Best business tools for 2019

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With a new year already underway, it’s always good to pause, take stock and review your business strategy. In addition to analysing performance and setting targets, it’s also worth looking at how you could make day-to-day tasks simpler and more streamlined by employing new business tools.

Whether you need to rationalise your internal comms, collaborate more effectively with colleagues or get on top of your accounts, there’s likely to be a tool that will allow you to automate processes so you can spend more time doing what you do best!

Get your team on the same page

Project management platform Asana is an invaluable tool for entrepreneurs who need to share tasks among team members without turning every project into a drama. Users can easily assign tasks to themselves and other members, with everyone having the opportunity to comment on progress and update achievements. It’s a great way of organising deadlines and checking that everything is on schedule. Collaboration tool Slack also provides a useful comms base, especially for team members who operate from different locations, offering an easy way to manage conversations across a variety of devices so that no text or email gets lost or overlooked.

Create effective email campaigns

Despite the increase in the number of ways businesses can communicate with their customers, good old-fashioned email often proves to be the most successful medium. But with expectations sky high, no customer is going to be impressed by a scrappy old email BCC’d to your database. Thankfully, providers like MailChimp allow even amateurs to create beautiful content using templates and bulk send campaigns to segmented lists. You’ll need to spend a bit more time swotting if you want to take advantage of some of the more advanced features, but you can start for free (up to 2,000 subscribers).

Keep your marketing on point

If you want a better understanding of your industry niche so you can fine-tune your marketing strategy, BuzzSumo will give you a head start. Buzzsumo’s tools allow business owners to assess their existing approach by quickly identifying what content is performing well in a specific sector and who the major influencers are. In this way, it provides the intelligence needed to make sure that any marketing spend is targeted in the most effective way.

Brush up your design skills

More people than ever are taking advantage of online tools to create professional-looking marketing materials. While commissioning a skilled designer will deliver the best results, there are occasions when time and budget constraints dictate a more DIY approach. Fortunately, online resources like Canva can make the process a bit less fraught by providing pre-formatted templates for flyers, social media posts and blogs. It’s free to get started and will definitely give your marketing materials a more professional flavour.

Dust down your SEO

Mention search engine optimisation (SEO) or competitor analysis and you’ll send even the most savvy business owners running for the hills. And yet, targeting the right key words in both paid and organic searches is essential if you want to reach your customers. UberSuggest is a powerful keyword research tool that will provide access to the information you need to create an effective online and social strategy. It’s an amazing free resource for learning more about your market and your competitors so you can stay one step ahead.

Get to grips with online accounting

With the imminent demise of the annual self-assessed tax return and a move instead towards the establishment of digital tax accounts, it’s becoming more urgent for business owners to engage with a digital accounting model. At some point, it’s envisaged that HMRC will automatically receive financial information from a variety of sources, including notification of interest from bank deposits, income from rentals and even profits from eBay traders, all transmitted via dedicated apps that can interact with HMRC systems. Lots of new services have popped up to help smooth the path – most notably Xero, Quickbooks and FreeAgent (which is currently being offered gratis to Nat West business customers). If you’re not using a digital system yet, it’s time to make a start.

Posted on February 01, 2019 | running a business, selling, buying

By bizdaq

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