Before we start, I want to mention that some of the links included in this blog are affiliate links. It’s important to note that I only partner with companies that I love and personally use or have tested myself. If I recommend a product or service, you can trust that it is something I truly believe in.
Ok, now on to the FUN STUFF!
I have gathered a shortlist of small biz tools that I use every day in my businesses, and you can too!
Y’all… Canva is like having a best friend who is a creative-marketing genius!
They have so many amazing tools to help you create stunning marketing pieces, like social media posts, client guides, Pinterest post images, Reels + videos…
…And that’s not all. Some of my other favorite features include a Content Scheduler Calendar to help you organize + plan out your social media posts. A Brand Kit option where you can add your custom brand elements, to easily use on any Canva designs you create.
Canva’s media library is packed full of commercially licensed images, graphics, fonts, and templates that you can use in any part of your business. And the best part of all, their free version is pretty awesome and gives you access to a ton of great stuff. They do offer a paid version, which I swear by as a designer, but most smaller businesses will be quite happy just using the free version.
If I could only have one tool as a business owner, my CRM would be it without a doubt!
I don’t think I would still be in business in without the help of my CRM. I use Dubsado personally, and love it! I love it so much, I actually went through the process to get certified as a Dubsado Specialist, which just means, I help my clients maximize all the amazingness that is Dubsado’s CRM platform. There are many different CRMs available, a few that I regularly work worth and like are Dubs (of course), Sprout Studio, and Studio Ninja.
So what does a CRM really do, you ask? Ummm… it basically organizes the entire back end of your business for you.
Here are just a few things a good CRM can do.
– Maintain your client book with all your client details and track client interactions such as emails.
– Create + send custom invoices (and invoice templates you’ve created)
– Accept + track payments
– My personal favorite, a CRM can create year-end reports for your business when tax time rolls around.
– Create template emails for those emails you repeatedly send to clients.
– Schedule appointments and sync your CRM calendar with your outside calendars
– Create Templates of any items you repeatedly use with your clients. You can create templates for emails, contracts, questionnaires, quotes/proposals, and more!
And the #1 TOOL available in almost every CRM is the ability to set up AUTOMATED WORKFLOWS!
A workflow is simply the process you go through for each client. What makes CRM workflows so amazing is, by using the tools listed above, you can set up parts of your Workflow to work automatically for you so you don’t have to lift a finger. Want a new client added to your client book as soon as they inquire? Your CRM will do that automatically for you. Want a client to be able to choose their products and services, sign a contract, and send payment all when they book? Your CRM will do that automatically for you. Want to send out template emails throughout your client process (appt reminder, thank you emails, etc)? You got it! Your CRM will automatically send that for you.
If you aren’t already using a CRM, or if you aren’t maximizing the tools in the CRM you are using,
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??
Just imagine the time you will be able to free up if you didn’t have to manually run every part of your business.
Ok, this one is just a fun site that I often use when working on design projects for clients. They have a huge variety of custom fonts, graphics, social media templates, email campaign templates, and the list goes on and on. Creative Fabrica recently started offering their All-Access Pass. This monthly subscription allows you to download unlimited items from their shop each month. This subscription is normally $19 per month (and totally worth it if you are a designer) BUT if you are a new customer they will give you the first month of the All-Access Pass for…. wait for it… $1… for the whole month! So sign-up, go download-crazy, and if you don’t need anything else from their shop each month, just cancel. It’s that easy.
And if signing up for trial memberships just isn’t your thing, you will want to make sure you check out their FREEBIES section to have access to TONS of free goodies!
I’m a Cali girl with southern roots, currently falling in love with Oregon. I’ve been known to wildly chase dreams, especially the “crazy ones” … Ask me about that time I made my family travel the US in an RV for almost 3 years!
After a decade of running a successful photography business, even while traveling full-time, I realized, almost by accident, that my real love is helping other small biz owners navigate through the usual hang-ups that come with running a business. From custom branding + web design to business organization + marketing, I am with you every step of the way. Helping others reach their dreams is my love language (well, that and chips), so what dreams are you holding out on? ‘Cause I’m ready to show you how you can make them a reality!