There are hundreds of tools, apps and websites out there that you could use to streamline your business processes. Safe to say that as a new virtual assistant, the very thought of that is enough to make you feel overwhelmed!
But here’s why your journey has the potential to be a whole lot smoother. Those who came before us have had the chance to test out some of the top tools in the space and those who’ve been in the game for some time (going onto four years myself) have had the chance to do the trial and error so you don’t have to!
And that applies to things that go way beyond just tools. There are tried and tested systems for entire business processes which you can learn too! (See the Academy for more on this.)
When you’re starting your new business, budgets are tight but efficiency is key in order to get yourself streamlined as fast as possible so you can set up solid foundations and start attracting leads and landing sales.
10 Free Business Tools for New Virtual Assistants
- Lastpass: You always have to be very careful of where, how and with whom you share your passwords, but Lastpass was designed to facilitate the world of online business teams.
It’s trusted by over 25.6 million people as the #1 password storage and sharing tool. Saving your own passwords in it allows you to not have to remember a dozen plus passwords for all your accounts. It also allows you to share them with your team members or clients anonymously (how? you can login to the relevant page without actually seeing the persons passwords! Nifty right?)
2. Later: It is so much more efficient to automate and schedule your social media posts by batches so that your day to day are freed up for more important tasks. Later is a great tool for viewing a preview of your feed, adding media and scheduling posts, adding draft captions, seeing your content calendar and more.
And as a virtual assistant who manages social media accounts (aka a social media manager), you’ll be needing a tool like this to automate your client’s social schedules as well.
3. Canva: It is deceptively easy to create beautiful and functional graphics for your online business. And you don’t need any sort of fancy tech, all you need is Canva.
I love using Canva to create brand bibles, rate cards, ebooks, social media posts, presentations, email signatures, email banners and there are so many templates to pick from and customise.
4. Asana: When it comes to running your business, to do lists are a life saver, and Asana is the king of to do lists! Not only can you and your client share these lists and workspaces but you can also create content libraries, plan your joint calendars for upcoming projects and it links to the very nifty messaging tool Slack which makes communication so easy and professional.
5. Toggl: When working with clients, you’ll need to clock your hours so that you can accurately bill for the work you’ve done. You might also want to time how long it takes to complete a non-billable task in order to improve your own time management.
6. Zoom: If you haven’t jumped on the zoom bandwagon, where have you been? When you’re having a business call, WhatsApp or IG video chats are a no go! Use something professional like zoom or skype and set the tone for how you want to manage your boundaries with your clients
7. Calendly: It’s so important to have somewhere that people and potential clients can see your calendar so they can book in a call with you without having to do it yourself manually (because the goal is automated systems!). Calendly is an awesome tool to start out with and has paid plans for once you start to grow
8. Jotform: for discovery call questionnaires or market research forms, JotForm is your go to with 5 free forms before you have to update to a paid plan
9. Google Drive and the GSuite: Is your desktop just crowded with any and all of your documents? Then you need to get organised, make some folders and sort out your storage. It may seem like such a simple thing but it can totally change how you navigate your laptop. And you know what they say, a tidy workspace makes for a more productive mind. The Gsuite comes with useful apps like Google Calendar, Google Sheets and of course Google docs.
10. Wave Financial: although it’s totally fine to do your invoicing and finances manually at first, you might want to automate and systemise the process with a tool. There are a few with free plans but if you’re not in the US, not all of these might be available for you. Wave has options for a larger number of countries
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