Today, we’re going to talk about the tools and tips and techniques to help you manage your business online, manage your digital business management software, your internet business, or your website, or everything from managing people to managing invoices to managing traffic and all that other stuff. I prepared a little presentation for today, which is pretty cool. I have just a lot of tools that we use in running our business from a day-to-day standpoint. That’s really what I wanted to go through and talk about in today’s presentation.
For those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Jason Drohn. We have a lot of people hitting the stream, hitting live stream, or coming from referrals or shares or whatever. So my name is Jason Drohn. I’m the creator of doneforyou.com. We specialize in three things, helping companies create offers, building sales funnels, and then ultimately running traffic and automating those sales funnels. The sales systems, I should say.
One of the questions that we get asked all the time, especially when our clients who are growing or scaling, end up being interested in the tools that can help them get more done more efficiently, I should say. Now, because there are only so many hours in a day, all of us, have 24 hours. Everybody from Tony Robbins to Bill Gates to Warren Buffet, we all have 24 hours in a day. That’s the great equalizer if you will. If you can figure out how to squeeze more out of those 24 hours, you’re going to be that much farther ahead.
One of the best ways to do that is by utilizing and automating tools or utilizing tools and business management software that can help you get more done in the time that you are working. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Business Management Software Tools
Tools that you can use to help you get more done. Some popular tools that we use all the time.
Three of the biggest tools that we use on a day-to-day basis. Zendesk is the biggest one and is our help desk. FreshBooks is invoicing and managing contractors. And then mind mapping is MindMeister.
In project management, we use Basecamp all the time. And then content management, CRM, email, there’s a lot of different options here. Ours is Axis. We use Ontraport as well, internally. A lot of our clients use ActiveCampaign. We use Google Docs for a lot of managing documents and spreadsheets between the team when multiple people need access to the same thing. We use Slack all the time, and then we also use Dropbox quite a bit, although less frequently now that we’re getting into using Basecamp for a lot of stuff.
I’ve been with Zendesk for a long time. They have a couple of different plans that are helpful for a startup or an entrepreneur. I think their introductory pricing plan is like two bucks a month and you pay per year, and it gives you one account, one support account.
One of the reasons that we rely on a tool to manage support that isn’t just email is because support threads and support requests are important. As a business management software owner, you want to know if somebody is emailing in over and over and over again. You want to look back over the record of that person’s history rather than just file them away in a support folder. So that way the support desk keeps track of all that stuff. It also threads your responses. You can pass it to a different team member.
It is also the advantage that you have a better idea of the history of that prospect, and then you can also integrate that with other tools.
Can be integrated with Slack
You can integrate it with Slack, you can integrate it with your invoicing tool, you can integrate it with your CRM. And then it provides just a more robust history of that prospect or customer or client or whatever. Zendesk is just the tool that we use and never really found the need to go find anything different. The fresh desk is a big one also in the space.
The Fresh suite, the Freshworks suite, I should say, has grown incredibly huge. They have lots and lots and lots of different features. Collaboration, ticketing, there’s a help widget and analytics, and all kinds of other crazy stuff in here, but it works out nicely. Zendesk is just the one that we use.
Another one that we use that wasn’t listed is Drift. Drift is the chatbot that we have on our website. In a previous podcast, we talked about setting up a chatbot funnel, and Drift is the tool that we use for that. Nice stuff. It does both the conversational widget thing, so you can have a little chatbot that shows up on your website, and then you can also run a bot.
You can build the bot so that it sends people through different workflows. That is in one of Drift’s bigger plans or whatever, but it’s nice stuff.
We use FreshBooks for invoicing. And I think FreshBooks is very much an industry-standard anymore. So again, I’ve been with FreshBooks for probably 8 or 10 years now. So really, really great cloud accounting business management software, and that’s just what handles all of our contractors in invoicing. Nice, really simple to use. It’s cheap, so you don’t necessarily need to worry about anything too complicated when you’re running it.
