As a small business owner, I wear a lot of hats. This is why it is essential for me to have certain systems in place…so that I can wear my hats well. Today, I am so excited to be sharing the seven systems I truly could not run my business without. If you are a small business owner and are not using these systems, it’s definitely time to change that! Let’s dive in so I can tell you why that is.
If I could only use one system for my business, it would undoubtedly be Honeybook. Honeybook is a client management system that holds emails, invoices, proposals, contracts, and so much more- all in one place.
With Honeybook, I can also manage my calendar and my bookkeeping. Pretty neat, right?
But here’s the best part in my opinion: Project pipelines! This special feature allows me to write and save email templates that I can use when tracking inquiries, sending follow ups, sending proposals, and, really, all the steps needed once a couple books me. It is AMAZING, to say the very least.
I have been using Honeybook for two years now and seriously could not recommend it more.
Link for 20% off – Honeybook
Next up, we’ve got AirTable! I like to call this a glorified Excel program.
AirTable is a super awesome project management system. I have all of my projects divided into 2020, 2021, 2022, and my associate shooter opportunities with Grant, as well.
AirTable makes it possible for me to create step-by-step checklists to help keep me on top of things. One of my favorite ways to utilize this platform is to help keep track of all my social media things.
This project management system is great because I can physically check things off and any information I have for specific projects is housed all in one place. And, a special bonus perk is that it helps me keep track of my expenses and income, too!
Link to join: AirTable
I’m excited to tell you about Calendly! This is how I schedule phone calls with people so that it cuts out all the back and forth of trying to figure out an ideal time to chat. With Calendly, you can easily schedule times to meet with clients or potential clients based on your availability. I also have my calendar set up to where those who schedule a meeting with me designate what type of meeting it is (consultation, timeline meeting, final wedding day details, etc.)
You can also integrate Calendly with your website and keep it cohesive with your brand. I actually do this and love it.
Speaking of love, what doubles the love for me with Calendly is that it also has an app for when I am on the go. Um, yes please!
Did I mention there’s a free version? If you are ready to make scheduling easy-peasy with your clients, click the link below to check it out!
Link to join: Calendly
Oh, Evernote. Sweet Evernote! This is a note taking app and it has legit changed my life. If you haven’t heard of it or checked it out yet, it’s an absolute must!
For all my iPhone friends, this is like a more organized version of the Notes app.
In Evernote, you start with what’s called a stack. From there, each stack can have different notebooks. For example, I have a business stack. Within my business stack, I have a phone call notebook. Within my phone call notebook, I have a note for each of my clients and my calls with them.
Super organized, right? It’s also searchable! This app helps me stay on top of things, there’s no doubt about it!
Link to join: Evernote
Real talk: Pic-Time is my bread and butter. It is essential to my business because it is how I deliver my client galleries. I just recently made the switch from another online gallery delivery service and I’m so glad I did. Pic-Time has a clean look and is very user-friendly. I can also integrate a print shop much easier compared to the last one I used. My clients can also choose favorites, download their images and purchase prints all in one place, too. It’s an incredible service and also a great way to make some passive income! 12/10 recommend.
Code for one month free: ZRVQ4Q – Pic-Time
I think every small business owner or content creator knows exactly what this, but I am still going to give it a shoutout because, my goodness, has it changed the content game for me!
Canva makes content creation, specifically for someone who is not a graphic designer, SO much easier. This app is like a breath of fresh air!
I make all of my graphics in Canva, but there’s also more to it than that- especially with the paid plan. With the paid plan, you can save your branding colors, create folders to upload different photos in, and you can also upload as many fonts as you want, too. Given, Canva offers so many, but it’s still a super nice feature to have! But wait, there’s more! They also offer a massive stock photo gallery and an element library that you can use to add a special flair to any of your content creations.
One of my favorite ways to utilize Canva is for inspiration boards for each photo shoot I do.
If you haven’t checked Canva out yet, you’re surely missing out! Check it out through the link below.
Link to join: Canva
Let’s talk about a game changer for anyone who wants to up their email game. Flodesk was created by two female entrepreneurs who wanted to make it easy to create and send beautiful emails to your people. They also were tired of paying other services more money based on how many subscribers someone had. With Flodesk, you get one price and as many subscribers as you want! It’s a really beautiful service with really beautiful email template options, making it super easy for us to plug in, schedule, and send!
Link for 50% off for life: Flodesk
I’m going to throw a little bonus in this post because of how excited I am about it!
Tailwind is my newest venture. But WOW, I can already see how incredibly beneficial this platform is going to be for my business. My virtual assistant, Elle, recently recommended it to me and I’m so glad she did.
Through Tailwind, I can create and schedule as many pins as I want. In addition, I can schedule out as many Instagram posts as I want as well. I love that I can schedule my content for different platforms all in one place.
That being said, I am especially excited to see how Tailwind caters to my Pinterest goals. It provides me with the best times to post and provides great insight and analytics behind how each pin performs. You can also join group boards and create pins in Tailwind, too!
I’ll swing back around in a month or two to let you know how my Tailwind venture is going. So, do stay tuned! In the meantime, if you would like to hop on the Tailwind train, you can do so below.
Link to join: Tailwind
And there you have it- the 7 (okay, okay…8!) most important systems to get in place for your biz this year. If you feel overwhelmed, rest assured that you are not alone. I encourage you to take it one area at a time, friend. A great thought to consider that will help you determine where to start is this: What area is currently causing you the most stress or frustration?
From one small business owner to another, you’re doing a great job!
brand + web design by kindly by kelsea
Some of these images were taken while second shooting with other photographers. If I am unavailable for your day, I would be more than happy to send you to one of these trusted photographer friends of mine.
All images © 2022 Bailee Starr Photography, LLC | Terms & Conditions