You did it! You branched out on your own and are now a solo business owner. Congratulations! No more bosses to report to, no more competing with your office mate to get that raise. Finally you know what freedom feels like. With that freedom, however, comes the responsibility of becoming not only your own boss but your own administrative assistant as well. This can be a daunting realization for someone who may be unfamiliar with the best ways to stay organized and on top of things. We’ve done a little research for you and here are some tools we think might be just what you need to stay on top!
A great tool (and the basic plan is free!) for managing your social media channels. Schedule tweets, LinkedIn posts, Instagram pictures, etc. from ONE dashboard. No more logging in to multiple social media accounts. One caveat: we still recommend scheduling Facebook posts directly from Facebook to help your post rank.
This site offers a super fun way to create and design just about anything from blogs to social media pages to resume headers to many more. You can upload your own images or search the Canva library for millions of stock images (some images are considered “premium” and are $1.00) and choose the font and layout of your choice. The basic plan is free (less the cost of any premium image you might choose) or you can upgrade to their subscription service which offers monthly or yearly plans. The app is available through iTunes so you can design on the go.
Here’s a tool that boasts it will let you “eliminate email and phone tag” by allowing prospects “to connect right away.” It integrates with your Google calendar, Office 365 and Outlook so that you are never double booked. It also allows others to schedule meetings with you on your calendar. Great for groups or individuals and the basic plan is free.
SweetProcess allows you to systemize your processes to minimize time spent repeating tasks. It allows you to comfortably delegate to others by knowing that they have the step by step instructions in front of them. It has interactive features like checkboxes and comments and you can add videos and screenshot images. There is a 14-day free trial with monthly package options available afterwards.
Keep track of your clients, hours, rates and projects with this easy to use site. It allows you to manually enter an already completed task or start a timer to track your time for you. You can easily view your time sheets which are always up to date. Free for solo users with just an additional $2/mo per team member should you choose to add more.
Customer Relationship Management is made easier with Insightly. You can manage your leads, contacts, organizations, partners, vendors and suppliers. You can see the recent activity on any project as well as track project performance over time. It integrates with a number of social media groups and emails. With Insightly you can also manage sales and potential business as well as run vital reports. A number of plans are offered for any business size with the basic plan being free.
Just because you are a “solo” operator doesn’t mean you are alone. There are many tools to help you succeed and grow your business. Don’t be afraid to make the most of these tools. Many offer free plans or free trial periods. Why not try more than one to see which works best with your plan? Good luck! You got this!