When scaling your business becomes your top priority, upgrading your tools is necessary.
We’re all for keeping things scrappy in the beginning stage of your business, but when you’re ready to uplevel your growth, you’ll need the right tools to get there.
In the first Creator Tech Stack guide, we focused on the perfect tools for emerging entrepreneurs. But now that your business is graduating to the next level, you’ll benefit greatly from investing in tools that will end up saving you money—and a whole lot of time!
Let’s begin by talking about why technology really matters when you scale before we dive into our best tool recommendations for growth-minded business owners.
How technology can help you scale your business
As you prepare to scale, technology will be your best friend. When you find the right tool that accomplishes everything you need it to, you’ll do a happy dance. However, it’s important to be mindful of how you scale with technology. Here’s why you’ll want to pay attention to technology when you’re scaling.
Better determine which tasks to automate or outsource
It can be tricky to decide what to automate or outsource when technology isn’t a part of the initial conversation. Without the right tools, you might end up outsourcing a task that could be easily taken care of by a more affordable tool.
The first step is to make a list of your daily tasks. If you have a team, ask them to do the same. After doing this for a week, you should have a pretty solid idea of what a typical week looks like for you and your team.
Next, consider the list of tasks, thinking about what can be automated and what can only be completed by a person. For example, an automated email series can communicate with new leads but responding to unique client requests may require a personal touch.
Streamline your team’s workload
It will be easier to assign tasks to your team when you know what needs to be outsourced and what can simply be automated. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, your team will feel empowered to work on more creative or strategic projects.
Have regular meetings with your team to understand what they’re spending the majority of their time on. Then, consider whether or not there’s a tool that can automate or help with any part of their workload.
Working together, you can eliminate wasted time and ensure your team is working on the most important projects. Leave the monotonous work to bots!
Make smarter hiring decisions
As you scale, you’ll likely need to hire independent contractors, consultants, or employees for additional help. To hire the right people, take a look at the tools they’re already proficient in.
When you know what technology someone has experience with, you’ll have a better idea of how you can efficiently apply their knowledge and expertise. Asking questions about software during your consultation call or job interview will help you assess what tools you may want to integrate into your process or how much training your potential hire may need.
If someone is familiar with the tools you already use, they’ll have a leg up over other applicants. However, it’s best to foster a culture that encourages team members to bring you new technology and tools that they think could make their job (and yours) easier.
Scale-ready tools for your growing business
When you’re ready to grow and scale your business without boundaries, you’ll need the right set of tools and software to get there. Making this investment now will help you build a stronger, more streamlined business in the future.
To recap, in our first Creator Tech Stack guide for beginner entrepreneurs, we mentioned how important it is to invest in:
- A user-friendly website builder that safely hosts your site
- A CRM tool to organize and send your contracts, invoices, etc.
- An email service provider to power your email marketing strategy
- A set of free tools and resources you can use at any stage of business
To get caught up on our Creator Tech Stack series, read the first installment here.
Now that you’re ready to scale your business, you’ll likely be looking for tools that help you maximize your time and simplify your process. At this stage, you don’t want the amount of time you put in the business to hinder your earning potential.
To help you work smarter rather than harder, we put together a list of tools that will help you move forward in your business without skipping a beat.
If you invested in an affordable website through Squarespace or WordPress in the beginning, your needs may have outgrown these platforms in the scaling stage. When you’re ready for a serious upgrade, an all-in-one platform that allows you to generate passive income may be the perfect solution.
Best value: Simplero at $149/month
If you want to seamlessly create and deliver digital products like online courses, Simplero could be a great fit for you. With their platform, you can turn your coaching or consulting business into an online education business that’s easy to scale.
Known for its large list of integrations, simple website builder, and community support features, Simplero is a trusted platform for entrepreneurs who want to centralize all of their marketing. It even includes email marketing and landing pages so you can increase your conversions over time.
However, all of these great features come at a somewhat high price. If your goal is to make a five-figure income every month, Simplero will give you enough ROI over time to make this cost worth it.
