When you first start out in business…you look for everything you can to make work easier and less time consuming and more integrated.

That’s why I’m going to give you a list of all the things that I use…after years of accumulating information and trying out and discarding different tools.

 

Infusionsoft – It took me a while to appreciate it.  I do now.  It’s shortfall is e-commerce, it’s a little primative.  It’s strong point is CRM and marketing.  It’s worth it’s weight in gold for that.  I first thought it was terribly expensive – but it’s a work horse.  The people who work on it are over paid for sure…but if you get it going and treat it right…it’s worth that too.  Just make sure you have the e-commerce audited regularly.

 

GoToWebinar – You will never convince me to change away from this service.  It is pretty much problem free.  We have a few oddball happenings…it’s usually because of not restarting a computer after one of their upgrades.  I will always remember the troubles…like Amy Porterfield’s visit to our Mentoring Monday – when everyone could hear her but me.  That happened a few times with Karen and I.  That’s the worst that has happened though.  We do 1-3 webinars a week, so it’s important it’s reliable.

 

WordPress – WordPress releases you to make changes…puts your blog on your website and is easy enough that you can make daily changes to your site without paying a web developer to do it for you.

 

DIVI – Oh my gosh.  I saw this theme and it won my heart.  It is an Elegant Theme and it is the one I chose to use for DSD.  Why?  It layers.  It has something that is called “page builder”.  It’s a drag and drop webpage tool.  A regular person can create outstanding looking webpages all by themselves.  I am replacing my website with it.  The look is incredible.  It has “rules” – the rules help to balance and make the pages look very clean.  Design elements are automatically built in.

 

Ring Central – It’s funny – all these IT people I’m involved with…and I dreamed of Ring Central.  I asked and asked and asked and asked.  No one knew of a digital telephone service that could be used online.  Then one day….I saw a Facebook ad for it.  It’s what I was looking for.  I was ready to toss all my telephones and plug a headset into my computer.  They talked me into getting a desk phone.  I did….just in case I lost internet service for a bit and needed my phone.  I’ve had Ring Central for a year and a half and only used my desk phone 3 times.  With Ring Central, I pay the same amount for 9 telephones as I used to pay for 2.  That’s right…I’m not exaggerating.  PLUS – I have free conference calling with recording, video and screen share for up to 25 people – for everyone on my team.  They all have “soft phones” on their computers.  They can get calls in, they can call out…and we even can fax.  It is the answer to any online companies needs.  The only really silly thing is that you can buy webinar service for your phone…but you can’t just pay for one phone – they require you to pay for it for every phone you own.  So if you do webinars and have 1 phone – it is $50 a month.  If you have only one phone that does webinars and you have 9 phones – it is $450 a month.  They need to fix that.

 

DropBox – today my laptop wouldn’t start up.  In the olden days, I would have panicked.  All my files would have been lost….if they couldn’t salvage it.  I didn’t have to worry about it because I save everything I do onto dropbox…and it’s stored on the internet – not on my computer.  In addition to that, my assistant can put ALL her work directly into my files – and I can even access them from my I-phone.  Technology is amazing.

 

HubStaff – even my team loves HubStaff.  They like it because they don’t have to write their hours on post it notes.  HubStaff tracks their time, tell how efficiently it is used and even takes screenshots of what they’re doing.  I was unimpressed by it – until one of my people accidentally deleted critical information.  I was able to go back over the screenshots and learn when and where it happened.  I could also verify when they didn’t create a problem.  I wouldn’t do without it.

 

ZenDesk – okay…this is getting long.  I didn’t realize it, as your business grows – so do your tools.  ZenDesk was brought in when my first DSD builder flaked out.  We had this giant bucket of “nuts and bolts” dropped into our laps and – our customer service needs went up about x50 in one day.  ZenDesk creates tickets and allows everyone to work on them together.  It is THE best invention in customer support ever….

 

EXCEPT people…. none of this stuff would mean anything without my team.

 

We went through a lot of people before we ended up where we are now.  My team loves you.  They love what you stand for, they believe in what we do and I am EVER SO grateful for them.

 

This went on a  lot longer than I anticipated.  Next week I will talk about my team…and then I will talk about some smaller tools I use and can’t live without.  Confession – I still use a rolodex 🙂

 

What are your favorite tools?  Tell us in the comments below.  Why can’t you live without them?  What surprised you about them?

 

signature

 

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Janie G

    I can’t live without Evernote. I literally use it for everything personally and business-wise! And Shoeboxed.com is awesome and they keep all my receipts neatly organized and filed away for me.

    Reply
    • Cathy

      Thanks Janie. Karen is a big lover of Evernote. I am still trying to justify using it in addition to dropbox. I’ll check out Shoeboxed.com – I checked it out – That’s so funny most everything I do personally – gets literally thrown into a shoe box.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *