8 must-have apps for solo and micro businesses
So many apps, so little time...have you ever considered that your app usage might be getting in the way of your productivity? This may be because you have too many on the go while swimming through your virtual ocean and hitting bumpy coral reefs along the way.
Before I was introduced by the amazing Steph at APARO to some life-changing tools, I was switching from tab to tab - my computer was overwhelmed by the insane amount of apps and tabs that were open, plus my productivity was in fact slow. I was certainly in deeper waters than I wanted to be.
When it comes to aspects of my day-to-day duties such as content planning, things on Isle Aloha need to be slick and efficient so that I can plan, create and review with ease and ultimately, take on more business which is what we are all here for after all! The key? To minimise the amount of apps you use simultaneously for your day-to- day tasks and with that, each app should have a clear purpose.
Here are eight apps that I use daily for all my business needs and why they have made it to my list. Truth be told, I wouldn't able to expand my business without them! It’s true, I really wouldn’t have!
1 ~ Flodesk
I use Flodesk to create beautiful and modern on-brand newsletters aka email marketing. It’s easy to use, integrates with a range of platforms including Shopify, can create landing pages, embed sign-up forms onto your site and create automated workflows! I pay for the full version but it’s a set price for access to all features - and I use it like a social media platform for updating my Aloha visitors so it’s worth me having the full version.
2 ~ Canva
Canva is a my shiny shell of a tool and ideal if you’re not a traditional graphic designer but have a keen eye for design (or you just LOVE design) like me. Content marketing, branding, documents, invoices - there’s honestly not much you can’t create with it. With Canva Pro you have access to the resizing tool to resize graphics for any platform, the animating tool, the awesome background remover (my favourite) plus the entire library of stock images, videos, graphics and templates (there are sooo many!). The best bit? You can create your very own Brand Kit so that you don’t have to keep finding your colour palette, logos and even fonts - it’s all there in that mighty brand kit. Without Canva, my content design or marketing would likely be redundant, or I will have to encourage my clients to take even more selfies...
3 ~ Business Suite
I use Facebook's Business Suite (mobile app) and Publishing Tools (desktop) for scheduling to Facebook & Instagram as well as my all-in-one dashboard for insights. I don't personally believe third party schedulers work for smaller accounts, so having this app means I can easily save drafts and schedule from anywhere all while being loyal to Facebook, yay!
4 ~ Asana
I LOVE Asana. It’s a project management tool that allows me to have everything in one place and I can even work collaboratively with my clients. I even use it for my content planning, social marketing strategy... you name it, it goes in Asana! I have even included a screenshot of an example Asana dashboard ideal for social media. Take a look...
5 ~ InShot
InShot (mobile app) is fantastic for content design such as Reel/IGTV covers and before and after images for my clients. It can also be used for basic video editing, stitching clips together and adding branded elements like logos! You can even add music to really engage your audience, fab!
6 ~ GSuite
GSuite is another tool that’s renown for having everything like documents, in one place. It’s handy for sharing larger images or files with clients and collaborating on documents. With the free version, you get 15GB of storage which is more than Dropbox. As I use Wix, my premium subscription came with GSuite but you can sign up for it separately if you need.
7 ~ HelloSign
HelloSign is great for my service agreements where clients can add legally binding eSignatures. You can also add drag-and-drop tick boxes, text and date fields to documents and save them as templates to reuse. It’s so useful that it tracks responses and sends reminders! With the free version you get 3 eSignature requests per month! Perfect if you are a micro or solo business.
8 ~ SquareUp
I have used SquareUp for creating eGift cards and selling online workshop tickets (it integrates with Instagram via stories). It can be used for a range of payment needs such as setting up an online shop and syncing it with social media, Point of Sale and contactless payments and invoicing. Plus, it has that all important personalisation factor where I can design the e-gift card images...being on on-brand at all times!