The tech you need to power-up your small business
Thanks to the modern world, it’s never been easier to run a small business. But, the choice of apps, platforms and services out there can be overwhelming. I’ve been trialling various things over the last year and now have my favourites. So, here’s my round-up of the tech you need to run your small business or start-up.
1. For your website and domain host – WordPress and Siteground
My personal preference is to use WordPress hosted on Siteground. The reason being, Siteground has excellent support and is well-regarded for its innovation and safety. And you can add all sorts of plugins to your WordPress website, many for free, which will drive benefits for your business.
Want to use ‘lead magnets’ to build your mailing list? You can use Kaliforms. Want to develop an online course on your website? You can use LearnDash. Keen to easily manage appointments or bookings? Here you’d integrate Calendly.
2. For design – Canva Pro
I use Canva for every aspect of my design. Be that social media posts, graphics for my YouTube videos or presentations for my webinars. The templates are great and easy to use. But I highly recommend signing up to Canva Pro. It’s approximately £10.99 per month, but subscribing means you can add in your bespoke colour palette, you can use the background remover on images and choose from a whole host of GIFs, stickers and graphics.
3. For bookings – Calendly
If you need a tool that you can easily add to your website for bookings or appointments, I recommend Calendly. It syncs with your mailbox and automatically adjusts your availability if you have another event at that time. If you want your customers to pay for your time – via a Power Hour session, for example – you can sign up to Calendly Pro and sync your account with Stripe. That way, payment is taken directly on booking, all in one place.
4. For your content writing – Grammarly
Yes, copywriting is part of my job, and yes, I use Grammarly. You see, I trust in the quality of my writing, but even I need a second pair of eyes when it comes to proofing. Grammarly is a boosted version of the spelling and grammar check you get in Word and Google Docs. It also points out verb use and makes suggestions for alternative words. It’s not fool-proof, so don’t automatically assume that the corrections it suggests are the ones you should use. But, if you’re someone who needs a confidence boost about their writing, then this one is for you. It does require a subscription – £44.99 a quarter – but I say it’s worth it if you write a lot of content.
5. WIP review – for social media content scheduling – Buffer
I’m on the fence about this recommendation. I need a social media scheduling tool, and Buffer has some great features. But I’m not convinced it’s worth the subscription price, so I’m going with the free option for now. It’s great for helping plan your content across multiple platforms. But, it doesn’t work with pictures galleries in Instagram, aka, if your post has several images to it. And it doesn’t work with Stories. I’ve heard other small businesses use a mix of platforms, things like Later or the scheduler within Facebook. So I’m going to continue experimenting and will report back with a definite recommendation. For now, a free trial with Buffer isn’t a bad place to start.
So there you have it, that’s my round-up of the essential tech for your small business or start-up. I’ll keep adding to this as I discover new things.