In this post, you’ll discover the best business tools for startups and small business owners
These are the Business Tools I wish someone had told me about when I started my business
BookOm: Online Appointment Booking System
If you have an appointment-based service business, you will definitely want to add an online appointment booking and scheduling system to your website. BookOm is the most affordable solution for Yoga teachers, Pilates teachers, and anyone who has a service-based business.
SocialPilot: Social Media Marketing Tool
SocialPilot is a comprehensive and robust social media toolkit. You’ll never again need to post on social media manually, which means if you’re a frequent social media user, you’ll save yourself 60+ hours per year.
Aweber: Email Marketing Tool
One of the quickest and easiest ways to grow your yoga teacher business, especially during these uncertain Covid-19 times, is with an email list.
Most people coming to your site leave without a trace. The tragedy is that you’ve spent a small fortune on a website, and aren’t getting the most out it.
It surprises me that startups are perfectly willing to spend £1000+ on a website, but think $19 (approximately £15) per month to use the best email marketing tool on the market is not worthwhile.
It is worthwhile. It is very worthwhile. In fact, there is no other marketing activity that is more effective. Nothing even comes close, not even word of mouth.
Talk to any business adviser, and they will all recommend you use an email marketing tool to grow your business (I used to be a business adviser). Think about that for a moment. Why would every single business advisor you meet not only recommend that you use an email marketing tool, but practically get on their hands and knees and beg you to use one?
The email marketing tool I recommend is Aweber.
Elementor: No. 1 Rated WordPress Page Builder
I use the Divi Theme by Eleganthemes.com on lots of my sites, but recently I’ve also started to use Elementor as my page builder. Elementor is a WordPress page builder that has taken WordPress web design by storm.
It has the deepest feature set but is extremely easy to use. It’s also a joy to use. I feel like an artist when creating pages and posts because they make it so easy to craft lovely looking pages and posts. Elementor is the most full-featured free page builder.
There is also a Pro add-on to add additional developer features.
You can sign up to Elementor for free here.
A Facebook Page is now a must-have for startups and small businesses. You don’t have to do anything fancy.
Here’s what I do…
Whenever I publish a new blog post like the SocialPilot post I’ve just written, I create a post on my Facebook Page, paste the post URL into the post and write a short blurb about the post. That’s it. That’s all I use my Facebook Page for, and it definitely brings in extra business, so a couple of minutes spent creating the Facebook post is worth it for me, especially when using SocialPilot (social media marketing tool).
Facebook Page FAQs
Due to Covid-19 Zoom is now a must-have tool for most startups and small businesses.
I recently wrote a blog post about getting started with Zoom called How To Set Up A Zoom Yoga Class. Even if you’re not a yoga teacher, it gives you all the information you need to get started with setting up online Zoom sessions.
Stunning Garden Dome: Ideal Office
I’ve just ordered a HypeDome.
If you make it to the end of this post and want one, use my £100 discount code: GEORGEWATTS
If you’ve got room in your garden, and a few quid saved up, I have a hunch that you will want one too. So, if you haven’t got £3,000 under your mattress, I suggest you don’t read this.
The story starts as all stories currently do, with Covid.
Due to Covid, I found myself needing more space in our little cottage. More space for working, and more space for working out.
I then asked myself this question…
“Will it add value to my house?”
After doing some research, I discovered the answer was a big “Yes!”
According to popular property personality Phil Spencer, a conservatory can add around 7% in value to your home.
My little cottage is valued at £150,000. That means by getting the HypeDome, which is essentially a cool-looking conservatory, I increased the value of my property by £10,500.
It only cost £3,000.
That means I made £7,500!
So, it wasn’t an expense. It was an investment.
I was going to get a traditional conservatory at the back of the cottage (we already have one in the front of the cottage that we spend 90% of our time in), but thankfully I stumbled across it on the web and was instantly smitten by the stunning dome.
I had already done lots of homework.
I’d spent countless hours looking at all the possible options. Domes, eco pods, conservatories, extensions, and Shephard huts were all options on the table. Speaking of tables, see the table below. I thought it might be helpful for you to see the options I was considering…
Garden Office Spaces
|Type||Cost||Size||Country||Assembly Time||Self Assembly|
|HypeDome||£3,000||7.6 ft high||Worldwide||4 hours||Yes|
|Eco Pod (large)||£4,000||10×20 ft||UK||0 hours||No|
|Eco Pod (small)||£2,192||10×10 ft||UK||0 hours||No|
|Full Glass Conservatory (Wickes)||£12,000||13 X 17 Ft||UK||Weeks||No|
|Lean-to Full Glass Conservatory (Wickes)||£3,200||8 X 6 Feet||UK||Weeks||No|
|Off-the-shelf Conservatory Kit||£3000+||All sizes||UK||Weeks||Yes|
|Shephard’s Hut||£20,000||20ft||UK||0 hours||No|
After doing my homework, I concluded the HypeDome:
- Looks way cooler than a boring conservatory
- It Will be enjoyed by the whole family 365 days a year
- Adds £10,500 to the value of my cottage
- Saves me £9,000 from getting an expensive conservatory
- Performs better than a conservatory in all weathers
- Is a space that has more functions than a Swiss army knife
- Only takes 4 hours to assemble
Working from home is now the norm. And that’s a good thing if your office is a magical garden dome!
10 Benefits Of Working From A Garden Office
|1. Save money||6. Wear cosy clothes|
|2. Save time||7. No office distractions|
|3. Save the environment||8. No traffic|
|4. More productive||9. No crowds|
|5. Custom environment||10. More time with loved ones|
With a garden dome office, you get amazing views and all the health benefits of being out in nature. I don’t know about you, but I used to get quite down after spending 8 hours a day trapped in my work cubicle. Kinda felt like a prison to me.
If you are looking for a garden office, the space in the HypeDome garden pod is large enough to fit a desk and other office furniture comfortably. Because the exterior is made from polycarbonate panels with a clever fish scale design, you can rest assured that all of your home office supplies inside will stay completely dry.
Whether it’s conference calls or some much needed quiet time to work on your critical projects, this area is the perfect atmosphere to be productive. Just run a power cord line from under the pod, hook up all your equipment, and get to work!
Find out more about the HypeDome here. Discount coupon: to receive £100.00 / €110.00 discount and free delivery (UK & EU), use this coupon code at checkout: GEORGEWATTS
I was also going to include Paypal, but if I was starting a business today, I would just stick with Stripe as your online payment processor (it allows merchants to accept payment from their customers).
Here’s how the two services work out card payment processing fees:
|Transaction Fees||1.4% + 20p||1.9% + 20p|
|Example £10 Transaction||£0.34||£0.39|
|Example £100 Transaction||£1.60||£2.10|
As you can tell from the above table, stripe fees are lower than Paypal. That’s why I recommend Stripe.
Pexels.com: Royalty-free Images
If you need royalty-free images, pexels.com is one of the best places to get them. I use Pexels.com on an almost daily basis to get images for my blog posts.
Photoshop Elements: Easy To Use Photo Editing Software
I’m not very techy, so haven’t got on well with the expensive photoshop products in the past, but I do like their basic “photoshop elements” product. It’s idiot-proof. Very easy to use. Perfect for someone like me who just wants to do the same basic changes to most of my images (resize and save for web).
I like it because it’s a one-time purchase. It’s not part of the adobe creative cloud, so there are no yearly payments. With its wealth of tools and ease of use, Photoshop Elements is PCMag Editors’ Choice winner for enthusiast-level photo editing software.
You can get it from Amazon, eBay, or directly from Adobe’s site.