Make ’Em Think Your Small Businesses is a Large Shop: 15 Apps to Help you Automate and Streamline your Solo or MicroBusiness
FTC disclosure: This post may include affiliate links and if you choose to sign up for or purchase any of the products mentioned, I may get a commission.
In the age of digital entrepreneurship, running a solo micro business has never been more accessible or rewarding.
Since 2011, I have run several micro businesses as a solopreneur, a StartUp Founder or as part of a small venture with little staff or a few interns.
Notwithstanding the tiny size of my operations, when people have seen my businesses in social media or interacted with one of them online and have reached out to me to pitch or contact, they assume they are reaching a larger organization nor company.
I literally get emails asking to be put in touch with my team on this or that area or the person in charge of X.
Mission accomplished. Be small but play big and ubiquitous.
How could this be?
I learned early on to utilize software, apps and other tools available and as they roll out to automate tasks and processes and substitue for a full operation.
There are so many wonderful platforms that have allowed my business to run efficiently without needing a large staff.
There is no need to keep the secret to myself.
In this article, I will share my favorite apps and software that have made it easier for me to manage and grow my solo micro business to multiple 6-figures, where I’ve landed multiple 5–6-figure contracts and deals and managed small staffs.
These tools have proven invaluable for boosting productivity, organizing tasks, and staying competitive in today’s fast-paced business landscape.
Website Domain and Hosting
Every businesses needs a website.
Having a social presence is cool but a website is essential for leveling up a side hustle to a main hustle.
For solo entrepreneurs like myself, GoDaddy is a one-stop shop for domain registration, website hosting, and website building tools.
It currently is the host to over a dozen websites owned by me and clients.
I love it because of the 24 hour customer service access to a real live person where other hosting companies operate during business hours only and you should know that emergencies, including website crashes, happen on weekends and at night too.
Go Daddy simplifies the process of establishing an online presence and offers a range of features to help you manage your website effectively.
Why is hosting your website is better than relying on free site like Wix.com or others?
While free website hosting platforms are cool when you’re starting out, they sometimes include the subdomain of the host. Meaning, everyone knows they are free.
Your potential customers know that you have not taken the time to invest in your own domain and that speaks volumes about the vitality of your company or brand that you’re not even willing to invest that little bit in it.
It’s a great idea to build up your credibility by purchasing a unique domain name.
Without your own domain, customers and audiences may not take your business that seriously if you haven’t invested the $10 it cost to own your own domain.
You can do it instantly when you set up a Blogger via Google Wallet or you can get one from a site like GoDaddy.com and then link it.
If you want, EXPLORE GODADDY for offerings.
Online Booking and Payment Processor
Accepting payments from customers is a breeze with Square.
Whether you run an online store or have a physical presence, Square offers a range of payment solutions, including point-of-sale systems, e-commerce integrations, and invoicing.
Their user-friendly platform ensures smooth transactions and keeps your business cash flow steady.
What I love best about it is that there is no upfront fee which is perfect when you’re starting out your business and are seeing more losses than profit.
Money is tight and you’re strapped for front end cash and low on capital.
Square is the solution for your bootstrapped micro business.
For service based businesses like mine, I love that I can book services and collect payment all at once!
Because there is no monthly fee, you’ll see it on the backend when customers book via Square.
- The Square standard processing fee is 2.6% + 10¢ for contactless payments, swiped or inserted chip cards, and swiped magstripe cards.
- Payments that are manually keyed-in, processed using Card on File, or manually entered using Virtual Terminal have a 3.5% + 15¢ fee.
- Invoicws cost 2.9% + 30¢ for Invoices Plus users, and 3.3% + 30¢ for Free users.
It’s not that bad when you think about the alternatives. These fees are fair.
Logo and Branding
Your business’s visual identity is crucial. Branding is more than just a logo or matching colors, it’s about the values, mission and about the experience that clients and customers can come to expect when they interact with your business.
Nonetheless, the aesthetic is part of that.
Looka can help you create a professional logo and brand assets.
This AI-powered logo maker allows you to design a unique logo that reflects your brand’s personality.
It’s an affordable and convenient alternative to hiring a graphic designer.
Check out LOOKA when you’re looking for a reasonable priced branding, cannot yet afford a digital branding designer and you want to DIY.
Human Resources Management
Whether you will be bringing on full time or part time employees, or working with independent contractors, you will need to be in line with federal and state regulations when it comes to managing staff.
Yet, managing HR functions can be daunting for a small business owner.
Bambee is a lifesaver service for solo entrepreneurs as it provides access to real life HR professionals who can assist with hiring, employee management, compliance, and more.
The best part is that Bambee assigns you a real live person. It’s not a bot or automated chatbox.
With Bambee, you can focus on your core business while ensuring that HR matters are handled professionally and legally.
You’ll ease stress and anxiety knowing you don’t have to know this stuff yourself!
By now, most new business owners know that email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to connect with your audience and promote your business.
While social media is great for introducing your brand or company to new audiences, cultivating and nurturing relationship with existing customers and elevating your brand, only through email will you be able to have a direct contact with your clients.
However, email funnels is HARD! I just struggled a lot trying to create mine and failed often.
It was a challenge for me until I invested in a ConvertKit.
This email marketing platform simplifies email marketing! It’s so intuitive! I love it!
I use the new templates to easy make email newsletters for every campaign
Included within it is email automation and segmentation.
Compared to when I first started using it they now have lots of attractive customizable templates.
I love their new visual templates that are drag and drop.
