Back in the day it was essential for business owners to write paper invoices, book appointments on a handwritten calendar, track expenses by collecting receipts and use personal numbers to promote the business. Today there is an overwhelming amount of resources that could help, here are my recommendations to help automate regular business processes:
Payment System, Tracking & Management
This is by far the most important thing to have down when running a business. Simply because it is how you’ll get paid for doing your service or providing your product.
Freshbooks is perfect for business owners who focus on delivering services to repeat clients. It’s simple, direct and allows you to create custom estimates & invoices, make them recurring and track every detail easily. Connect your bank account to get paid shortly after invoices are accepted. They are having a special at the moment, $200 for a year.
Quickbooks is perfect for every other type of business. They do most things freshbooks do, plus a lot more. If your business delivers products, they allow inventory tracking, paypal integration and built in accounting tools. This is more for managing expenses, sales, invoices, estimates, inventory and more. I would recommend using paypal or square as the payment processor if you aren't invoicing and then connect it to your quickbooks account. It will track and help you manage everything.
*Both of these prepare you for tax season and allow you to add an accountant to help manage*
Check this out for more info: Quickbooks vs Freshbooks
This is usually sought after because people don’t want to be giving out their personal number to a bunch of people. It’s best to just have one number and send every customer to it, while having multiple people manage the line.
Back in the day, in order to have an office phone, companies needed to hire someone to install a line in their office. Those days are dwindling away due to Cloud-Based phone systems. These make it accessible to have a phone line anywhere, through any device as long as it receives Internet.
This is a huge game changer and can allow business owners to have one phone line for their office computer or on-the-go with a personal cell phone. These are also built to scale, so you can have multiple people working with the same number and even add extensions on your line. Both of these have easy to use apps.
Grasshopper is perfect for Solopeneurs who are constantly on the front lines and for mid sized companies with 2-20 people. If you're looking for just one line this is your best option, more extensions can always be added. You can have a very customizable voicemail system and have customers select applicable options. This is roughly $30/month to start and is cheaper if you pay annually.
RingCentral is good for mid to large sized organizations. They offer among the best features but often require more lines to be used up front. They also sell physical phones and a lot of features to help set up a future call center for your business.
Authenticate your business and manage your data as you scale with Google Workspace.
Google Workspace offers every google product in a business version and will allow you to make a Gmail administrator account to manage emails connected to your website. So you will have access to create: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and well you get the idea, anything you want. Workspace is $6/Month for the starter package and the more emails you have the more it is.
*They also offer GoogleVoice which is an inexpensive business phone alternative (It’s cloud based as well)
No matter the business, if your placing any bookings you should be using Calendly.
It's probable you have heard of or even booked an appointment with someone using Calendly. After doing more research I realized how ahead of it's time it is. For starters it's free, you can also provide customizable options with different topics of discussion and create personal survey questions to get every important piece of information before your meeting. It syncs with your gmail calendar, allows you to set the meeting destination and auto-generates a google meet chat room if it's a video chat.
We are not sponsored by any of these companies, this all comes from an honest review. I highly recommend to do your own research into each of these to see what is best for you. Hope you enjoyed and let me know if you have any thoughts or recommendations!