7 Must-Have business tools

 There aren't many tools I consider to be must-haves for my business, but these 7 make the cut. When you're trying to decide on what to invest in, these business tools and resources are a great start.

Originally published on linemae.com which was rebranded to lizwhite.co.
Same content, same author, new brand, new website.

Are you using the best tools for your business? Or are you struggling to find your rhythm in a sea of free apps and subscriptions you don't know that much about? My rule of thumb is to test something out for 3 months and if it doesn't make my life/biz better I get rid of it. Whether you're starting out (or you're on year 5) it's always helpful to take a peek into what business tools other people are using everyday. 

It's taken me literal years to get to a good place in terms of what apps and programs I use for my online business on a daily basis.

These are the tools I absolutely can't live without as a business owner.

Here are my top 7 business tools, apps, and programs... plus a few extra office favorites.

ADMIN

What I use everyday, no matter what.

  • GMAIL - All things email

G Suite is the easiest way to set up a custom email for the domain you own. On top of that, getting super organized with how you filter messages and organize your inbox folders makes sure that your inbox doesn't get crazy. Email filters are the best.

Pro-tip: My dropbox is synced to my hard drive, so I am always working within my dropbox folder... making sure that my files are constantly backed up. If I'm offline, they sync when I get access to wifi again.

PROJECT + TIME MANAGEMENT

Programs and apps that make projects easier to manage.

  • DUBSADO - Client management, invoicing, + contracts

It amazes me that I lasted so long before using a CMS. Dubsado makes managing clients a breeze and lets you automate many steps of the process so that your client experience is A+++. Not only that, but Dubsado connects with Stripe to take payments online AND can be set up to send automatic reminders to those clients who need a little nudging.
*try for free + Dubsado promo code INNERCIRCLE gets you 20% off*
I like that the trial isn't time period based - it is client based. Try it with 3 clients first!

MARKETING + SALES

Tools I use to manage my website and social media.

Skip Mailchimp. Skip it. I don't care that it's free, the way they have their lists set up is for their benefit and not yours (1 person on 4 lists is counted as 4 people you have to eventually pay for). If you are serious about growing and nurturing your list - which you should be - Convertkit covers everything. Automations, segmentation, incentive emails (delivers opt-ins), landing pages, forms, tagging... everything you need is in Convertkit and the monthly price is a worthy business expense.

Pinterest is not a social media platform, it is a search engine your business needs to be sharing to. Pinterest loves when you're active everyday, but who has time for that? Tailwind makes scheduling Pins pain free (unlike boardbooster) and I typically only spend 1-2 hours to schedule out 1-2 months of pins. 
*click the link to get your first month free*

DESIGN

The design programs + stock photo sites I swear by.

  • ADOBE CC - Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign + more

There's really no explanation needed for the Adobe Creative Cloud. If you're a designer, they are essential. If you're a blogger, you can get Photoshop only for a steal. 

Creative Market is my go-to for affordable design goods. It's an amazing place to get new fonts, stock photos, design templates, and everything in between. They have freebies every. single. week. and setting up your own shop it seriously the easiest thing. I set up a STOCK SHOP that sells photos that were previously gathering digital dust... and now they've turned that dust into cash. That's $1,000+ in sales so far that wouldn't have happened without Creative Market.

 
 Are you using these 7 must-have business tools for your creative business? There aren't many tools I consider to be must-haves for my business, but these 7 make the cut. When you're trying to decide on what to invest in, these business tools and resources are a great start.
 

Now for a few fun extras!

BIZ TECH

Computer and camera tech.

OFFICE MUST-HAVES

Everyday office items + accessories.

BOOKSHELF

Inspirational reads for wherever you are in your biz journey.

  • AUDIBLE - Audio books *TWO free audio books + 30 day trial*

  • CONQUER KIT by Natalie MacNeil

LIFESTYLE + SELF CARE

Bits and bobs that I love.


Heads up, some of these are affiliate links, which means that if you click on some of the product links, I might earn some coffee money if you make a purchase. I only recommend what I use and love, and affiliate links help companies show their appreciation for sharing the love (p.s. start using affiliate links yourself)!