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Must-have Digital Tools for Small Business Owners

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

Small business owners are hard-working entrepreneurs. These hard workers such as Jerry Maguire in his eponymous 1996 film Jerry Maguire (playing on fuboTV) have a lot to juggle, from making sure their finances are in order, to making sure their latest online marketing campaign is optimized for great results. On the day-to-day side of running a small business, owners face regular communication, productivity, and management challenges. Perhaps the only way to combat these challenges is with effective organization, and there are lots of digital tools that can streamline and organize these otherwise messy aspects of running a small business.

Among the sea of tools available, there are just a few that rise above as truly useful, including RescueTime, Flock, and many others.


Plenty of today's workers know that work gets done when their time is managed well; however, not all of these workers know how to actually manage their own time. With RescueTime, which offers a free basic version and a $6 premium version, workers can track how their time is actually spent during work hours and use that tracking to figure out what tasks should be given less time versus more time.


Small businesses that have a lot of remote employees have to have a reliable communication system, and Flock is one tool that offers just that. With Flock, employees can participate in digital meetings, share files securely, and direct message coworkers all in one place. Flock offers a free basic version of its tools and a premium version that costs $4.50 per user per month.


If you'd like to have a personalized email domain that matches your business name, consider using Titan, a professional all-in-one e-mail tool. With Titan, users can create and maintain e-mail addresses that match their website domains in a space that's organized and easy to use. Titan offers a free 30-day trial to all users that is followed by a cost of $1.50 a month per tool user per month.


Calendly is a digital scheduling platform that businesses can use to keep all of their employees up-to-date with meeting times and project deadlines. Calendly works alongside other platforms like Google, Outlook, and iCloud to automatically detect and share mentioned events with the right people, and the basic version of its software is free. You can also upgrade to a premium software plan for $8 a user a month or a pro software plan for $12 a user a month to unlock added features.


HubSpot is a digital tool made to put customer service and marketing all in one easy-to-access place. With HubSpot, small business owners can do everything from taking online customer service tickets to creating and evaluating advertisements. HubSpot has a free version of its software available to all businesses, and its premium features can be added to your arsenal with a la carte payment options.


If you're interested in growing your small business's presence with social media, consider looking at Buffer, a tool that lets you create, publish, and schedule social media posts. Buffer makes social media simpler by making it easy to publish on sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram all in one place. You can get Buffer with a pro plan for $15 a month, a premium plan for $65 a month, or a business plan for $99 a month. You can also get a seven-day free trial of the pro plan or a 14-day free trial of the premium or business plans.


All small businesses can build a following of customers or clients with an e-mail marketing list, and Mailchimp is a leading digital tool for e-mail marketing. With Mailchimp, users can build e-mails, automated e-mail campaigns, and e-mail recipient lists all in one place. A basic version of Mailchimp is available as is an essentials plan for $10 a month and a standard plan for $15 a month.


Canva is a leading tool for creating and sharing digital designs. Small business owners can use Canva to make image advertisements or social media videos, and they can purchase prints like business cards and flyers directly through Canva. Canva is free to use, although there is a pro plan offered for $10 a month after a 30-day free trial or an enterprise plan offered for $30 a month after a 30-day free trial.


WordPress is a website building and hosting platform that's easy for even inexperienced website builders to use. WordPress offers tons of templates to choose from that can be edited to fit each small business's needs. This platform is free, too, although you can upgrade to a pro plan for $10 a month or an enterprise plan for $30 a month.

Intuit QuickBooks

If you are a small business owner with employees to pay, you can use Intuit QuickBooks to create an organized payroll. Anyone can use Intuit QuickBooks to manage business funds and pay bills also. Payment options for this software vary based on each business's needs with the lowest plan level being the simple start plan for $12 a month and the highest level plan being the advanced plan for $75 a month.


When you need to collect payments for your business, consider using Stripe, a payment and billing software program. With Stripe, you can collect card payments online or in person, and you can create metered billing processes. Stripe doesn't take a monthly fee for you to use its services; instead, you will be charged 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction you use with its services.


For small businesses that have a lot of digital files to store and share among their employees, Dropbox is a cloud storage solution. Dropbox comes in plans that vary for individual or business use, too, and there are individual plans that offer 2TB of storage for $10 a month or 3TB for $17 a month. For teams that want 5TB of storage, the cost is $12.50 per user per month, and for teams that want unlimited storage, the cost is $20 per user per month.


Small business owners are entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs know that work needs to be organized in order to be done. Digital tools, from RescueTime to Dropbox, can help small businesses streamline their marketing, accounting, and day-to-day workflows.

By: Toast and Jam Community Contributor

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