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10 Entrepreneurs Share Their Favorite Online Business Tools

Entrepreneurs and business owners everywhere are constantly on the search for tools to make their lives easier. There aren’t enough hours in the day to handle every minuscule task so stumbling upon that one random site which leaves you with a new tool for your belt can be a miracle in itself. We asked some entrepreneurs and business owners what tool they recommended. Check out the list below – you might find yourself walking away with a new lifesaving tool for your business.

#1 – Trello

Photo Credit: Brittany Taylor

Photo Credit: Brittany Taylor

My pick for the best online business tool is Trello. It’s a visual, card-based project management tool that small businesses can use for free. I use it to track client projects–and I help my clients onboard into it, too, so that they can see where we are and what’s coming next–as well as my editorial calendar for my website’s blog and social media platforms, and to manage the relationships I’m nurturing with other bosses and potential customers. The best thing about Trello is that the team behind it is constantly working to add more features. The second best
thing is the Trello blog. The content team is fantastic. Each of their tutorials shows you how to use the tool’s features in a new, niche way that you’ve probably never considered before.

Thanks to Brittany Taylor, SeeBrittWrite

#2 – Asana

Photo Credit: George Gillies

Photo Credit: George Gillies

For project management & team collaboration we absolutely love Asana. We conduct online employee surveys and often have many, manyoverlapping projects than are typically done within a very short time frame. When you are juggling multiple simultaneous projects of than nature, task assignment and scheduling as well as time management are critical. We had tried a number of different project management solutions over the years but found that for a small company most were way too complex and made the actual job of project management more difficult, sometimes, than the projects themselves. We even tried building an in-house tool to manage workflow but that also turned out to be much more than we could easily handle. Asana gave us exactly the functionality we needed, it’s simple to learn, easy to use and the dashboard/task view is a lifesaver when we are busy.

Thanks to George Gillies, Insightlink Communications

#3 – Positionly

Photo Credit: Lisa Chu

Photo Credit: Lisa Chu

My favorite business tool is called Positionly it allows me to track my organic ranking through search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. SEO is one of the most essential parts to my online marketing campaign. Positionly provides me a very accurate and reliable report of my SERP and target keyword changes on a daily basis. Not only that I can easily manage thousands of related keywords and see how my website is performing. Lastly I can use the tool to track all backlinks from my website and my competitors. Giving me precise data on the quality of the links and the tools to correct and improve my SEO. Without Postionly I would not be able to mange the complex metrics of dealing with SEO.

Thanks to Lisa Chu, Black N Bianco Kids Apparel

#4 – Crowdsourcia

With Crowdsourcia, companies get feedback on projects from multiple experts. The experts not only collaborate with the company, they collaborate with each other. This style of collaboration optimizes creativity and utilizes the collective intelligence of highly respected experts. So I go to the site, upload a project, say a marketing plan, then pick from their pre-vetted experts. I can pick say a marketing expert, biz ops expert, legal expert and two copywriters. Then, all the experts collaborate with each other and me to perfect the project. Best of all, I only pay for feedback, I don’t have to commit to a huge consulting contract with each of them.

Thanks to Thomas Jensen, TennisRacket.me

#5 – Wave

Photo Credit: Rob Boirun

Photo Credit: Rob Boirun

Actually one tool I recently discovered helped me with the accounting side of my business. Wave is a perfect free online accounting tool which took out the worry about managing my business finances. I used to dread having to do the accounting bit but by using this made my accounting process less than an hour a month. Also my tax preparer was pleased with the reports that she needed. So all around best free service so far for my business.

Thanks to Rob Boirun, PopNet Media LLC.

#6 – Answer the Public

Photo Credit: Jennifer Poole

Photo Credit: Jennifer Poole

One of my favorite online business tools is answerthepublic.com. This tool is invaluable for online marketers, especially bloggers. Using the tool, you can enter a query and the service will provide you with a list of associated queries, prepositions, etc; This tool streamlines the blog
creation process. Not only can the service provide you with ideas for blog posts, but it can also ensure that you are answering the most common/important questions that a reader may have about a given topic. It provides valuable insight into what people are searching for and it also provides great keyword/phrases/questions to target for semantic search purposes. Best of all? It’s free.

Thanks to Jennifer Poole, Nadrich and Cohen LLP

#7 – IFTT

Photo Credit: Susan Vernicek

Photo Credit: Susan Vernicek

I run an online business, so I have many tools. However, my favorite is IFTT, ( If This Than That). It’s an app/desktop software – gives you creative control over the products and apps you love. I have integrated many recipes to help support my online marketing and build brand awareness—looking alive on many platforms in which we all know it’s hard to keep up with. My favorite recipes is that I set a reminder to alert me every morning to think of 3 people in my life, whether it be friends/colleagues and reach out to them. I say hello and ask them if they need anything; money, support, an ear, flowers, etc. I’m a wife, a mother of 2-year old twins and have been running my business for 10 years, so it’s sadly easy to get wrapped up and forget to touch base—be thoughtful. I set reminders to be thoughtful, serve others, and think of others that I really do care about. It’s a fun app with many great recipes that can support your business and as you see, your relationships.

Thanks to Susan Vernicek, Identity Magazine

#8 – Vanillasoft

Photo Credit: Chris Abrams

Photo Credit: Chris Abrams

My favorite online business tool is my crm (Vanillasoft). This is not your typical crm as it is much more than a contact manager. Every time someone fills out a quote request on my website, the contact information feeds directly into my crm. Then they get an automated email asking if they have questions and it includes a link to schedule a time to talk. The crm also has queue-based calling. This means it tells me automatically which prospect to call next so I don’t have to remember who I am supposed to call back in 3 days or 2 weeks. It also keeps track of sales volume and lead source percentages. Lastly, it sends emails out to my clients to educate them on additional products and reminds us when to have a policy review. With a high volume of clients, my business could not run without this crm.

Thanks to Chris Abrams, No Exam Life Insurance

#9 – Rapportive

Photo Credit: April Davis

Photo Credit: April Davis

I love this tool because it automatically pulls up online photos, career information, etc. on the person I’m emailing. It’s a google plugin and the information shows up on the right of my screen while I’m in gmail. This kind of information is very valuable to my business as we are a Matchmaking service and it’s necessary to know what people look like, obviously, but it can also be helpful to know if someone is a professional and what their occupation is, since our company caters to professionals and executives. Additionally, the plug in is free, which is always nice.

Thanks to April Davis, LUMA

#10 – Fan Page Robot

Photo Credit: Adam Force

Photo Credit: Adam Force

It’ called Fan Page Robot. It’s an *extremely* powerful tool for managing your social media marketing strategy. No other program I have ever found allows you to schedule Instagram posts *and* posts it for you. Everyone is stuck on Buffer or Hoostsuite. Aside from that, it will let you pull up the lasted news based on key words you choose and create posts on the spot or even auto post for you. It also offer great interstitial marketing solutions that are triggered when someone click to visit the link in your post.

Thanks to Adam Force, Change Creator, LLC

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