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Business Resources

Smart Small Business Tools

Starting your business? Looking for the right small business tools to get the job done? I’ve done hours of research, looking for the perfect balance between low-cost and high functionality and these are my go-to solutions! Please note: Some recommended services below contain affiliate links. This means that Hemlock Strategy and Design may receive a small commission if you decide to purchase a paid service. You will not pay more for the service.

Branded Email Provider

Looking for a platform for your branded email and providing all the work tools needed in your daily business life? I love using Google Workspace. I use the Business Starter package. At $6 per month, I find it well worth the use of a branded email, all of the Google tools such as Docs, Sheets, cloud storage in Drive, Meets, Forms, and more. I know I’ve just scratched the surface in making Google Workspace work for my small business! I’m happy to help you navigate setting up your Google Workspace account – contact me for more information.

Website Hosting Platform

I personally use Siteground for my websites. Their support team is quick and friendly, the interface is intuitive, and doesn’t feel overwhelming to those just learning server navigation.

Social Media Management

While I share all the time the importance of posting consistently on social media to my clients, this is an area I struggle with myself. Between the diversity of platforms (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest Google Business Profiles, blogs, etc) and the distraction of logging in and running down rabbit holes that aren’t related to the task at hand, I felt overwhelmed with how to manage my social media. I now use Metricool to help! This tool connects to the platforms I want to distribute to and even shares the optimal times for posting on FB and Insta. The dashboard gives me clear reporting and I don’t feel distracted when scheduling my content. AND, you can get started for FREE with one account and post to Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Business Profiles. I started with the free account and worked my way to the paid version, which allows me to schedule to LinkedIn.

Email Marketing

I recommend MailChimp for basic address collection to build your email marketing list. The starter account is free, you have the option to build a landing page to provide a space to collect email addresses and you are off to the races, all before you have a website set up! For those looking for a little more, I recommend ConvertKit. This service houses your email list and provides the ability to have multiple automation, forms, and broadcasts in an INTUITIVE, visual format. A friend recently recommended MailerLite. This is a great free option for ConvertKit! It offers automation, forms, and broadcasts in a visual format – all in the free plan! Be advised, you must have a completed website to use their services – so just make sure you are at this step when you move to MailerLite.

Project Management

There are so many project management tools available. This may become a post of its own soon! I’ve used Trello, Asana, and now ClickUp. All three have great functionality. I use Trello with a few clients and the easy setup, drag and drop sorting of cards, it’s great for an easy visual of tasks. Asana has more depth than Trello, in my opinion. I’ve moved to ClickUp. It’s powerful and has some great features in the forever free version (time tracking!). I’m still playing around with it, but will share some updates soon!

Your turn!

What are your must-have tools for your online business? What tools are you searching for that we can collaborate on? Send me a note! erin@hemlockstrategy.com