In the world of business and entrepreneurship there is a numerous amount of tools and resources literally at our fingertips! The sheer number of tools that we could use to run our businesses smoothly is enough to cause anxiety. Choosing the tools that will make the biggest difference is the real challenge
The main question we should ask when choosing the right business tools "Is this tool worth my time and energy? Will it meet my business needs?"
Before you jump into any new business tools, here are several factors to consider to lead you in the right direction.
Factors To Consider
What purpose will the business tool serve? To answer this question, evaluate what your business needs at the moment and anticipate your business' future needs. Understanding what you need and why you need is half the battle!
Next you should consider functionality. What features does the tool have? Make a list of pros and cons for the tool to assess it objectively. If there are different companies offering similar tools, use the pros and cons lists to compare them.
This is the checkpoint in choosing the right business tools. Stop and consider your customers if you haven't done so already. Does this tool accomodate my customers' needs? Each business tool you incorporate into your business should do one of the following for your customers and clients:
Make their lives easier
Help you deliver on your promises
Add to their experience of working with you
If the tool in question doesn’t do at least one of these things, then you should reconsider the tool altogether.
How long will it take you to learn how to use the tool? If you have a project that lasts 6 weeks, but it will take you 3 months to use the business tool comfortably and incorporate it into your business, then it may not be a good fit. If your timeline is more flexible, don’t be afraid to use a free trial or demo to get a feel for the business tool before you invest in a product you can't use effectively.
All of the features previously discussed should be considered when considering the price. Use them to determine if the tool is truly worth what you will be paying. Also consider your budget. You may find that you can afford to upgrade a tool that you’re already using or that you should generate more revenue to cover the cost of investing in a new tool.
Where To Start The Search
As mentioned before, the best tools for your business are available right at your fingertips. But it can be difficult knowing where to start in looking for the tools. To help with your search, here are a few tips to help you search for the perfect tools for your business.
Ask Other Business Owners
Other people are a great resource for information! Find other other business owners, in and outside of your industry to learn what tools you could be using or innovative ways to use the tools that are already incorporated into your business.
Ask them some of the following questions:
What business tools are working for you right now?
How are you using this business tool?l
What was the process to integrate it into your business like?
How did you learn to use the tool?
How much does it cost to use it on a monthly/annual basis?
Do you have a referral code?
Here are a few places you might want to start your search:
- Facebook Groups
- Instagram Polls
- Leaders In Your Industry
- Friends Who Own Businesses
There has never been an easier time to find the information you need on virtually any topic you can think of! Use Google or your favorite search engine to find reviews and opinions about the business tools in question. Google the name of the business tool or what it does to find more information or alternatives.
Try searching for
- Pros and Cons of (insert tools name here)
- Unbiased Blogger/Vlogger Reviews
- (insert tool name here) alternatives
- How to use (insert tool name here)
Trial and Error
The only way to be sure that a tool will work for you or not is if you use it! Use the free trial period or demos to test the system or tool. If it doesn’t work, cancel before the end of the trial period and move on to the next one! Take advantage of the full trial period to test out as many features as you can. Because trial periods can be very short when you consider the number of features that may be available, schedule time every day during the trial period to play with and learn more about the system.
How To Know You've Found The Right One
Now that you know how to choose the right business tools and where to find them, here are a few tips on how to know if they’re working for you. This is arguably the most important step in this process. Having the latest tool or system that everyone else is using and fits your budget is great. But if it isnt actually helping you grow or run your business smoothly, then it doesn't really matter. Here’s how to know you’ve chosen the right business tool.
It Saves You Time, Energy, Or Money
The right tools in your business are going to work for you, not against you. And the best business tools give you more time, energy or money in your business. More time to spend with family or doing the things you love, more energy to impact more people in your community or more money to invest in your business are all great indicators for a good business tool.
You See An Increase Audience Engagement
A good business tool allows you to connect with your customers or clients and provide a seamless customer experience. The result is increased trust, which leads to more engagement, communication and, ultimately, sales. If you see an uptick in website visits, sales or customer review after implementing a business tool, you probably chose the right one!
Your Business Stands Out
The right business tool will help you solidify your brand values, message, and aesthetic. They’ll also help you communicate those elements directly to your perfect customer. As a result your brand will stand out and keep your customers coming back for more!
So Let's Recap
When choosing the perfect tools for your business, there are 5 areas you should consider:
- Purpose: What role will this tool play in your business?
- Functionality: Does this tool’s features fit my business’s needs?
- Customer’ Needs: Does this tool address or help mee address my customers’ needs?
- Learning Curve: How long and what will it to take to learn how to use and integrate this tool?
- Price: Can I afford this tool?
Where and how to search for the perfect business tool
- Other business Owners: start with who you know
- Google: Use reviews and opinions on the internet to steer you in the right direction
- Trial and Error: Nothing is better than first hand experience! Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty
How to know you’ve got the perfect business tool
- You have more time, energy or money in your business as a result of this tool
- You see an increase in engagement from followers, customers or clients
- Your business stands out as the best in relation to this tool
Check out the Black Girl Boss Collective's Resource Page to get my reccomendations for the best business and marketing tools.
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