6 digital tools every small business owner needs in 2021
4 minute read
If you’re a small business owner, you’re always on the lookout for free tools that will help you scale your business, streamline your operations and grow your profits exponentially.
There’s often some factors that might drag a deal on after the verbal ‘yes’ to services – and the to-and-fro of formalising and getting payment across can impact cash flow and slow down your business operations.
We bring you a simple guide to 6 types of free digital tools and ways to improve your business processes – and get your deals to close faster. We have included both free options as well as options for paid ones.
Read on to find out what these great tools are!
- Hone in on your low-hanging fruit with a well-running CRM system
- Create urgency by leveraging digital marketing channels
- Stop the to-and-fro-ing with self-service calendar scheduling
- Consider marketing automation software
- Impress your customers with your speed
- Reduce frictions to signing by adopting e-signatures
1. Hone in on your low-hanging fruit with a well-running CRM system
Organising your lead and customer data is vital. Managing your leads pipeline with a customer relationship management (CRM) software allows you to get visibility over what leads you need to chase, and how every sales lead is doing. It also allows you to set notes for each customer so that you can follow up at the right time in their business cycle and you’re not reliant on the memory of your sales team and yourself.
The key here is picking a CRM software that is the right fit for your business – there’s a saying that the best system is the one you actually use. There’s no point paying a high subscription fee for a top-class CRM system if you won’t use 90% of its features. For most small business owners, something that is simple and elegant will suit your everyday needs. Tip: try a few and see which ones feel intuitive to use! Our personal recommendations? At the time of writing, we’ve seen happy users on the likes of Pipedrive, Capsule, and Hubspot for Startups (find out how you get up to 90% off your first month’s subscription here!).
2. Create urgency by leveraging digital marketing channels
Paid digital marketing such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads are a great way to get attention from potential customers. You can reach new audiences as well as remarket to warm leads who have previously engaged with you, such as visiting your website. Digital marketing allows you to passively target your leads with offers like discounts, offers, and events. Although a media fee is required when you spend money on advertising them, the tools themselves are free-to-use. Google and Facebook also provide free courses that you can sign up to learn more about how to use the platforms to better target your potential customers for your small business effectively.
3. Stop the back-and-forth with self-service calendar scheduling
It’s an oldie but a goodie. Where your sales cycle typically involves a phone call or meeting to iron out specifics, using calendar management tools such as Calendly, Square Appointments (free for solopreneurs) or Cronofy or can free up a lot of time spent on repetitive emails asking for meeting slots. Your sales team can save precious time by connecting their calendars to a calendar scheduling tool and have prospects select a common meeting time.
4. Consider marketing automation software
Automating some of your lead nurturing steps means your software can help you to manage your prospects, reminding them of your brand and providing more value, until they’re warm enough for a sales conversation. This isn’t a quick solution for small business owners, but one that would involve a wider conversation about your buyer cycle. This ultimately frees you up from nurture processes that would normally require a lot of resources and budget (or headcount) to execute. Some marketing automation software tools we recommend include: Mailchimp, SendPulse and Metigy (try it free for 3 months here).
5. Impress your customers with your speed
Do you spend time waiting doggedly for a document to return to you after sending it off to a potential client or customer? Electronic signature (eSignature) technology can also improve relationships with your customers – imagine the convenience of being able to successfully sign off on projects and agreements digitally while waiting in line for your coffee. Instead of having to go through repetitive manual processes, e.g. printing, signing then scanning your documents which is the current reality. ESignature tools can help to increase your efficiency by cutting down turnaround time by more than 90%, and even save costs! A research conducted by Adobe showed that companies which adopted eSignatures had average savings of $20 per document, and the extended ROI over 5 years can grow to be an exponential amount that cannot be ignored. Explore more benefits of eSignatures for businesses.
If you’re interested in trying out a free, unlimited and legally binding eSignature tool for your business needs – why not try SleekSign? At Sleek, we developed our very own eSignature tool, to reduce our company’s paper and ink usage, and increase efficiency of our operations. We also want to inspire more businesses to digitize and go paperless by making it free-for-all to use. Try adopting our free tool for your own business needs today.
6. Reduce friction to signing by adopting e-signatures
Common sales agreements like licensing agreements, statements of work and contractor agreements can benefit from the convenience of eSignatures. They’re legally valid in Singapore, and also help to reduce barriers in completion of these contracts and agreements. No paper in the printer? Not in the office? Can’t figure out how to work the scanner? No more excuses! The document arrives in their inbox and they can sign and send it back digitally within seconds.
Introducing eSignatures into your business is an easy way to streamline your business.
At Sleek we use SleekSign, our free, unlimited and legally-binding eSignature tool to get companies up and running faster, daily.