Over the last four years since I started sandstonecastles marketing consultancy I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find the best tools for my business: Apps that make my life easier, web-based tools that help me save money and free databases that organise my work.
As time (and money) are of the essence for small business owners like us, I decided to start a little series of blog posts where I share my favourite tools with you (you can find links to the other posts at the bottom). And today I would like to introduce you to a few more recent discoveries of mine that are brilliant time-savers and sure to get you organised.
Email notifications are the most useful thing: You can set them up to keep you posted about the newest networking events or trade shows in your area, they can inform you about the latest news in your industry or help you keep an eye on your company’s online reputation.
Graphic designers are probably the most popular flatmates/best friends/partners to have (right after massage therapists, if you ask me): Otherwise, how are you going to add that watermark to your photos for your social media accounts? And those beautiful collages you’ve seen in your competitor’s newsletter, you’d really like to have them as well. And how awesome would it be, if you could simply put the poster for your next Summer Special together yourself?
Don’t you panic, help is on the way:
PicMonkey is a free web-based service that allows you to edit and touch up photos as well as create cards, banners or photo collages.
Seashore is a free open source image editor for Mac OS X and it’s perfect if you shy away from Photoshop but still need to add gradients, textures or watermarks to your photos.
Pixlr is another free web-based editor that also comes with free apps for iOS and Android and allows you to edit, add effects and create collages
And if you are you looking for a way to reduce the file size of your photos without losing quality you should check out Compress Now. Perfect for the photo gallery on your website!
One of the most important sales and marketing tools: A customer relationship management database (CRM). It helps you to organise details of your clients, leads and suppliers such as address, phone, email and social media profiles.
Additionally, you can add your email conversations with them and add further information about their interests or their birthday to help you prepare that follow-up meeting in six months. Thanks to the cloud most of these services also provide mobile apps so you can access the information on your phone or tablet. And if you need a little reminder to get in touch with a promising lead, you can simply set up an email notification.
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
Tools for Your Marketing Success Part 2
Tools for Your Small Business Success Part 1
Tools for Your Small Business Success Part 2
Be Less Busy – 5 To Do Apps for Small Businesses