As a small business owner, it is very easy to fall into FOMO, the fear of missing out, so we start purchasing all of the “IT” tools, or systems if you will, for our business. We look for schedulers, project management tools, CRM’s (customer relation management) systems, email marketing tools, social media scheduling tools, and so much more. When we do this, however, most of the time we end up spending more than we should, we waste our time trying to learn all of the new systems and ultimately end up having a mess or a library of unused systems. I’m going to tell you the same thing that Bob Newhart says, “STOP IT!” Check out the 3 affordable productivity tools small businesses should be using. Oh, yea, I use these now.
1. The Affordable Scheduling Productivity Tool: ScheduleOnce
So the first affordable productivity tool I want to start with is a scheduling tool. The most common ones I hear of, per my current clients, are Calendly, Acuity, and Honeybook. Although they all work perfectly and integrate with the main calendar, whether it be Google, Outlook, or via IMAP/POP settings, they are not the most affordable ones. The tool I recommend to my clients is ScheduleOnce powered by OnceHub. I use the Starter Plan, which is their Free plan for up to 25 Users. For a small business like mine with fewer than 10 people, this works out perfectly. Check out the details on their plan comparison below.
If you review the plan details you’ll notice that the Growth plan has mainly esthetics features. If this is not important to you, as it isn’t to me, then the Starter plan is perfect for you. If esthetics and white-labeling are important for you then you may want to go with the paid plan, which in comparison to the other scheduling tools out there, it is very affordable. The paid plan does integrate with Salesforce, InfusionSoft, and other project management tools, however, again via API and Webhooks, you may be able to integrate this with your project management tool without having to get the paid plan.
MOST SOUGHT OUT FEATURES: Now some other features included in the Starter plan are email and text reminders which not only I but my potential clients have loved too. With the Starter plan, you get 25 SMS credits per month, with the option to purchase more. If you are strategic, you can limit the number of SMS used by only selecting the practical uses for it. I use them only for Reminders & Follow-Ups, and only 1 message per booked appointment. Of course, you can upgrade to the Growth plan if you find that you need more, again at only $9/month if paid annually.
Overall, what the base paid plans that most schedulers offer, ScheduleOnce powered by OnceHub offers the same for Free. Check out this link to view more of the plan differences. By the way, OnceHub does not currently have an affiliate program so I am not sharing this to get any credit other than to help you save on business expenses on things you need.
2. The Affordable Invoicing Productivity Tool: Waveapps.com aka Wave
Ok, so when it comes to invoicing, I have come across many business owners that don’t use one, mainly because they think it is too complicated to deal with. If you need an affordable system, not to include the cost of processing, Waveapps.com AKA Wave, may be what you are looking for.
So I will start by saying that the processing rates are just as ridiculous as it is with PayPal, Stripe, Square, and QuickBooks to say the least. However, unlike PayPal, Stripe, and Square it includes bookkeeping features as well. Unlike QuickBooks, the platform itself is free to use.
Some features that Wave offers that PayPal, Square, and Stripe don’t is the capability to see when someone has viewed the invoice you sent, which I absolutely love, (yeah, I like to be able to come back to clients that otherwise might say they never got it). Another feature Wave offers, as I mentioned before, is bookkeeping and on top of that they also provide bookkeeping services at what I believe is at a very reasonable cost, at under $200 a month. You can also pay them to simply teach you how to do your own bookkeeping for a one-time payment of less than $300.
Other favorite features of mine at Wave are the customization of invoices, recurring invoices, reminders, integrations, and here recently the ability to no longer wait 2 business days for deposits. For an additional 1% fee, you can request a direct payout.
For additional info on Wave, here is the link to view their fees and features. Oh, and just like ScheduleOnce, Waveapps.com does not have an affiliate program, so I am strictly sharing this to help you save on business expenses.
3. The Affordable Project Management Productivity Tool: ClickUp
Last but certainly not the very least. This is probably my most favorite tool of all for project management, ClickUp! I mean where do I start. ClickUp is extremely customizable, their customer service is phenomenal, and yes they have a Free plan, but this time, I won’t recommend the Free plan, you definitely want to get the Business Plan. The reason being is because you get to take advantage of all of their features. For lack of keeping this blog short, I will discuss what is one of my favorite features, only available in the Business plan, which is Forms.
Forms is a type of View in ClickUp. You can create your own forms, contact forms, applications, just about any type of form, then embed it on your website, or share the link. However it is you choose to share the form you create, when the individual who is required to fill it out hits Submit, guess where all of that information goes to? Inside of ClickUp. No more transferring info from emails or website forms into your project management tool, with ClickUp you have your tasks, your projects, and all of your submitted answers to Forms in there for you to follow up with.
There are so many other features I absolutely love about ClickUp which I will be discussing in the future. In the meantime, try out their free plan here, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. The opportunities in ClickUp are just about endless. By the way, if you click the image above and decide to get a plan, I do credit on my account, as their affiliate, however, I am sharing this tool because I wholeheartedly believe in the power of this tool.
To sum this up, you don’t have to buy every single tool out there to be productive in your small business. With just a little bit of research, you can find Free to Inexpensive business tools and systems that will benefit your business and help you scale. If you haven’t already connected with me, please schedule a time with me, and let’s connect and talk about the tools you are currently using. We can find out if any of the ones I have recommended can replace your current ones. If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to share and leave a comment.