What are your favorite apps for online business? Running an online, service-based business really requires nothing but a computer and an internet connection. You can pretty much work from anywhere, at any time of day or night, and be totally successful.
One of the things I do is test just about every online app and service out there. In doing so, I can give my clients unbiased opinions based on my experience.
In previous years, this resulted in WAY too many systems and processes because I really loved so many of the apps and couldn’t decide.
I also have a tendency to love a fresh start. Instead of just fixing something, I prefer to start over with a new system. This has definitely frustrated my team members and clients a few times because I kept changing things up. 📌 Update for 2022, I’ve learned that this is related to having ADHD.
This year (2020), I decided that my word of the year would be constraint. This word works because I’ve always wanted to be really minimalistic and streamlined, but in reality, I’m the opposite.
I am committing to just a few tools to use, and I won’t allow myself to make changes until 2021. Here they are:
I’ve been a huge fan of Teamwork PM for years. I’m a Certified Expert, but I’m quicker and more productive in Asana. It’s also easier, in my opinion, to bring in clients. I also love ClickUp, but my team did not.
📌 UPDATE 4/2022 Asana didn’t work out for us, and we used ClickUp for most of 2021 by finding ways to keep things simple and easy to understand. It’s been a game-changer!
We love Dubsado, but not for everything. It does so many great things, but I think it only does a few of those things exceptionally well. It’s amazing for the automated process of sending a proposal + contract + invoice. We get so many compliments from new clients about the ease of use that they sometimes can’t wait to pay. I love that. But I wish there was a better way to automate billing, I don’t care for the email system, and the scheduling aspect has not been great. But I don’t even care about those issues because the automations more than makes up for them.
📌 UPDATE 2/2022 We still love Dubsado and work with it daily. The Dubsado team is actively updating a lot of the things that I don’t like, so we’ll continue to use it. We’re now offering Dubsado Setup in a Day – reach out if interested!
Since I don’t love Dubsado’s scheduling, I’ve stuck with my tried and true online BFF, Acuity. There has never been a time zone mixup like I’ve seen with Calendly, and it just works. It does everything it says it does, and it does it better than any others. And it’s pretty. 📌 No update. I still love Acuity & even use it for client payment subscriptions.
I’ve been with WordPress for years. I remember building my first WordPress site in my garage in 2009 and crying and stressing out over child themes and frameworks and all the plugins. WordPress is amazing, and I still build some client sites there, but since my word is constraint, Squarespace just fits me better right now. I don’t have a lot of decisions to make, I work with what they have, and I think the websites just look beautiful. It’s definitely not for everybody, but for someone who is simplifying like me, it’s perfect. We also use Squarespace for my online store, new client onboarding, and online courses. Everything is in one place.
📌 UPDATE 4/2022 We have moved back to WordPress and are using Showit for designing. It definitely had a learning curve, but once I figured it out, I finished my website in just a few days, and my SEO is already improving. Use my link to extend the free trial period: https://account.showit.co/r/entreleverage
I have 4 inboxes of my own that I check daily, plus multiple clients, so Kiwi for Gmail is perfect for keeping this super clean and simple. The whole team can access everything within GSuite from one app, and it works perfectly 90% of the time, which is good enough for me. 📌 UPDATE 4/2022 I don’t know when I stopped using this, but I’m going back immediately! I’m going with the Premium plan which is $35/year.
I’ve been a ConvertKit fan from the beginning and have moved many clients over to it. Sometime last year, when I wasn’t emailing my list much, I moved over to ActiveCampaign, which was nice, but now that I’m back to the simplicity of ConvertKit, I don’t even remember why I left! If you’d like a free trial (this is a new offer from them!), click here to try them out. If you decide to move over from a different service, we can help you with that.
📌 UPDATE 4/2022 I still love and use ConvertKit, even more than before. You can also take advantage of their new Free Forever plan if you don’t need automated sequences. Click here.
I love them both for different reasons, but when my carpal tunnel syndrome flared up last year, and I was unable to use a mouse for a good 3+ weeks, Voxer became one of my best friends. I’m able to share my Voxer messages with my team through Slack, so they didn’t have to change their workflow for me. I also love to use it to send quick messages and updates to my clients because email really is just so boring.
📌 UPDATE 4/2022 I still love Voxer, but I find myself slipping away from Slack just because it’s annoying being pinged all day.
The only thing I left out is me constantly telling Siri to remind me to do stuff when I get home since I spend 3 hours driving kids to and from school every day!
📌 I no longer have all of that driving to do since post-pandemic, my kids that are still in high school have opted to do home study instead of in-person school (I wonder where they got the work-from-home gene? 😉)
What do you use to run your online business? Am I missing anything here? Let me know!