15 Amazing Resources That Will Grow Your Business
Growing a business is a lot of work especially when you’re starting out. There are several things that we must create systems for, many resources that we must rely on, and tools that we must use to measure our results. I've discovered these resources through my search for building a stronger brand and creating more efficient processes. Awesome foundational work includes appealing aesthetic and design on social media platforms, great web design that looks professional and is fully functional, user-friendly tools and resources to help you keep track of finances and analytics.
Designing on the go
Beauty and design are so important for your brand. It makes a big impact on audience perception, engagement and brand image. We are all naturally attracted to pretty or cool things! Our social media platforms should have a consistent theme with cohesive high quality images and colors. Swag and Typorama are great apps for Apple users and Phonto and PicsArt are great apps for Android users. With these apps, you can create eye-catching designs with great images from your phone! Cool apps for iOS or iPhone mobile devices are:
Word Swag (1) and Typorama (2)
Cool apps for my Android users are:
Phonto (3) and Picsart (4)
Designing on a desktop
Canva (5) is a great tool for EVERYTHING! It is a great tool for desktop computers and for beginners. It’s user-friendly and provides templates for you to use. I have created the design for my entire social platform. I have created book covers, graphics for the website, information products and much more! There are several things you can do with this amazing tool. If you are not design savvy, please take advantage of the templates provided by Canva and manipulate the hell out of those template to create your own unique look! Remember, please stick to your brand fonts and colors!
WEBSITE PLATFORMS + eCOMMERCE
A website is a non-negotiable branding element for your business! Your website needs to answer “who, what, where, and how” immediately when visitors land on your home page. Websites provide functional ability on all devices and should be hosted on a reliable servers. There are different platforms for websites, but these are the most popular:
Squarespace [Strategist Cafe’s website platform] (6)
Big Cartel (9)
In my experience, Squarespace, Big Cartel, and Shopify can be fairly easy to setup and design if you are creating your own website. Wordpress is a great tool, but it can be difficult to learn how to design the layout the way you may want it, if you are a beginner. It is really great if you are familiar with coding! If you are interested in learning more about building, designing a template or functioning with the Wordpress (or Squarespace) platform, Lynda is a great resource to teach yourself [ah, yes -- a bonus resource!].
ACCOUNTING & OPERATIONS
Accounting is imperative for all businesses. It is important to stay organized with every aspect of your business, especially the money area! Accounting is important because it allows us to keep track of our financial health. Wave (10) is a great resource to use. It is a free accounting software to help you manage your business more efficiently.
If you need a more complex accounting solution, your best resource is Xero. Xero is a cloud based accounting software that has industry specific software. So, if you are in retail or ecommerce, there is a software made specifically for your business needs! You can't beat that!
When we brand ourselves and begin to market, we must measure our results. It can be an analysis of sales or website traffic. It’s imperative that we consistently review our strengths and weaknesses by reviewing the outcomes of our marketing efforts. Knowing our numbers helps us customize marketing and advertising more effectively. Alexa (13) and Google Analytics (14) are really great with measuring data. For example, if you wanted to measure how many people visit your website and the pages they visit or exit the most, these tools are great to use! Anything you want to learn about your audience and visitors can be found with these resources.
Iconosquare (15) is great to measure Instagram (IG) analytics. If you are trying to grow your social presence on IG, this resource is perfect for you! Iconosquare allows you to review your followers,your most popular posts, the posts with the most comments (engagement), and the highest response times and days. Take a look at what your numbers are with Iconosquare and post strategically to communicate your brand message to your intended audience!
So, there you have it There are many things that we need to make our business operations easier. I hope that you all can use several of these resources to enhance your customer's experience and run your businesses smoothly. What other resources do you use that you can’t live without? Please leave your comments below.