And then for mind mapping, I use MindMeister. So MindMeister, M-E-I-S-T-E-R. MindMeister, fantastic business management software. It helps you build mind maps. I generate a lot of mind maps when I’m in product creation mode or when I’m working with a client in product creation mode. We handle a lot of client project builds, so what we’ll do is we’ll schedule some time to get on, brainstorm a project, and we always brainstorm it in this mind mapping business management software, MindMeister. Or it can be any of them. There are lots of different ones. MindMeister is just the one that I’ve always used because it has an iPad app and an iPhone app. So you can brainstorm on the go. You can do brainstorming on your Apple watch if you want. I’ve never done that, but it’s a feature that they talk about.
But mind mapping, incredibly powerful just for connecting different ideas. A lot of times what we’ll do is we’ll put the name of a course in the middle, and then we’ll figure out what the modules are going to be, and then we go out another layer and we figure out what the lessons inside those modules are going to be. And oftentimes it just starts as a stream of consciousness, so we just start it there and then we just fill it in and we start connecting the dots, connecting the modules, or connecting the sales pieces, very workflow-like. So it helps us visualize our thoughts well.
Another one that we use, another tool is Basecamp. So Basecamp, industry leader when it comes to project management. Again, we’ve been using them for a long time. I think everybody’s used them or tried them in terms of project management. It’s a great tool for working with clients and for keeping track of internal workflows. It’s very easy to use. It doesn’t get all crazy when it gets into really, really deep Gantt charts and everything else when it comes to project management. A lot of times they’re slow to adopt new features, but the features that they adopt are powerful and they’re really easy to use and they’re really easy for people to understand, whereas something a little bit different, like a sauna, which is a free project manager, or at least it was free. It might still be free.
Well, you can try it for free, but Asana, really, really great business management software as well. Also an industry leader. It’s just sometimes a little bit more difficult to use, it’s a little bit less intuitive, depending on what you like. You can always go back and forth. You can look at Trello too.
Trello was another project management software. There have got to be 2,500 project management SaaS apps out there, so finding one that works for you is the name of the game.
Asana is one, Basecamp is another, Trello was another. You just got to find something that works for you, works for your team. Then in terms of CRM, there’s a couple that we use. Contact management. Pipedrive is one we use for sales-specific stuff. So when you’re doing sales calls or consultative sales sessions or strategy sessions, Pipedrive is a great tool for it. Somebody can schedule in, inside the tool it creates that deal, the deal then you can take through in the individual deal stages, which is nice.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more… This less consultative selling, like fewer phone sales and more marketing automation, then our application is an app called Axis. It’s a marketing automation suite. Does email marketing, text message marketing, all that stuff. We use it for a lot of clients.
The one that we use for anything involving an order form is Ontraport. So Ontraport does affiliate management, they do order forms. It’s a tool suite for that. It’s quite a bit more expensive than triggers or whatever, but it works out nicely. If you have a business management software that’s doing some decent volume, when you want to consolidate your order forms, your affiliate management, your email marketing, your pages, all that stuff into one solution, Ontraport is a great way to do it.
11. Google Docs
Google Docs I don’t think I need to review because Google Docs is just a great way of basically working on documents and spreadsheets and stuff as a team.
Slack, we should talk about Slack. We use Slack all the time. So Slack is a workplace chat. There were probably three-ish years ago, we were on a short road trip or something, my wife and son and myself, and I’ve was in Skype and I was in email and I was in text messages and all these different things. And I was like, I need to just bring the team into one application, and that one application was Slack. And then since then, they’ve added quite a bit of functionality. So we do a lot of marketing automation triggers inside Slack from the APIs. I think I talked about that in a previous session.
So when somebody has a sales page or when a lead comes in or whatever, it triggers a little cue, a little bump in the channel, and lets us know that there’s somebody new in the process. But more than that, it brings our entire team into one platform, and now we have partners in this platform because, for the most part, everybody uses Slack, so you can have different channels, different groups, different companies within the same Slack interface.
You can merge and bridge quite a bit of stuff together. So now I have just partners and friends in our Slack channel that we’re just working on stuff together or attempting to work on stuff together sometimes. But yeah, so that’s the idea behind Slack. We did use Skype. Skype just got overrun. I was constantly getting barraged with invites and stuff that I didn’t want so I just basically signed out of Skype and that’s it. Slack is by invite only. So the only people on my channel are the people I invite, or when we get an invite from a different channel.
