I think it is about time to share some of my favorite business resources! What are the things I do to make this business run like I do? Well pull up a seat!
Some of these deserve entire posts of their own about how amazing they are. And some of these aren't necessarily programs but they are rather other business owners that I couldn't run my business without. I will note that I will be skipping some of the obvious ones. Like my wordpress website and my gmail email. lol! I'm going to be talking about all the little extras that keep this train running!
Oh my word! Talk about the client management system of the century! I adore Dubsado! I keep track of all of my contracts, in-processing forms, client information, invoicing and more! All in one place! Honestly, I don't even use it to it's full capabilities, and it's still amazing! lol! I only just installed their lead capture onto my contact page to start getting people into the system from day one. As you all know, I am all about the importance of being organized, and this is my favorite organizational tool! (This is not an affiliate post. All these opinions are my own. But if you enter "CollectivelyCaitlin" at check out you get 20% off your first month!)
I am pretty sure everyone knows about Canva by now. But just in case, I wanted to make it known that Canva is my go to tool for all of my images! I am by no means a designer. I don't have the most artistic eye for things like this. But Canva makes it so easy to get the images I need without taking a gazillion photo shop classes. Which is how many I would need to navigate photo shop. I also use Canva for all of my PDF's.
Having images to use on social media and such that are consistent with the feel of my site and brand is so important! Ivory Mix did all of the images you see on my social accounts! She is amazing and worked with me to create the perfect images for me to have a cohesive look! I really feel like branded stock images are a must for any businesses that want to make themselves known online. And Ivory Mix is my recommendation! She also has a ton of free images for signing up for her email. Totally worth it! (If you're a photographer then this probably isn't a thing for you. But the rest of us need some images!)
As most of you know, I am not a huge fan of scheduling tools for social media because they don't have the same amount of reach as posting directly from the social media sites. But from everything I can tell, it makes no difference for twitter. Twitter is basically the black sheep in my social media family. lol! I forget about it way to often. But Buffer helps me stay on-top of it at least a little bit better!
Later is not a social media posting tool. It just helps you lay out your Instagram posts so they are ready to be posted manually. Instagram does not allow third party posting apps in an attempt to minimize spam posts. So if you are using a scheduler that posts directly to Instagram you are at rick of your account getting flagged and shut down for spam. Later simply reminds you when it's time to post and essentially hands the post over to you all ready to be posted! This is a huge time saver for me! Love it!
This is a big one that you are all probably all aware of. Being a work from home business owner can be isolating at times. It can be overwhelming at times too. But Facebook groups help to build a sense of community. I have met and befriended so many amazing business people through Facebook groups. Some of my favorites are The Rising Tide Society, Blog And Biz BFF's, and Savvy Business Owners. Also a totally selfish plug for the client only group I run called "Queen Community" for all my clients! It's kinda the bomb. hehe!
I only just recently started using this program and it's already love!Yesware offers a lot of different benefits, but mostly I use it to write emails and schedule them to send in the future. I have a terrible habit of staying up way to late. Sometimes I'll want to write some emails to some clients but it feels weird emailing someone at 2am. I mean I am sure no one would really care. But I would, ya know? haha! with Yesware I can write my email and schedule it to send in the morning. It also helps me to schedule out emails that are like "Oh I have to remember to send her a reminder about xyz on Tuesday!" Well with Yesware I can write it as soon as I think about it and schedule it to send Tuesday. It also allows me to tell when an email has been opened. But I am not sure if I actually like that or not. lol! It feels pretty creepy to me.
I totally go against the grain when it comes to my newsletter system. I feel like Constant Contact and MailChimp are everyone's go-to's. But I LOVE Benchmark! I am able to do everything I need on there and it is so user friendly! I have automation set up, multiple sign up forms, and I can easily design my emails to look exactly how I want! It's perfect!
I don't use this site as often as I should. But I am always happy when I do! It does a grammar check of your writing for free! It's not a perfect system so make sure that the corrections it's suggesting are actually needed. But it often catches a lot of little mistakes I wouldn't have on my own.
Stripe is the only payment processing system I use. I was using PayPal but ended up switching to Stripe mostly because it doesn't have a limit on how much can be moved into my bank account every month like PayPal does. It's also integrated with Dubsado, so I can keep everything organized there. I can also have a transfer schedule set up. So for me once a week anything I've invoiced for that week gets moved into my bank account. I don't ever have to go request a transfer. It's all automated and I LOVE that!
Those are my top ten! What business resources are a must for your business? Have you used any of those listed above? What ones had you never heard of?