With so many tools and platforms available to business owners, sometimes it’s hard to choose the one that is right for your needs. It’s easy to get distracted by the shiny new tool that everyone is talking about. But, switching tools and platforms can be a waste of time and money!
For clarity, when I say tools I mean anything that assists you with operating your business. That includes your payment processor, calendar, email – anything that helps your business stay up and running.
If you’re a new business owner or entrepreneur, you could be at a point where you have no idea where to begin. Or, what tools may be right for your business.
You wouldn’t grab a hammer to twist a bolt or screw. And, you wouldn’t use a tape measure to hammer in a nail.
Catch my drift?
The right tools are crucial for developing the right systems and processes, especially if you are in the beginning stages of your business.
So how do you determine the best tools for your business?
Map out what your business will do and how
This should be your first step before you make any decision for your business. Every decision you make should tie back to the purpose or your mission. If not, you risk losing sight of what you are working towards.
Outline what your business aims to do and how. Here’s an example for a clothing store:
The What: Sell clothing
The How: Accepting orders and payments online, shipping the order to customers, promoting the store on social media, following up with orders through email.
Be as detailed as you can, but for the sake of this example I am keeping it simple so I don’t lose you.
By mapping out what the clothing store needs, we now know we need tools for the following:
- A place to house and maintain the online store – a website with e-commerce functionalities
- A way to process payments and transactions – a payment processor
- A way to communicate through email – an email marketing or management tool
Take advantage of free trials before signing up
The only way you will know if a tool fits the needs of your business is by testing it out. Before you jump in and spend your hard-earned money, take advantage of the free trials they have to offer.
I can’t tell you the countless times I started a trial for a business tool and immediately realized it wouldn’t be a good fit. Thank goodness I didn’t lose any money in the process.
Keep track of all your business tools
How often have you signed up for a free trial or new subscription service and forgotten about it? Don’t let this happen with your business tools!
Maintain a list of all your business tools, the billing cycles, price, and a note of when the trial period ends. You should review this list at least monthly. That way you are only paying for the tools that are being used consistently, and saving money!
Pro tip: If there is a tool that you don’t use consistently, but know you will need it in the future, ask if your account can be temporarily frozen or suspended. You won’t get charged during that period and you also won’t have to sign up all over again.
liked this post? leave a comment!