The tools and software you use for your business should help you either get better results, or help you save time. Read on to find out about the 5 types of tools and software your business needs in 2018.
1. All in one business dashboards
All in one business dashboards allow you to have a complete overview of your business – from keeping an eye on the progress of your marketing campaigns to finances and to project management, they’re designed to allow you to monitor all your different business departments.
With a good business dashboard as your right-hand, you’ll know the exact state of your finances at any given time, what projects and campaigns are currently running, and you’ll have instant access to all of your important business data, so that you can make better decisions, more quickly.
Basically, it’s a great way of organising your entire business, so that you always know what’s happening – making it an essential tool for a growing business.
Useful all-in-one business dashboards
Cyfe – Cyfe is one of the top options for all-in-one business dashboards; it lets you monitor every department from your business, such as social media and marketing, clients, your websites and blogs, your business finances and sales, project management, and IT.
9spokes – 9spokes is a business dashboard that allows you to connect all of the apps you use to manage your business so that you can visualize everything in one place. For example, you can connect Google Analytics to monitor your website, Free Agent to monitor your cash flows and sales, social networks to track your social media success, and so on.
2. Accounting tools
A good accounting tool can make a huge difference to your professional life; not only can it help save you money to put back into your business, but perhaps even more importantly – it saves you hours upon hours (and headaches upon headaches).
Personally, my accounting software is one of my most important tools – one that I would be hard-pressed to give up.
A good accounting tool, should:
- Show you an overview of all your finances
- Easily keep track of all your invoices, quotes, payments, and so on
- Calculate your taxes more quickly and efficiently
- Offer invoicing tools and
- Finance reporting: profits & loss, cash flow, etc.
Useful accounting software tools
Zoho Books – Zoho Books offer all the main features you could need from a business accounting software, such as invoicing features, expense tracking, finance reporting, and inventory tracking.
sage One – use sage One to keep track of your inventory, as well as your expenses and invoices, to calculate and submit your VAT returns, and to get cash flow forecasts for your business.
3. Customer relationship management software
Historically, CRM tools were mostly used by sales teams, but now, there’s a much bigger need to include all departments. Customers expect better, more seamless, interactions with businesses, and that means that your CRM tool should be used to keep track of all your customer interactions – whether they be on Facebook messenger, on Twitter, on your website, or via email or phone.
Useful customer relationship software for 2018
Hubspot CRM – Hubspot CRM is a great option for businesses with over 10 employees. With it, you can keep track of and visualize your entire sales funnel, and easily log any sales activity automatically, no matter where it happens (social media, email, on a call, etc.).
Agile CRM – Agile CRM is more than just customer relationship management software; this all-in-one tool allows you to automate all of your sales, marketing, and sales. Another cool feature is that you can gamify your sales to boost your results.
4. Web monitoring tools
Monitoring tools serve a few different purposes for businesses; most notably, they help you:
- Stay on track of any mention of your business online – great for discovering opportunities and managing your customer service
- Discover sales opportunities and leads – monitor niche keywords to find any potential leads looking for products and services like yours
- Find social influencers to use for your influencer marketing campaigns
- Gain a better knowledge of your industry, as well as your audience
Useful web monitoring tools
Sentione – Sentione is a social listening and reputation management tool that allows you to monitor your brand name, as well as any other keywords you want, across the web (social media, blogs, forums, and so on).
Brandwatch – Brandwatch is a pro tool which allows you to create complex searches for keywords online, and get results from social networks, blogs, forums, and other online sources.
5. Digital marketing tools
Digital marketing and all that it entails – social media management and marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization, and so on – is a big category, with a plethora of useful tools that can help improve your results; however, I’ll try my best to provide you with an overview of the most essential tools you need to help with your digital marketing campaigns:
Wordtracker – Wordtracker's keyword tool allows you to generate thousands of long tail keywords that will help you better optimize your website.
Yoast SEO – Yoast SEO is a WordPress SEO plugin that allows you to optimize your website and blog easily, even as an SEO-beginner.
Social media scheduling
Meetedgar – Meetedgar is great at helping you save time, as you can schedule and queue up all of your social media updates, easily.
Postplanner – on social media, it’s important to post new quality content on a constant basis; with Postplanner, you can find awesome content to share with your followers, easily, and post them at the best possible times to drive the most results.
Marketing automation tools
Mailchimp – Mailchimp can be used by businesses of all sizes to send their subscriber list emails, as well as to set up marketing automation to convert more leads, quicker.
ActiveCampaign – this email marketing tool offers some of the most powerful marketing automation features, allowing you to create complex marketing automation workflows.
So, there we go – the 5 types of tools that your business needs to have in 2018.
Whenever you’re choosing a tool, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it help improve my results?
- Does it help me save considerable time?
If the answer to both of these questions is no (or the improvements are negligent), then it’s probably best to cut that tool.
Tools are there to help you grow your business and get better results in less time. What are some of the most important tools that you need to manage and grow your business?