What’s in Your Small Business Toolbox?

Every business should have tools in the toolbox.

Every business should have tools in the toolbox.

After working with hundreds of small business owners and doing research, at Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions we have come to the conclusion that there are few essential tools that a small business must have in their toolbox to increase efficiency and chances for success.

You are bound to stumble on these yourself as you go about running your business, but why wait? Take a look at  some of the suggestions for tools that can help you manage and grow your business An added caveat is that many of the tools you can use are free. Here are just a few you can try:

1. Google Apps for Work – Google has plenty of tools that are extremely useful to the communications, analysis and management of the small business. Although not entirely free, the price is nominal when you look at the bundle of tools that are available in one package.

2. Video Conferencing – Literally stay in front of your customers and your staff by using the video conferencing tools such as Skype, Face Time on your iPhone, Google Chat, or apps such as Talky.io, vine.com and emeet.me. There are so many more. Explore and ask colleagues to find the right fit for your business.

3. PayPal (or some other convenient form of accepting payment 24/7.) My company uses PayPal. It is one of the oldest and widely accepted. It has a device to attach to your smartphone and allows you to swipe your customer’s card for payment on the spot. There are others. Again, speaking with colleagues is an excellent watt to do “comparison shopping.”

4. eNewsletter – Set up a schedule to send out eNewsletter to your contact list. An eNewsletter can go a long way to keep you in contact with your potential customers. MailChimp and Constant Contact are both excellent choices.

5. Website – You can’t be in business without a website. Potential customers expect it and without one, customers think you are not serious about your business. If you are one of the few who still think your business can run just fine without one, seriously consider whether you can get by without your business.

6. Employee Handbook – Unless you are a solo entrepreneur, a handbook is essential to ensure that you will be fair to your employee and they to you. It does not have to be a huge tome, but you owe it to your employees to clearly show them what is offered in your business.

7. Active Networking – While it is not a tangible tool, networking is invaluable to the health of your business. Without sharing your business with others – without building relationships – you have cut off an important avenue for sharing information and for acquiring new customers.

8. Business cards. This little piece of real estate is your ticket to potential customers and business colleagues. Today there are digital cards, but the old fashioned card is still the quickest way to exchange information about your business. Make sure you have plenty of crisp, clean cards to strategically give out.

9. Virtual Assistant – If you haven’t reached the point where you can hire an assistant, then consider the services of a virtual assistant to take care of items such as returning phone calls, taking customer orders or even recording data. You can often tailor your needs.

These suggested essentials are merely a part of your arsenal of business tools. You should devote some time during your week to exploring what is new. Talk to others in your industry. Find out what works for them and how it helped their business. You will probably discover what didn’t work as well and why not.

There are so many more aspects to growing your business, but there are tools to help you become a success at your passion and growing your business.

Leave comments and suggestions of tools that have helped you in your business. Your comments may become a part of our next Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions blog. Don’t forget to subscribe so that you don’t miss a blog or an issue of our newsletter.

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