EP 277: 3 Tools These Small Business Owners Swoon Over

Apr 30, 2020 | Podcast, Software & Services

Tara McMullin is a writer, podcaster, and producer who explores what it takes to navigate the 21st-century economy with your humanity intact. Click here to support this work.

The tools I use to run my business have come a long way in the last decade.

Back then, I had to do most things manually. Now, integrations and automations are a given.

Back then, I had to learn code and poke through dense documentation to get what I wanted. Now, everything is drag & drop.

Back then, digital small business owners were repurposing tools meant for other tasks to put our businesses together. Now, we use tools that are made just for us.

But it’s not just the tools that have changed. It’s also how I use them.

When I started my business, I was always just trying to get one step ahead and the tools I used were solving problems as they came up–no real rhyme or reason. I didn’t stop to think about what my technology or system needs might be even a few months in the future.

Today, I look at my tools in terms of how they’ll help me grow. I ask myself how I can use them to build a foundation that makes my business easier to run months or years in the future. I don’t just solve problems with my tools–I create systems.

We’ve covered a lot of territory with the tools we use to run our businesses over the last month. And we’re going to cover a little more today.

But I think this mindset shift around how we use technology and develop systems has been a thread that has tied all of our episodes together. Whether it was my conversation with Sean, or Jessica, or Prerna, or Holly & Arryn, I hope you picked up on the strategy that these business owners use when it comes to picking and working with tools.

That strategy isn’t just about what tools or systems they use.

It’s really a bigger mindset around how they run their businesses. They expect to be running, building, and growing these businesses for years to come and so they choose tools, systems, and workflows that make that easier.

Today, I want to share 3 more business owners and their favorite tools with you. You’ll hear from designer & illustrator Cynthia Oswald, operations manager Heidi Johnson, and software engineer Rachel Ober. Each one is sharing a tool that’s dramatically changed the way they do business–each in completely different ways.

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