There is something exciting about entering a new year (or decade). It’s a time of reflection and retrospect. It’s also a time to try something new, make something better, or start from scratch. Whatever your resolutions are for 2020, we made a list of tools we used in 2019 that can help business owners like you save time, money and focus on growing your business this new year.
G Suite for… well, everything.
G Suite makes it easier to work with others and provides all the tools your business needs in one place. You get an email domain, calendar, cloud storage, chat and video conferencing. Plus it includes Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and productivity tools like Google Keep for notes or checklists. You also have the option to build and host your business website.
What we use it for: Pretty much everything! We have drives for different departments and are able to restrict access to certain users. Marketing can create content and make blog edits in one place. Our Location Managers can access reports, client files, floorplans, etc.
Favorite feature: I enjoy the accessibility. I can work from pretty much anywhere and maintain good communication with my team in one place.
Canva for print design and social media graphics.
Canva makes it easy to create eye-catching designs in minutes. It’s so far the easiest to use graphic design tool I’ve found, using a drag and drop format.
Small business owners and solopreneurs are so busy doing other things that they don’t have time to learn professional tools like Photoshop or InDesign and this is a nice alternative.
What we use it for: To create social media posts, blog banners, infographics, and quick flyers.
Favorite feature: You get plenty of benefits with the free version. You can upload your logo, and choose 3 colors and fonts to make your designs fit your brand (if you want to upload your own fonts you have to upgrade).
Buffer for publishing content on social media.
It’s hard to run your business and keep a social media presence without help. Buffer helps you plan your social media posts and schedule them to post automatically in your accounts.
It is pretty affordable, at $15 per month you are able to sync 8 accounts and schedule 100 posts per account. Only one user is included at this price.
What we use it for: To plan and schedule our posts for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We dedicate about 3-4 hours to planning out the content for the week and let Buffer do the rest. They also have an app which is pretty easy to use.
Favorite feature: Buffer has a Chrome plug-in so it makes it even easier for me to share any articles or images I come across. You can set it up here.
Calendly, a tool for pain-free scheduling.
Calendly makes it easier for others to schedule a meeting with you. You can choose the times you want to make available and sync it with your Google or Outlook calendar. With the free version you get only one event type (for example a 30 minute meeting which is what I have. Take a look at my calendar here).
If you want to have more than one event type, plus more options like removing the Calendly branding you can upgrade to paying $8 per month.
What we use it for: We use it when we want to invite other business owners for lunch or for our business development team to set up one-on-ones with potential or existing customers.
Favorite feature: I love how easy it is for others to use. You just send them a link to your calendar and they can set up a time that works for both without the back and forth emails or texts.
Google Meet for awesome remote meetings.
Google Meet is included in G Suite but we’ve used it so much and it’s such an essential part of our work that it deserves its own mention. It’s basically Google’s video conferencing app.
What we use it for: Every Monday we have a quick 15-minute meeting to update each other on important things. VenturePoint has 3 locations in San Antonio, so we are all usually at different places during this meeting.
I also can’t count the times we’ve used it to show each other how to do something by sharing our screen.
Favorite feature: I like that you can schedule a video call and it will add an event on your Google calendar for it. You can also invite anyone, they don’t have to have a Google account to join.
Our easy-to-use booking platform for meeting rooms.
At VenturePoint we have a user-friendly booking platform for our members or clients. One of the perks or using our conference rooms is the ability to hold meetings in different areas of San Antonio. Once your account is set up you can make reservations at any location.
What we use it for: To book our monthly or weekly team meetings.
Favorite feature: You don’t have to be a member to use our conference rooms or platform. It’s a tool any entrepreneur in San Antonio can use to hold client or team meetings at a great price.
We hope these tools will help you and your business as you grow and achieve new goals this 2020. Entrepreneurs and business owners need all the help they can get to accomplish small tasks so they can focus on bringing their business’ vision to life and find innovative ways to grow.
Whether you are an established business or a start-up, if you are looking for a professional place to meet clients, check out our conference rooms.
If you already use any of the tools we would love to hear your thoughts about them. Or, if you try any of these for the first let us know in the comments what you think.
By Paulina Escobar on January 14th, 2020
Image from Unsplash