Does anyone here have a set of tools they prefer to use for managing business? Meaning: organization and brainstorming tools, client management tools, marketing tools, financial tools. Just tools to run the day-to-day business stuff. What's your favorite combo and why?
I use QuickBooks Self-Employed with the TurboTax bundle to do my business bookkeeping and pay my taxes (I pay $16.99 a month). It's super simple to use, I never miss a tax deadline, and you can add your accountant to your QuickBooks account so that your accountant can review your finances. If you're interested in trying out QuickBooks, use this link to get 50% off for the first 6 months.
For collaboration and file sharing, I have a subscription to Microsoft Office 365 (Business Premium at $12.50 per month).I can share and co-edit files with clients in OneDrive or SharePoint. I conduct meetings with Skype. And, I stay organized with Excel, Teams, and Planner.
This is a really good question.
From a financial standpoint, you cannot go wrong with QuickBooks Pro. It is versatile and somewhat easy to use. There is also a wealth of How-to videos available on YouTube to learn the ins and outs of it.
Obviously I use GoDaddy for my small business start-up needs. It has proven useful in registering the domain and setting up a website. I even use their SmartLine feature. It allows me to utilize my existing personal phone with another number. I did not want to post my personal number on the website. This is a great short-term solution while I am starting up and growing my brand, as I get bigger, I will likely keep some products I use, but will likely outsource the things I am not that knowledgeable in (website development/Maintenance, Marketing, etc.).
I use LinkedIn and Facebook for social media.
Having an ERP system like SAP would be great, but it is a little overkill for small business in my opinion and it is expensive.
In terms of client management, I personally built myself an excel model that in use in conjunction with QuickBooks, it works for me, for now. As the business grows, I will have to revisit it though and hire someone in Business Development that can do it better than I can.
I tell my clients and prospective clients all the time, do what you need to in the beginning, but don't fall into the trap of "that's the way its always been done, so that's how I am going to continue to do it". That works in large companies (most of the time), in small business, things change and can change quickly. The business and business owners need to be prepared to be flexible to adapt to those changes. Having versatile, value-driven small business solutions (tools) are a key part of that.
Rob Larochelle, MBA
President & Principal Consultant
The Recensere Group, LLC