As a business owner I’m constantly looking for ways to make my life easier and streamline processes. Having run Bear Jam for 5 years I’ve picked up a couple of tools along the way that really help save time and allow me to work on other parts of the business. So if you’re looking to start a business or claim back some precious time here are a couple of tools I find invaluable.
Avira Password manager
There’s a lot to do when you set up a business and so much of it involves an online account. You will end up with countless user names and passwords from HMRC to social media from music libraries to the internet provider. So I really recommend a password manager. I started using Avira Password manager because there are in fact a client or ours (video here if you want to check it out) but I’m now a real convert.
Google’s G Suite
Forget Word, Outlook and PowerPoint, G Suite is where it’s at. Since switching our emails to the gmail platform and ditching Microsoft office I’ve never looked back. The Drive is brilliant for storage, and being a cloud based system means you can login from anywhere and edit documents. You can even collaborate live with colleagues and clients on decks and docs.
I must say it you are an Excel wizard there may be some advanced functionality that you might not get so it could be worth testing first.
From an administration point of view if very simple to add new team members. The cost is set per user and is billed monthly. If you want to check it out there is more info here.
Xero is an accounting software and helps you streamline quotes, invoices, credit control and all that other finance stuff. It’s linked to you bank account so knows what’s outstanding and can give a snapshot on your profit & loss or other essential reports. Check them out here.
I actually team Xero with Receipt Bank. Which is an app to photograph and log receipts. I have it linked to Xero too and it saves me hours every month. Xero has just released an update to offer a similar service but I haven’t checked it out yet.
If you need to design and create digital or print media design and graphics quickly and easily you need this. Canva is a really simple graphic-design website and app that allows you to customise templates with an easy to use drag-and-drop format. I’ve used it to create print ads, infographics, YouTube thumbnails. We also use it to create all of the graphics for our blog posts.
One of my poster creations hangs on the wall at Bear Jam HQ reminding us; Don’t Produce Anything Sh*t!
Running a small business means wearing many hats and undertaking plenty of roles. One of those may be social media manager. There are loads of tools out there to help schedule and share posts but I was recently recommended Buffer and do find it to be a really great tool. You are able to set a schedule of when you want your posts to be shared and then simply add them posts to the queue. I will have a session a week finding and reading interesting articles and if I want to share any simply add them to my Buffer account where they will be shared over the course of the week. You can also upload photos and write posts.
And if you want to fill your queue with video you know where to come!