As your business grows, you’ll start to find yourself busier than ever. Leveraging technology is a great way to help you systematize your business so that you can streamline your efforts and continue to grow your business. Here’s 10 of our favorite apps that can help you do that in 2014:
1. Flowdock – If you have a team, this app helps improve collaboration and communication. You can upload documents, comment, and chat all in one location. This allows you to organize conversations on items your team is working on. Flowdock also has a team inbox that can receive email as well as help you monitor various social media platforms. This is a great option for software developers since it allows custom integration and workflows plus it is code friendly! So if you copy and paste code, the app will render it nicely and even add the syntax highlighting.
2. Infusionsoft – This tool allows you to store customer data, sell your products, manage your email marketing and so much more. Infusionsoft is a web-based program so it can be accessed anywhere by multiple users. This app allows you to harness the power of automation for your business while also maintaining a personal touch for your customers. A true all-in-one product, Infusionsoft helps you sell, manage, and gain new customers. Infusionsoft is the “brains” of our company and runs all of the internal processes that keep things leveraged and automated.
3. Basecamp – For project management, this is a fantastic tool that provides a way for teams to collaborate and communicate in a variety of ways. It is also a way to store information and track progress for ongoing projects. It’s an easy way to assign tasks to individuals while also maintaining a single project workflow. Plus, with email notifications, it’s easy to let team members know they have new assignments or a current project has been updated. We’ve been using it for years and it’s great software!
4. Teamwork.com – This app is similar to Basecamp but even a few steps more advanced if you have a complex team structure and lots of projects to manage. It integrates with a variety of accounting and online storage tools to provide a one-stop-shop for managing your team. Teamwork provides project management tools but goes beyond simple collaboration to include time management, organization, and productivity tools that you can use to systematize your business. It is cloud based so can be accessed from all your devices with real-time information. We’ve been testing it out as a replacement for Basecamp / Asana lately and so far the results have been fantastic!
5. Leadpages – Whether you’re creating landing pages, sales pages, or other types of conversion pages, Leadpages provides templates with easy to use features for SEO and split testing. It also has easy analytics to allow you to track your conversion and effectiveness. This app aims to create the mobile wepage solutions you need to generate more leads for your business so you can grow your audience and build your business. Each page is already designed to have excellent conversion rates and a great mobile friendly layout. More about Leadpages here.
6. Moz – This analytics tool allows you to track the performance of all your inbound marketing in one location. It ties your social media, SEO, content marketing, and inbound links together to give a stronger picture of how you’re driving traffic to your website. You can view your data over time and compare it to competitors so you can see where you stand. Once you know what is working to drive traffic, you can adjust your strategies to maximize those efforts to ensure you’re generating the leads you need to grow your business.
7. Google Analytics – This tool tracks visitor activity across a variety of devices including tablets and smartphones so you can see what exactly a visitor is doing when they come to your site. It collects information on ads, videos, websites, and social tools so you can determine what is really working to keep your viewers engaged. Google analytics lets you see what your visitors are responding to so that you can improve your impact. This allows you to improve the effectiveness of your webpages and marketing so you can grow your business. Best of all, it’s a world class solution that’s totally FREE!
8. Livechat – This app allows you to communicate with website visitors instantly. This enables you to quickly check in with a potential customer and resolve any issues on the spot. Livechat provides a way to help with conversion since you can immediately answer questions a lead may have. It also provides customer feedback to help you improve your customer service and interaction. By providing immediate customer service, you are sure to increase sales and grow your business. You also have access to important info about the visitor, such as what page they are currently on (and if any products are in the cart for an e-commerce site).
9. Speek – This upcoming conference call service allows for online or traditional group phone calls. With a personalized link, it’s easy to invite people to your calls. You can quickly invite others to join in progress calls or schedule in advance. Sometimes, team collaboration needs that person-to-person interaction. With Speek, it’s easy to schedule and host conference calls for your team or your clients. My favorite feature is the ability to call in from my computer so I don’t burn through hundreds of cell phone minutes every month and don’t have to futz with a “hands free” headset.
10. Dwolla – This online payment network provides a great alternative to writing old fashioned checks for contractors, employees and affiliates. You can send, request, and accept money with very reasonable fees. This can be used on your mobile device or computer using a variety of contact information including email addresses, phone numbers, and social media connections. This app will help you streamline your payment options as well as provide a way to collect or send money at extremely low fees.
11. Bench.co – We’ve ditched QuickBooks in favor of Bench.co – a fantastic online solution to all your accounting needs. Bench simplifies your record keeping and allows you to get expert support at very reasonable costs for small businesses. Bench provides a medium to connect your bank accounts, credit cards, receipts, tax records, and payroll records all in one place. You provide the information but they do all the work so you can focus on your growing your business and not mastering accounting tools. This streamlining allows you to keep great business records that will make year-end and tax season that much easier!
12. PlusThis – This app integrates with Infusionsoft to provide a handful of incredibly useful tools that don’t come built in to Infusionsoft. You can use this tool to simplify your webinar registration process while also targeting your messaging throughout the process. You can also understand your customers better by seeing who is purchasing your products most frequently and at the highest price points. This information allows you to determine what parts of your content and messaging are working and what parts may need improvement. PlusThis harnesses the power of Infusionsoft to provide even more targeted messaging such as (custom Thank You pages) that will improve the impact of your automated marketing without increasing your workload.
13. Unroll.me – Tired of getting blasted with 1000 automated newsletters every day? Me too! This tool is an email inbox organizer that does the work for you. It combines your subscription emails into one list and gives you simple unsubscribe options to help you eliminate the junk quickly. You can also combine all the subscriptions you want in one easy to digest rollup email. You can free up the clutter in your inbox so you can be more effective and efficient when it comes to email. It’s also FREE.
So if this is your year to systematize and automate, these apps will help you make it happen. Which apps are you going to implement in your business to streamline your operations and efficiency in 2014? Let us know below in the comments!
*Note – A few of the links to apps in this post are referral links that help support the blog if you decide to try the app. We only suggest apps that we personally use and love at Automation Heroes! If you have any specific questions about an app, please let us know and we’d be happy to explain how we use it and what we love about it.