Since launching the business back in May 2013 I have tested many different, apps, systems, productivity tools and the like. Along the way, some have been discarded including Trello, Asana and an excel spreadsheet to record the business finances. So, which has lasted and what can’t I live without in the business?

Xerolaptop, mouse and cup of coffee
Simple and easy to use cloud-based accounting platform, with different levels to suit every type of business including little old me.

Xero suits my needs perfectly cutting down on ‘admin’ and provides figures at my fingertips to keep track of the business from a financial standpoint.

Capsule

An online CRM system that is relatively easy to get your head around providing a mechanism for keeping track of leads.

Being able to add notes is useful, as how often do you look at a business card and think ‘where did I meet them’. The ability to add documents and schedule tasks really makes this a valuable tool in my business

Hootsuite
A platform to manage your social media channels, a real timesaver for scheduling and monitoring engagement. It also provides analytics and you can assign accounts to a team member for sharing the workload.

I have used Hootsuite since day one and still with me today.

Todoist.com
The best ‘todo’ list ever, keep on track in the business, personally and in the household. Daily, weekly, monthly and projects – keep it as simple as you need or as detailed.

The app means you can add tasks on the go. Massive fan and has made a major difference to the way I work.

MailChimp
Creating email campaigns has never been easier, drag and drop, insert downloads and now automation available to free account holders.

The campaign data shows you who has clicked or opened what, which means you can follow them up, essential to nurturing those relationships.

Canva
Even a non-designer can create images with ease using Canva. The free version provides you all the templates you need for social media and a whole lot more.

I have upgraded my account and can now create folders for filing my creations and can resize literally with a click of a button which makes the subscription worth every penny.

 

Zoom

A Video Conferencing software for your virtual meetings, coaching and so much more. The quality and sound is outstanding, scheduling of meetings easy and allows you to record your calls.

There is a free version but well worth the upgrade and while I presently only use for meetings the features are endless.

Business Coach
Everyone should have one at some point in the business and without mine, the business would not be where it is today.

Yes, it would have got there but having a person by your side and on your side makes the journey easier and a lot more fun. Karen Skidmore is my go-to person, pushing me to be all that I can be. Who is on your side?

Support mechanism
Apart from a business coach I recommend you build a support mechanism. Mine includes those I can call upon to pick up the children or help me out when they are sick.

Equally important is knowing who to call for IT and tech support, a listening ear for those moments of doubt and other business owners who you can call upon with those ‘how do I’ or ‘what do you think of this’ questions.

 

Remember what works for me or didn't work might not be the same for you, it really is a try it and see, the same could be said of a business coach. However, a support mechanism is something we all need for running a successful business. I would love to know what you can’t live without in your business – please feel free to tweet me.