But it takes more than just a shiny website to stand out from the crowd and take your share of the online pie.
There are tons of other tools that you’ll need to make your mark in the virtual space. From software that helps you design materials and manage tasks to tools for gathering insights and organizing your documents, there’s a lot to take care of.
But not to worry.
We at Consolto have decided to share the tools of the trade that we use to manage our business with you so that you too can benefit from the lessons we’ve learned along the way. All of the tools listed here are super simple to use and are sure to boost your productivity.
Free, Simple Tools to Manage your Online Business
No matter what kind of business you’re running, chances are you’ve got a couple of projects underway at any given time. Whether you’re building a website, managing inventory or building your marketing plan for next year, you need a tool to help you keep everything organized and running smoothly. With so many moving parts up in the air, it’s hard to keep a handle on things if you don’t have a system in place to make sure that nothing falls between the cracks.
At Consolto, we use Clickup to manage all of our projects. This cloud-based project management software let’s you collaborate with your team from anywhere. You can create and assign tasks, set up deadlines for tasks and track the progress of each individual contributor.
Businesses use Clicup to organize events, centralize contacts and personal networks, maintain to-do lists, record notes and set priorities. Their free version is very robust, and includes a lot of great features that are usually only available with premium project management licenses. They’ve got a super-modern design that totally delivers on their customer-centric approach.
If you’re serious about online, you’ve got to make sure you’re set up with a video chat platform so that you can conduct remote meetings with potential and existing customers, as well as partners and suppliers. Consolto is especially suited to small businesses as it was built for highly personalized, immersive interactions that help you develop real relationships, just like you would in the real world.
Our platform goes way beyond live video chat communication. It includes a comprehensive suite of backend tools that help you to better organize and manage your online business. Scheduling, payments, file sharing, analytics, multi-agent support and more come together to provide a holistic solution for streamlined communication. Using Consolto, your online interactions will feel warm and human, as though you’re sitting in the same room.
When it comes to pure task management, nothing beats Trello. This intuitive, highly customizable app lets you manage your tasks using the famous Kanban work methodology. Tasks are represented as cards which progress across the various stages -- like backlog, design, in progress and done -- of your workflow. You can also set up your own, customized workflow to match your preferred way of working.
Trello is great for remote collaboration as it excels at organizing, coordinating and tracking work between groups of people. It’s super easy to use and even lets you share your boards with external collaborators.
Oh, and did we mention that it’s totally free?!
Your website is the cornerstone of your online operation. Better make sure it looks good and functions at the level your customers expect. Wix gives anyone the power to build beautiful, highly effective websites for any industry, without having to hire expensive web designers and developers. It is simple to use and offers intuitive, drag-and-drop functionality that lets you easily customize its hundreds of free templates to suit your unique business.
Wix has stunning layouts especially suited to small business, online stores and consultants. All websites include out-of-the-box support for mobile versions and can be further optimized by integrating any of the numerous, super useful apps available on the Wix App Market.
Wix is free for as long as you like. However, premium features like a custom domain name and eCommerce functionality will cost you.
No matter what your business does, you’re going to be dealing with a lot of documents. Receipts, contracts, proposals and marketing materials are all documents that businesses use on a daily basis. Google Drive offers a safe, collaborative place to create, save, store and share and work on your documents with others.
This free, cloud-based document management software let’s you set up and organize your documents in the way you see fit. You can invite others to view, comment and edit your documents and see everyone’s work live, on the document. With Google Drive, remote collaboration is simplified.
Building a website is one thing. Understanding how your users interact with it so that you can improve it for best results is a whole other story entirely. We use Hotjar to analyze where our customers click and tap so that we can see what content they find useful on our website. Understanding what type of content our users prefer helps us to drive changes to existing content and shapes the direction of our future content.
Use Hotjar for its Heatmaps, visitor recordings, conversion funnels, form analysis, feedback polls, surveys and more. Hotjar is free forever for under 2,000 page views a day, which should definitely cover the needs of most small businesses. If that doesn’t do the trick for your needs, they have plenty of reasonably priced plans available that support many more page views per day.
Making sure that your marketing materials and website assets look good is important for building a strong brand that your customers equate with quality. Canva is a powerful graphic design platform that offers simple, browser based photo editing. You can use it to create social media posts, invitations, flyers, posters, logos and images for your social media pages.
Now don’t get us wrong, this isn’t a premium photo editing platform. But, if you’re a small business and want to create well-designed materials without breaking your budget, Canva is the right tool for you!
We hope you find this list useful for you and your business. We tried to include only the best free, cloud-based tools that you need for your online business. It is far from comprehensive, and if you know of other useful tools, please share your knowledge so that others can benefit from your experience.