Dropbox is another one. Online file storage. You probably know… I think everybody knows about Dropbox in general. Cloud-based storage. you can share files back and forth with each other. You can have shared folders so that you have one folder on your computer, everything you drag into that computer, then you can share back and forth or you can review stuff. We use it all the time for clients when we have copy and images and videos and that kind of stuff that needs to go from one person to another. We’ll use Dropbox to make sure to send it. You can also send stuff in Slack. You can send stuff in Basecamp too.
Let’s see. Covered chat, invoicing, project management, Dropbox. I think that’s really… Oh, merchant processing.
Many different ways to process credit cards. The one that we use most often is Stripe, so the one we recommend most often in Stripe. Your invoicing tool, your FreshBooks, or your Freshworks, or your invoicing tool is going to integrate with a merchant processor. It used to be that you needed to set up an authorize.net credit card merchant. For you to take your credit card, you had to actually have a merchant account, and then you ran that credit card through the merchant account and it took forever to get authorized for one of these things. Power Pay, years ago, 10 years ago, was the standard for underwriting for information products and coaching programs, because they allowed more high-risk things than physical products.
You had Power Pay, which took their cut, and then authorize.net, which took their cut, and then… There were lots of layers to credit card processing. You had to apply. A week later, you get approved. A week after that, you get your login, None of this was easy or quick. Probably five, six years ago, Stripe was founded and Stripe now makes merchant processing as difficult to set up a PayPal account.
Signing Up Account on Stripe:
- create a Stripe account
- fill out their form
- verify your identity using social
- give them your bank account information, which is the bank account that they’re going to deposit money into for you.
There are no monthly fees. There is a per-transaction fee as with all credit cards. And then you integrate it with whatever order form you’re using.
For FreshBooks, Fresh is the invoicing business management software. It integrates through Stripe or authorize.net, but for this example through Stripe, to then take the credit card payment, it processes the credit card payment, and two days later, it gets dropped in your bank account. It even has instant payouts if you want to pay an extra small little fee, then they’ll pay you instantly and just direct deposit it right into your bank account that same day, like 10 minutes after. So there are lots of things that Stripe does that traditional merchant processors don’t do. However, Stripe kicks and denies any application that is high risk. What are some of the ones that… So sometimes it supplements it doesn’t like, sometimes Forex trading a lot of the times it won’t take. Once you apply though… What was the other one?
There was one we ran into. It might’ve been financing. Merchant process… No, I forget what it was, but there was one that as soon as they applied, they just got denied straight away. And then I want to say we appealed with… We appealed the decision because they thought it was one thing and it ended up being another thing and then they reversed the decision so it worked out fine anyway. But different verticals will be treated differently inside Stripe. So let’s see… Merchant processing. I think that’s really about it. We talked about chat, we talked about file storage, we talked about project management, contact management, Google Docs. We talked about support invoicing and mind mapping.
Oh, some of the stuff that I’ve kind of been into lately in terms of tools, business management software, and tools, Canva’s one, we’ve talked about Canva when we were talking about Facebook ads.
Canva is a fantastic tool for creating Facebook ads, for doing quick little thumbnails and gifs and stuff. We use it in almost everything today’s GSD Daily thumbnail is done in Canva. So what else? I think that’s really about it. Those are pretty much the tools that I find myself using the most often, regardless of where they’re at. So if anybody has any questions, you can go ahead and drop them in the things. This is a pretty short session here.
Tomorrow we’re going to talk about people. So outsourcing, managing people, outsourcing project management. Maybe we’ll go through Basecamp, go through Upwork, talk about some of the outsourcing of modules.
For Questions and Guide
If you have any questions at all, just go to doneforyou.com/blog. Fill in the little thing. If you would like to schedule a call where we work through an action plan for your business, talk about sales funnels, marketing, business management software, creating your products, that kind of stuff, you go to doneforyou.com/start.