There’s a lot of different online business tools out there to help you to manage and automate. Which ones are the best?
I’ve asked successful online business owners to share which ones they use. Here’s what they had to say…
*** Small Business Stack ***
“I am happy to share my stack with you so people can see what the behind the scenes operations at Lemonly look like.
- WordPress + Plugins for web development
- Launch27 for managing bookings, payments, and automated emails to customers
- Stripe for payment processing
- Payable for paying contractors
- Quickbooks Online for accounting
- Moz Local for Local SEO Management
- Fiverr for miscellaneous small tasks
- Upwork to find VA’s
- Microsoft OneNote for note taking that connects to all devices
- Thumbtack + HomeAdvisor for paid leads
“The stack above is what allows me to run my business effectively while having a full time job on the side. I try to automate as much as I can and leave my mental capacity for creative work like thinking about growth strategies.”
Caleb Wetherell – Lemonly
*** My Favorite Online Business Tools ***
“Hey there John,
“My favorite online tool at the moment is called Zapier. It connects actions for you, and we have it set up at the moment so that whenever someone fills out information in one of our Facebook Lead Ads, Zapier automatically 1) Sends us an email, and 2) Fills out the user’s information into a Google Sheet.
“This has proven to be absolutely invaluable and time-saving; the alternative is manually going into Facebook and downloading the forms every day, then logging them into our system. Not only does that waste time, but our response rate to customers has dropped significantly. Our data has shown the more quickly we respond to a customer inquiry, we are much more likely to close the sale.
“My other favorite online tool is Hootsuite for monitoring Twitter and Facebook mentions. We have landed several customers by contacting them right after Hootsuite has notified us of a disgruntled truck driver who has posted negative words about his truck insurer. It also alerts us to any negative mentions of our own company (very rare, of course! ;)) so we can immediately respond appropriately.
“We also use Moz Pro for SEO purposes. I couldn’t live without it. Since using it we have shot into the top 10 for many keywords and our quote requests have skyrocketed (as well as our phones are ringing off the hook). It’s also great for alerting us when someone has mentioned us on the internet but not given us a backlink to our site. I have received many backlinks by following up with the writers, which has also increased our search visibility.”
Dave Delaney – Owner Operator Direct
*** The Tech Smart Boss Blueprint ***
“Here’s a list of the tool that I recommend for any online business, I call it the Tech Smart Boss blueprint. Each of these tools integrate well and provide an affordable and powerful way to start small and scale as needed.
“The core software includes:
- G Suite (formerly Google Apps – gsuite.google.com)
- Dropbox (files, storage, and collaboration)
- Dialpad (phone)
- Hubspot CRM (CRM)
- Helpscout (Support)
- WordPress (CMS)
- Xero (Accounting)
“There are lots of supporting software for different types of companies but I think all small busineses can have a strong framework with the tools above.”
David Ferguson – Tech Smart Boss
*** We Live and Die by Intercom ***
“Like every other start up we have Google analytics integrated throughout our app however we get much more value out of Intercom. Intercom is the only tool this kind that enables companies to combine qualitative data and quantitative data.
“We live and die by it because it allows us to combine the data of what people are doing inside of our app along with talking to them while they are doing it. This allows us to move quickly off of user feedback and develop heuristics around user behavior while slowly validating the assumptions with actual quantitative data. You can stare at it all day long instead of Google Analytics but you can’t ask your users why they are doing what they’re doing when they do it.
“This software incorporates customer acquisition, marketing automation, customer feedback, customer support, and more importantly, chat. It costs us around $100 per month. It allows us to live chat in our on boarding process, and get real time customer feedback. With these practices in place, we have seen over a 40% uplift in conversion after implementation.
“Great all in one tool that allows us to be more efficient and pragmatic in our future product decisions.”
*** Online Business Tools for Lead Generation ***
“We use AdEspresso to manage Facebook Ads in our agency. It makes it more efficient especially when split testing ads.
“We use BannersLanders.com to get our landing pages made fast and for cheap.
“We also work with freelancers on upWork.
“We use Google Analytics a lot, and emailing system Aweber.”
Attila O’dree – IAmAttila.com
*** Online Business Tools For Floral Designers ***
“I run two floral design companies and we use a ton of great online tools to keep our business on the right track. Some of my favorites are as follows:
- Squarespace – Both our sites are built here. Great for those less experienced with code who want a clean/professional site that they can edit on their own.
- 17 Hats – This holds all of our quotes, invoices, and contracts. It’s so great to be able to keep all of the paperwork in one spot and have it categorized by client project.
- Ularas – We use this to create all of our floral recipes and it also offers functionality for quotes, invoices, and contracts. In addition to that, it has some incredibly useful tools for event florists such as saved flower pricing, printable reports for construction and packing, and management of rental inventory.
- Wunderlist – A virtual to-do list that sychs between phone and computer. This is how I task out projects to my employees. I can upload supporting documents or photos if necessary, add sub-tasks, and my employees can leave comments if they have any questions.
- Stripe – This is how we process the majority of our payments. It connects with 17 hats which is really convenient.
- Square – If we do any pop up shops we process payments using Square. The processing fees are about the same as with Stripe.
- Quickbooks Online – We just switched over from the desktop version and we’re loving it. It’s a little more set-up on the front end than other book keeping programs but the functionality is well worth the effort.”
Malori Maeva – Hoot & Holler
Online Business Tools That I Use
Here’s the online business tools that I use:
- Web Hosting: Stablehost. I like Stablehost because of their competitive pricing, solid performance and excellent customer support.
- Autoresponder: Getresponse: For features and value, nothing beats Getresponse. Included in their packages is marketing automation, landing page and newsletter templates and even a built-in live webinar platform!
- Website Platform: WordPress
- Automated Webinar Platform: EverWebinar. For features there is no challenger to EverWebinar (I’ve tried all the platforms out there).
- Tracking and analytics: Google Analytics
- Landing and Sales page creator: WP Profit Builder
- Payment Processor: Stripe. Very cool features, including the ability for customers to make credit card payments immediately on your site with a cute little popup.
- Documents: Google Drive
- File and Media Storage: Amazon S3
Which online business tools do you use? Use something that hasn’t been mentioned yet? We’d love to hear about it. Leave a comment below…