Owning a business is more popular than ever. According to Yahoo, over 500,000 new businesses open every month, but that doesn’t mean that running a business is any easier. In fact, Fundera notes that 20% of small businesses will fail within their first year.
It takes a lot of effort to keep a business going, so, as 2019 comes to a close we asked small business owners to tell us what tools helped make their businesses successful. Take a look at their answers below:
“Google Drive is a well-known tool and is often bucketed into the ‘file syncing’ or cloud storage category. But, the biggest benefit of Google Drive is that multiple people can collaborate on an individual document at the same time. This lends itself to interesting use cases.” - Yuni Sameshima, CEO of Chicory
“I have a small real estate brokerage and just switched over to Sure Payroll. While this company is owned by Paychex, the monthly payroll fees are almost 50% less. This is a no brainer. - William J. Ganz III, Owner of Ganz Real Estate
“I find Zapier to be an absolutely stellar tool. It allows you to automate tasks so easy and saves hours of your time every week. Zapier connects different software tools together and has made a big difference in my Business. They have opened up virtually endless opportunities for businesses to be more productive and effective.” - Lewis Goldstein, President of Blue Wind Marketing
“The best tool for small businesses is Albacross, a B2B Lead Generation Software that specifically shows who has visited your website, which pages they visited, and for how long, making it possible to generate your website traffic into sales.” - Kuno Michael Kristensen, CEO of Kume Management
“The one tool that I can't live without for business is Airtable. I can do everything from project management to CRM and social media management. What makes it great is its flexibility, I can use it to create efficiencies in any area of my business. And the app is great, I can take my work with me. I don't have to be on a desktop for the software to work.” - Andrea Travillian, Small Business Coach and owner of Aspirifty, Inc.
“This is a project management tool that helps me when I work with team members in my office and freelancers outside of our office to collaborate on ideas in a centralized platform. It has been very easy to use and ensures we stay on track with our projects.” - Jonathan Bednar, Owner of Paradigm Wealth Partners
“The most valuable tool [we use] is LinkedIn so that my entrepreneurs can find customers and experts to help them gain the knowledge they need to launch their businesses. We hired most of [our] managers, directors, and VPs using Linkedin.” - John Paul Engel, Owner of Knowlege Capital Consulting
“I own a small business and a few months ago discovered a tool that I can no longer live or operate without. It's not a typical tool, it's an old-school analog productivity planner by Intelligent Change. It was $25 and it keeps my business priorities very strictly organized.” - Chris Facey, Owner of Freightsavvy.com
“As an internet company, it's critical that we perform well in Google Search, which provides the majority of traffic for all websites. SEMrush is the best all-in-one search software tool. For $99 a month, we can monitor how our website is ranking in Google search results, research new topics to write about on our blog, understand the online marketing tactics of our competitors, and detect and fix website bugs.” - Bruce Hogan, CEO of SoftwarePundit
“Hootsuite is a great tool for those that want to increase their social media engagement. It can be managed by several members of your team and allow you to delegate tasks to each one. You can also manage multiple social media platforms at once and schedule posts in advance. When you come up with new strategies, you're able to view your analytics and utilize the reporting features if you want a professional document on your social media progress.” - Andy Aranda, VP of Marketing at Breazy
“As a small business, marketing is very important to me. Canva has helped me to uplevel the appearance of my marketing materials. I use it for everything from resume creations to event flyers and brochures. I even use it for ad campaigns. It has definitely helped me to show up professionally in the ad space.” - Linda Murray Bullard, Chief Business Strategist at LSMB Business Solutions
“Grammarly ensures that every sentence I write is well-structured, easy to read, and without errors. When you're trying to get great content out the door, or even write a quick email to an employee, it's important to put your best foot forward. Grammarly helps me do that quickly and easily.” - Else Beth, Owner and Head of Content for Tekcompare
“There is no better way, in my opinion, to save money than to hire a virtual receptionist company to handle company calls. Not only do I get a team of US-based receptionists that are pleasant and polite, but you also have the ability to set up 24/7 support so calls are picked up all the time.” - Jonathan Faccone Founder, Halo Homebuyers LLC, Halo Redevelopment
“Carrd is a super simple and responsive website builder that you can use for pretty much anything. One of Carrd's most powerful features is that it offers a great way to build custom form elements that you can use to collect data from your customers like, email, addresses, names, etc. I use it for all my projects!” - Bram Kanstein, Creator of No-Code MVP
