Essential Tools for Entrepreneurs and Freelancers in 2019
Team + Business Management in the Modern Age
Entrepreneurs love whiteboards. The tool that you might not have known you were waiting for, has come. Miro is the ultimate online whiteboarding, planning, task assigning, task accomplishing, and my personal favorite tool on this list. Miro has completely changed how we work at Friday Industries and Entrepreneur House. You can even pull in all of your documents from Google Drive, photos from Creative Cloud, and much more.
Ya, you knew it was going to be on here. Work with your team with ease and keep tabs on everything within your up-and-coming billion-dollar business. I find that the best features of Slack come through its apps as there are some golden nuggets in there that can make everything in your business work fluidly.
Scheduling Made Easy
Simple, powerful, and accessed on any device. As an entrepreneur (or any busy human being), its critical that you have your day’s schedule easily accessed no matter what device you are on. My personal two favorite features of Google Calendar are easily scheduling meetings with others and having all of my tasks (next item on the list) that I need to accomplish in one place.
Setting goals is critical to achieving success. Tasks help you work towards those goals. Google Tasks helps you easily add tasks, create due dates, and share a list of tasks with your team. Oh, and they’re all put into your Google Calendar for ease of use.
Square is often thought of only as a company that helps you manage and accept payments at your business. It's far more powerful than that. One of my favorite features is the ability for you to allow your clients, customers, investors, or whoever to easily schedule meetings, calls, or appointments with you.
Avoid the 2.75% fee for $1,000 of processing: https://squareup.com/i/FRIDAYINDX
If your business needs to take payments in either a physical location or a digital one, Square has got you covered. Oh, and you can send recurring invoices, track your employees hours, pay your employees, create gift cards, get a business debit card, and much more.
Here’s our referral link that lets you avoid the 2.75% fee for $1,000 of processing: https://squareup.com/i/FRIDAYINDX
Though an early-stage startup fresh out of Y Combinator, Novo already has the traditional business bank account beat in terms of fees and ease of use. Set up a Novo business bank account, get a free business debit card, and start banking in the modern age.
Also fresh out of Y Combinator, Brex is a corporate credit card focused on startups that has some pretty unreal benefits and perks. 7x points on Uber rides? Yup. $5,000 in Amazon Web Services credits? You bet. 20% discount on an annual Zoom subscription? Covered.
The Customer Development Powerhouse
Hey, you live in 2019 and customer development is still one of the most critical parts of any business. Reference USA is the ultimate tool to find people in W position that are X years old, in a company that is within industry Y and is located in the town of Z (and many more filters of course). All you have to do is get a library card that gives you access to this tool, for free.
Design Like a Pro
Stop using random stock, clearly staged, photos that you find off of Google images. There IS a better way. Unsplash is a community of professional photographers giving away their content for absolutely free which means your visual can get a serious upgrade starting today.
Icons are everywhere now. If you need lots of different icons, it can be hard to find ones that are the same style and work well together. The Noun Project is a massive database of free icons (with credit to the designer) for any situation.
Coming up with a color scheme that looks great is sometimes impossible, even as a designer. Coolers makes it easy with a few slaps of the spacebar by putting together a new color pallet every time.
Extensions for Efficiency and Precision
If you and/or your business uses multiple Google applications, time adds up when switching from one to the other only to preform minor actions like adding a quick event to your calendar. Black Menu solves that problem by putting all of your Google Applications within a pop-up menu that gives you full access to navigate through your Drive, add an event to the calendar, or send a quick email without ever having to switch tabs or screens. It’s lifechanging my Google friends.
Sometimes, Black Menu fails to notify you (or even show you emails on Firefox) of new emails. I’ve worked in design for six years so response time to clients is critical. With Checker Plus for Gmail, I can get notified, read, and respond to emails within five minutes of receiving them without ever leaving my current tab or window.
Misspellings and poor grammar could mean a lost customer, investor, or just make you look plain old lazy. Grammarly puts traditional spell checks to shame in multiple aspects. It’s an ad-on that checks spelling and grammar almost any text field from writing a blog post to that critical follow-up email to a potential investor.