As a bootstrapping entrepreneur, you wear many hats and you know that every penny counts. You are the CEO, the sales team, the marketing department, and oftentimes, the IT person too. While it’s tough to be everything to everyone in your company, there are some essential tools that can help you get the most out of technology without hiring a developer just yet.
From project management to customer relationship management (CRM), these tools will help you streamline your processes, better manage your time, and grow your business.
1. Project Management
As an entrepreneur, you’re always juggling multiple projects at once. From developing new products to managing customer relationships, it can be hard to keep track of everything. That’s where project management tools come in.
Project management tools help you track progress on multiple projects, see who is working on what, and get an overview of your entire workflow. They can also be used to assign tasks, set deadlines, and track milestones.
Asana is a project management tool that can be used to track tasks, set deadlines, and collaborate with team members. Asana is a great option for entrepreneurs who want to get an overview of their entire workflow.
Trello is another project management tool that can be used to track tasks, set deadlines, and collaborate with team members. Trello is a great option for entrepreneurs who want a more visual way to manage their projects.
ClickUp (my favorite)
ClickUp is a project management tool and customer relationship management (CRM) that can track tasks, set deadlines, and collaborate with team members. ClickUp is a great option for entrepreneurs who want a more customizable way to manage their projects.
Basecamp is another project management tool that helps users organize their work, communicate with team members, and stay on top of deadlines. Basecamp is a great option for entrepreneurs who want a simple way to manage their projects.
2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
If you’re selling products or services, then you need a way to keep track of your customers and their interactions with your company. That’s where customer relationship management (CRM) software comes in.
CRM software helps you manage customer data, track sales and marketing activities, and automate repetitive tasks. It’s an essential tool for any business that wants to scale its customer base.
Some popular CRM tools include Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho CRM.
ActiveCampaign has a built-in CRM with their Plus option.
As an entrepreneur, you must communicate effectively with your team, customers, and partners. That’s where communication tools come in.
Communication tools help you send messages, make calls, and share files with others. They can also schedule meetings, collaborate on projects, and stay up-to-date on the latest news.
Slack is a tool that helps you communicate with your team. Slack can be used to send messages, make calls, and share files. Slack is a great option for entrepreneurs who need a way to stay in touch with their team.
Zoom is a tool that helps you communicate with your team. Zoom can be used to make video calls, share screens, and record meetings. Zoom is a great option for entrepreneurs who need a way to meet with their team face-to-face.
Google Meet is a tool that helps you communicate with your team. It is Google's version of Zoom. Google Meet can be used to make video calls, share screens, and record meetings. Google Meet is a great option for entrepreneurs who need a way to meet with their team face-to-face.
4. Email Marketing
If you want to grow your business, then you need to focus on marketing. Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and prospects. But manually sending emails can be time-consuming. That’s where email marketing software comes in.
Email marketing software helps you automate your email marketing campaigns, personalize your messages, and track results. It’s an essential tool for any business that wants to scale its customer base.
5. Website Builder
If you don’t have a website, then you’re missing out on a major opportunity to reach new customers. Website builders make it easy to create a professional-looking website, even if you don’t have any technical expertise.
You can use website builders to create a simple landing page or an entire ecommerce site. They come with built-in templates, drag-and-drop editors, and easy-to-use tools.
To be honest, figure out what kind of website you're trying to build before you commit fully. If you're a coach or consultant, all you really need is a method to schedule a session, a system to get your client their files, and most importantly, a way to get compensated.
Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly are website builders that enable you to create professional-looking websites, even if you don’t have any technical expertise. All three come with built-in templates, drag-and-drop editors, and easy-to-use tools. They've come a long way so check to see which one works better for your business.
If you don't want to deal with the trouble of maintaining a website, I recommend that you start one of these.
WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that helps you create and manage your website. WordPress is a great option for entrepreneurs who want to build a professional-looking website without any technical expertise*.
WordPress comes with built-in themes, plugins, and tools. It’s also easy to use, making it a great option for entrepreneurs who want to build their own websites.
*You will be able to get by with the basics, but you'll need to learn how to code in order to fully utilize it. Otherwise, you're at the mercy of plugins and that's a whole can of worms you might not want to deal with and would defeat the purpose of not hiring a developer.
If you're going to go the ecommerce route and need an easy setup.
Shopify is a platform that helps you create and manage your online store. Shopify is a great option for entrepreneurs who want to sell products online without the hassle of building an online store from scratch. It’s easy to use and comes with all the features you need to run a successful online store.
