101 tech tools for business owners.

Reading time:

Running a business can get complicated. Really complicated. Between managing projects, keeping track of resources, meeting customer demands, maintaining a brand, and chasing down invoices, there’s always another thing to do. And those are only the fundamentals. Consider all the effort it takes to court customers, build your network, optimize your online presence, hire new staff, launch marketing and sales campaigns… The list goes on.

How do successful business owners stay on top of it all? Is it time-travel? Copious amounts of coffee? 

While caffeine can certainly boost productivity, thriving businesses are leveraging technology to elevate customer experience and the efficiency of business operations. But, given the sheer number of options out there, identifying and employing the right tools can become a job unto itself. So many search results, so few intelligible answers. 

Fortunately, we here at Ruby have done some of the heavy Google-lifting for you. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive list of 101 tools for business owners. Feel free to scour the entire list or jump to a section that meets your immediate needs. And be sure to bookmark this page so you can return to it next time you face a business challenge.

Project Management and Collaboration

Don’t let work about work overtake the work itself. Whether your business comprises a small team, multiple groups in multiple offices, or just one person (i.e. you), there are numerous solutions out there that will make project management and collaboration fast, easy, and—dare we say—fun. Here are our favorites:

  1. Evernote
  2. Trello
  3. Asana
  4. Slack
  5. Zoom
  6. Skype
  7. Basecamp
  8. OmniFocus
  9. Yammer

Document Creation and Storage

If your company is like 99.99% of businesses in existence, at some point you’ll need to generate and keep track of a couple (or a couple thousand) documents. Consider these the essentials—the tools you need to create and store bylaws, budgets, letters, proposals, and so forth.

  1. Microsoft Office
  2. Google Suite
  3. Dropbox
  4. Proposify
  5. Stamps.com

Time Tracking and Travel

Your time is a precious resource. Don’t take it for granted or let it go to waste. The following tools can help you organize meetings, track working hours, plan trips, optimize your and your team’s schedules, and more—all without consuming valuable time from your day.

  1. Calendly
  2. There.pm
  3. TripIt
  4. Timesheet
  5. TMetrics
  6. Harvest
  7. Homebase

General Business Information and Guidance

Business ownership can be a tough, unpredictable, and at times lonely experience. But no matter how isolated or overwhelmed you may feel, you’re never alone. Both the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and SCORE can put you in touch with mentors and other business owners, and provide you with the education, informational materials, and training (virtual and in-person) you need to succeed.

  1. SBA
  2. SCORE

Funding

From banks to venture capitalists, there may be plenty of people and organizations out there who are interested in helping your business grow. Use these tools to explore your options and get in front of some decision-makers.

  1. Fundera
  2. Lendio
  3. SmartBiz
  4. EquityNet

Accounting and Bookkeeping

Unless you’re a CPA, you probably didn’t get into business to work with financial information all day. And if you do do accounting or bookkeeping for a living, you’re probably going to need more than a pencil and paper. The following tools allow you to track income and expenses, create and send invoices, and file your taxes with ease.

  1. Expensify
  2. Quickbooks
  3. Gusto
  4. Slimvoice
  5. TurboTax

Staffing, Recruiting, and Contracting

Hiring for a new position and on the hunt for talent? Need a contractor for a one-off project or an ongoing need? You don’t need to rely on community job boards or settle for your neighbor’s out-of-work cousin. Use these tools to find candidates—and have them compete for the opportunity to work for you.

  1. Workable
  2. ZipRecruiter
  3. Fiverr
  4. Behance

Websites and E-commerce

Designing a website can be a costly prospect, especially if you sell products online. It’s no surprise that many businesses struggle to maintain an internet presence—a good number of business owners simply can’t afford a professional website designer. These tools empower you to do everything yourself, from the basic elements (building homepages, implementing shopping carts, accepting payments) to the more advanced (reducing visitor bounce rates, carrier rate shopping, learning code).

  1. Shopify
  2. Squarespace
  3. WordPress
  4. Square
  5. Unbounce
  6. ShipStation
  7. Siteliner
  8. Searchcode
  9. Hotjar

Design

Your business’s look and feel are more than aesthetic considerations. A well-designed logo, advertisement, piece of marketing content, or user experience delights your customers, ultimately boosting loyalty and generating more sales. Unleash your inner designer with these affordable (or free) tools.

  1. Canva
  2. Coolors
  3. Adobe Creative Cloud
  4. Acrobat
  5. Snappa
  6. Unsplash
  7. 99 Designs
  8. Typekit
  9. DaFont

Content and Video Creation

Content, particularly video content, is one of the most effective means of reaching your audience. As hours of footage get uploaded to YouTube every second, no business can afford to sit on the sidelines. Create eye-catching videos and other engaging content (hello, blog posts!) with these tools.