Simplero’s best features:
- Affiliate management tool so your customers can become your greatest advocates
- Membership capabilities with multiple tiers to make your business more accessible
- Directly integrates with Interact so email marketing and lead generation is a breeze
Runner-up: Kajabi at $199/month
Much like Simplero, Kajabi can be used to sell more online courses, membership subscriptions, and more. With a simple user interface, this all-in-one platform is a favorite among influencers like Amy Porterfield and Brendon Burchard.
Kajabi and Simplero have many of the same features, but one area where Kajabi stands out is podcasting. No longer do you need a hodge-podge collection of tools to create and launch your own podcast. Kajabi streamlines this process with customer pipelines and analytic reporting.
Kajabi’s best features:
- Custom sales funnel automation so you can increase conversions over time
- Easy landing page builder that allows you to create pages in a few clicks
- 24/7 support team that is always available to answer your questions
As you scale, you need a centralized place to track your revenue and expenses. If you haven’t already invested in a full-service bookkeeping tool, now is the perfect time to do so. Depending on how sophisticated your accounting is, you may even want to outsource it to a financial professional. Here’s a shortlist of bookkeeping tools you may love.
Best value: Freshbooks at $50/month
An instant favorite of small businesses around the world, FreshBooks is an affordable option for those who want to better track their business finances. It includes features like tracking income and expenses, accounting for hours worked for each client, creating new invoices, and more.
FreshBook’s reporting may not be as robust as other platforms, but that’s to keep your attention on what matters most. They also have a series of accounting features that ensure you’re ready for tax time.
FreshBook’s best features:
- Professional invoices can be made in a few seconds
- Easy-to-use mobile app that is accessible on any device
- Ability to collaborate with other contractors, employees, and influencers
Runner-up: QuickBooks at $70/month
QuickBooks is arguably the most popular bookkeeping software on the market. With multiple pricing tiers, QuickBooks is accessible to businesses of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500 companies. No matter how you get paid, QuickBooks will help you track all of your finances in its robust platform.
The great thing about QuickBooks is that it can be as simple or advanced as you need. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, you can choose a lower plan until you need to increase. With QuickBooks, you can also account for your inventory, manage bills, and track time.
QuickBook’s best features:
- Payroll features that many accountants and CFPs love to use
- Managing your cash flow is easier with their minimally designed dashboard
- Ability to continue adding features as you move from freelancer to a mid-size business
Content marketing is an essential piece of the marketing puzzle. To get the most out of your content, it’s worth incorporating SEO best practices into your strategy. If you’re just getting started with SEO or want to up your game, these SEO-related tools can help.
Best value: Moz Pro at $99/month
Trusted by top SEO experts, Moz Pro is the leading SEO software for agencies and small businesses alike. With Moz Pro, you’ll drive high-quality traffic to your content. By using the best insights from keyword research and competitor analysis, you can tweak your website to improve your rankings over time.
If SEO feels confusing, Moz Pro has a user-friendly interface to help you understand what each term means and how it impacts your online performance. Think of it as a tool that’s helping you and teaching you at the same time!
Moz Pro’s best features:
- Keyword Explorer that helps you identify the best ranking opportunities
- Track your rankings over time with local and national searches
- Audit your website pages to see how each page performs over time
Runner-up: Semrush at $119.95/month
Semrush is slightly more expensive than Moz Pro, but it has far more features. In addition to keyword research, page ranking, and local SEO tools, it also has social media management, competitor PR monitoring, and PPC research capabilities.
You may not need a tool this comprehensive if you are just starting with SEO, but if you plan to create a content-centric brand with your blog, Semrush could help. This starter plan comes with 500 keywords each month, which should give you a great SEO foundation to build from.
Semrush’s best features:
- Keyword Gap tool will help you assess which keyword opportunities you may be missing
- Organic Traffic Insights can help you determine where your organic traffic is coming from
- On-Page SEO Checker will give you a clear picture of how optimized your page is
Instead of building a large customer support team, it might be best to utilize chatbot marketing on your website. This will allow you to answer frequently asked questions and direct leads to where they need to go based on their unique responses. Chatbots don’t replace the need for customer service, but they add value to your support team.
Note: Each of the tools listed below are priced on plans that allow you to communicate with up to 5,000 contacts per month. If you have fewer contacts, you can save on these costs, but be mindful of how the costs will ramp up as your business grows.
