5 Business Tools That Should Be In Everyone’s Kit

We all need a Toolkit to get things done

What business tools are in your toolkit?

This week I am going to share with you some of the best Apps and Software to help you in your business.

Below Are My Top 5 Business Tools.

All business needs traffic, whether foot traffic to your shop or traffic to your sales pages or traffic to your webinars and workshops. Then we all need a way to convert that traffic into clients and customers.

business toolGood business tools make this process easier and quicker.

For local business I expect you will be using some offline magazine or directory marketing, even flyers and brochures and those are very dependent on your industry and locations. But I expect and hope that you are also utilising the internet to drive traffic and convert clients and customers.

Digital is the key and there are a wealth of options to tailor the right mix to aid and automate your systems for ease, time and effectiveness. I have picked out some powerful business tools here that will do just that.

All of my recommendations are our teams choices and are tools that are used by Nudge Marketing and for transparency sake, naturally, some of them have affiliate links.

So let’s kick off with, what I consider some of the most important pages for your business, either housed on your website or through a third party and that is your landing pages.

Whether you are wanting leads, sales, opt-in’s to webinars or events you need dedicated, tailor made landing pages.

Business Tools

1. Optimize Press 2

Optimize Press 2Optimize Press 2  (OP2) is a WordPress theme and also a plugin for creating landing pages without having to know code or design your own page.

You can incorporate it into your website as a plugin, or you can use it as a theme, which will open up the blogging functions. If you do decide to use it just as a plugin, it works on top of your current theme.

OP2 has a stunning live editor, where you can build and edit your pages in real-time meaning you see the changes you make to your layout live on the page. You can choose done for you templates or customise an existing template or build your own specially designed pages.  There are over 30 templates and over 40 custom elements so you can create professionally designed pages in just minutes.

All OP2 pages are fully mobile responsive and integrate well with all customer relationship management software such as Ontraport, Infusionsoft, Mail Chimp and all the others.

They have 3 packages depending on how many sites you want to run OP2 on starting at $97. The icing on the cake is that it is a one time cost. There are no monthly payments as with most of the other landing page options, this is a one time payment. As an example LeadPages which is another good option you will pay $37/$97 per month.

There is also a market place where other templates can be purchased and you can sell your own if you wish and as a bonus you can see which have scored the best rating for conversions. In addition they have a “clubhouse” which is a monthly fee for new templates every month, icons and graphics pack, background images and textures, and premium support.

However with the limitless possibilities for design within OP2 you do not require the extra templates unless you feel you require even more done for you designs.

Optimize Press Page

Following on, as you collecting all your opt-ins and customers you will need a customer relationship management software to keep them and there are many. A few are: MailChimp, Aweber, GetResponse, Ontraport, Infusionsoft, Emma, Constant Contact, iContact, Active Campaign and the list goes on.

The three powerful ones here are Infusionsoft, Ontraport and Aweber. Our Choice..

Business Tools

2. Ontraport

Ontraport LogoOntraport  is a fully integrated system and manages all your business tools, data and customer information in one place.

This is a highly complex operating system within which you can carry out the most detailed email sequences, create webpages, send messages, sell products and organise almost anything.

The all-in one platform is split into 4 main areas.
Publish – for publishing mobile friendly web pages
Market – email, SMS, postcards and highly optimised sequences for you marketing funnels.
Sell  – secure payment processing
Organise – organise everything with this fully automated platform.

This is an amazing software platform but does take a little learning! However in my opinion it is more user friendly than the likes of Infusionsoft.

Price wise Ontraport has no on-boarding cost. There are 3 plans currently available:

  • $79/month (1,000 contacts unlimited emails) – Basic
  • $297/month (25,000 contacts and 100,000 emails/m) – Pro
  • $597/month (100,000 contacts and 100,000 emails/m) – Team

Obviously this is not a cheap option and therefore is not for everyone.

As a comparison Infusionsoft which is also a mega platform, has an on-board minimum cost of $1,500 and has prices from $199-$599/month ($379/month gives you 10,000 contacts and 50,000 emails)

One great part about Ontraport is their baby brother, Send Pepper, which is more affordable and is scalable as your business grows. Starting at $29.99/month this software still gives you a considerable number of options and can grow as you grow, including the ability to migrate seamlessly into Ontraport when you're ready.

