Invaluable online resources for small businesses

Published: 12/10/2020

Life as an entrepreneur can get pretty hectic, we don’t need to tell you that. There are always 101 things to get done and a to-do list which never seems to get any shorter.

It makes sense then for small business owners to make use of the online resources designed to make their lives that bit easier. Now we’re living in such a technological age, the web arena is increasingly competitive and packed full of apps and tools created to do just that. The best bit? Some of them won’t cost you a penny.

Making use of these resources could help you realise your business’ potential even sooner, not to mention lighten your load, and keep your customers happy - what’s not to love? In this article, we’ll take you through our top picks of invaluable online resources across all the key areas of running your small business. 

Collaboration

Collaboration and communication are pivotal aspects of running a business, whether that’s with your workforce, business partner, customers, prospects, or otherwise. 

Project management: Trello

Trello is a super flexible project management tool that can be adapted to assist project management across heaps of industries, and it’s free to use!

It’s essentially a board of lists filled with cards that you and your team can use to stay organised by adding attachments, comments, checklists, due dates, labels, and more.

File sharing: Google Drive

With Google Drive, you can store, access, and share files from anywhere with an internet connection on a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or PC.

At the click of a button, you can invite anyone with an account to view your docs, edit them, or leave a comment. Google Drive is free to use, but there’s the option to upgrade your storage capacity for a cost.

Note-taking: Evernote

Evernote allows you to capture inspiration and ideas in notes, pictures, and voice notes with ease, so you’ll never need to scramble for a pen when you have a lightbulb moment, plus you can share your notes with anyone you wish.

Their basic plan is free to use, or you can upgrade to a premium account for £4.99 per month (free trial available) or business account for £10.99 per month per user (minimum two users).

Payments

Professional payment tools make it super simple to process the funds going in and out of your business accounts. 

Invoicing: Beepaid

Beepaid is a game-changing payments app that makes getting paid a piece of cake and all you’ll need is your smartphone and an internet connection.

Using the app you can send custom invoices to your customers in seconds and get access to a history of all your payments, a breakdown of outstanding payments, customer details, and - of course - all this can be abstracted for accounting purposes with ease. 

Online payments: Payment gateway

Payment gateways (like ours!) allow you to accept payments on your website 24/7.

With a takepayments payment gateway, you can log into your account and monitor your transactions with real-time reporting, create re-occurring transactions, or set up scheduled ones.

rders to ensure you’re never caught short again - all online thanks to its cloud-based operating system.

Website

Now more and more Brits are heading to the web to check out a business before considering parting with their hard-earned cash, it’s crucial small businesses nail their online presence with a top-notch website.

Building a website: Wix

This ‘drag and drop’ website builder is super straightforward to use, offers loads of different themes and designs, and is super user-friendly and customisable.  

Once signed up all you need to do is select your theme, drag and drop your elements to arrange them how you want, and then use the menus to change elements such as typeface, alignment, colours, and size - prices start at £6 a month.

Website analytics: Google Analytics

Building a great website is one half of the story, but to ensure it’s successful and maximising your small business’ potential you need to analyse its performance.

Google Analytics is free to use and will give you access to so much useful data including visitor behaviour and demographics, top entry and exit pages, site speed, and tonnes more.  

Marketing

When it comes to your marketing efforts you’re no doubt already aware of the power of both social media and emails, but did you know there are tools to help you manage your marketing using these channels?

Social media marketing: Hootsuite

Hootsuite is an all-in-one tool that helps you boost your social media presence. 

Using the app you can schedule posts, comments, and replies on all the major platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn, which could work wonders for driving deeper consumer engagement with your business. 

Prices start at £25 a month but you can access a 30-day free trial to test the waters before taking the plunge.

Email marketing: IONOS

IONOS’s email marketing tool is created especially with small and medium businesses in mind. It’s packed with useful features including email templates, editing, contact management, and analysis functions.

It’s an all-in-one solution that will guide you from making initial customer contact all the way through to running customised campaigns and optimising content. Prices start at £1 a month excl. VAT (up to £4 a month after six months).

Information

Last but not least it’s always a good idea as a business owner to clue yourself up on the latest industry news, guidance, and customer behaviours. 

Website: SME business news

Over on SME business news, you’ll find all the latest news from the UK small business community relating to a wide variety of industries and professions.

Blog: takepayments

Now we’re not here to toot our own horn but the takepayments blog is packed full of all the latest news, updates, advice, and guidance specifically for small businesses.

Our aim as a company is to help small businesses grow, flourish and reach their potential, and that’s the driving force behind our blog.

We’ve mentioned our market-leading EPOS Now system a few times throughout this blog, so if your ears are firmly pricked and you want to find out more, reach out to our friendly experts today!

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce

Copywriter

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