,

7 Online Tools Every Small Business Owner Should Use

 

By Cathy Habas

Streamlining the day-to-day operations of your company is especially important when you don’t have a large team to pick up the leftover pieces. As a small business owner, many of the nuanced or high-level tasks fall on your shoulders. If you can’t delegate these tasks to employees, you can use a handy online tool to save time, stress, and expense.

No matter what kind of business you’re in, the following online tools can help you organize your business.

Answer the Public

The Internet is a powerful marketing platform, if you know how to leverage it. Having helpful information on your site can help attract potential clients, readers, or visitors from Google searches. But what information is your audience interested in? Answer the Public is the keyword research tool of your dreams. Type in a single keyword, and you will receive dozens of longer queries. Use this data to generate blog post ideas, topics for videos, and more.

Portent’s Content Idea Generator

After you use Answer the Public to search for trending keywords, some content ideas will naturally spring out at you. But how do you jazz up a plain, commonplace keyword? What kind of spin can you put on a topic that has been done to death? You need a tool that will help you come up with a fantastic headline — the kind that gets the best of curious minds and begs to be clicked on. That’s where Portent’s Content Idea Generator swoops in to save the day. All you have to do is enter a single keyword, and then be amazed by what pops into the blank spaces above: content gold!

Nominus

Another goldmine for brainstorming ideas is Nominus.com. This is a domain tool that helps you come up with creative domain names for a brand new company or project. All you have to do is enter a few keywords, and browse through dozens of possibilities to see which ones strike your fancy. And you’re not limited to .com domain names either. Nominus will help you explore other domain extensions, including some you’ve never even heard of, and will guide you when it comes time to choose a web host for your perfect domain name.

BidSketch

Client proposals got you down? For many companies, proposals are necessary in order to finalize a sale or contract. But they can be time consuming and tedious to make, especially if you’re not in the habit of putting them together. BidSketch gives you proposal templates that allow you to create professional-looking proposals in less time, helping you impress your potential client and seal the deal. Plus, BidSketch makes it easy for clients to add digital signatures, which makes the process as pain-free as possible on both sides of the table.

FreshBooks

Whereas BidSketch gives you amazing proposal designs, FreshBooks creates professional invoices that can be sent via email or snail mail. But FreshBooks’ perks don’t stop there. This is a cloud-based accounting system in which you can track expenses, manage your payroll, and track time all in one secure location. You don’t need to be a numbers whiz to do your accounting via FreshBooks. There is a small learning curve for using FreshBooks, mostly due to the sheer number of tools that you can use to your advantage, but you will soon get the hang of it.

Local Listings Ninja

As the saying goes, time is money! So would you rather spend your time entering your company’s details over and over into local listings and online directories, or focusing on something that requires a more personal touch, like nurturing client relationships? The answer is clear, and that’s why Local Listings Ninja will be your new best friend. Being listed in online directories not only sends potential clients to your door, but also improves your SEO ranking. Local Listings Ninja finds the best directories for your business and completes them for you, allowing you to keep a consistent profile across the web.

Shopify

Do you have a physical product to sell? Then you’ll need a professional online storefront. There is no better way to help your small business compete with the big leagues than to use a tool like Shopify. With Shopify, you’ll get a sleek, intuitive e-commerce portal that integrates with your website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Shopify also gives you the ability to track sales across all of these channels for insightful customer behavior reports. You can accept international payments, add discount codes or special offers, and even sell gift cards. Don’t settle for anything less than the sophisticated offerings of Shopify.

And there you have it: exceptional tools to help small businesses with marketing, sales, accounting and more. What other tools have you used to help streamline your business operations? Tell us in the comments below!