Every small business owner has tools and resources they can't live without! These tools automate processes, save money, and help the business owner stay organized.
Keep reading to see my list of "can't live without" resources for online business. These are all tools that I personally use, love, and wholeheartedly recommend.
My business contains several facets (bookkeeping services, blogging, book writing, selling on Etsy), and I use certain tools for each part. You probably don't need tools for all these business models, so to better help you find the tools you need, I’ve grouped the tools I use into business types. So find the business type that best fits you, and check out the tools I use to keep that facet of my business going strong!
(This page contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures for more information.)
Tools for Managing Small Business Finances
Below are the tools I use and recommend for managing business finances and bookkeeping. Every business owner needs to manage their finances, and I would recommend these tools no matter your business niche.
QuickBooks Online Simple Start - QuickBooks is my hands down best recommendation for small business bookkeeping. It's a true accounting program (unlike some other online options), yet it's easy to use. QuickBooks is simple and straightforward to navigate, even for the non-accountant, and since every accountant knows how to use QuickBooks, it's easy to hand your bookkeeping off to a bookkeeper when your business grows! Take a look at my Quick Start Guide to QuickBooks for tips on how to get started.
Gusto - I don’t need payroll yet, but when I do, I will definitely use Gusto. It’s what many of my clients use. They handle EVERYTHING for you at a super low cost.
Tools for Etsy Sellers
Etsy is such a great way to begin selling handmade products, craft supplies, digital products and more. When you have an Etsy shop, you may need a few extra tools to make everything run smoothly. Take a look at what I use.
Postal Scale - While this isn't an online tool, I couldn’t run my Etsy shop without it! This is the exact postal scale I use, except mine isn't the pretty pink, it's the boring black.
Dropbox - Is a cloud storage solution that can store all your listing images or other shop files and data. I love how Dropbox makes it so easy to share files or photos with your photographer or graphic designer.
Marmalead - This is the only tool on this page I don’t actually use. However, many of my Etsy bookkeeping clients use this tool and love it! What does it do? It helps you improve your Etsy SEO and get found in search more often! What’s not to love about that?
Tax Jar - Sales tax has changed a lot in the last year. You now may be required to collect and remit sales tax to states other than your home state. Tax Jar can help you figure out if you need to collect sales tax for more states, and then submit those payments.
Tools for Bloggers
Technically I don't consider myself a blogger. Who "blogs" about bookkeeping and taxes?! I consider myself a website owner, but that doesn't sound quite right either! Anyhow, here are the tools I use to run my website.
Thrive Themes - Thrive themes is more than just a blog theme, it's a whole host of tools, everything you need, all in one place! I don’t have to pay extra for a landing page program or a bunch of plugins to do fancy things on my website, it's all included and easy to use.
Convertkit - Convertkit is a fantastic email service provider. It has many advanced features available, yet is simple to use. Plus, your first 1,000 subscribers are free! Don't waste time with other email service providers. Use Convertkit from the beginning!
Bluehost - Every blog must be hosted somewhere, and Bluehost is a good option for budget blog hosting. It's a great place to start when you are just starting out.
NameCheap - The name says it all! Domain names at a cheap price! I'm all about budget blogging!
Tools for Authors
I really enjoy the book writing facet of my business, and wish I could devote more time to writing. All of the tools included here make self-publishing books so much easier! You can see the books I have published here.
Grammarly - World’s best Grammar checker. This is a great resource for book writing, blog post writing, and email writing. Grammarly finds all the stuff your regular checker misses, plus provides suggestions.
Publisher Rocket - The best tool to find categories and keywords for your books. I also use it to find keywords for advertising my books on Amazon. Some of my most successful keywords I never would have found without this tool. Here are some great articles on how to choose the best categories and keywords for your Amazon books. Choosing wisely can make a huge difference in how many books you sell.
Free Course on Amazon Ads - Using Amazon Ads is the best way I have found to increase my book sales and book profits. This free course on how to set-up Amazon Ads is fantastic, taught by a true expert in the field of self-publishing. If you are serious about selling more books, you need to check it out.
Reedsy - This book writing program is super easy to use, and can format your book with a touch of a button for PDF, .mobi, or .epub. It's also a great resource to find book editors of all types. Best of all, it's free!
BookFunnel - BookFunnel has so many great tools and services for authors. One of the best allows you to deliver advance reader copies or giveaway copies of your book in any format to your fans. They also facilitate group promotions, sales of your books on your website, and much more.
Tools for Service Providers
Providing bookkeeping services is important part of my business model. These tools make scheduling and conducting meetings with my clients much easier, and all are free! You don't need to be a bookkeeper to take advantage of these tools. Virtual assistants, coaches, and other service providers can benefit from good scheduling and video meeting tools.
YouCanBook.Me - I love using YouCanBook.me to schedule all of my client meetings. It syncs with my Google calendar, so I never get double scheduled. They have a paid version as well, but so far the free version has had everything I need.
Whereby - Free video meeting software with no meeting time limit. I like to start with this service for my video meeting client calls. If the tech goes well, we can talk as long as we would like with no limits, plus share screens.
Zoom - When Whereby doesn’t work, I use Zoom for free, but they limit you to 40 minutes on the free account.
Tools for Social Media Management
I can't think of a single online business model that can't benefit from some social media presence. I try not to spend tons of time on social media, and these tools help me be active with a small investment of time.
Tailwind - Pinterest is a powerful platform for any online business owner. In order to see success, you must pin consistently. Using Tailwind helps you accomplish this goal.
PicMonkey - I use PicMonkey fairly regularly to create images, crop images, add text to images, etc. This software is a great option for creating social media graphics. It's easy to learn and versatile. PicMonkey does cost a small amount of money each month, but I find it much easier to use than Canva.