If you’re a forward thinking entrepreneur it’s likely that devote a lot of your time to looking for ways to create a freedom-based business that you can run from anywhere. It’s entirely feasible to run a virtual business these days thanks to cloud storage solutions like DropBox, and web service infrastructure services like Amazon.
These tools allow us to keep ahead of the curve, stay nimble, flexible and able to take advantage of the opportunities to capture niche markets that the corporate giants just can’t respond to quickly enough. We can tap into global markets, transcend borders and make the most of international timezones thanks to the millions of tools and technologies available to us.
You’ve likely already tried a few of these online tools, and while it’s never been easier to use these tools, it has also becoming increasingly overwhelming to keep up with them all. Trying to figure out which tools to use, why you need them and what they can do for you is a never ending job in itself.
In fact a recent article here on Under 30 CEO showcased 24 Top Tools and Resources used by Young Entrepreneurs which had some great advice and suggestions. However did you walk away from reading it and wonder where to start?
If you did, then I would like to tell you you’re not alone.
The Secret Weapon
In case you’re wondering what the Number 1 Tool is to make you a smarter entrepreneur, well it’s you.
If you’re willing to invest in taking the time to streamline your business and save time and money by using the right combination of tools, then you’re already ahead of the rest.
The reason so many people waste a lot of money buying products and software that they don’t use, is because they don’t have the bigger picture. They have not taken a step back to look at their current systems and to see how these tools overlap to ensure you can use less of them in a more integrated way to save valuable time.
Once you see how these tools fit together, and which areas of business they work best in then you can create a daily system that ensures you’re using these tools in the right way. Here are some key suggestions.
To keep your team up-to-date and on the same page then you could use Teamly. This simple web service lets you see your weekly top priorities at a glance and share them with your team. Plus you can set activities and tasks for your team members and oversee their progress.
If you want to streamline your social media marketing and updates you can try Seesmic.
It is one of the best desktop clients around for managing multiple social media accounts and keeping an eye on your online reputation. They have a cool iPhone app too.
You can track how your content is reaching your target market through PostRank Analytics and start focusing on the blog posts that people are resonating most with by looking at your daily engagement results.
For those of you who prefer visuals, then you can get a weekly summary of your financial outlook via Indinero, like Mint.com but for business. Indinero automatically connects with your bank accounts and credit cards to aggregate all your data into one place – securely, don’t worry.
You can increase your personal productivity thanks to time-tracking tools like Chrometa that actually records and tracks all your time online and show you how to achieve greater efficiency.
Of course you can make the most of your time online, visiting websites, blog and social media platforms with the hugely popular note-clipping tool Evernote. You don’t have to remember every site or post, just make sure you clip it, categorize it and read it later when it matters.
Even better many of these tools integrate perfectly with one another with add-ons and plugins. So as you find and use your favourite online tools, look to see who they support and if that tool suits your needs too – it usually will.
Natalie Sisson is a Suitcase Entrepreneur and Adventurer who shares creative ways to run your business from anywhere. She is passionate about using online tools, social media and outsourcing to create more freedom in business and adventure in life. Her latest book `The Ultimate Toolkit for Evolutionary Entrepreneur’s’ features the best of the best online tools – both free and paid, all personally tested and recommended for entrepreneurs wanting to streamline their business and save time and money.