Managing an online business can be very time consuming and difficult when you don’t have the right tools in place. Luckily, there are great tools out there that can help manage the mundane tasks, so you can focus on what is important to drive a successful business.
Below are some free and paid must have tools that every online business should use.
If you need a reliable platform to create a website for your business, WordPress is one of the most popular services to get a site up and running. The important thing about WordPress is that it’s free and open source, so you can create your own themes and plugins for your website or use the hundreds of templates that other WordPress members have created.
Unlike other web building and hosting platforms where SEO tools can be fairly limiting, WordPress usually has more advanced SEO tools so you can improve the quality and quantity of your web traffic.
WordPress can either be self-hosted on your own business servers, or if you don’t have the technical capabilities to do so, you can have your WordPress website hosted on a third-party web hosting service.
When it comes to managing all of your business’ social media accounts, a great tool to do this is Hootsuite. Hootsuite is your all-in-one management tool for social media. If you are a small business, the team plan allows 3 users to manage up to 20 different accounts within the Hootsuite dashboard.
Hootsuite has a great scheduling tool to allow you to schedule posts at certain times on specific dates as well as integration tools with other team-based applications like Slack, Zendesk, and Canva.
If you need to track the metrics of your posts, Hootsuite has a full analytical dashboard with easy-to-understand graphs, so you know what content you are putting out is receiving the highest engagement. You can also export analytical results into PDF, PowerPoint, Excel, and CSV formats to share to internal teams within your business.
If you have a new product you want to advertise or just want to share important news to your customers, a fantastic way to send automated email campaigns is with MailChimp. When creating an email campaign, MailChimp provides an easy to set up automated messaging system, which can be configured for sign ups and purchases. When customers complete an action you had set to trigger, an email will be sent to their inbox automatically without having to do things manually.
MailChimp also has a great AI-powered tool that lets you create custom templates for your businesses campaigns in seconds and has a detailed metrics system so you know who your campaigns are reaching and what you can do to improve engagement.
Trello is an organisation tool that helps you track and prioritise internal projects within your business. This is a must have tool if you have different departments in your business that need to collaborate to get something done.
The wonderful thing about Trello is that it’s completely free to use for teams. If you need some more advanced features like unlimited boards, calendar view, priority support, and security features, Trello has affordable business plans that can suit your needs.
In order to sell products online, you need a good, trusted payment processor that can get the job done, and Stripe is one of the world’s leading payment processors. Stripe is used by thousands of businesses like Deliveroo, Asos, and Monzo, so you can be assured that they are trusted in keeping customer transactions secure.
If you are worried about fraudulent transactions, Stripe has a powerful machine learning tool called Stripe Radar. By using a number of factors like fingerprinting and proxy detection, Stripe Radar will block any fraudulent transactions automatically. According to Stripe, their radar system has helped businesses reduce fraud by 32%.
Stripe has direct integrations with Apple Pay and Google Pay, so you can easily accept mobile payments on your website.
Getting feedback from your customers is crucial to the success of your online business. SurveyMonkey is a powerful survey tool that you can use to gather important data on what is working well for customers, and what needs to be improved. It’s a great way of understanding your customers’ needs so you can adapt your business and make necessary changes.
When creating surveys on SurveyMonkey, the service provides different themes so you can style your surveys to fit your business and you can filter those surveys to a specific audience in a particular country.
When you publish a survey to your customers, real time feedback is collected and displayed within SurveyMonkey, so you can analyse data that drives better decisions for your business.
Now that you know some must-have tools for an online business, these tools can be used to enhance aspects of your business to drive more engagement from your existing customers, and hopefully bring new customers to your business.