As an entrepreneur, it’s vital to build strong foundations for your business. These foundations include not just financial and human resources, but also the processes, structures and information that make your business tick. And when it comes to establishing these foundations, and to managing your business in general, there are myriad templates, apps and advice out there! But what are the best business tools for the job?

Part of the answer to this is ‘it depends‘. The reason for this is because what works for one person or business may not work for another, and so it’s important to try out different things. Consequently, the tools we mention below are what we use at Tabono, and so are by way of illustration. There are, of course, other tools available in each category.

Tabono’s best business tools

1. Xero

As business owners, it’s vital that we know our numbers. And given that finances are one of, if not the biggest reason for business failure, it’s vital to have proper financial management tools and processes in place from the outset. We think Xero is great for this. Not only does it help you to manage all aspects of your income and outgoings, it also helps you to forecast and plan for growth, and to assess the ‘health’ of your business at any given time. An accounting system like it (plus a great accountant) is worth its weight in gold.

2. Mailchimp

Email is an important part of your marketing mix, and so when it comes to the best business tools, a good email system is a must. In our view, Mailchimp is a great choice in terms of both user-friendliness and technical delivery in terms of email creation. Then taking things a stage further, the option to develop email automations and nurture tracks allow you to maintain contact with your customers in a highly personalised and effective way. Overall, a great way to make sure you’re getting the best from your emails!

3. Calendly

Calendly is still quite new to our suite of business tools but it’s proving to be incredibly helpful. Instinct might tell you that scheduling tools are squarely in the domain of ‘appointment’-based industries, like beauty, or health and wellness. But actually, that’s not the case. Having a good scheduling tool, and making it available to your clients and collaborators is a hugely beneficial choice. Not only does it allow people to book appointments or meetings with you in their own time, but it also makes you, the business owner much more productive. No more to-ing and fro-ing on email as you try to find a date that works for everyone!

4. Business Suite and ContentCal

When you’re identifying the best business tools for you, it’s important to include a social media scheduler. OK, nobody really likes scheduling per se, but finding the time to do it can make you significantly more productive in the long run. Imagine – no more ‘What can I post today???’ panic! Facebook and Instagram can be scheduled to via Business Suite, but when it comes to other channels, we like ContentCal for it’s ease of use and great customer service. It’s important to try out different ones though, and find the one, or ones, that suit you best.

5. Canva

We all know how important images are when it comes to social media, and to marketing in general. But being creative, and designing imagery and video, to a professional standard is a real challenge for many of us. And that’s where Canva comes in! It brings with it access to a huge amount of stock imagery, design templates and tutorials – what’s not to love?

These are just a few of our best business tools – but what about you? What are your go-to tools when it comes to running and growing your business? Let us know in the comments, and for more tips on small business success, check out our Definitive Guide to Starting a Small Business.