This post contains affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using one of my links. I only share tools that I’ve tried and tested and that I think can help you run your business.
Running your service-based business can get overwhelming – fast, if you don’t have the right tools to make sure everything is running smoothly! I’ve tested out a LOT of tools, for my own business and dozens of client’s businesses, and have narrowed them down to the tools that help you get things done in the most affordable, time efficient way! Here’s my top 14 favorite tools for running a service-based business:
I highly recommend using WordPress for your website platform. I’ve used quite a few platforms for clients (Squarespace, Kajabi, Wix) and will never leave WordPress. There are plugins (most are free!) for almost everything you’d ever want to add to your WordPress site. It also links easily with ConvertKit to start building your email list!
I wish I had known there were affordable pre-made templates that were really easy to customize before I invested in a custom design when I had started my business. Here are some WordPress theme shops I know and trust. They both have tutorials on exactly how to set up your WordPress theme so even if you aren’t techy, they’re super easy to set up!
This is the email service provider I’ve used to grow my email list. ConvertKit makes it incredibly easy to manage your email subscribers and send customized emails to specific people on your email list.
You can totally put your email marketing on auto-pilot with all their automations and sequence features so trust when I say this investment is definitely worth it.
This is my favorite drag and drop page builder for WordPress. The free plugin should do just about everything you need to create your landing pages. Almost every page on my website has been built with Elementor besides my blog page!
4. Bluchic Landing Pages*
These Bluchic landing page templates are what I use with Elementor. Bluchic has created landing pages for pretty much everything you’d need a landing for: opt-in sign up, thank you pages, webinars, sales pages, tripwires. If you’re like me and aren’t the best designer, these templates will help make you look professional online. They’ve also saved me tons of money because I was able to buy the templates for a one-time low cost and get rid of my monthly subscription to LeadPages.
I used to only create graphics in Photoshop but I’ve saved so much time switching to Canva. I love having all my images in 1 place where I can just drag and drop into a template without having to search for it on my desktop. I can have all my social media templates in one file and create a cohesive look. It’s also made creating PDF’s way easier. I’m able to create a PDF quickly without having to figure out how to figure out how to merge all the pages at the end.
I use the free version of Later to schedule my Instagram posts. It will also show you what your scheduled posts will look like in your IG feed once they’re published. This has helped me stay consistent with my Instagram strategy since I’m able to batch create a week’s or a month’s worth of posts in a day and I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to post each day.
If you sign up through this link, you’ll get an extra 10 posts per month on the free plan.
If you do a lot of video content, ECamm is an awesome tool. You can record videos, including FB Lives, and have a lot of flexibility with the video. You’re able to add images, overlays, timers and switch between views, like screenshare and showing your face. You can also pre-record videos to play throughout your recording if you want to share a tutorial or have an intro/outro to your videos.
I use Trello to manage my business. I plan out launches, my content strategy and have my business resources in there. Trello makes it really easy for me to plan for my business and see everything that’s going on in my business.
I love the free version and haven’t had a need for the paid plan. It should have the features you need, especially if you’re just starting out.
When working with clients, I highly suggest using Asana over Trello. Asana is more task based and built with teams in mind. It’s much easier to assign subtasks of a project to different team members and everyone can get a birds-eye-view of every task they have coming up and the due dates. Asana has a lot of features and you can create multiple workspaces, which makes it super easy to keep track of multiple clients!
When running your service-based business it’s crucial to have 1 designated area of communication with your clients. Slack has worked the best for me for communication. I always tell clients before we start working together that we’ll communicate in Slack and NOT through email. With Slack, all your communication is in one place and easy to refer back and find past convos. With email, things can get messy and lost under a pile of emails.
Toggl is an online timer that keeps track of how much time you spend on different tasks and projects. If you have to track your time spent on work for clients, this works perfectly and you can print detailed reports showing exactly what you worked on and for how long. Even if you don’t work on an hourly basis with clients, it’s great to know how much time you’re spending with each client, or even on your own tasks.
PayPal is a free way to send invoices to clients. It’s easy to use and I’ve never had anyone complain about paying through PayPal! I also like that PayPal tracks everything and it’s easy to print monthly reports and keep track of your income.
If you’re going to be managing quite a few clients and have the budget for Dubsado, it’s a great tool. You can streamline and automate most of your client inquiries, onboarding and offboarding with their workflows tool. For example: you could set up a workflow so that whenever you tag someone as a retainer client, they’ll automatically be sent their contract and invoice. And then once they sign the contract and pay the invoice, they’ll automatically get their welcome packet with next steps. Definitely a time saver so you aren’t doing things manually!
Calendly is an online scheduling software. I think the most annoying thing in the world is when someone emails you asking what times and days you’re free. It’s way easier + faster to get someone on a sales call if you can just send them your calendly link and let them choose a day and time that’s best for them. It will also send email reminders to them, which I found really helped with making sure people didn’t forget about the call so I wasn’t sitting there on a video chat wondering if they were going to show up!
There ya have it, my favorite tools to run your service-based business! Now that you know how to run your service-based business, let’s grow it and book you more clients!