Many small businesses find that they reach a plateau from which they struggle to expand further. As you grow, your costs also increase, while any inefficiencies become harder to manage. This means that while you might have increased the number of staff and grown your turnover, you’re not actually generating any more profit at the end of the day. And this holds you back from growing as fast as you would want. There’s no single answer to this common problem. However, today there are ever more business tools which help you become more efficient and productive, allowing you to do more with less. And when you can do more with less, it means your profit margins rise, and you can invest in further growth.
Let’s look at seven powerful, low cost business tools which can help you advance your business. Each one of these I personally use to help streamline my business.
Basecamp is a cloud-based platform that allows teams to organize their projects, client work and internal communications in a central place. It provides an easy-to-use interface where your employees can discuss work, manage tasks and get projects rolling.
Why is Basecamp good for business growth?
Basecamp brings all your projects and discussions into a single place, so the whole company can understand what’s going on. This means you avoid the risk that as your company grows, people simply aren’t aware of what their colleagues are doing, which results in missed deadlines and delays.
Today’s customers expect to be able to ask about your services and products from any device, via any communications channel, and receive a response fast. Intercom helps you do that. It gives your company a single inbox where all customer queries from your website arrive, allowing you to respond immediately.
Why is Intercom good for business growth?
Slow responses to customer requests kill your sales. If a customer tries to contact you, and you fail to respond fast, that gives them an immediate negative impression of your brand. Why should they trust that your product or service won’t let them down either? Intercom makes it much more likely you don’t miss these opportunities.
3. Book Like a Boss
Where Intercom is great for allowing customer to reach out to you, Book Like A Boss is focused on making it as easy as possible for them to reserve and pay for your services as well as booking appointments. Through its interface, your customers can simply find a slot in your calendar and reserve your time, ask questions and pay for work in advance.
Why is Book Like a Boss good for business growth?
If it’s confusing and time consuming for customers to book your services or set an appointment, they’ll be much less likely to make the order. At the same time, using a simple tool like Book Like A Boss means you save hours with the typical back and forth of email messages. Sharing calendars with customers and so on is all taken care of for you. I know I may be a bit biased about this one, but it truly does help me and thousands of others with their business growth.
4. Better Proposals
When it comes to proposals, your sales team could spend hours every week re-inventing the wheel, typing up project outlines and trying to design them up to look reasonably professional. Better Proposals aims to totally change this. It allows you to quickly create smart, professional and consistent proposals which will impress your customers and save your sales teams hours of typing and formatting.
Why is Better Proposals good for business growth?
The amount of time (and frustration) spent by your sales team writing up proposals gets cut massively. At the same time, you ensure all the legal T’s and C’s are included in proposals, and its e-signature feature means your clients don’t have to print, sign, scan and return your proposal – meaning the deal gets closed faster.
Communication is king, especially in an era where employees work remotely or in different offices around the planet. Specifically designed for business, Zoom stands out in the VoIP (voice over IP) market as fast, cheap and efficient, falling squarely among Gartner’s leaders for online meeting solutions.
Why is Zoom good for business growth?
People can communicate faster and more effectively over VoIP than email or other chat tools. This means your employees can get more done and make decisions faster. And, it allows you to create a more coherent company culture, meaning staff work better together.
Marketing is key to growing your business, and AdEspresso helps you take full control of the most powerful advertising tool of the social media era: Facebook. AdEspresso allows you to create hundreds of variations on your ads for different Facebook users, meaning your messaging gets in front of the right people fast.
Why is AdEspresso good for business growth?
Creating targeted Facebook ads manually takes hours of your time – just to create a handful of ads which may not be effective for your audience. AdEspresso massively amplifies your potential for ads and remarketing in far less time.
Your website is almost certainly not reaching its lead generation potential, but Sumo aims to help. This business tool provides you with an arsenal of powerful features which prompt website visitors to engage with you, share their email addresses and help get you more signups.
Why is Sumo good for business growth?
Put simply, Sumo allows you to get more juice out of your website, generate more leads and grow your audience. This all means you’re way more likely to stay in the front of those potential customers’ minds, making it more likely they’ll convert.
No single tool alone will immediately generate huge growth – you need internal organizational alignment and strategy here too. But, by cutting costs and doing a lot of the work for you, these business tools help you boost your margins and grow faster.