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  • Writer's picturetheunexpectedtype

5 small biz TOOLS we love

Small businesses unite! ESPECIALLY during this time when we have the power to support each other, pivot quickly, and continue to learn. It's been such a surreal thing to call myself a "small business owner" and something I've been working on is sharing more resources to help others who want to call themselves a business owner, too!

As we continue to practice social distancing, it's time to utilize all that extra time (if you have it) to take the leap and work towards your dreams! It might be that small side-hustle you want to step into or the full-time job you've been dreaming of - whatever you're striving towards, I'm sharing 5 resources that we love to help you jumpstart your new career.

Curious about anything else small biz related? Leave a comment, email us or DM us on Instagram! Note: *This post contains affiliate links! I stand by and believe in all of the resources I'm sharing below.

I was once the girl with 3 different notepads for to-do lists, a planner, sticky notes, etc. Now, I use ClickUp and it is A LIFESAVER. Whether you're handling your business solo or managing a team, ClickUp can work for you. It's an online platform and app that helps you house all your business goodies including tasks, docs, goals, calendars, ideas and you can even chat through it! I started using ClickUp about a month ago and am hooked. Plus it is FREEEEE. You can customize "Spaces" which are great if you have many clients - that way you can create a list of to-dos for each. If you're a brand, you can create spaces for different areas of your company like Admin, Marketing, Sales, etc. I use the spaces for both!

The thing I love most is that I can set tasks, assign them to my team, create deadlines, and sync it all up on my iCalendar & google calendar. Everything is so integrated and honestly, I've just scratched the surface! If you want to learn more about ClickUp - click HERE!

It's a game-changer and will allow you to save time, stay organized, and communicate efficiently with your team!

Thee interface of an app or tool can make or break whether I actually use it, haha! Anyone else in the same boat?! Planoly is a HUGE hit and they have a beautiful interface that makes scheduling out our social media easy-peasy. We use their basic paid plan ($7) and I am HOOKED. I love that I can schedule out my social for a week, schedule posts to be shared automatically, AND schedule the first comment containing my optimized hashtags. It has saved me so much time and pressure of having to be on social all the time. I highly recommend Planoly! P.S. their blog & IG have great insights for social - be sure to give 'em a follow.

Call me the receipt queen because I am the girl who saves ALL of my business receipts like a psycho If you don't already, make sure you do this for your taxes! Last year I was embarrassingly unorganized with how I physically saved them and felt like I needed to be more organized this year, so I turned to Expensify! I love the app and use to it organize all of my receipts. I just snap a photo of a receipt and upload it to Expensify - it automatically takes the data from the receipt and records the expense for me. At the end of the week, I can ask for a report on my expenses and continue my bookkeeping that way. It's been a huge time saver.

Honeybook is my CRM tool... now, what the heck is CRM? Customer relationship management! It refers to software that helps save you time while creating a workflow to manage your clients.

When someone emails me asking about my services, I have several brochures that my CRM sends out with a custom message to that potential client explaining more about TUT and how we can help! Before I found a great CRM tool, I would manually reply to each and every email which cost me time that I could utilize in another area of my business. Some emails would take me longer to get back to as well, which left some clients losing interest.

With Honeybook, I have custom brochures for all of my services, can manage each client in a workflow, sign contracts, collect deposits, set tasks, and send files! One thing I really love is the automatic payment reminder that ensures we get paid on time without the awkward follow-up email.

When you're just getting started, you might not have the budget to afford your full branding identity YET and need some assets to help get you started like Instagram story branding, brushes, icons, textures, templates, typefaces, mock-ups, etc. Creative Market is THE coolest and I feel like it's such an underrated resource! There are plenty of talented designers who offer their work on Creative Market - it's a great way to find new folks to work with too! When I'm seeking out a specific typeface, I head to Creative Market first. It's a fun site to explore based on your needs - have fun!

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