So we all know that there are so many platforms to choose from in the online space. Today we are chatting about the 7 types of platforms you need in your business and our recommendations for each category!
As always with our recommendations, we want to remind you that just because something works for us, does not mean it is the best option for you as well. It’s okay to go against the grain as long as you are making an informed and intentional decision about the platforms you choose.
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Intentionally Choosing Business Platforms
Choosing a business platform shouldn’t be a decision you just make on a whim. You want to take time to evaluate what you’re looking for in each platform. In addition, you want to choose platforms that are scalable so they can grow with you.
Also, you want to be intentional about choosing platforms that allow you to keep a lean platform suite. For example, there might be a platform out there that can replace multiple platforms in your business. So instead of having three separate platforms for three separate functions, you can have one platform for those same three functions.
With so many different types of platforms out there, we are going to dive into our must-have platforms for your business!
Project Management Tools
Project management tools help you and your team collaborate on projects and the day-to-day operations of your business. Whether you are a solopreneur or have a large team, a project management tool is a must-have in your business.
It is where you will manage client and team onboarding, plan launches, delegate projects, and can even be where you write and manage content. In other words, it helps you manage all of the things in your business.
Our recommendation for a project management tool is ClickUp! ClickUp is a do-it-all project management tool with endless features and capabilities.
We recommend ClickUp because it supports growth and has endless features and capabilities that you can truly customize to your business. Check Out ClickUp Here! (and use code SYSTEMSUP to get 30% off the Unlimited Plan or 15% off Business Plan)
Customer Relationship Management Software (aka: CRM)
A CRM helps you manage your relationships with leads and clients. It allows you to offer your clients a seamless experience by sending invoices, contracts, questionnaires, and storing information.
In addition, it allows you to have conversations with leads and clients and store all of their information in one organized place.
Our recommendation for a CRM is HoneyBook! Overall, HoneyBook is a super-efficient and user-friendly tool. It includes customizable templates and has quick-to-set up workflows so you can get your clients the info they need at the right time.
We love HoneyBook because makes connecting with leads and clients easy and efficient for both our team and our clients. Check out HoneyBook (and use code ‘systemsup’ to get HB for $1/mo for 8 months!)
A communication tool is exactly what it sounds like. It allows your team (and even your clients if you would like) to communicate in one streamlined and efficient way. Having a communication tool is important to keep conversations organized.
Our recommendation is Slack! Slack is a communication tool that allows your team to communicate, store files, and track activity all in one place.
We love Slack because everything is super organized and it prevents conversations from getting lost. It also helps us boost transparency on the team so everyone can be in the know and support each other.
An automation tool is important to connecting your varying platforms for efficiency + less manual work. They allow you to automate repetitive tasks between multiple platforms. This is super helpful when you have platforms that don’t normally “speak” to one another like ClickUp and HoneyBook.
Our recommendation is Zapier! We love Zapier because it is very user-friendly and connects to so many platforms. Also, there is a lot of customization you can have over automations that you create and it happens to connect our favorite platforms to each other!
Scheduling Management Tool
Scheduling management tools help you manage your appointment scheduling and booking all in one place. They allow clients to self-schedule and help you manage your calendar to prevent double booking or overbooking yourself.
Our recommendation is Acuity Scheduling. Acuity allows you to create multiple booking links for different types of appointments all in one place.
In addition, you can connect your Google Calendar super easily to the platform to ensure you don’t have any scheduling discrepancies. With Acuity, you can also collect payment for appointments, send forms, and manage multiple users if you have a team.
File Storage Tool
A file storage platform is a must-have for backing up files and storing super important information. Although we use ClickUp to store most of our business information, there are still instances where we need to use a file storage platform!
Our recommendation is Google Drive. We have always loved Google Drive because it’s automatically connected to your Google Account and is super easy to use. Also, it is easy to share files across your team which makes file organization and retrieval a breeze.
Email Marketing Software
Email Marketing Software allows you to grow your email list, offer them valuable info through broadcast emails, and set up email sequences for your freebies, products, & services. It also allows you to track metrics and collect data on your audience and community to help you make data-driven decisions in your business
Our recommendation is ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign is an incredibly robust tool that can allow you to combine email marketing, sales, and automation all in one. We personally use the platform for email marketing, marketing automation, and tracking our email marketing performance and metrics.
We love ActiveCampaign because it is a super scalable tool and makes email marketing and automation a breeze. Check Out ActiveCampaign Here!
Choosing Business Platforms
As previously mentioned, it’s important to be intentional when choosing platforms for your business. After learning about the types of platforms we recommend for your business, here are our tips to further help you make an informed decision. Before you start researching platforms, you want to get clear on your needs. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- How many users will you need? And what roles/access will you need them to have?
- What is your budget?
- Do you have any must-have features? If so, what are they?
- What problem/issue do you need the platform to solve?
- Do you really need a new platform?
Once you nail down your needs for a platform, then you will want to research your options! Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make an intentional decision:
- What integration options does it have? For example, does it integrate with Zapier? Or does it integrate with Gmail or other important tools in your business?
- How scalable is the platform?
- How customizable is the platform?
- Does the platform help you lean out your platform suite?
- What is the learning curve with the platform?
Overall, there are so many different types of platforms and software in the business space. When it comes to choosing your tech stack, you want to be intentional about choosing things that work best for your business and will be scalable solutions. The key is choosing platforms that allow you to keep your tech stack as lean as possible while supporting the growth of your business!
If you’re ready to learn more about the different types of platforms and systems you need in your business, check out our course Elevate!
Check Out ClickUp Here! (and use code SYSTEMSUP to get 30% off the Unlimited Plan or 15% off Business Plan)
Check out HoneyBook (and use code ‘systemsup’ to get HB for $1/mo for 8 months!)
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