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4 Secret Weapons Every Small Business Owner Needs


We've all heard the phrase, "There's an app for that!" But maybe more importantly there's a web version of it and if you're one who loves a balance of efficiency and aesthetics in your work, you'll want to know about the 4 things I couldn't dream of doing business without, now that I know about them.


I tried to include affiliate links where I could to get you a referral promo.


HUGE DISCLAIMER: When it comes to technology, likely I don't have to tell you, there are good days and bad, along with a list of pros and cons. In this post, I'll do my best to give an honest review of my experience with each and what I use them for as an entrepreneur. I'm going to cover the software I use for my website builder, project management, email marketing and digital content creating!


Skip to which topic you're interested in or just keep reading on:


1. Wix: Website Builder

Appropriately put at the top of my list, because I use it the most, Wix is seemingly just a Website host, but for me, it is so much more. It comes with the standard web features like online chat, forms for collecting info, popups for signing up new subscribers, and countless ways to customize how people interact with my online content - with videos, GIF's and even linking my live social media feed!


Generating Orders & Tracking Sales

In addition to being my domain and website host, Wix is also the platform I use for tracking my contacts and taking orders for virtual staging, renderings, and home styling services (see below). The dashboard also helps me track sales to keep a pulse on the numbers, which is super important!



Getting Bookings & Gift Cards

Site visitors are also able to access my calendar to schedule a session with me for either an online presentation on virtual staging or a home consultation. You can see all the available sessions to book here: https://www.arrange.studio/sessions


Preview:


Because there is typically a step in between introduction and ordering, Wix also helps me to generate proposals, price quotes, and invoices just in case clients need something a little custom. And speaking of custom, this platform also integrates gift cards so visitors can share Arrange with friends and family.


Blogging & Marketing

It's safe to say I would've never hit publish on the first blog post if it hadn't been for the ease of it being on my site already. It's so simple to create drafts to schedule for later, integrate dynamic content (such as the linked services and bookings above), and even embed hyperlinks that take viewers to other pages or sites - and not to mention the variety of ways to showcase images.


This is one of my favorite ways to do marketing for my business, because I typically start with a topic and create a "batch" of content surrounding it. For example, this blog post has a coordinating email campaign and social media post - all driving traffic back to this page to teach visitors what Arrange is all about and educate potential clients and followers on.


CRM & SEO

Wix also provides a way for me to communicate with my current and potential clients through emailing and even text messaging. Additionally, I can setup automations based on how people interact with my content. For example, if someone leaves an item in their cart, an email campaign will go out to remind them they didn't complete their purchase.


Here's the latest landing page I built on Wix to tell about my real estate endeavors as of late. Click here if you want to visit that page directly: https://www.arrange.studio/explore




2. Asana: Project Management Software

Another one that has been with me from the beginning is www.asana.com - it's the software we use for internal communication and project management. It allows me to have several teams and even set up a queue-like system for my designers.


I like to describe Asana as if Facebook and a spreadsheet had a baby! Users can tag each other and projects, upload photos and documents to talk about in real time. I have found it to help eliminate inefficient emailing or overwhelming amounts of group texting.


Because users can be assigned tasks with deadlines, it also helps keep our projects on track with built-in reminders of when things are due. You can even leave an encouraging emoji or give a thumbs up to acknowledge you've seen something.


I can attest to the fact that there are a lot of ways to make this application work for you and your business, because my fully virtual company uses it and so does my husbands environmental construction company - creating effective solutions for both organizations.


When I was "pitching" the idea for my husband to use it in his organization, I showed him and his team some stats from the list of articles on Asana's customer page and it is quite inspiring how many highly successful companies use Asana in such a big way, like Disney, Amazon, Uber, and Magnolia just to name a few. You can view that list, here: https://asana.com/customers


3. Flodesk: Email Marketing Platform

Several years ago I learned the importance of growing an email list. Then I learned you can ENJOY doing it and do it beautifully - if that doesn't sound like my motto, I don't know what does. There are a lot of email marketing platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact, and heck, even Wix has one built-in. After trying several, I ultimately landed on needing something more user-friendly but not lacking in data features. And if I could really make all my e-blast dreams come true, it would make creating emails with aesthetics easy too!


Welcome to Flodesk! I was fortunate to sign on while much of it was still in Beta testing over a year ago and the owners have even reached out to me for a video call to chat about my thoughts on the current features.


It really changed the game for me when I started getting feedback from my recipients saying how they loved the look and content of my email updates.


Above Average

Looking at the analytics of my last few emails, I've got an average of 46% open rate and 4% click rate. Now this may not sound like much, but what you should know is (according to a 2022 Forbes article), "The industry standard for a healthy email open rate is between 17 and 28%; reaching this percentage range is a sign that your audience values your content and that they are becoming loyal followers of your brand. These loyal followers are the ones most likely to turn into buyers."


Now that... knowing that I have an audience that values what I'm putting out there, MEANS A LOT TO ME!


The analytics above are from my last email sent out along with a preview of said email below so hopefully you see what you're missing if you're not on my email list. Don't worry, you can join here: https://www.arrange.studio/signup


The Email Subject Line:

Choose between land, pool, or fireplace. Not on my new Bulverde listing!


If you want a trial run, use this link to get 50% off your first year: https://flodesk.com/c/ARRANGE


4. Canva: Digital Content Creator

Easy-Peasy Creativity

Say goodbye to those days of squinting at complicated design software. Canva is like your artsy BFF who speaks your language. Drag, drop, click, and boom! You've got amazing graphics, professional posters, and aesthetically pleasing social media posts. No design degree required – just a sprinkle of imagination and a dash of Canva magic.


Templates Galore

Whether I need to crank out a quick flyer, generate a QR code or make a property video, this platform has a template for everything to get the project rolling. I have even used to do virtual presentations with sleek animations and design boards to show clients materials and selections for their home project.


If you can believe it, I actually made this video for a property I listed, using Canva:



Click for the full presentation:


No promo for this one, but of course, there is a trial: https://www.canva.com


I hope this is all around helpful, whether you're an entrepreneur or someone that loves organization and content creation! Until next time, my friend. Thanks for following along as I arrange all the things.

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