Automation software is growing in popularity amongst small businesses thanks to new tools developed specifically for small business success in mind. Small business owners and employees everywhere are getting more done with less effort, all thanks to automation tools. According to a recent report published by Salesforce, small businesses who were experiencing growth were “1.6 times as likely as their stagnant counterparts to say they’re using technology to automate business processes.”
There are a variety of different automation tools that each help with different areas of small businesses. To help you determine which types of tools would work best for your business, we’ve outlined the top tools for marketing, financial management, project management and social media.
Marketing Automation: Hubspot
Marketing Automation helps small business owners present targeted content to relevant audiences at just a click of a button. This has been a game changer for boosting a company’s return on investment (ROI) and cutting down their overall costs.
Hubspot is one of the most popular marketing automation tools that help businesses organize and automate their marketing tasks. As their website claims, their software “automates the tasks that salespeople hate.”
Their all-in-one marketing software gives you everything you need to launch effective marketing campaigns. With Hubspot, you can:
- Build and modify your website without IT
- Get your content in front of the right people
- Drive more traffic to key landing pages
- Convert more visitors into qualified leads
- Turn leads into customers with less effort
- Track customers and report your impact on the bottom line
Hubspot offers a beginner basic platform for free. You can also pay a monthly fee, depending on business size, to access more advanced marketing tools.
Financial Management: FreshBooks
As a small business owner, you’re likely your business’s bookkeeper and thus, aware of accounting best practices. But with everything that you have on your plate, accounting may slip through the cracks. The good news is that there are a variety of accounting tools developed to address these small business challenges specifically.
FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software that makes running your small business easy, fast and secure. Its main goal is to make invoicing and billing simple. Freshbooks is the leader in accounting software category and was awarded the Best Accounting Software for 2016, and the Supreme Software Award for 2016.
It’s designed for owners of small client-service businesses that send invoices to clients and get paid for their time and expertise. Its features include:
- Online invoicing
- Time tracking
- Recurring invoicing and auto-payment
- Team timesheets
- Late payment reminders
- Expense tracking
- Accounting reports and taxes
- Automatic expense report
FreshBooks offers a free 30 day trial with no credit card required, that you can cancel anytime. After the 30 day trial, users can choose three different options depending on your client size.
Project Management: WorkflowMax
Many small business owners spend too much time dealing with the little factors necessary to stay on top of every single project. Luckily, there is project management software built specifically for small business owners in mind. With these tools, you can automate these monotonous tasks and save extensive amounts of time and energy, which you can use to focus on growing your business.
WorkflowMax is one of the top-rated project management and scheduling system that allows you to manage your workflow from quote through invoice while tracking time and costs. You can improve project budgeting and gain important insights into your business. Their website claims that “if you are a service business and you track time – or even bill based on time – then WorkflowMax is for you.”
WorkflowMax provides the following features:
- Instant Quotes
- Flexible Time Tracking
- Powerful Job Management
- Streamlined Invoicing
- Actionable Reporting
- Xero Owned & Integrated
- Accessible from anywhere
- Free unlimited support
WorkflowMax pricing starts at only $15 a month, ranging based on business size.
Social Media Management: Hootsuite
As a small business owner, you understand the importance of social media. However, effective social media marketing requires data. It’s important to measure your performance across social channels to know that you’re using the right tactics for your specific audience.
Luckily, there are a variety of tools that make this easy
Hootsuite is one of the easiest and most popular social media tracking platforms. It looks like the user-friendly Facebook dashboard; however, it supports integration with all social platforms. With Hootsuite, you can measure your social media ROI to make smarter, data-driven marketing decisions with confidence.
Hootsuite offers a variety of features that not only save small business owner’s time, but also improve the overall effectiveness of social media tactics. Hootsuite allows users to:
- Automatically schedule posts on all social platforms
- Discover new content to repost and improve content curation
- Bring your data to life with powerful analytics
- Follow key conversations with extensive monitoring features
- Manage social teams effectively and securely
- Build your audience, and brand, with social media contests
They offer a range of plans depending on the number of social profiles and users, starting at $19 a month. If you want to give it a try, they offer a free 30-day trial.
With the wide range of automation tools available, small business owners can take back the time necessary to focus on their overall bottom line. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to automation. Take time to consider which of these tools will make the most sense to your business goals and needs.