In this episode, we share the small business tech tools that help us run our business! We used to spend way too much time logging into instagram every day and trying to figure out what to post...we also used to be super disorganized with our passwords, workflows, and business information.
These are just some of the small business problems we’ve had that we knew we HAD to solve to free up more of our time, lose the overwhelm and be more organized, and refocus our efforts into more creative work.
All of these common small biz problems are 100% totally solvable with the right tools! So, we’re sharing our favorite online tools that we use everyday in our business. Most of them have a free version, or they’re relatively inexpensive and the investment we’ve made in them has saved us both time and money.
So, in this episode, we talk the tech tools we love that are free or inexpensive that help us make more $$$ & save more time.
Keep reading to find links to our FAVORITE tools that make our business awesome.
Here are all the BEST tools we use to run our business:
There is a little bit of a #teamcanva or #teamphotoshop competition online. A lot of people think you have to use photoshop or illustrator to be a real designer, but that’s not true. I actually have used photoshop for years and years, and I still use it, but we create most of our graphics in canva because it is so user friendly, and there are so many customizable graphics easily available to you.
I would recommend canva to any small business!!
You really do not need to pay a designer to make you sales graphics, reels, collages, or anything for your social media. Canva has so many templates. Like my favorite that I recently discovered was that there are Pinterest templates to create new pins.
Trello is a free organizational app and it’s one of my absolute favorite things. It’s perfect for project management, to do lists, it has a calendar, and it’s basically a place for digital sticky notes that will never get lost.
You create different Trello boards for different projects. For example, we have separate boards for each platform for our business like Etsy, Instagram, and Pinterest and in each of those we have our workflows, important info, current hashtags we’re using, and anything else we might need to put in there. It’s the best way we stay organized.
For your handmade business, you could use Trello to make your daily and weekly to do lists, and plan out future new product launches.
Later is the self proclaimed “worlds favorite instagram scheduler”, and it is definitely our favorite.
If you don’t already know of it, It’s an online tool to use to schedule posts to your instagram, and visually see how your scheduled posts will look on your instagram feed before you post them, with the ability to drag and drop them to different areas or days.
You can upload your photos to the tool, write your captions and have Later automatically publish your photos to instagram (with no work from you at the time), although we do still recommend logging on to interact with other account during the time frame that your post publishes, to boost your engagement and to connect with your followers.
Etsy is our primary e-commerce platform that we sell our art on. We love Etsy because not only is it easy to use for an online shop, but there were also 81 million customers on Etsy in 2020..
We could never drive as much traffic on our own to our own site as we can get from using etsy’s existing traffic and capturing our ideal customer from within those 81 million buyers.
Last year, we made more than $100k on Etsy, so this e-commerce tool is definitely the best one we use in our business.
This is a brand new Etsy analytics tool and I’m obsessed with it. Sale Samurai is an online Etsy Keyword tool that helps you:
Find good keywords
Research the price points, shipping costs, pictures, and keywords of best-selling products on Etsy.
Compare competitors shops or even individual listings to look at how your products are doing in the search algorithm compared to your competitors. There are other Etsy research tools out there but this one is hands down my favorite and, to be honest, I wish we’d had it a year ago when we started our Etsy shop.
Sale Samurai also has a Chrome extension, which is huge, because you can use it directly in Etsy to look at the search volume and competition for keywords.
You don’t have to brainstorm your keywords all on your own and feel overwhelmed because Sale Samurai gives you these really great keyword suggestions with things that you might not even have thought about. So, it’s super awesome. This tool is $9.99/month, which is less than most of us spend on lunch out somewhere just one time, so it’s really affordable and a smart investment in your business.
>>> By the way, if you’re interested in this tool which like I said, we’re now using every single day in our business, we do have a discount code for our listeners. You can get 20% off with the code SHOPSTUDIOSISTERS. You can learn more about this software here!
We use google drive to transfer files and share them with each other. We live in different states, so the ability to be able to write in the same document at the same time, brainstorming podcast episodes, or transferring photos between us, is really handy for us!
We use Wave app for all of our small business accounting. You can sync your business bank accounts, Paypal, and other payment processors to automatically record your transactions into your accounting books. Both of us really, really dread working on anything accounting-related but Wave is really simple to use and free.
Another tool that we use to work with each other is Slack. It is basically a group chat for businesses and teams. We like it because without it, we tend to chat on facebook, and then we lose the messages and can’t find important business discussions in amongst personal chats.
So, we keep everything business related on Slack, where we can have everything organized and have a chat for etsy, or a chat for social media strategies, etc.
Convertkit is our go-to tool for email newsletter subscriptions and automated emails.
Many handmade sellers and artists use convert kit to build email lists of returning customers, to share behind-the-scenes photos of their work and studios, and to announce new art and products when they launch.
The reason that an email list is so great and so many small businesses are turning to using them is because there’s no algorithm to beat. Everyone who is on your email list actually gets the emails you send them. Not everyone who follows you on instagram or facebook sees what you post and actually, most people don’t. So, if you’re looking for a way to build a stronger relationship with your audience an email list might be the way to move the needle forward for you. It does take time to build but it’s a smart move if you’re already growing on Instagram & you’re ready for the next step.
We love Convertkit because it’s super simple to use and you can easily pre-schedule emails to go out well in advance which means I never have to “remember” to send out a newsletter.
I feel like we can’t say enough good things about Convertkit and the future of email lists for small business so if you want to learn more about this tool, visit shopstudiosisters.com/convertkit to get a free convertkit plan.
Also >>> we’ve created a FREE guide on how to learn the basics of Etsy SEO, what a long-tail keyword is, and some basic do’s/don’ts of Etsy search tags in just 15 minutes. Get it here.