The latest figures reveal self-employment is rising. There’s an expected increase of 7.9% through 2026. Over 10 million people will join the ranks of the self-employed by that time.
Are you self-employed? Do you own a small business? Then you know the importance of productivity and efficiency.
Getting a small business off the ground takes patience and perseverance.
Read on for 10 must-have business tools that every new company needs.
General Business Solutions
Every business has different needs. And sometimes it’s better to outsource tasks. But there are some general tools that work well for most companies or freelancers.
Do you need help with document management? Create documents with PandaDoc using the built-in templates. Sending and tracking documents is easy.
Need an e-signature? No problem. It’s all here in this one tool.
Automate your approvals for better workflow. See real-time notifications of document interactions. Real-time metrics improve sales performance.
You can try it for free first. The business plan runs about $50 per month per user.
Slack is a cloud-based chat room for team member collaboration. No matter where your employees are, they can log on and ask a quick question.
Organize projects by channel, topic, or team. Employees can search through conversations for information.
Start specific conversation threads to avoid cluttering topics. Make group decisions with ease.
Drag and drop images, PDFs, and more right into Slack for feedback from the team. Do you have a small team? Slack is free.
Need more from Slack? Pay from $8 to $15 per month depending on your company’s needs.
Organize and manage entire projects on virtual index cards. Each card represents a task.
Assign the task to an employee. Add deadlines and comments. Watch the progress as the task moves from assignment to completion.
Integrate your current apps with the Trello workflow. Trello stays synced with all your devices letting you collaborate from anywhere.
Trello is free.
4. Time Clock Wizard
It’s complicated keeping track of your employees. This free web based time clock is the perfect solution.
Once you set up an account, you’re set to go. Take care of employee scheduling, attendance, and payroll.
Are you the CEO and manager? You’ll love seeing where your employees are at the click of a button.
Do you have trouble remembering when your employees are available?
The system tracks and updates information from your employees. And then it prevents you from scheduling them when they aren’t available.
Social Media Business Tools
If you own a business, you can’t ignore social media. Facebook alone has over 1.5 billion active daily users. That’s a lot of potential customers.
Here are some business tools that’ll make social media easier, freeing you up for other tasks.
It’s tough keeping up with a social media posting schedule. Let HootSuite help.
Line up all your posts for the week. Then schedule them on HootSuite and let the tool do the posting.
Schedule posts for the major social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You’ll also get engagement numbers and other analytics.
6. Google Analytics
Looking for concrete measurements of your social media ad campaigns? Take a look at Google Analytics. This tool lets you analyze your website traffic.
Paste a tracking code on your website pages. The codes give Google valuable information about your customers.
You’ll see data about your site within a few hours. Learn whether your social media campaigns are working.
Graphic Design Tools
Whether you’re freelance or a small business with employees, you need graphic design tools.
There are lots of affordable and even free tools out there for designing social media posts and more.
7. Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud is an affordable suite of graphic design tools. Photoshop is an indispensable tool when it comes to designing and photo editing.
The lowest tier plan is only about $10 per month and includes Photoshop and Lightroom.
Get the entire suite of Adobe apps plus 100GB of cloud storage for about $50 per month.
You can also give Adobe Xd a try. It’s a free design tool for web and mobile app design basics.
If you’re looking for photo editing tools but don’t have the budget for the Adobe Creative Cloud, try Gimp. It’s an open source image editor that’s free.
Use Gimp in conjunction with other free software like Scribus, Inkscape, and SwatchBooker. You’ll find plenty of free plug-ins from the Gimp community.
It’s a powerful photo editing and graphic design tool, and the price is right!
Canva is another online graphic design tool that’s easy to use. Design social media posts, flyers, posters, and more.
The free version offers 1GB of photo and asset storage. There’s access to more than 8,000 templates. The drag-and-drop tool is intuitive.
If you upgrade to the premium version, it’s about $13 per person per month. The premium version allows unlimited storage.
Team member collaboration is easy. With Premium Canva it’s easy to save templates and color palettes. This makes branding consistency a breeze.
You’ll also resize your designs with ease.
Travel and Expenses
Keeping track of travel and other business-related expenses is a full-time job itself. Use a tool for that!
This handy tool automates travel and expense reporting. Integrate with apps like Uber, Lyft, and more. Expensify captures expenses from tools you’re already using.
Keep an eye on all facets of travel expenses, not only the hotel and flight costs.
Import digital receipts from all your providers from food to car services. No more fussing with paper receipts. Employees will love the automated expense report function.
Great Business Tools for Your Company
From general to specific business solutions, there are so many great business tools for your company!
From document automation to team collaboration, there’s a tool to help. Get cloud-based solutions for managing employee schedules, time off, and absences.
Use tools for creating eye-catching graphics and automating your social media posts and ad campaigns.
Keep track of travel expenses and business receipts that integrate with the apps on your phone.
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