It’s so super easy to use and more functional than MailChimp, ConstantContact and other entry level products in the market. I’ve used both so I know.
It’s a valuable tool for nurturing leads and staying engaged with your customers.
Instructional Video Editing
When I began being super serious about my YouTube channel, I tried several desktop editing software, some mobile and online ones as well.
The online ones were limited and slow and wonky.
The mobile ones had limited functionality and videos came out grainy. The desktop ones were super complicated.
I was stuck but that was until I discovered Wondershare Filmora which is very easy, has loads of templates and tools and is so easy a child could use it. I created long and short instructional “sit down” talking head videos and edit them easily with Filmora.
Video editing doesn’t have to be complicated.
Filmora is user-friendly and my videos come out so polished and professional looking that I get lots of compliments on them.
It’s perfect for entrepreneurs looking to enhance their video content for marketing or educational purposes.
Digital Products Sales
If you create digital products or content, Gumroad provides a platform for selling them directly to your audience.
Whether it’s e-books, digital art, or software, Gumroad simplifies the selling process, including payment processing and content delivery.
It’s a valuable tool for monetizing your creative endeavors.
I can sell digital products and control who has access to them, give discounts, monitor downloads and more.
I’ve used Gumroad for years to sell ebooks, courses and downloads to my stock photography library!
There is no cost to it either other than the nominal fee they deduct when you make a sale.
Visual content is essential for marketing, and Canva offers a user-friendly graphic design platform for creating eye-catching graphics, social media posts, flyers, and more.
With its drag-and-drop interface and extensive library of templates, Canva makes it easy to design professional-looking materials without the need for graphic design expertise.
At this point, Canva is the industry standard. I highly recommend you try it out and immediately upgrade to pro.
I made my YouTube channel banner using Canva.
For the cost of one latte a week, you get access to many more templates, 100,000s of graphic design elements, stock photos and more. You can even have a custom branding and get to have a team access. It’s totally worth the upgrade.
I’ve used Canva to design my YouTube Channel thumbnails, banner, logos, business cards, Pinterest pins, Instagram carousels and those for my clients.
I cannot speak highly enough for how much this app has helped me build my authority and credibility in my space.
Customer Relationship management (CRM)
CRM is a critical component of any business, regardless of its size.
Freshworks offers a suite of CRM and customer support tools that allow you to manage customer interactions, track leads, and provide top-notch customer service.
Their intuitive interface and automation capabilities make it an excellent choice for solo business owners looking to build and maintain strong customer relationships.
Meetings and interviews are a part of business life, but transcribing them can be time-consuming.
Otter.ai utilizes artificial intelligence to transcribe spoken content, making it a valuable tool for entrepreneurs who need accurate and efficient transcription services.
It also offers features like note-taking and collaboration.
I love how Otter.ai integrates with Zoom so you can instantly transcribe Zoom calls for turning them into training videos or incorporating them into reports and more.
Before other apps started including captioning, I used to use Otter.ai to caption podcasts, YouTube videos and Clubhouse rooms.
Invoicing and payment processing are essential tasks for any business, and Carbon6 simplifies these processes.
This is how Carbon6 compares with other seller inventory management apps.
It enables you to create professional invoices, accept online payments, and track your finances seamlessly.
With Carbon6, you can stay on top of your cash flow and focus on growing your business.
Notion is a versatile productivity app that can be customized to suit your specific needs.
It’s like having a digital Swiss Army knife for project management, note-taking, task tracking, and more.
You can create databases, collaborate with team members, and keep your business organized in one centralized platform.
I’ve tried several project and task management systems but nothing was as simple, intuitive and easy to use as Notion.
Here is the theme I purchased
It’s a checklist based system and that’s what I love most about it! I use it everyday and even use the mobile version. If you would like to watch a walkthru, I sell it on my Teachable here!
Video Ads Creation
Video content is a powerful marketing tool, but creating professional videos can be time-consuming and expensive. inVideo changes that by offering a user-friendly platform for video creation.
I absolutely love the templates! They include them for every industry and are interactive, include vibrant video and graphic elements and best of all look super professional!
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font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:550; line-height:18px;">View this post on Instagram</div></div><div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"><div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"></div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"></div></div><div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"></div> <div style=" width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; 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No need to hire an advertising agency when you have these tools.
ou can quickly produce engaging videos for your marketing campaigns, social media, and website without the need for extensive video editing skills.
Enhance your website’s visual appeal and engagement with Slider Revolution.
This versatile plugin for WordPress allows you to create stunning sliders, carousels, and interactive content without needing advanced design skills.
It’s an excellent way to make your website stand out and captivate your audience.
Create and Sell courses online
If you have valuable knowledge or skills to share, Teachable provides a platform for creating and selling online courses.
Whether you want to offer instructional content, webinars, or coaching services, Teachable makes it easy to monetize your expertise and reach a global audience.
I’ve hosted courses via teachable and my students have loved it.
I can drip out the content, and teachable makes it easy for me to create compelling sales pages.
Also, upsells and down sales are a breeze. I’ve been on this platform for years and each year, it comes out with new tools and mechanisms for increasing sales.
Running a solo micro business requires wearing many hats, but with the right apps and software, you can streamline your operations and focus on what matters most — growing your business.
The tools mentioned in this article, from Bambee for HR management to ConvertKit for email marketing, empower solo entrepreneurs to compete in today’s digital landscape and achieve success with efficiency and ease.
Incorporate these tools into your business workflow, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your entrepreneurial goals.