Seeking great tools that you can use to build your business?
We have some fantabulous ones to share with you here!
Each fortnight the LYSB team release a new tool as part of our "toolkit tuesday" blog series – be sure to follow our blog so you can be the first to find out about them! The tools we select are designed to:
- free up your time so you can focus on what you are good at
- save you money
- help you reach more people
- introduce new ways to deliver your products & services
We only recommend tools that we have used ourselves OR tools that we would be using if we hadn't already stuffed up and used something else instead (oh the benefit of hindsight!).
Many of these tools are free or incredibly cheap, others require some investment on your part (but we believe it is worth it). In the interests of transparency, we will let you know which tools are also our affiliate partners (this means that we will generate some income if you decide to purchase this tool as a result of visiting our page).
Online Tools that will Save You Time and Increase Productivity
Jigsaw Box is an online tool that allows you to package up your expertise and deliver it online. This tool can help you make a key shift in the way you do business – a shift away from charging for your one-to-one time and towards a one-to-many model that can lead to a big increase in your income earning potential and the no. of people you can reach with your message.
Survey Monkey is a simple to use and fun tool to create online surveys.
Whether you are already established in business, or are just starting out, customer feedback is vital in helping you to make informed decisions about the direction of your products and services.
Why not create a survey to ask people within your target market about their biggest unmet challenge, or to find out what products and services they already pay for? Or you could gather feedback from your current list of clients about a product you are planning to launch, testing its feasibility before you invest all that time and money developing it. Another cool way to use Survey Monkey is to create interactive competitions for your customers or database members, offering a cool prize or service in return for their responses.
Ask Your Target Market is another great survey tool you can access for free. The difference between this one and Survey Monkey is this; if you are struggling to find respondents for your surveys, you can pay AYTM to do it for you!
This tool is particularly great for businesses starting out who want to research their niche ideas or get clearer on the needs of their target market, but don't yet have a large list or community of their own to survey. Yes, you need to pay for it, but it is very affordable and the investment will save you loads of time and money in the long-run – well worth the effort!
Evernote is a tool that will help you keep track of all those things you need to remember to come back to! Their tagline is “Remember Everything” and they really have come up with a great system for busy (one might say chaotic) people who are after a system to manage information. From what I can tell, Evernote could be great for you if you:
struggle to keep track of where you have stored various emails, notes, images, and bits of information,
spend precious minutes (or even hours) searching through your in-box or your computer files to find things,
want to easily be able to access your records no matter which computer you are using or where you happen to be.
We highly recommend this BYOB resource from Natalie Sisson, The Suitcase Entrepreneur. It will give you the info you need to get started creating your ideal lifestyle-business using the internet. It is a 12-step resource outlining how you can make money using your skills in your online business and includes audio, reading material and templates to get you started.
Dropbox is an online file sharing system that is ideal for small businesses. Dropbox can be used for storing files in 'the cloud', sharing files over the net, secure back up of your files. Dropbox offers several benefits, including:
- ts easy to use and the file structure is easy to follow
- You can access your files from anywhere in the world
- the system makes it super easy to share files and folders with any else
- dropbox will automatically update files that others have used as soon as you connect to the internet
- you can use dropbox even when you are offline
- In addition, dropbox is a back up system so your hard work is safe
Tools for Building Inspired, Productive People & Teams
State of Grace Documents are a fantastic tool for setting up healthy and productive relationships with your business partner, your employees or within your team/organisation. This tool can help you prevent & resolve conflict, create a great workplace vibe and help you understand how to get the best out of yourself and the people around you. There are loads of free resources on their website to get you started so go take a look now!
Social Media and Online Marketing Tools
Hootsuite is widely used by a huge number of business owners, as it is a hugely effective and efficient tool for managing your social media. Essentially, Hootsuite is a dashboard from which you can manage all your social media platforms – twitter, facebook, and linked in among others. It has a huge range of functions – allowing you to post live or scheduled tweets, create streams to manage your lists, watch your followers, and check out direct messages, mentions and re-tweets.
Aweber is an email management system that makes it easy to keep track of and keep in touch with your clients.
One of the first things we did when we got 'serious' about starting our business and launching our website was to ensure we could keep in touch with all our clients and have a system for building our list.
We needed an Autoresponder to take care of this, and after researching the options we chose Aweber. Click here to read more about our experience.
More tools coming soon, including….