eCommerce Tips

73 Time Saving & Money Making Tools for Entrepreneurs

By Ryan Gilmore on January, 20 2016

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Being an entrepreneur isn't easy.

You’re bombarded with competing demands, customer needs and new ideas for growth, all while trying to maintain an edge over your competitors and see your vision come to life.

Smart eCommerce entrepreneurs know they can’t handle all of this themselves and are always on the lookout for new tools, services and technologies that can help them keep focused, stay productive and grow their business.

But there are so many tools and services out there, with new ones being launched every day, that it can be tough to find the best ones. That’s where this list comes in.

We’ve interviewed our customers, colleagues and partners to identify 73 of the top tools and services they use to get more done in less time. 

Free PDF Download: Click here to download this article so you can reference it later.

 
Tools For Staying Organized and Productive

Every entrepreneur knows there’s never enough time in the day. Your business’ success depends on your ability to get as much done in as little time as possible.  

Use these tools to stay productive and organized so you can remain focused on what matters most: moving the needle on your business.

1. Wunderlist - This easy to use, free to do list app is the perfect tool for creating task lists, setting reminders and staying on top of everything.

2. Todoist - This to do list app is perfect for the entrepreneur who follows David Allen’s Getting Things Done productivity method.

3. Google Drive - Need a centralized cloud storage for the documents, images and files related to your business? Look no further than Google Drive.

4. Dropbox - If you’re not a fan of Google, but still need cloud storage for your business, then Dropbox makes for a compelling alternative.

5. Evernote - What started as a note-taking app has grown into a one-stop shop for creating notes, task lists/reminders and collecting interesting research, articles and ideas from around the web.

6. Google Calendar - Every entrepreneur needs a calendar. Google’s is free and full of time-saving features.

7. Calendly - This app eliminates the hassles around email and phone tag when trying to book appointments. Perfect for busy entrepreneurs and lean teams that need to book meetings with a minimum of hassle.

8. Toggl - This free app helps you track the time spent on projects so you can stay focused on using your team's time as profitably as possible. This app is especially helpful if you’re a services company that bills by the hour.

9. Rescue Time - This time management app tracks the time you spend on websites and apps to give you an accurate picture of how you spend your day. Use it to eliminate distractions and maintain focus.

10. Tomato-Timer - This app accompanies the Pomodoro productivity method. The general idea: work for 25 minutes, break for 5 minutes, repeat.  

Tools For Team Collaboration

As an entrepreneur, there’s a good chance that you’ll need to work with freelancers and other contractors to accomplish your goals and grow your business. Or, maybe you've built a remote team. In those situations, it can be hard to track and stay on top of what everyone's doing.

Use these tools to communicate and collaborate with your team, whether they're full time or freelance, onsite or remote. 

11. Trello - This ingenious project management tool is perfect for collaborating with your team and organizing any project.

12. Basecamp - One of the original project management tools, Basecamp is ideal for when you need something a little heavier duty than Trello.

13. HipChat - This chat app is excellent for communicating with your team, whether your staff are remote or onsite.

14. Slack - This tool puts an interesting spin on chat by allowing you to integrate hundreds of other services. Think of it as a repository for all your online communications, updates and notifications.

15. Google Docs/Sheets/Slides - Need to collaborate on a document, spreadsheet or presentation? Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are your answer.

16. Mindmeister - This app allows you to capture ideas, develop them and share them in collaborative, visual mind maps.  

17. Skype - Need to keep in touch with your team but don’t want to be tied to a landline? Check out Skype, it’s free voice and video chat.

Tools and Apps for Social Media and Digital Marketing

Building a successful business is dependent on making marketing your customers love. But doing marketing well is a time consuming task, and as an entrepreneur with an already full plate, it can be tough to fit marketing into your day.

Use these tools to streamline how you build, launch and measure all of your marketing campaigns.

18. MailChimp - One of the easiest and most affordable tools for creating, sending and tracking marketing emails.  

19. Beautiful Email Newsletters - This resource gathers the best email marketing newsletters in one place so you can find some inspiration when you need it.  

20. Buffer - This app is a simple tool for scheduling and sharing posts, thoughts and articles aross your social media platforms.

21. HootSuite - This app is a heavier duty social media tool that allows you to share on the fly, schedule updates, and track important keywords/hashtags. Think of it as your social media command center.

