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7 Tools To Help You Build And Automate Your Online Business

7 Tools To Help You Build And Automate Your Online Business

Online businesses can be ideal for passive income, once you get them up and running. One of the keys to making your online business successful is to make sure that as many details as possible run on their own; you don’t need to touch them every day. You can do this through delegation, if you’re a large enough organization, but many online businesses are made as lean as possible.

These seven tools will help you manage your online business while keeping your time focused on the important parts of managing your company.

Make marketing campaigns happen on time

When you’re setting up a marketing campaigns, we often suggest that you create an editorial calendar to make sure you’re not repeating yourself, and you’re covering topics in a timely fashion. Hootsuite both lets you schedule your posts for the key moment in the future to make a maximum impact, and lets you track the effect of your posts across your networks.

You can add many of the most popular networks to your dashboard, allowing you to spread your posts quickly and easily without logging in and out of everything. You may also be able to avoid getting distracted by last night’s live tweeting of your favorite show.

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Send high-quality email newsletters with minimum workload

One key in the modern era of blogs and social media is to make sure that you have access to as much of your contact list as possible. Facebook has repeatedly shown its willingness to change algorithms to make it more difficult for businesses to reach their followers. Enter Mailchimp, a great newsletter tool that allows you to access your mailing list at any time.

You can design graphic newsletters, more simple text based ones, or something in between, and when the next big social network arrives, you can easily invite your followers to join you there as well!

Events planning and registration

If your company organizes events for customers or signs people up for online seminars or classes, keeping events running smoothly can be a trial. Events Planner helps. Integrating seamlessly into your WordPress design, the plug-in lets you manage an unlimited number of events.

You can offer both individual and group registrations, see a list of attendees, send email reminders and offer discounts. You can set up your registration forms in any way you need to. You can accept a wide variety of payment types and create discounts as necessary. Plan your training and then let Events Planner collect fees and remind everyone to attend on time.

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Distribute document templates easily and seamlessly

For many businesses, branding of documents is an important element of presenting a consistent message to the world outside your company. Businesses often struggle when a template is updated, finding that people have old copies saved on their computers, or that someone can’t access the right network folder.

With Templafy, you upload a document template once, and everyone in your organization seamlessly accesses it. Problems solved. Anywhere your employees can access the Internet, they have the templates they need to do their work.

Eliminate in-office email with a team messaging app

How much time do you lose in a day to inter-office mail? If you need to quickly communicate with coworkers, a team messaging app can be much more efficient. Slack lets businesses organize their conversations around channels, making them easy to follow. Sorting through information at a later date is easier. Private channels can be created for more sensitive topics, and you can even private message someone for a quick one-on-one conversation. You can also easily share files through this platform.

Private channels can be created for more sensitive topics and you can even private message someone for a quick one-on-one conversation. You can also easily share files through this platform.

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Checking your email can easily become a frustrating time-suck, while using team-messaging keeps users more on task and focused on the moment.

Innovative printed products to offer as freebies

Many companies focus on giving away items at trade shows, prizes online, or with orders of a certain size. It can be difficult to know what types of freebies will give you the biggest boost for your buck, but if you can dream it, odds are The Printful can make it. From posters to leggings, their options are incredible. And if you want to make your company logo into a sideline business instead of a freebie, the site can even help you set up an online shop where you can sell your designs. You can also create mockups on the site which you can then use for your own marketing.

And if you want to make your company logo into a sideline business instead of a freebie, the site can even help you set up an online shop where you can sell your designs. You can also create mockups on the site which you can then use for your own marketing.

Generate leads and improve sales options

For many businesses, Salesforce is considered one of the most involved ways of automatic different aspects of following up on sales leads, tracking the sales funnel and determining what’s working and what isn’t. As one of the most expansive customer relationship management (CRM) programs available, Salesforce is accessed entirely through the Internet.

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This lets employees do their work anywhere, they have an Internet connection, inside or outside of the office. It is most well-known for its sales modules, allowing users to track opportunities and manage contacts from all over, but there are also available modules for marketing, analytics and service.

The software is also so well-known now that some companies can custom design modules to work with the Salesforce CRM, allowing for ultimate customization. Businesses pay based on the number of users accessing the app and the program is generally agreed to scale well with business size.

Business owners have a lot on their plate. They need to manage the overall business, create marketing strategies, delegate tasks and make sure everything runs smoothly.

Especially if a business is just getting off the ground, CEOs tend to wear many different hats. By automating whatever they can, they free up their time to focus on the really crucial business tasks, instead of posting social media updates and making sure that all the computers in the office have up to date forms, and of course, these are just a few of the available tools to help your business move to the next level.

What tools have you used for your business to improve the company environment and push things into a higher gear?

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Margarita Hakobyan

MBA from the University of Utah

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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