Top online tools for running a successful home-based business

Running your own business from home requires more than just having a large enough office space to work in. When you become your own boss, there’s no one else around to help with tasks or give you that extra nudge if motivation gets low. You’ll have to know how to keep the business running like clockwork by yourself – often while juggling the busy demands of family life.

For those thinking about setting up their own venture – or for those who have already done so and are simply looking to speed up the way they work – here are three key online tools that might help you keep on track with your business goals.  

Organising your social life – Hootsuite

Marketing can feel like a huge burden on your time, but there are so many tools available to help promote yourself and build a good reputation. Some of these are options which you might not yet be taking full advantage of. Build yourself a realistic social media strategy that you know you can stick to and make it a part of your everyday routine.

For example, taking pictures of your working environment and posting them on Instagram is a great way to show followers that orders are on their way. However, it’s not always possible to spare a few minutes in the middle of your working day. Get organised and avoid needing to constantly update your accounts by using a social media management tool like Hootsuite. You can schedule a drip-feed of constant posts so that even in busy spells, you don’t go quiet on your followers. Getting active online is a straightforward way to build your brand image and make it easier for customers to engage with you – but there’s no reason it should take up all your time.

Putting your house in order – Xero

Time is precious when you’re working for yourself – particularly if the day is filled with distractions and family commitments. Don’t spend hours slaving over spreadsheets when there are accountancy tools out there that have been developed specifically for small and micro businesses.

Xero is super easy to use, enabling you to produce invoices, manage stock levels and monitor profitability, all for a small monthly fee. Having software such as this to get your accounts in order not only saves a lot of time but cuts down on extra stress too.

Sending parcels to customers – My Parcel Delivery

Increasing how productive you are with your time will eventually pay dividends, as you’ll find you’re able to manage more orders each day and improve your bottom line. But what do you do to get orders out the door once those sales start flooding in? Using a parcel comparison tool such as My Parcel Delivery can help you find the best delivery options and make sure your products reach customers in the quickest and most-effective way possible. Plus, with collection services, you don’t even need to leave your home – the courier comes to you. Compare this to waiting around in Post Office queues for hours and it seems like a no brainer. With a business account you’ll also benefit from a preferred service desk, additional savings and access to exclusive courier services.

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