It’s not easy to run a business, but given the right tools, your chances of success can be greatly improved.
What are some of the issues businesses face these days? Here are some of the reasons businesses reported failure in 2019, according to Small Business trends:
- 42 percent failed because there was no market need
- 29 percent ran out of cash
- 18 percent had cash/pricing issues
- 14 percent had poor marketing
- 14 percent ignored customers
Using some of the tools discussed below, you can conquer these types of problems and successfully join the growing community of online entrepreneurs.
Tools for Discovering Market Need and Finding the Right Price Point
It’s best to first determine the demand for what you currently offer or plan to offer. This can be done by surveying consumers and doing online research. (Surveys are also a great way to decide the price point for what you are offering and to improve your marketing.)
SurveyMonkey is used by 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies. This surveying program provides various templates and thousands of questions to choose from. It also gives you ways to help you reach your audience. Cost ranges from free to $100+.
Qualtrics is a program that uses NPS (Net Promoter Score) software to help predict consumer behavior and to generate reports regarding your customers. It conducts research through every step of the entrepreneurial process and offers great feedback to help you improve; unfortunately, the high cost makes it a greater risk for new business owners.
Google AdWords allows for initial research. You don’t have to pay for any ads, but you can use this tool to discover how many people are searching particular keywords and what is already out there that may be in competition with your online company.
Tools to Track Finances
Naturally, one way to avoid running out of cash is to keep better track of your finances!
Mint gathers all of your costs and profits into one place. It also helps you budget and can give you suggestions on how to improve your credit score.
Xero is designed specifically for small businesses. It helps you process invoices, manage bills, send orders and is a great all-in-one tool that allows you to handle all matters financial when it comes to your business. You can try Xero free for thirty days.
Tools to Monetize Your Company
Besides poorly priced products and poor spending habits, many entrepreneurs struggle to monetize their online companies.
We just have to toot our own horn (sorry . . . not sorry). “It will help you to instantly start charging your users for access to your content [and] will help you confidently create, manage and track membership subscriptions and sell digital download product.” We also help create coupons and make payments easy.
Tools to Improve Marketing
Marketing improves as you understand the heart of your target audience (by doing research, as discussed above) and connect with their deepest desires. But it also helps if your content looks polished and interesting. Though it’s not necessarily a “tool,” social media is obviously one of the best ways to market your online business. It’s obvious but so important that we feel we need to mention it. Social media helps you understand your audience, reach them, and build relationships. Which platform you choose depends on who you want to reach. Instagram and TikTok are geared toward helping you reach younger audiences. Pinterest may help you reach women, and Facebook is the largest platform in the world. And don’t forget about blogs; they make your website more searchable because the articles you write appear on Google. Where social media is such an extensive topic, it’s worth checking out our article on how to utilize social media for marketing.
The bundle of programs offered by Adobe Creative Suite is an excellent tool for creating videos, memes, enhancing photos, building web pages, etc. Adobe allows for a lot of flexibility and enables you to create professional-looking, polished work if you are creatively gifted and tech-savvy.
Canva is a tool that allows you to easily create things like posters, logos, brochures, and presentations. It simplifies the creative process by generating templates and is relatively inexpensive.
Buffer is a great way to decrease your time spent marketing via social media. It enables you to reach your target audience at times when they are most active on social media. It will also reuse previous posts and publish all of your content from one platform.
Tools to Build Relationships
Ignoring customers is great if you want to fail at business. However, as it can be tricky to connect with everyone, it’s good to automate the process in some ways (though building genuine relationships is always a must).
MailChimp helps you easily connect with customers by sending automated emails. It also helps you connect with customers via social platforms, postcards, and more. The price ranges from free to $250 per month.
Chatbot builder allows you to automate live-chat conversations. You don’t code the messages; you create them yourself, which allows you to come across more natural and more sincere.
Rapportive is a great way to connect personally with your customers. While emailing, it provides personal information about the contact so you can learn about their interests and needs. The caveat is that it only works if the customer has a LinkedIn account.
MeetUp lets you build genuine relationship as you meet up with people who share your interests in the real world. It’s a great way to form bonds and get to know people who could become customers.
There’s so much to juggle as a new entrepreneur. You have to do your market research, improve your product, find the audience that’s right for you, understand that audience, let your audience know you understand them, find the right price point, and more.
It’s no wonder 90 percent of entrepreneurs fail. So do the smart thing and utilize the tools that will help you avoid all the reasons entrepreneurs don’t make it.
Remember, these are the tools every online entrepreneur must have:
- SurveyMonkey (or Qualtrics)
- Google Adwords
- Adobe Suite (or Canva)
- Chatbot Builder
What are your favorite tools? Do you disagree with our list? Please let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please follow us on Facebook for more great content. You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram.