By Micah de Jesus

Through the years, building your business online has become easier, thanks to the plethora of tools and services made available today. However, while these have paved way for extensive opportunities in online marketing, they also made things too overwhelming.

Not sure about the tools that you should be using?

Whether you’re starting a business for the first time or simply wants to extend your brand presence online, here’s a list from M2Live that enumerates the 10 essential tools to kickstart your small business online.

1. E-Commerce Website Builder

An e-commerce website provides you a complete set of tools for creating and operating your website. It has features that are easy to design and flexible, making it a viable option if you are only starting out. It also supports plug-ins, extensions and additional features.

Examples: Shopify, Wix eCommerce, BigCommerce, Volusion, Weebly

2. SEO Tools

SEO is a small business-friendly tool that allows you to conduct keyword research, analyze competitors and identify technical problems on your website. These will help you implement effective content marketing that can improve traffic and allow your website to rank higher on search engine results.

Examples: Google, RankSense, MozPro, Screaming Frog, SEMrush

3. Analytics Software

Integrating analytics software into your website provides you with valuable demographics about your customers. This insight will help you measure how much revenue your website generates and more importantly, guide you in improving your site to increase conversions.

Examples: Google Analytics, Yahoo Web Analytics, Kissmetrics, RJ Metrics, Facebook Insights

4. Collaboration Software

This software is designed to enhance productivity within a group of individuals involved in a common task to achieve their goals. It helps a collaborative team to plan and organize projects, assign to do lists and keep track of what’s being worked on and what needs urgent attention.

Examples: Trello, Slack, Huddle, Basecamp, Glip

5. Email Marketing Software

With an email marketing software, you can build relationships with a wider audience at a fraction of the cost of mainstream marketing. It is proven to be effective for driving both traffic and solutions that an e-commerce website cannot do alone.

Examples: MailChimp, HubSpot, DotMailer, Constant, GetResponse

6. Social Media Management

Utilizing a social media management tool allows you to automate and schedule posts across all your social channels. It eliminates the need to manually post a content multiple times which can be very time consuming. It frees up additional time which can be dedicated to more important tasks.

Examples: Everypost, Buffer, Hootsuite, SocialOomph, Sprout Social

7. File Sharing/Storage

Instead of flooding email inboxes with attachments, file sharing and storage tools offer a cloud-based platform that makes it easy to upload, store and share files. These allow multiple people to access and work on the same file at once, enabling collaboration in a business.

Examples: Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, DropBox Business, ShareFile, Box

8. Inventory Management Software

One of the tasks that consumes a significant amount of your time is managing your inventory. An inventory management software is an automated database that keeps detailed listings of products orders, listings and transactions. Some are equipped with reorder point alerts that will prevent you from running out of stock again.

Examples: inFlow, GOIS Pro, Zoho, Orderhive, Delivrd

9. Customer Support Software

Investing in a customer support software meets the customer expectations for near-immediate responses. It handles automated, human-like responses to reply to queries or complaints 24/7. It also provides you necessary information in a transaction including customer and order details, shipping status and more.

Examples: MSP Anywhere, Dixa, Ameyo, Vision Helpdesk, Intercom

10. Photo and Video Editing Software

This software allows you to deliver unique and attractive content that is proven to be an effective marketing strategy. Videos and graphics help engage visitors and prolong the time they spend on your website.

Examples: Adobe Creative Cloud, Canva, Corel, WeVideo, PowToon

There are plenty of business tools available, however it all boils down to what works for you and your business. While they all provide you with benefits, choosing the best ones is still essential in establishing your business across multiple channels.

Have you tried other essential business tools not on our list?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.