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How can you make your workaround more effective with relatively small investment? The answer is digital tools! 
In the modern world, it is inevitable for a business to gain time and simplify processes with automation. While big corporations usually have their in-house solutions, small businesses need to optimize their resources with the help of different software.
According to a Deloitte survey, 80 percent of small businesses do not take advantage of digital tools – and earn less revenue than those companies that do. These tools not only allow you to grow your business but they give you an instant advantage on the market. 

If you run a small business, chances are you need to consider expenses when it comes to investing in tools. Good news is that these tools have a limited free version (which can be upgraded later when your business grows) so you can try them without significant risk. 

In the below list we have collected digital tools that can help your company gain more customers by marketing tools and keep them with project management tools. 

Sales / Marketing tools

Hubspot: It offers a full stack of software for marketing, sales, and customer service, with a completely free CRM at its core. 
This advanced marketing automation tool is designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It provides marketing tools for web analytics, landing page, social media marketing, search engine optimization, content management and other marketing features that can save time for its users. Basically, this is an all in one digital marketing tool. 

The below features are included in the free plan, so you can try it for yourself before buying in: 

  • Lead analytics dashboard
  • Forms
  • Contact activity
  • Contact management
  • Contact and company insights
  • Facebook lead ads

Even though the upgraded package is not cheap, Hubspot has a really intuitive user interface so non-tech companies will also find it easy to use, and its analytics feature is surprisingly good as well. You will also get 24/7 tech support.

The upgraded package contains features like: 

  • Formatting of content and publishing the content on the website.
  • HubSpot has integration features for SugarCRM, Netsuite, Salesforce, etc.
  • Creates email templates, automates the subject line and content for each recipient.
  • Based on the keywords, HubSpot optimizes blog post and the landing page.

With the help of HubSpot you can reach out to a great number of potential customers and deliver your customized message to them. All marketing activities can be kept at one place, and for tracking and follow up you don’t need to collect data from different sources. The CRM can help keep track of responses and your salespeople can eventually make a deal with these customers. Time spent on hunting for potential clients and repetitive actions are easily cut with HubSpot.

Acquire– is a customer communication platform. This tool basically takes over the customer support role with the help of AI and chatbots. 

Once you have found your clients they may need further information or customer support. Whenever they contact your company – e.g. they visit your website – they might want to ask some questions. Acquire has chatbot functions supported by artificial intelligence software that can learn to answer typical questions. As visitors tend to ask similar questions you can help them with automated answers.
If chatbots do not prove to be helpful enough there is a live and / or video chat function and a customer service representative can help in real time. 

Responsiveness is always a distinctive feature and if you want to be ahead of your competitors, chatbots are always a good idea to consider! 

Camtasia– A useful software to record your screen and edit videos. 

Although written content is still the skeleton of your web presence, video is slowly taking a bigger part of the online content market. You do not need to be a Hollywood movie maker to have great video content, just simply try Camtasia! 

This screen recording and video editing software helps you make professional-look videos and your customers will love the easily understandable content! 

With Camtasia you can create the below materials for example: 

  • Video tutorials
  • How-to videos
  • Demo videos
  • Meeting recordings
  • Training videos
  • Webinar recordings
  • Instructional videos
  • Presentation recordings

For your convenience, you can download a free trial version from this tool as well. 

Once the marketing tools have brought in enough customers and you are flooded with work then you can start thinking about automizing and simplifying some of the project management steps so you won’t lose your current customers and can bring in even more! 

Project Management Tools

Slack– a complex collaboration tool that allows users to create groups, share files and chat with each other. 

This digital collaboration place is a perfect substitution of common e-mail channels and anybody can join the groups, they do not have to be a member of your organization. 
Team communication happens on different channels in Slack. Channels can be divided up by team, project, client, or whatever else is relevant to your organization. You can decide who you add on different channels. Everything is easily trackable and if you need to have a (video) call you can do that too! The integrated file sharing system also lets you send different types of files as attachments on the channels. 

This tool is more similar to a complex e-mailing system but it’s more user-friendly and with the channels, different topics can be categorized easier. 

Trello– A card based project management tool. Ideal for tracking and organization. 

Store information on different cards and prioritize different steps. Set the tasks on assignment and organize them under one topic. You can add team members, connect your Trello cards to different systems (e.g. Slack or Google Drive) and it is automatically synced to your other devices. 
On the cards, you can add comments, due dates and assign them to different people. 
This tool will make sure no information gets lost and keeps track of progress. 

+1 Useful Tool 

Toggl– A time tracking tool that has a desktop and mobile app version and can be added as Chrome extension. It can create reports as well and can be integrated with several third-party services.  

Time is money, right? This tool lets you track how much time you have spent on different tasks and you can count your estimates how much money a task is worth. 
With the report function, you can break down the time spent on different pieces of work and use the public API to move the data around. What is so great about this tool that you can start the timer in your browser and stop it on your phone – as it can sync across devices. 

If you start using this tool you can learn where your time went during the day and with some analysis you can improve productivity. 
We understand that you have a great business and you are the master of it, but if you want to grow your company you may want to consider the above-listed tools. 

We understand that you have a great business and you are the master of it, but if you want to grow your company you may want to consider the above-listed tools. 

In case you are in the lucky situation where you can ask a colleague to monitor the latest tools from time to time, you may eventually automize a big portion of manual or administrative work in your company – and you can focus on areas that grow revenue.  

Implementing a new tool in the everyday business may need some efforts, however, with the above-mentioned tools the results will surely pay off.

László Fodor
Author - László Fodor

Working for a brighter future by creating extraordinary companies, strategies, contents and more...

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