Running your own business can feel like a fairytale. You never know whether you’ll end up walking the plank, or if your fairy godmother will make all your dreams come true. Yet it is possible to prevent the big bad wolf from blowing your house down.
Getting your business up and running can be a daunting task. However, there are plenty of low cost and free tools support available to ensure your business fairytale doesn’t end in disaster.
There are a lot of free digital tools available at your fingertips to help keep you, your business and brand in sync. From the search engine optimisation (SEO) assistant, MOZ, to social media scheduling tool, Tweetdeck, you’ll be sure to keep your online presence is active and relevant.
Equally, using free website and blogging tools, like Blogger or WordPress, mean you can keep your customers up to date with interesting news or industry comment. This not only gives your audience a constant stream of information on your products and services, but also positions you as a reliable voice in the industry.
You might also find that the media picks up on your stories, but you don’t want to hear about it through the grapevine. By signing up to free tools like TalkWalker, you can keep track of your media coverage and monitor the impact your brand is having with the people who matter most — your customers.
Often, keeping on top of your admin tasks can cause a real headache and prevent you from focusing on sales and customer service. Adding in some simple tools to your business admin weaponry can help save time, money and bother further down the line.
Tracking your finances is vital as a business owner, however often you don’t need the services of a retained accountant eating into your profit margins. Using online accountancy software, like Tally, can help you keep your income and expenditure on plan and automatically issue invoices or statements.
Aside from keeping finances on plan, being productive and working smarter should also be a priority. There are a range of productivity apps that can support you in your business venture to be more efficient. Trello lets you work collaboratively to organise and prioritise projects, while Freedom blocks apps and websites to prevent procrastination temptation. Goodbye constant Facebook refreshing.
With visions of grandeur and success at your fingertips, it can be tempting to run away with the fairies when getting your business off the ground. Having a couple of people on hand to be an impartial listener and general realist can be really beneficial to keeping your feet on the ground.
Of course, you don’t want to have a general nay-sayer shooting down every idea, but instead, someone who is a real talker that processes the pros and cons from an outsider’s perspective. This could be a business partner, family member or best friend — all who can avert you from making irrational or ill-considered business decisions.
Achieving success with your business doesn’t have to be a tale of fiction. With some simple tools, a rational mind and maybe a little bit of pixie dust, your new business venture really can end happily ever after.
Richard Stonier is founder of online accountancy provider,Tally Accounts