Today, I’m happy to welcome guest blogger Ashley Lipman to The Savvy Solopreneur. She’ll be talking us through some of the tools she feels are essential in your small business in 2018, and why they matter. Over to Ashley…
Here are some tools you need to keep your small business going and ensure success, while you put your focus where it needs to be.
A Reliable Content Management System
WordPress, Squarespace, Wagtail– these are Content Management Systems (CMS) where you can display your website and pull analytics regarding your business. WordPress is the most popular, and a great platform for beginners. It offers a lot of customization and integration with various plugins to suit your business needs.
Squarespace has been gaining momentum in recent years, as it has a lot of stunning, designer inspired templates that make creating a professional website simple for even the least tech-savvy business people. It has less opportunity for customization (unless you’re familiar with coding) but looks cleaner and easier to navigate on the backend.
Email Marketing Automation
Your email list may be one of the most important aspects of building a sales funnel, depending on your small business goals. It is a way to communicate with your potential customers, build trust, and cultivate a rapport. As they warm up to you, you’ll be more likely to make a sale as your business will feel familiar.
Automating your email marketing will save you valuable time and money. Rather than focusing on drafting emails, the whole process runs in the background while you are out doing what you do best. You can find out here about bulk emails and list verification, which is of high importance when automating through providers like MailChimp.
How do you collect emails and grow your list? By using landing pages that encourage leads to share their information with you. A landing page is essentially a one-page website where someone can enter their email address and subscribe to your site. It may also be a pop-up on your site as readers scroll through your content.
How can you encourage people to visit your landing page? By offering something in return. Small businesses will often offer something like a conservative discount, a free tool or a free consultation. Using landing pages rather than direct advertising will help ensure you attract the people who are most likely to become customers.
Payroll Simplification Systems
Just because you’re a solopreneur doesn’t mean you can avoid payroll headaches. You may well be outsourcing and using a variety of freelancers within your business. It can be time-consuming and confusing to keep track of who did what when, and how many hours it took them. Sometimes, the simplest approach is best. If you track hours in an Excel sheet, use an Excel Time Card Calculator to accurately add up billable hours. Excel sheets also integrate well with most major accounting software programs, allowing for easy import and export features.
When it comes to running a small business, less is sometimes more. Automate the bulk of the technological and administrative work, and you’ll be on the road to success in no time.
Ashley Lipman is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.
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