22. Feedly - This RSS reader makes it easy to stay on top of trends in your industry. Just subscribe to relevant websites and blogs, then head to Feedly to view them all. Perfect for finding content to share on social media.

23. Sumo - Born from the taco-addicted mind of Noah Kagan, Sumo offers a wide variety of free marketing tools that you can use to build your email list, drive traffic and better understand what visitors are doing on your site.

24. Unbounce - Effective online marketing relies on creating targeted landing pages that drive visitors to convert. Unbounce is the easiest way for non-coders to build, launch and analyze these landing pages.  

25. AdWords/Google Display Network - With a massive reach, AdWords can be a highly effective marketing channel for entrepreneurs. Plus, Google’s Display Network allows you to set up remarketing campaigns that convert more website visitors into paying customers.

26. Optimizely - Not sure which headline or page design will best achieve your goals? Enter Optimizely. This powerful tool allows you to A|B test your website pages so you always publish the best performing design.

27. Moz - This suite of SEO tools allows you to turn organic search into a serious driver of traffic and revenue for your business.

Tools for Writing Content and Graphic Design

Content and graphic design are two essential components of any business with an online presence. 

Use these resources to improve your writing, hire freelance writers and design beautiful imagery. 

28. Pixlr - This free tool is basically Photoshop in your browser. Use it to create all kinds of images and design assets for your website.

29. Canva - Another web-based design tool that makes it easy to create beautiful images and design assets for your business.

30. Scripted - Every website needs content, whether it’s product descriptions for an eCommerce store or content for blog posts. Scripted connects you with industry experts that will write high quality content for you so you can focus on other areas of your business.  

31. Hemmingway - This apps checks the grammar of any piece of content to help you publish clear, logical and easy to read writing.  

32. Copyhackers - This resource is a one stop shop for hiring copywriters and/or mastering the art and science of copywriting yourself.

33. Pocket - Sometimes you find an inspirational piece of content that you don’t have time to read right away. Pocket lets you save that piece for later. Plus, it learns what you like and recommends content to you. Let the ideating commence!

Tools for Customer Support

It's inevitable. At some point you'll have to deal with an upset customer. That process is a little less painless when you have formal processes and tools in place. 

Use these tools to deliver exceptional customer service and turn your customers into loyal brand advocates. 

34. Zendesk - A full featured customer support platform used by everyone from big companies to fast growing startups.

35. Olark - Online chat software that allows you to answer customer questions while they’re on your site.

36. Groove - This newer customer support platform is a bit lighter than Zendesk - perfect for startups and companies that place a premium on simplicity and efficiency.

Tools for Analytics and Customer Research

As management guru Peter Drucker said, "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it." As more business process move online and are infused with technology, this maxim rings even more true. 

Use these tools to collect and analyze website and marketing data, as well as uncover your customers' wants and needs.

37. Google Analytics - This free analytics suite is easy to install on your site, letting you track your website visitors’ behavior and your marketing in one platform.

38. Kissmetrics - If you’re serious about measuring and optimizing your marketing then you need to install Kissmetrics.

39. Qualaroo - This app allows you to display quick surveys to site visitors in a non-obtrusive way. Perfect for learning about your traffic, optimizing your funnel and systematically improving your website.

40. SurveyMonkey - The original online survey tool, SurveyMonkey makes it very easy to send surveys to customers and email subscribers to collect feedback on your business.

41. Crazy Egg - This app provides heatmap analytics that tell you how people are interacting with all of your website pages in great detail.

Tools For Building and Growing an Ecommerce Business

One of the best ways for an entreprenur to get their idea off the ground is to build an eCommerce store. With the power of the internet at your disposal, you can easily reach thousands, if not millions, of potential customers. This is also a great way for a brick and mortar business to get themselves in front a new set of potential customers. 

Use these tools to build an online business that's well positioned to take off like a rocket. 

42. Zoey - If you’re looking for an eCommerce platform that’s easy to use and still scalable enough to support a growing business, look no further than Zoey. You can try it free for 14 days.

43. Nosto - This app uses data about your customers and website visitors to create targeted product recommendations that turn your online store into a conversion machine.

44. Springbot - Know you need to focus on marketing but aren’t sure where to start? Springbot uses data and machine learning to analyze your marketing, recommend marketing actions and track performance.  

45. YotPo - Want to add customer reviews to your online store? YotPo makes it easy to collect reviews, publish them on your site and reward customers for submitting them.

