Tools and Software Your Online Business Should Consider in 2021
Running an online business presents to you the opportunity to take advantage of some of the best tools and software that are out there to assist you.
We’re talking about programs that will drive your business’s efficiency through the roof – and tools that allow your online business to achieve maximum results.
But they are all extremely useful and beneficial.
The possibilities that they present in terms of data-gathering and analysis, better decision-making, increased team transparency, greater customer-engagement, and overall business efficiency are substantial.
Whether you are a start-up online business, an experienced online entrepreneur, or a classic brick-and-mortar store owner – I guarantee you will find value in at least one of these tools or software programs.
Without any order of listing- let’s dive in!
The ever-popular Monday.com is a cloud-based work management platform – used by some of the world’s top companies, such as Coca-Cola, Adobe, and The Discovery Channel.
Their goal is to provide businesses with a simple method of managing teams and tasks – while maintaining a high-level of work transparency. All in one dashboard.
Monday.com is SO much more than just a digital project management platform.
Their tech-savvy yet simplistic interface allows you to perform a variety of different operations, and it’s all customizable so that you can set up your dashboard to suit your business.
Here are a few of the other super-useful functions Monday.com accommodates:
- Marketing Campaigns
- Recruitment processing
- Event management
- Sales Pipelines
Additionally, Monday.com supports the integration of over 50 applications, allowing your team to share work, tasks, documents and files from other work applications effortlessly in a safe and secure cloud.
Key benefits of Monday.com:
Analysis: View your results and work flows in the form of Gantt Charts or Tracking Charts that allow for easy interpretation and decision making.
Automations: Monday.com allows you to automate all your minor, tedious and repetitive tasks. Their “Automation Recipe” function allows you to set up a combo of “triggers”, and their automatic resulting “actions”.
Let’s walk through a basic example.
Every time you complete a work task (trigger), an email gets sent out to notify your team and the manager (automated action).
That’s just a basic example. You can set up a far more advanced/complex trigger and automatic action, should you require.
To sum it all up – Monday.com is an online project management platform that allows your business to effectively manage your team and tasks – while operating in a fully transparent organizational environment.
They provide way more than just a digital work management platform, and allow for over 50 different application integrations – meaning you can share and work on tasks, documents, and files from most work applications, effortlessly and in a single-location.
Monday.com offers 4 different packages:
- Individual (free)
- Basic ($8 p/m)
- Standard ($10 p/m)
- Pro ($15 p/m)
Head over to the Monday.com website to view and select your preferred plan.
Elementor is an installable plugin that can be integrated into any WordPress website, and it should be your single best friend if you are the owner or admin of a WordPress website.
Because it eliminates the need to know any sort of web development or coding when designing, building, and editing your website.
Elementor is used and loved by over 8 million website owners. And there’s a reason for it.
Building and editing a WordPress website can be a time-consuming and frustrating task, especially if you haven’t got any background in website development or coding.
Ding, ding, ding!
(In steps Elementor)
With Elementor – designing stunning and fully-functional websites that are customizable to your exact liking has never been easier. They employ a simplistic drag-and-drop technique, which allows you to add sections, widgets, headings and text to any section or area of your website.
Pretty cool, right?
But wait, it gets better.
Have zero experience in designing the layout of a website?
Don’t stress. Elementor provides you with a wide selection of beautifully pre-designed page templates, which you can either take inspiration from and create ideas of your own – or activate the entire template, then go and replace all headings, text and images with your own!
It’s almost too basic. And if you get stuck at any point along the way – there are thousands of tutorial videos on both YouTube and the actual Elementor website.
Elementor packages fall under 2 general categories – free and paid-for.
The free package is exactly what it says. Free. But bear in mind – you would need to have a WordPress Business plan running for your website, in order to allow for the installation of plugins (like Elementor.)
The paid-for version – Elementor Pro – obviously comes with a ton of extra value. There are
more templates to choose from, more widgets to add, and more fun
ctionalities to include. Highly worth it in our opinion.
Elementor Pro comes in the following packages:
Essential (1 pro websites) – $4,50 p/m
Advanced (3 pro websites) – $8,50 p/m
Expert (25 pro websites) – $17 p/m
Studio (100 pro websites) – $42,50 p/m
Agency (1000 pro websites) – $83,50 p/m
Check out the Elementor website for all their info, package details, and pricing.
3. Google Analytics
Next up, we have a heavy-weight in terms of capabilities and importance.
We’re talking about Google analytics, of course.
Google Analytics is a FREE web analytics tool provided by Google themselves. It is designed to give you an holistic view of how people feel about, and interact with, your website and online business.
So why is it so important to use Google Analytics, you may ask?
Your website is ultimately where you’d like your audience to eventually end up, after they’ve heard about your business via marketing efforts or your social pages.
Because your website is like your virtual store-front.
It is the front door to your business that doesn’t get shut.
And the information provider that works around the clock.
By connecting your website to Google Analytics, you open up your business to a host of exciting insights and tools that will aid your business’s decision making – and subsequently driving growth.
Some of the key data and metrics that Google Analytics provides:
- Number of website visitors
- How these visitors found your website (social media; direct search; paid ads; organic search results)
- The demographics of your visitors (age, gender, location)
- The device (mobile or desktop) that website visitors are using.
- The number of views and interactions that each individual page (e.g. “Home” or “About Us” ) on your website has.
These are just a few of the extremely useful and business-aiding metrics that you can obtain from your Google Analytics account.
