Being a business owner is not as glamorous as the world paints it to be. In my Nigerian English, having the title C.E.O no be beans! So if you are not ready for the twist don’t even bother. As an entrepreneur, you’d be required to work longer hours and having an idea about multiple skills will come handy in your early days.


Due to the limited resources available to small business owners in Nigeria, we all are constantly looking for cost-effective ways to make our journey easier, improve customer experience and increase sales. So today I’ve curated 6 of my favourites productivity tools and how you can use them to improve your business as a business owner.


Dropbox
Dropbox is something that I’ve always known because I grew up listening to my father talk about how his productivity is enhanced because He can access his documents from anywhere the world.

Logo of a document management brand


WHAT IS IT?

Dropbox simply helps you to simplify the way you create, share and collect documents. Be it in photo, music, text or graphics. Google has its equivalent as Google Drive and you can have all your business documents in a nice place just by signing up for an account.


Why do I recommend It?

You can get access to your documents no matter where you are or what device you are using. All you have to do is log in to your account and then you immediately have access to all your documents.


How To Use It

To organize important files and information about your business like your proposals, logos, clients’ information, purchasing order, letterheads, etc. You can create a folder for a client and use it mainly to share information with them as you work through a project. All you just need to do is share the link with them.


N.B: Dropbox is free but there is a paid version that has more features and cloud space.


MailChimp
You know that thing that usually pops up minutes after you visit a website giving you and offer and asking why you have not subscribed to get cool gist? Well, that is something that Mail Chimp can do for you. Email marketing has come to stay and the earlier you embrace it as a business owner the better for you. Research even has it that email marketing remains the most effective way to reach out to new people and this is why you need MailChimp.

Logo of a monkey with a cap in yellow background


What Is It?

It is an email campaign platform that can be used by small business owners to help collect emails and also send periodic newsletters to improve your overall marketing strategies. It allows you to collect emails, create targeted lists, run email campaigns and even collect analytics.


Why do I recommend It?
It is free! If you are new to email marketing and your subscribers are below 2,000 then this is a platform to sign up to. It is also very easy to use and understand. If you are a newbie, you won’t find this difficult to navigate.


How To Use It

  • You use it to share big announcements like giveaways and discounts exclusively to your target audience
  • Use it to gather new subscribers to your email list by embedding to your website
  • If you are ever in need of a beautiful landing page for a new project then Mailchimp is your plug.

Canva

I feel like if a degree is awarded to Canva users, I’d be amongst the recipients. This app for basically my go-to place for everything that pertains to graphics. I love the app because it can give you so many professional results when all you’ve done is replacements.

logo of a brand

What Is It?

Canva is a graphics design program that you can use even as a non-designer to create professional-quality graphics. You can use it to create stuff like social media posts, logos, certificates, labels, brochures, business cards, infographics and much more.

Why do I recommend It?

Well, it’s Free!!! and very easy to use even for a design novice. You can get your designs out in lesser time because they already have pre-created templates. All you have to do is edit the text or photos to suit what you want. I also recommend it because it is perfect for business owners with little or no budget for graphics designers.

How To Use It:

  • Just start by using it to create an awesome quote for your Instagram and Facebook Post
  • As you understand the ap[p better, you can play around logo creations
  • You can also use it to design your invoice and business card.

Snapseed

Have you ever thought about how people get beautiful photos of their products without having to pay for a photographer? Then be my guest as a walk you through the secret tunnel of awesome phone photography.

What Is It?

Snapseed is a free photo-editing app that comes with loaded with image manipulation tools. The interesting thing is that this app is so easy to use and delivers professional results. The app is supported by Google so you can sure of its reliability.

Why do I recommend It?

  • It’s totally free
  • Easy to use even for an amateur
  • Simple touches bring the best in phone photography

How To Use It

  • Use it to edit photos of your behind the scenes and actual products so they have the professional feel. You don’t have to wait till you get a camera or a high-end phone before you get the best of photos.

Pocket

Pocket is officially my all-time favourite and I’m so happy to share this goodness with you. As a business owner, the only way to grow is to keep improving yourself and reading is one way to keep learning.

What Is It?

Pocket is an offline reading app that is specialized in saving articles and videos for you to read later. I use this app to curate different articles and video contents that I want to read later. This app makes it easy for me to stay updated with industry trends and news without having to really search for them.

Why do I recommend it?

  • It allows for increased productivity! You can just click the save article for later instead of reading in between another task of the day.
  • You can access it on the app or the web without stress as long as you have an account.
  • It allows you to add a link of your favourite website to its RSS so you get regular updates.

How To Use It

  • To enjoy this platform, log in with your Google account
  • Use it to save industry-related articles for reading up later
  • It has a share button that allows you to share your favourite post across other platforms.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is very necessary for you if you are a business owner who understands the essence of being consistent on social media. Social media consistency is important but we all know that we can’t be in that space all day.

What Is It?

Hootsuite is a social media management tool that allows you to schedule posts on your social media account in advance. It is also a good platform to go to for in-depth insight and analytics about how you are fairing on social media. It is also a perfect tool to rely on if you have multiple social media pages to handle.

Why do I recommend It?

  • All your multiple social media accounts will be in one place.
  • It has a school called “Hootsuite Podium where you get access to free online courses. You can improve your skills while being productive.
  • An in-depth analytics platform that x-rays how your audience interacts with your content and your brand.

How To Use It

  • Use it to increase your consistency on social media by uploading and scheduling content in advance.
  • You can upload bulks tweets straight from Excel to Hootsuite and schedule all in advance.
  • You can include your blog link(s) to the RSS feed and directly schedule posts from your blog to your social media.

Dear business owner, note that all of these tools are available on both Andriod and IOS devices. Some of them are also available on the web. Feel free to check me out on Instagram if you need more tips on winning on social media.