46. SureDone - Today’s shopper expect to find your products wherever they want to shop. SureDone makes that happen by linking your online store to major marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.

47. Stitch Labs - This inventory management app makes it easy to sync inventory between all your different sales channels, add new sales channels and report on their performance with powerful analytics.

48. ShipperHQ - If you need to customize how your shipping rates are calculated or do any kind of sophisticated shipping, then you need to check out ShipperHQ.

49. Shipwire - As your business takes off, logistics and fulfillment become harder to manage on your own. ShipWire connects you with a cloud based logistics platform that puts your mind at ease.

50. TaxJar - This app eliminates the headaches around collecting and reporting on sales tax for your online store.

51. Referral Candy - This app makes it easy to create high-converting referral programs for your online store.

52. BrightPearl - Cloud based inventory management, order management and ERP software. It's an ERP for the digital age. 

Miscellaneous Tools and Services That'll Make Your Life Easier

As a busy entreprenur, you don't have time to manage all of life's demands on your own. 

Use these tools to outsource mundane tasks so you can focus on taking your business to new heights.

53. Handy - Because as a busy entrepreneur, do you really want to take time away from your business to clean your house or apt?

54. TaskRabbit - This tool connects you with a network of freelancers and assistants that can help you run errands or complete skilled tasks so you can focus on growing your business.

55. FlyCleaners - On-demand laundry and dry cleaning? Yes, please! This tool is only in NYC for now but if you’re near a major city there’s likely a comparable service available.

56. Seamless - When you don’t have time to cook, there’s Seamless.

57. FreshDirect - Order your groceries online and have them delivered when you’re home. Perfect for the entreprenur who is too busy hustling to go shopping.

58. Delivery.com - Get almost anything from food to groceries delivered.

59. Zirtual - When you need an assistant, but don’t want to hire someone full-time, Zirtual is perfect. Get yourself a virtual assistant, offload mundane tasks, and focus on moving the needle forward.  

60. Zeel - Entrepreneurs have to relax too! Zeel lets you book same day massages from licensed massage therapists.

61. Mistobox - Don’t worry about shopping for coffee or having to make it to your local coffee shop. Set up a subscription and get delicious, energizing coffee delivered right to your home or office.

Tools for Accounting  

62. Quickbooks Online - Simple, powerful accounting software for small businesses.

63. Expensify - Cloud-based expense report and expenses management for your whole team. Perfect for on-the-go business owners or remote teams.

64. Scannable - Scan receipts, business cards, or any other document right from your phone. If you’re an Evernote user, Scannable integrates with that, keeping everything in one place.

Tools for Finding Free Stock Photography

Hate it or love, every business needs it. Use these tools and resources to find the best in free stock photography. As a word of warning, please 

65. Free Images - A massive collection of free stock images.

66. Bootstrap Bay - This is a great collection of the top sources for free stock photograpy and images.

67. Unsplash - A more curated collection of free stock images

Tools for Automating Your Business

One of technology's primary benefits is that it allows us all to do more in less time. These tools take that to a new level by automating many of the manual actions we do every day with the apps we're already using. 

68. IFTTT - Connect commonly used applications like Facebook, Evernote and Gmail together to trigger workflows when certain events occur.

69. Zapier - A more powerful version of IFTTT that allows you to integrate popular business apps like HubSpot, Chargify, MailChimp and SurveyMonkey to trigger workflows that automate your business.

Miscellaneous Tools 

These tools fall into the general bucket of improving and simplifying life as a business owner, whether that's through self reflection, smarter travel or finding the time to learn new skills. 

70. DayOne - Self-reflection is one of the keys to thriving during your entrepreneurial journey. DayOne is a great journaling tool that lets you record your day, review your successes and analyze your mistakes so you can improve every day.

71. TripIt - If you do any sort of travelling for business then you need TripIt. This app scans your email, collecting your reservations and travel plans in one easy to access app.

72. LastPass - Securely keeps tracks of all your passwords so you don’t have to waste time looking them up or resetting lost passwords.

73. Audible - Don’t have time to read? Give audiobooks a try. Audible has a huge library of business books that can help you learn new skills and grow your business with the latest strategies.

We hope you enjoyed this list and have found a few tools that will help you become a more efficient and productive entrepreneur!

Free PDF Download: Click here to download this article so you can reference it later when designing your online store.

 

Have a favorite tool we didn't include? Tweet it to us @zoeycommerce

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