7 Useful Tools Every Solo-Entrepreneur Will Love Using
When I started my business I became overwhelmed. A number of daily chores that you must do to even keep up with competitors are astonishing. I panicked. How could I grow my business if I couldn’t compete without employees? How can I afford an employee without growing? I get a knot in my stomach just thinking about those days. Those times were ended by a group of tools.
But I found a way to wear all the hats without stressing out and that was with some great tools. But even choosing a tool for the job can be overwhelming. So to keep you from pulling your hair out I will be running you through what I use to get things done. Because time is the most important asset you have and I plan on saving you a ton of it.
Social Media Automation – Buffer
Social media is the best way to meet new customers and keep in touch with current ones. But how do you keep the feed going? Can you make the time to post on Twitter nine times a day? How about every day on Facebook? Daunting. And that’s putting it mildly, so let me introduce you to Buffer.
Buffer is a social media automation tool that gives you freedom so you can breathe. Buffer lets you set up several days (or even weeks) worth of content and posts them to a variety of social networks, automatically. Which networks? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
So no matter what your social media strategy is you can get the most out of it with Buffer. And they didn’t pay me to say that. I really do love this tool.
But how much does this big bucket-o-awesome cost? Free. Sure you’re limited to a few accounts and a certain number of posts, but it’s enough to get you started. Once you’re committed you can boost your account up to the Awesome Plan, which is what I use. It serves all my needs and for $10 a month is worth every penny. Of course, you can go beyond the Awesome Plan and go full Buffer for Business. It comes with a complete analytics suite and reporting options. It’s wicked awesome, but don’t extend yourself if a lower price model works.
Get Buffer here: Click Here To Get Buffer!
Time Tracking – Rescue Time
How many hours did you work last week? If you are a solo-entrepreneur you are probably guessing. Guessing isn’t the best tactic when measuring your productivity so let’s stop. The only way to do that is to keep track of the hours you are devoting to your future. If you’re like me, you spend most of your time on the computer and Rescue Time is perfect for keeping track of that.
Rescue Time is the tool I use to keep track of my entrepreneurial efforts. It’s a desktop app and a mobile app that monitor your daily activity. Then, Rescue Time gives you reports on how productive you’re being. So now you can see whether your innocent Facebook browsing is truly that innocent.
Best part, the app is free! Sure there is a paid version but you won’t need it, at least not right away. The free version keeps track of the essentials enough to let you be the most productive you could be.
Get Rescue Time here: Get Rescue Time
Time Management – Trello
Managing your time doesn’t have to be a struggle. To-do lists help but to do lists are one trick ponies. Why not invest your time in something that can do more than one trick. But we will get to those other tricks in a little bit. For now, let’s talk about your to-do list.
Trello. I’m sure you have heard of this tool before, but if not you are in for a treat. Trello lets you manage your, well, everything. You can manage your business tasks, your personal tasks, collaborate with a team. You can even just collaborate with yourself.
Trello uses a system of boards that hold lists where you put your cards. And within a card, you can have checklists, add labels, reminders, and more. I feel like this can be its own blog post.
Another big selling point of Trello is you can get complete functionality for free. The paid subscriptions are only useful if you have a full team collaborating through the app. I highly recommend picking up Trello and learning how to use it. You can thank me later.
Update 8.16.18: Recently, another obsessed Trello fan reached out to me to share his article on Trello. It’s a lovely deep dive into everything about the platform. Which is super handy since there is a steep learning ccurveto Trello. Check out Lewis’ Trello Guide Here.
Get Trello here: Click Here To Get Trello.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – Trello
If your business deals with clients rather than customers, you have a sales pipeline. Leads come in, you court and woo, then hopefully they convert. And if you have more than a handful of leads on the line keeping track of them can be a challenge. Trello comes to the rescue again so you can rest easy.
Just like setting up a to-do list you can create a board that’s your master CRM. Then add lists for each stage of the process. From there each lead is a card. You can keep notes and keep track of everything you have discussed. It’s a wonderful way to use this already amazing tool.
Again, get Trello here: Get Trello Here!