The paper days are over - welcome to the digital world! As a start-up, entrepreneur, or manager, you have a lot of things to consider and tasks to perform. Luckily, you can make use of several digital tools to make it all easier. These 5 online platforms will save you time and money!
5 online tools to boost your productivity
1. Graphic design for free with Canva.com
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you never get a second chance to make a first impression. But enough with the one-liners! Just make sure that your company looks the best it can. If you don't have the budget for a professional designer or graphic design agency, try it yourself with Canva. With lots of pre-made designs and templates and an easy to use graphical interface, you can build your visual identity yourself. Design your business cards, social media posts, leaflets, folders and even videos with this easy to use drag-and-drop interface. Just start off with a free account and determine if a paid version - with more options - is necessary.
- Start here: www.canva.com
2. Zoho Suite for administration, CRM and project management (and lots more!)
Administration can be a burden, but it has to be done! Among many others, Zoho provides an extensive set of tools to manage your invoicing, projects, emails, marketing, inventory and much more. Zoho is being used by a variety of big name companies including Siemens, Netflix, Renault, Samsonite,Stanford University. This platform is also used by small and medium sized companies. A big advantage of Zoho is that all the different parts are connected with each other and data can be easily synchronised. I myself started with Zoho. I began by using Zoho Invoice and added other tools like Zoho Projects and Zoho CRM along the way. Recently, Zoho Invoice became free to use. Want to try it out? Go ahead!
- Start here: www.zoho.com
3. Get your stuff done (by others) with Fiverr
Sometimes you just need to focus on your core business and leave the rest to others. But if you are a small company with little to no employees, you may be in need of extra expertise. In this case, Fiverr just may be the thing for you. Fiverr - the name comes from a five dollar bill - has about 2.3 million freelancers that can help you with all sorts of tasks including copywriting, translation, web development, administration, video editing, music and audio. Just search for the service you need and select one of the many gigs. It's pretty straight forward, one quick search immediately provides the price before the job starts and gives an indication of the time needed to complete the task. I myself have used Fiverr several times for copywriting, translations, voice-overs and illustrations. Except for that one time I didn't get a reaction after confirming a gig (I did get my money back however), and the tasks were completed within the agreed time and budget.
- Start here: www.fiverr.com
4. Create your website with Wix
You can't do business without a website. When people can't find you on Google, you just don't exist. And without a website, it's very difficult to be on top of the ranking. The best way to start a website is still to hire a professional developer, copywriter, designer and online marketer. But if you do not have the budget of have some of these skills yourself, creating a website with Wix is a good second option. The interface is very intuitive and there are plenty of tutorials and good practices available. If you have time on your hands and your business is still growing, this can be a good exercise. If you get stuck, there are a variety of Wix professionals that can help you out. Just start with a free WIX account to try it out. For a small fee every month, you can add extra options if necessary.
- Start here: www.wix.com
5. Manage your sales and marketing contacts with Hubspot CRM
Keeping track of your customer data, conversations, sales and deals can be a handful. CRM platforms make this a lot easier, but they can be very expensive. The marketing automation platform Hubspot however, offers a limited version for free. Contacts and sales and marketing tools can be used without any cost or catch. If you want to use more advanced functionalities like automation and workflows, you will need to switch to the paid version. This can be done in just a few clicks. In most cases however, the free version will do just fine and will save you a lot of time and money. It's also possible to connect Hubspot to your website using a plugin or API to synchronise all contact data coming from forms. Hubspot also tracks the activities of the visitors on your website, providing useful information to make your sales process more efficient.
- Start here: www.hubspot.com