“If I was forced to pick one tool my small business couldn't live without I'd pick Square. It's such a handy tool to invoice clients and if there's one area of my business I'd like to be handy it's collecting money.” - Michael Mason, Owner and Executive Producer of Perfect Chaos Films
“As a small law firm started by two partners (one being myself), we handle accounting responsibilities and taxes on our own. Without QuickBooks, we would be lost. QuickBooks helps us keep track of every financial transaction we make, and we can even prepare our own invoices. When the time comes to report for tax season, everything is readily accessible and organized. I would recommend the tool to any small business that is handling their own finances.“ - Ken Eulo, Managing Partner Smith and Eulo Law Firm
“[This] Lets me plan my Instagram feed in advance! For my creative career, I find the way my grid looks matters immensely. Preview App helps me plan in advance so there’s that much less trouble that goes into daily posting.” - Kayla Dolce, Owner of Together Theory
“I'm a huge fan of Long Tail Pro, an affordable keyword research tool. It has completely eliminated writer's block when it comes to my business blog. All I need to do is put in a few seed keywords, and my content is practically planned out for me months in advance, saving me tons of time and generating traffic in the process. The tool has just a few features compared to larger (and more expensive) SEO tool suites, but it gets the job done and it's very easy to use. In addition to the keyword research feature, which includes monthly search volume, advertiser bid, and a keyword competitiveness score, the tool also provides rank tracking, SERP analysis, and backlink analysis tools.” - Chloe Brittain, Owner of Opal Transcription Services
“I rely on GreenPal to get client leads. Although I use other apps too, GreenPal is my favorite as it handles scheduling and payments on top of bringing new clients straight to my phone. It simply can't be beaten!” - Douglas Dedrick, Owner of This American Lawn
“I don’t want to have to ever run my company again without Align growth management software. It has been the ideal tool to help me scale my company. It helps visualize, maintain and reinforce our company goals and priorities, and gives us a great platform for team communication across multiple geographic locations. Align forces us to focus on key priorities, communicate better internally and track our progress toward accomplishing our goals on a daily basis.” - Larry Closs, CEO of Max Home
“My top tool is my Microsoft Surface Pro. It allows me to sketch, design, manage, organize and more! Love that the screen detaches to grab and go while working on designs in the shop.” - Ashley Bodi, Owner of Southern-Sunshine
“I work remotely and spend a lot of time working in cafes. Between the noise and chatter, it's easy to get distracted. I'm always shocked by how much more productive I become when I put on my headphones. I'm really able to enter a deep focus mode that I don't normally hit working in cafes. These headphones have been a real lifesaver for me this year!” - Meg Marrs, Founder of K9 of Mine
“We are a remote-first company with some of our team members working from different countries. We use Jing to record quick videos or take screenshots when we are unable to speak to a team member due to different time zones or internet connection issues. This tool automatically uploads them to the cloud which means we can share them very quickly with our team.” - James Sheppard, CEO & Co-founder of Centriq
“As a small business owner, the last thing you want to be busy with when looking for new employees is background checks, drug screenings, driving records, identity verifications, and so on. That’s where Goodhire comes in, as it is an employment screening platform that carries out all of these functions in a simple, timely manner. With our fast-paced business world, Goodhire is an effective tool, as it delivers results quickly. With their easy to use dashboard, you can see results and follow status updates clearly, simplifying the hiring process.” - Nate Masterson, CEO of Maple Holistics
“When integrating your online store with other platforms like Amazon, you need to provide images with a white background. Malabi does this exceptionally well. Even if you have zero design skills, the platform is easy to use and self-intuitive.” - Yulia Nikonova, Via Provincia.
“I am a business owner who would not be able to live without a google mail account. This is because many of the documents I use can be uploaded to Google Drive that is connected to it. I am then able to access all my important information anywhere from any device, making life super convenient.” - Chaunte Pitts, Owner of Better U 2day LLC
“It’s a super simple project management tool that you use to create lists. Once something is done, you tick it off and keep going. Instead of checking everything through my project management tool, I use IDoneThis because the simple to-do lists give me a quick overview of my daily tasks. I copy the same list every day to keep up with everything at a single glance. There is just something satisfying about crossing off a task from your to-do list.” - Dmytro Okunyev, Founder of Chanty
Editorial note: some quotes have been edited for grammatical accuracy. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors alone and not of CoverWallet.