Shopify is easy to set up and maintain. It provides a platform for you to create and manage your online store with little to no code. It has a drag and drop interface with plenty of free and paid themes to choose from. Shopify plays well with other apps and plugins. Out of the box, you can connect it to Facebook (which includes Instagram), Pinterest, Google Listings and Ads, and sales channels such as Amazon and eBay. It integrates with Squarespace, Wix (buy button only), and Weebly (buy button only), too.
6. Social Media Management
Social media is a powerful tool for marketing your business. But managing all of your social media accounts can be time-consuming. That’s where social media management tools come in.
Social media management tools help you post content, track engagement, and measure results across all of your social media channels. They can save you a lot of time and help you better connect with your audience. They’re an essential tool for any business that wants to scale its social media presence.
Buffer is a tool that allows users to schedule and share social media content. This can be useful for entrepreneurs who want to make sure their content is being seen by as many people as possible.
CoSchedule is an all-in-one marketing calendar that helps you plan, publish, optimize, and measure your content. It also has a feature called ReQueue, which allows you to recycle your best content. This can be useful for entrepreneurs who want to make sure their content is being seen by as many people as possible. There is a free alternative, but it may get pricey if you're managing multiple brands/businesses.
Hootsuite is another tool that allows users to manage their social media accounts. Hootsuite also has some additional features, such as the ability to track analytics and engage with customers directly. Their free plan allows you to connect to 2 social accounts and schedule 5 messages.
Later is a tool that helps users schedule and publishes social media content. Later also offers some additional features, such as the ability to create custom grids and collaborate with team members. Later is one of the few social media schedulers that can post carousels on Instagram and TikTok videos. As of May 2022, they have restructured their tiers and their free option doesn't offer much but it can help you get a feel for the app which I find to be extremely user-friendly.
Sprout Social is a tool that helps users manage their social media accounts. Sprout also has some additional features, such as the ability to track analytics, create reports, and collaborate with team members.
If you're on WordPress, you have other options too.
Blog2Social (my favorite)
Blog2Social allows you to automate your social media sharing across numerous platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and others. Blog2Social enables you to automatically publish any other source's text, images, links, and videos as social media posts. Blog2Social gives you a variety of options for accelerating and simplifying your social media strategy and offers a wide range of customization options. You can start with a free 30-day trial, which gives you access to premium capabilities.
Revive Social (Revive Old Posts)
You may use the Revive Social/Revive Old Posts plugin to help you automate your social media posts. Their free option allows you to put your blog posts in a queue that has been selected by the app. You have the option of excluding posts and pages (paid). It lets you automatically share your WordPress material on Facebook, Instagram Business, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google My Business & VKontakte. Unfortunately, it appears that Pinterest is not supported. If you're just getting started, I recommend this one. The design is simple and easy to understand.
WP Social Sharing
WP Social Sharing is a WordPress plugin that allows you to add social sharing buttons to your website or blog. WP Social Sharing supports all major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. The plugin is easy to use and comes with a number of customization options. WP Social Sharing is a free plugin with a premium version that includes more features and customization options.
7. Tools for Automating Tasks
Connect your favorite apps and services together to automate repetitive tasks without having to touch a piece of code. Apps like Zapier, IFTTT, and Integromat can automate simple tasks like adding new contacts to your CRM or posting new blog articles to social media.
Zapier is a tool that allows users to connect to different online services and automate tasks. For example, a user could create a “zap” that would automatically post new blog articles to their Twitter feed.
IFTTT is another tool that allows users to automate tasks. However, it works differently than Zapier. With IFTTT, users create “recipes” that are triggered by certain events. For example, a user could create a recipe that would send them a text message whenever their favorite team scores a goal. It isn't as feature-rich as Zapier or Make (formerly known as Integromat).
Make (formerly known as Integromat) is a tool that allows users to automate tasks by connecting different online services. For example, a user could use Make to automatically add new leads from a CRM to a mailing list. The integrations aren't as extensive as those provided by Zapier, but the price is right!
As you can see, there are a number of essential tools that bootstrapping entrepreneurs can use to get the most out of tech without having to hire a developer. These tools can help you automate tasks, manage your social media accounts, create professional-looking designs, track customer data, and more.
With these tools, you’ll be able to automate tasks, engage with your audience, and track your progress—all without breaking the bank.
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