  1. Animoto
  2. Drift
  3. Pablo
  4. Lumen5
  5. Playbuzz
  6. Infogram
  7. Podbean
  8. Hemingway

Marketing and Social Media

Word-of-mouth marketing is the single most effective form of advertisement for a company, and providing a stellar customer service experience is key in creating loyal customers who recommend your business. However, other marketing and social media efforts can definitely be helpful in getting your name out there. Avoid agency costs and start spreading your own message with these marketing, advertising, and social media tools.

  1. HubSpot
  2. MailChimp
  3. YouTube
  4. Instagram
  5. Promo
  6. Buffer
  7. Hootsuite
  8. Facebook Ads
  9. Google Ads
  10. CrowdTangle
  11. IFTTT
  12. Zapier

Customer Engagement and Satisfaction

Speaking of customer service, it’s a good idea to focus on that—perhaps even before you launch a concerted marketing effort. When used in tandem with a superb customer relationship team, these tools ensure you never miss an opportunity to forge connections with the people who matter most to your business. Wow your customers, and who knows? Word of mouth just might save you some money otherwise spent on a campaign.

  1. SumoMe
  2. Kilterly
  3. Yelp
  4. Fivestars
  5. Yesware
  6. Trustpilot

SEO

Whether they realize it or not, customers are searching for your business. It’s your job to help them find you. How? By harnessing the power of the algorithm. Ensure your website and landing pages reach the top of search results with these essential search engine optimization (SEO) tools.

  1. Google Analytics
  2. Google Keyword Planner
  3. Moz

PR

Ah, public relations. If your business does PR well, it can become a beloved company—or at least one whose personality has earned a dedicated following (think of Wendy’s, for instance). If you manage the press and your public image poorly, however, your business will appear unkind, boring, out of touch, or—worst of all—invisible. Here are six tools you can use to monitor public sentiment, coordinate media communications, and build your reputation.

  1. HARO
  2. Survey Monkey
  3. Google Alerts
  4. Podium
  5. Mention
  6. Reddit

Networking

Networking can bring you into contact with life-changing partnerships and opportunities. Grow your circle and discover what’s out there with these networking tools.

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Shapr
  3. Hunter

Security and Privacy

Businesses face greater security threats than ever—and confidential data (such as your customer’s private information) is at risk. Don’t treat protection as an afterthought. The following tools will help you balance security with productivity, so you can keep your and your customers’ data safe without sacrificing the necessary flow of information.

  1. LastPass
  2. Private Internet Access
  3. Avast
  4. FCC Cyberplanner

Legal and HR

While it is a good idea to hire a qualified attorney for your business, there are times when it’s smarter (and cheaper) to do things yourself. In other words, you don’t need to bother your legal representative with every single piece of paperwork. And the same is true for human resources-related matters as well. Take a look at these tools before calling your lawyer or HR manager.

  1. LegalZoom
  2. ShakeLaw
  3. UpCounsel
  4. Zenefits
  5. Goco.io

Whew! There you have it: 101 tools you can use to stay productive, successful, and in control of your business. Keep in mind that these tools are meant to bolster—not replace—the human element in your business. Your greatest resource are the human beings you choose to work with and for!

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
SEO and branding: star-crossed lovers—an illustration of two people with crowns surrounded by flowers
Small Business Tips

SEO and branding: star-crossed lovers

Title card: Authentic small business marketing with Jamie Adams of Scorpion

Ruby partner feature: Authentic small business marketing with Scorpion

Using chat as a sales tool: hands using laptop
Small Business Tips

4 ways to leverage live chat as a sales tool

How to attract more law firm leads: smiling woman in professional attire talks on phone while using laptop
Legal Practice Tips

Treading water? Here’s how to attract more law firm leads.

Needs-based selling: woman using laptop in well-lit office next to large window.
Small Business Tips

Needs-based selling 101

Closeup image of a business owner texting message from smart phone in cafe
Small Business Tips

Why you should be texting from your business number—and how to get started

Title card: Craig Rashkis, Farwell Rashkis LLP, Ruby customer feature series
Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Craig Rashkis, Falwell Rashkis LLP

What you can do to support Hispanic and Latinx-owned businesses

Using virtual receptionists for full-time answering

How to end a phone call: person holding phone
Receptionist Tips

How to end a phone call

Virtual receptionist sitting at desk

Virtual receptionist pricing 101

Professional sitting at desk on computer, working on a law firm's website
Legal Practice Tips

What Google’s Core Web Vitals mean for your law firm’s website

A group of Ruby customers stand together, smiling and talking

Does your business need an answering service?

Screenshot of a YouTube channel's live videos

How to use YouTube Live to engage your clients & audience

Smiling woman standing in a bicycle workshop with a mobile device in her hands
Small Business Tips

3 ways virtual receptionists elevate customer experience (while making your life easier)

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up
Sales Support

Already a Ruby customer?

Let’s get started.

Ready to turn more callers into customers?

Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.

*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the canceled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner. Some restrictions may apply.

Legal_Final

The Secret to Successful Law Firms

The inside scoop on Clio’s latest legal trends report.

Phone Thumbnail 2

10 Questions to Ask a Virtual Reception Provider

Ask the right questions and rate virtual reception services with our handy guide and scorecard!