One  last point and something that makes all the difference to the Nudge team, is Ontraport’s customer support and customer service, which is first class.

Ontraport page

In business tool #1 we are able to build stunning web pages to capture leads and convert leads to customers and clients.

In business tool #2 we have a superb all round customer relationship software.

Now we need somewhere to store your content. Somewhere to house your lead magnets, your free downloads and your online products. Also somewhere to keep a backup of your IP – intellectual property.

Business Tool #3 is Storage

Again there are many Cloud Storage options out there.

3 Necessities for Good Storage.

  1. Security of the Platform
  2. Storage Capacity Limits
  3. Price and Ongoing Costs

Business Tools

3. Dropbox

DropboxFounded in 2007 with over 400 millions users Dropbox is simple and superb. It stores data and allows for collaboration, anytime anywhere.

24/7 access to your files on any hardware and it connects directly to many third party apps.

Makes it an easy solution for your business to enable your clients, customers and prospects to easily download content.

Dropbox has a user friendly desktop version and starts Free for 2GB of storage then the business account is $12.99/month and gives you unlimited storage and sharing. 256-bit security encryption, unlimited file recovery, audits, priority email and live support.

Dropbox page

Images – a picture speaks a thousand words – yes it does and our brain registers images 60,000 times faster than words. So Canva created an image creation business tool.

This is an area where Apps have made such a difference to small business. No longer do you need an expensive designer using Adobe Photoshop, now you can have a team member design for you.

Business Tools

4. Canva

CanvaAll our teams need to be able to create images on the go and this Free program Canva is one of the very best. A start-to-finish design program perfect for non-designers.

Fun, Free and easy to use. You can start with a custom layout or a blank page, they have plenty of pre-made templates as well. Then with all the tools you need in one place, it is so easy to create your design.

Simply search for the best graphics, photos, and fonts, or upload your own, then use Canva’s drag and drop tool to create your design.

Also included is Canva’s photo editor which is very simple and straight forward. Canva includes hundreds of free elements and fonts. And if you want something a little different or special there are images, fonts and designs you can purchase.

There are great free tutorials for Canva so really there is no reason not to have, good quality original images in your content.

Canva page

Lastly to showcase the wonderful and valuable content that you have, we and many of our clients give webinars. Whether it's a free tutorials or paid classes webinars are a great platform for interaction. Our monthly tutorials and Q&A are all carried out using live webinars.

Again there are several options – Google Hangouts, Webinar Jam, Cisco WebEx, Anymeeting to name a few. Our pick here is GoToWebinar, we do also use Webinar Jam who are coming up close on the heels of GoTo Webinar as they have great support.

Business Tools

5. GoToWebinar

GoToWebinarGo To Webinar’s key features are that it has full service attendee registration, this means that it will provide automatic webinar registration and emails.

HD video recording sharing ability with audience.

Archived recording to allow you to have your webinar automatically recorded for your use wherever you want.

Polls and surveys, use these interactivity to keep your audience engaged and involved

Starts at $89/month for 100 attendees

GoToWebinar page

The above are just 5 of a mirage of business tools that are now available to make the life of the small business owner and entrepreneur a lot easier and more automated.

Marketing moves at such a fast pace, without these types of business tools and general systematisation and automation within your firm, you will be paddling upstream.

Please note all prices are in USD not AUD

Please let me know what business tools you use and I will happily update this post with more tools to help everyone in our community.

About The Author

Helen Denney-Stone

Helen is a Co-Founder of Nudge Marketing, a marketing training company owned and run by women showing small business owners how to grow their business by driving traffic, generating leads and building automated marketing funnels to sell their services and products. As a Qualified Digital Marketing Professional with Behavioural Economics, Clinical Hypnotherapist and NLP Trainer, Helen offers a holistic approach to business - possessing both the technical and behavioural knowledge to turn a business around. Finishing her next book and entering the Archibald prize are on her Bucket List.

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