Google Calendar, Calendly and Zoom for meetings.
Asana, Trello and 17Hats for project management.
Buffer, Tailwind and SproutSocial for all things social media.
Does just reading that lengthy list of tools make you tired?
If so, you’re going to love this blog post. While new software, apps and tools are popping up every day to help entrepreneurs–trying to use too many tools can actually slow down your business (and cost you major cash!).
It’s time to tame the tools chaos, friend and make sure online biz tools don’t run your life (or ruin your bank account).
Here’s a short-and-sweet guide to cutting down on the tools you use (and the money you shell out every month):
Step 1: Take Stock of Your Tools
First things first: It’s time to get real about all the tools you’re paying for.
Take a look at your business bank statement for the month and create a list that includes each (and every) tool you’re subscribed to or pay for–no cheating!–and how much you’re shelling out for each one. Don’t forget to list tools you pay for at non-monthly intervals, too–like an annual subscription to ConvertKit or quarterly subscription to your favorite social media scheduler. Just having this list in plain sight can be a game-changer!
Step 2: Pinpoint the Tools You Use
Next, it’s time to go through your list and put a big ol’ checkmark next to the tools you actually use. Think about a typical week in your business, then month, then year. Which apps, schedules and software do you open and create with–versus just think about using or plan to use?
Step 3: Assess What You Actually Need
Once you know what you have and what you use, it’s time to get down to brass tacks & assess what you actually need. Determine which tools are essential and which ones you can do without.
For example, if you’re paying for a social media management tool but only use it once a week, do you really need it–or could you get by with a free version?
Or, if you’re paying for Tailwind but no longer use Pinterest as a marketing channel, can you say sayonara (and save the cash–or put it toward another marketing avenue)?
I know it can seem scary at first and you might wonder, “But what if I need it in the future?” The good news is most software and apps and tools will still be available if/when you need them. Don’t be afraid to get rid of the tools that aren’t working for you. If you’re paying for a tool that you’re not using or that isn’t providing value to your business, it’s time to cut it loose. This will save you moolah and also free up your time and energy to focus on the tools that are working for you.
Oh, and speaking of free versions: Embrace the freebies! There are tons of free tools out there that are just as fabulous as their paid counterparts. For example, Google Analytics is a free tool that provides website analytics and insights. Canva is another free tool that allows you to dream up & design beautiful graphics and images for your website and social media channels. By taking advantage of these free tools, you can save money without sacrificing quality.
Step 4: Consolidate!
Now that you know what you need, you can really save some moolah by seeing if you can consolidate some of your tools. If you pay for a separate scheduling software, project management software and invoicing software, could you maybe spring for an all-in-one solution like Dubsado or HoneyBook?
Look for tools that can do multiple things, such as project management software that also includes a social media management tool. This can help you avoid paying for multiple tools that all do the same thing, so not only will it save you cash, but it’ll also simplify your workflow.
Not sure where to start or what’s out there? Try typing all the features you’re looking for into Google, or simply ask your VA to do the hunting for you.
By streamlining your tools and cutting unnecessary expenses, you’ll save money, time and brainpower. And who doesn’t want more of, well, all of that?