating handmade cards and now, it’s creating images for my blog posts and social media.
Canva and PicMonkey are two of my favourite creative images tools to use for my blog posts and even sharing images out on social media. I upgraded to ‘Royale’ with PicMonkey ($35.00) so that I could access extra features and it has definitely been worth it.
Piktochart (Infographics) were starting to become a lot bigger last year for businesses to use to explain concepts or information for their customers or followers. I love Piktochart, but there are other infographic tools listed here from Hongkiat.com (always amazing information and tools/ideas shared).
Pictaculous is something that I discovered today. If you upload an image to the site (PNG, GIF and JPG) files, it will suggest a colour palette to go with that image. It is also works with your phone/mobile device.
Finding Images and correctly naming sources.
I just discovered Photo Pin which helps put the correct source in for the images that you find for your website/blog posts. I always use Creative Commons Search to find images that are for presentations or my blog posts as it brings together websites like Flickr, YouTube, Google Images. These images can be modified, adapted or extra information added depending on the Creative Commons License (see here for an infographic that explains this very well).
In the next blog post, I will cover ‘Organisation, Cloud Storage, Aggregation Tools, Sharing Tools, Video Tools, Communication, Remembering Information and managing teams for project management. Until next time, always take things ‘one byte at a time’. Click here for previous post on ‘Evernote Training in Australia‘.