If all of the above isn’t already enough to persuade you, Google Analytics has the function to provide any piece of data in a chart, graph or table of some form, which allows for easy interpretation and comparison of different sets of data.
The data which you receive from Google Analytics has some powerful insights into what, and where, your business should focus its attention. Lets walk through a few examples to give you an idea:
- By looking at your audience’s demographics, you’ll be able to determine who your main customers are by age, area and gender. This is critical information that should be considered next time your business is setting up a marketing campaign – as you can tailor that campaign to suit the interests of your main audience.
- By viewing which pages and screens your website visitors spend the most time on (as well as the least), you’ll gain a better understanding about which sections of your website the visitors are liking, and those sections that aren’t grabbing any attention. Use this information to make your website attractive and luring from corner-to-corner.
- With the ability to distinguish between how users visit your website from either a mobile, tablet or desktop device, you are able to customize your website’s content in order to suit each device and create stellar user-experience. No matter the tech device being used.
Dare I mention that I’ve barely touched on all of the different types of data and metrics that Google analytics can give you?
Your business is just bound to increase its efficiency, decision-making, and profitability by inviting Google analytics to the party.
What’s the risk?
Google Analytics is completely FREE, easy to install and easy to interpret. Plus there are thousands of YouTube tutorial videos on the setting up of, how to use, and interpretation of all the data and metrics.
Here’s an article that, step-by-step, explains the Google analytics setup process.
And here, is an excellent video on YouTube that explains everything inside of Google Analytics and how to use the data and metrics to your business’s advantage.
4. GreenGeeks – Worlds #1 Green Web Hosting
When it comes to eco-friendly web hosting – GreenGeeks are untouchable in their market.
As a website owner, you’re going to need a web hosting company (such as GreenGeeks) to host and store all of your webpages and files, and to make your website live on the internet so that people can access it.
So…what makes GreenGeeks cool enough to be on this list?
Other than the first class service that they provide at affordable rates – it’s the fact that your business is supporting a company that puts back x3 the amount of power that they consume into the grid, in the form of renewable energy. They even plant a tree for every customer that they sign onto their hosting platform.
So for choosing to host with GreenGeeks, you:
- Receive first class and affordable web hosting services
- Support an enviro-friendly organization
- Improve your own business’s public image
- Get a tree planted in your name
- Get a cool green tag like the one on the right
Pretty good deal, right?
We certainly think so. And so do +600 000 other website owners.
GreenGeeks offers their customers the following hosting services:
- Web hosting
- VPS hosting
- Reseller hosting
- Dedicated servers
Be sure to head on over to the GreenGeeks website to check out their packages, pricing, and to read more about their portfolio and green business mission.
JotForm is an online tool that EVERY business can benefit from at some point in their lifecycle.
Every time an organization plans to collect information or feedback from a large group of people (e.g. client bases, businesses, schools, employees) – using a form is generally the most time-saving and efficient route.
Need to retrieve the same set of information for every new customer that makes contact with your business?
JotForm has got you covered.
With JotForm’s drag-and-drop functionality, you can easily design, build, and edit your custom form to capture every piece of information you require.
And it’s not just a survey form that can be created – you can build:
- Application/Registration forms
- Reservation forms
- Contact forms
- New business prospect forms
- Evaluation and feedback forms
A special feature is JotForm’s “conditional logic” – which allows you to instruct the form to skip, hide, or change the text-fields available for the customers to fill-out, in reaction to a prior response.
Let’s explain this further with an example:
You have 2 questions:
- Does your business have a website?
- What is your website’s address?
If the answer to the first question is no – then the second question obviously doesn’t need answering. So JotForm’s conditional logic will automatically skip, hide or remove the 2nd question – depending what you choose.
More reasons your business should use JotForm:
Another useful feature is the ability to make certain fields “compulsory”, meaning the person filling the form will be forced to fill out that specific answer field before submission can happen.
JotForm is of course able to integrate with many 3rd party apps and website tools, so you can easily access, transfer and integrate data between platforms.
Want to add some business logo’s to the form? JotForm allows you to add your own branding to seriously customize and personalize the form to match your organizational culture.
JotForm makes it so easy for you to publish/share your form for answering once you’ve created it. After building the form, you have the option to:
- Email the link for your customers to fill the form online. Completed forms get sent to your dashboard with an email notification.
- Copy an HTML link so that you can embed your form onto your website.
- Copy the form link so that you can paste it to where you’d like people to access and respond to your form (e.g. social media accounts, text messages, articles)
- Download the form in a fillable PDF format.
If you have absolutely no clue where to start with building a form…you can browse through the thousands of form templates that JotForm has to offer.
Divided into relevant categories, you can find almost any form template related to the topic that your form is inline with.
The best part? You can edit and personalize these templates as much as you please – to make it seem as if it were custom built for your business, right from the beginning.
There are so many more features and functions that make JotForm such a powerful platform for your business to leverage – but I’ll leave you to explore all these exciting tools through your journey with JotForm.
JotForm currently offers 4 packages to it’s users:
- Bronze ($24 p/m)
- Silver ($29 p/m)
- Gold ($79 p/m)
Head over to the JotForm website to learn more about this powerful tool, and view their offered packages.
This brings us to the end of our exciting list of the tools and software your online business should consider in 2021.
As you can see, the internet has provided us with so many beneficial tools and services that we can use to better our business operations. We’d love to know about any tools or programs your business is using to great success in the comments section below.
It’s now up to you to put these tools into your arsenal and boost your organizational success!