Calendly

Online scheduling tool for letting people choose an open time for your calendar.

Screenshot from Calendly.com Scheduling Screen

The easy-to-navigate interface makes scheduling a breeze. Users simply choose which day works for them and it automatically appears on your calendar. You have the ability to create multiple different types of events (15min meetings vs 2hr roadmap sessions), set duration, place in reminders, and more.

Learn More: Calendly Schedules Meetings with Others Based on Your Availability

Price: Free to get started, premium billed $8/month
Accessibility: Online
Similar Tools: ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to, Doodle

Google Business Apps

Easily setup an email account @ your domain name.

Home page screenshot of Gmail for Business

When we look at instilling professionalism through your brand, nothing kills it more than having a personal email address appear on your site. Upgrading to an email address at your domain is one small thing you can do that will have a bigger impact than you know.

Learn More: 10 Steps to Getting Started With Google Apps for Business

Price: $5/user/month
Accessibility: Online, it also connects to any other mail application you may be using such as Outlook, Apple Mail, iOS Mail, and more.
Similar Tools: Zoho Mail, Fastmail, Rackspace Email

MailChimp

Email list management system for sending out eNewsletters or promotions.

The power of email marketing can be seen by using your email list as a means to provide value to your subscribers. While this is often abused by companies who insist on only sending promotions, an email list can be a valuable tool in helping position your company as a knowledge leader.

MailChimp’s system has simplified this process greatly. Import your email list (or add a form to your site to allow people to sign up), and then use their well designed templates to begin sending campaigns to your subscribers.

Learn More: The Ins, Outs, and Advantages of Using Mailchimp

Price: Free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month
Accessibility: Online, and Mobile App
Similar Tools: Constant Contact, Emma, Campaign Monitor

Google Analytics

Website visitor tracking system for use on your website.

Google Analytics screenshot for TheFoldRock.com

Remember when websites used to have a little thing down at the bottom which told you how many people had visited the site? Then people quickly found out how to manipulate that and it became completely useless?

This is like that…only, more big-brother like.

While you won’t use Google Analytics much as a business owner, it’s gold to any marketing team you work with in the future. It helps marketers understand:

  • How many visitors come to your site
  • Where they come from
  • How long they stay on the site
  • Which pages they visit
  • What browser and operating system are they using
  • And way, way more.

All of this is valuable information in understanding your customer base and knowing where to improve.

Learn More: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics

Price: Free for small businesses, paid option for enterprise level use
Accessibility: Online
Similar Tools: Clicky, KISSmetrics, GoSquared

Medium

Online blogging platform for writing and sharing articles.

Medium logo from Medium.com

It’s everything Blogger.com used to be, but with a better aesthetic and an easy to use interface. The inclusion of things like publications, commenting, and sharing make it the most cost-effective, professional looking blog solution for any business.

Learn More: A Beginner’s Guide to Writing, Publishing & Promoting on Medium.com

Price: Free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month
Accessibility: Online, and Mobile App
Similar Tools: WordPress, Penzu, Blogger

Drip

Automated system for sending a drip email campaign to your customers.

Home page of GetDrip.com

Drip Email Marketing is a practice, while Drip is an online platform for sending those types emails. The Drip system lets you create email campaigns which are then sent to users on a schedule.

Traditional email marketing allows you to manually send a large list of people a single email. Drip email marketing allows you to send a single person, individualized emails over the course of severals days, or weeks.

Learn More: How To Create Effective Email Drip Campaigns

Price: Free for 21 Days, $1/month for up to 100 subscribers
Accessibility: Online
Similar Tools: Vero, ConvertKit, Sendloop

Google Voice

Get a phone numbers that doesn’t need a phone.

Image from gizmodo.com.au

Rather than using your cell phone number for all of your business needs, you can claim a different phone number through Google Voice. When people call into this number it can ring one, or multiple phones. If you have a team of 3, one Google Voice number can ring all 3 phones at the same time. When the call is answered, it will stop ringing all devices.

It can also receive text messages, allow users to leave voicemails, and setup things like Do-Not-Disturb for observing business hours.

Learn More: 8 Reasons You Should Be Using Google Voice

Price: Free to receive calls, text messages, and voicemails — charges may apply to some domestic calls & international calls.
Accessibility: Online, Mobile App, and Google Hangouts
Similar Tools: Convoi, Grasshopper, Line2

Hootsuite

Allows you to manage, and schedule, posts to all of your social networks.

Hootsuite logo from FontFont.com

The keys to success on social media are consistency & value. To achieve value, well, you’re going to need to dig a little deeper into understanding your customer base. But to achieve consistency, welcome Hootsuite into your life with open arms.

Some companies suggest posting to Twitter as many as 14 times per day to achieve visibility. Hootsuite simplifies the process of posting to all those social networks by bringing them all into one dashboard.

Learn More: The Beginner’s Guide to HootSuite

Price: Free
Accessibility: Online, Mobile App, and Google Hangouts
Similar Tools: Buffer, SproutSocial, Viralheat

Google Inbox

An email organization system for your Google email account.

Image from Google Apps

Google Inbox is a better re-imagination of email. I say better because Google has tried this before with Google Wave. If you’ve never heard of it, well, that’s why it didn’t do very well.

Inbox allows you to group emails together into “bundles”, which are a combination of filters & categories. In short, it lets you quickly see which emails are worth your time, and which ones can wait til later.

Learn MoreHow Inbox by Gmail Works, and How to Use It for More Productive Email

Price: Free
Accessibility: Online, Mobile App, and Google Hangouts
Similar Tools: Polymail, Nylas, Microsoft Outlook

Xtensio

Online templates for creating business-focused documents, such as your business plan.

Logo from Xtensio.com

If you’ve ever worked to define, build, or market your business you’ve probably come across a number of documents that are meant to help you solidify the direction of the business. This can include a business model canvas, competitor analysis, user personas, press releases and more.

Xtensio has taken all of these things and put them together in a concise online environment to help you easily work through these items.

Learn More: Xtensio Feature Tour

Price: Free
Accessibility: Online
Similar Tools: Canvanizer, UserForge, Enloop

While I know this is a fraction of the useful tools available, these are the ones I’ve had the most interaction with in my day-to-day. Are there any other tools you’d recommend to help small businesses?


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