Building and running your own business can be as difficult raising a baby. It requires you to be efficient on several fronts. You have to promote your services, manage new work, deliver quality products/services on time & maintain good relations for repeat business – all at the same time. Sometimes, while balancing all these activities maintaining your online presence and marketing can take a backseat.
Here’s a list of tools I use regularly to manage & grow my own business – some of them every day and some of them as a subscription. They really make my job easier and my tasks more organized. I hope they help you too!
Websites & Blogs
1. GoDaddy – For domain registration – their 24 hours award-winning support is definitely a plus.
2. WP Engine– I have tried and tested many hosting services in the last 10 years, so trust me. Noone hosts WordPress sites like the WP Engine guys do.
3. Bloglovin’ – A good network to connect with other bloggers in your niche.
4. WordPress – A network of WordPress blogs. Works better if you have WordPress Like, Share and Repost buttons enabled on your site.
5. Filezilla – A simple-to-use FTP file manager for your website that lets you upload, download & delete files.
6. Sumo Me – Sumo Me offers several tools to build your email subscriber list, promote your site content, analyze and improve your site layout etc. And it’s got a free version! Available for all websites, no matter what platform.
7. CloudFlare – Free powerful Content Delivery Network (CDN) with robust features, super-effective caching and other additional apps.
Email & Social Media
8. Gmail – The best email management service known to man. Period. I use Google apps to use Gmail with my own domain name.
9. Buffer – A great tool to schedule posts to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + and Pinterest accounts.
10. Schedugram – Post scheduler exclusively for Instagram.
11. IFTTT – A free tool to set up automation based on a simple “If This then That” logic. I use it to promote all my content to social bookmarking sites like reddit, Stumbleupon, Scoop.it, Diggo, Digg Digg, Instapaper, tumblr, Readability, Blogger, Delicious and more.
12. Pocket – A quick way to save anything you want to look up later. Also has a phone app so you can sync your saved items.
13. Pinterest – Purely for daily inspiration.
14. Bulk.ly – Helps you schedule your Instagram posts.
15. Colorcinch – Instantly create, edit and turn your photos into personalized artwork with Colorcinch – a new photo editor & cartoonizer designed to be simple, beautiful, and free.
16. Photojoiner – Helps you quickly combine several images into one. Very effective for images that you want to post to Pinterest.
17. Be Funky – A free online tool that offers a range of pre-made layouts to create beautiful photo collages.
18. FotoSketcher – An awesome free tool to quickly add watercolor, sketch or oil paint effects to your photos.
19. Repper Pro – This one’s useful mostly to designers. It’s a tool to create seamless patterns from images.
20. Gif Maker – Creates animated .Gif images by combining the individual images you upload.
21. Veed.io – Easy video editing for everyone.
22. Skype – For chats and calls with clients.
23. Google Docs – Google Docs helps me with a wide range of tasks from listing business related keywords for SEO to keeping track of payments.
24. Mailchimp – Excellent and effortless email management system. I use their RSS-driven campaigns which help you save time pushing out new content.
25. WhatsApp – WhatsApp is THE mobile chatting app right now. It’s used worldwide owing to its speed, simplicity and compatibility across various operating systems. WhatApp lets you send messages, photos, videos, audio messages etc. to your contacts quickly with reporting notifications. Many of my clients used this app to stay in touch during the progress of their project. Available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Nokia & Windows Phone.
27. FeeCalC (For PayPal) – FreeCalC is an app that helps you calculate and reverse calculate the transaction fees PayPal will charge on your specific payment/amount. So if you want to charge your client USD 300, this app will quickly tell you how much you should actually quote so that it includes PayPal’s transaction charges. Very handy! Don’t know whether or not there’s an Apple version – I use it on my Android.
Got Somethin’ To Add Here?
If you use any other tools that help you a great deal at work, do help me add them to this list by posting your comment below.