I believe in transparency. A truly successful, long term business has to be built on transparency. At least any business that I start won't work unless that's true. Every once in a while a message lands in my inbox asking how I built something. Typically these are from small business owners very early in the process of building their business, wondering about which tools to use and how much to reasonable spend.
Researching and setting up tools for a small business should never be the number one priority, but it is still important because you can't run on pen, paper, spreadsheets, and a few free mobile apps forever. Getting a few well built cloud-based tools in place can make a big difference.
Even though they are important, tools are not the secret sauce of my business. They are most likely not the factor that makes any business truly successful outside of a few exceptions, so I have no reason to hide what I'm using.
So I wanted to go through and document the top tools I'm using so far to run my small business. This is for all of our people who want to learn more about the foundation of a small business and for any early entrepreneur who this might give insight to. For reference, the entire business has been around for a few years putting out some free to use software and releasing a new ERP SaaS product 5 months ago which is now profitable and my only real focus for the business currently.
Administrative and financial tools
- Google Apps – Docs, cloud storage, email provider
- Wave – Accounting
- Buster – Customer and contact management
- U.S. Bank – Banking and financial services
- DuckDuckGo - Search engine
- GitHub – Project management
- Digital Ocean – Server management
- Stripe – Payment processing
- SendGrid – Transnational email
- Google Analytics – Website analytics and performance monitoring
- Namecheap – DNS hosting
- HelpScout – Support chat and product documentation
- BaseCamp - Project Management
- Uptime Robot - Uptime monitoring
Software development tools
- Github – Code repository
- Forge – Continuous deployment service
- Docker - Containerization
- CircleCI – Continuous integration/delivery service
- Slate – API documentation
- Python - Programming language
- Flask - Python coding framework
- Visual Studio Code - Code editor
- Terminator - Terminal software
Marketing and design tools
All of the social channels that I use are for driving traffic to the main product site for Buster ERP. This includes sites like Quora, Reddit, and StackOverflow where I'll often just answer questions about different topics that I have experience in.
- LinkedIn - Networking tool and social media channel
- Twitter - Social media channel
- Quora - Question and answer site
- Reddit - General discussion boards
- StackOverflow - Programming forum
- Medium - Hosted blogging platform
- Ghost - Self hosted blogging platform
- Ubersuggest - SEO analytics
- Screaming Frog - SEO tools
- Canva - Design creator
Thanks for reading
Appreciate you reading this. Hope this gives you some insight into all of the different functions that have to be juggled by a small business owner. Feel free to reach out and ask me more questions any time.
If you're feeling extra nice today, give us a follow on LinkedIn or Twitter to stay up to date with stories and updates about my business, or try out the free trial of our ERP software focused on small businesses.
Holden, Founder of Buster Technologies