Best value: ManyChat at $45/month
To ensure your customer service representatives and sales teams don’t get bogged down with similar requests, use a tool like ManyChat to simplify your communication. Chatbots like ManyChat can help you drive more sales, generate leads, and engage with prospects before they buy.
ManyChat focuses on three main platforms: Instagram through direct messages, Facebook through Messenger chats, and SMS text messaging. It also includes email messages, but we recommend using an email service provider instead. No matter which platforms you decide to utilize, your costs will be determined by the cumulative number of contacts your chatbot interacts with.
ManyChat’s best features:
- Use chatbots when you are creating new social media advertising campaigns
- Give multiple-choice options that connect with different user pathways
- Connect ManyChat to Shopify for easier e-commerce marketing
Runner-up: Chatfuel at $55/month
Much like ManyChat, Chatfuel can be used to automate your marketing, even if you don’t know how to code. Chatfuel’s pricing plans are slightly higher than ManyChat, but many of the world’s largest e-commerce brands use the platform.
Instead of trying to lead prospects to a landing page, use a chatbot to start a conversation to increase your conversion rate. Chatfuel boasts that it can help any marketer build a fully functioning chatbot in just minutes. In a few clicks, you’ll be able to communicate with buyers and make sales while you sleep.
Chatfuel’s best features:
- No-code chatbot builder that’s simple to use (even for non-tech entrepreneurs!)
- FAQ templates that you can customize and use in your next chatbot campaign
- Drag-and-drop features that make it easier to build your first chatbot
Other scale-ready tools worth investing in
With more room in your budget, you’ll be able to focus on improving your lead generation so you can make your business legally legit, better communicate with your team, and other noteworthy tasks. Let’s walk through a few more tools that could ensure your business has what it needs to truly flourish.
Quizzes: Interact at $89/month (for Growth plan)
If you’ve been struggling to consistently generate high-quality leads for your business, you probably need stronger lead magnets. Unlike other freebies, online quizzes offer your audience a fun, interactive experience they’ll love. By giving quiz-takers unique insights about their interests, skills, and personality, you’ll make an instant connection with them and stand out from others who may not be using this lead magnet type in their content strategy.
Solve your lead generation woes by investing in our platform! While we offer a Free and affordable Lite plan that can help you get started, you’ll want to upgrade to the Growth plan after seeing the quiz results. The Growth plan allows you to collect a limitless number of email leads each month and white-label your quiz so it only has your branding.
Interact’s best features:
- Customizable quiz design that looks great on every device
- Connects with most email service providers and integrates with a variety of other tools
- Easily embed your quiz into any landing page or blog post on your website
Legal templates: The Legal Paige starting at $447
Now that you’re scaling your business, it’s time to make sure your legal ducks are in a row. It’s best to consult with your lawyer, but if you want a more affordable option in the meantime, legal templates are a good place to start.
With a customizable template, you’ll be able to charge higher prices for your work while ensuring you’re legally covered in any circumstance. The legal side of business can sometimes feel scary—especially as you grow—but it doesn’t have to be.
If you aren’t sure where to start, you can purchase legal templates from sites like The Legal Paige, which happens to be run by a lawyer for creative entrepreneurs. You can bundle templates together or purchase them separately.
Legal templates can include:
- Service provider contracts
- Website terms and conditions
- Brand sponsorship or influencer agreements
- Independent contractor agreements
- Confidentiality and NDA agreements
Team communication: Slack with varied pricing
Are you tired of feeling like you’re constantly living in your email inbox? If you’ve lost track of certain email threads, Slack can come in handy. Acting like a private group chat room, you’ll be able to collaborate with employees and other collaborators inside their platform. Many multi-faceted corporate brands and small businesses use this for team communication around the world.
With Slack, there isn’t a flat-fee pricing structure. Instead, you’ll pay at least $8 per user each month at their Pro level. Depending on how your team grows, this cost will increase.
Slack’s best features:
- Separate messaging channels to help you organize your conversations
- Collaborate with team members in real-time with voice and video call functionalities
- Share files with your team and integrate other tools with your Slack channels
Final thoughts on scaling your business
Scaling your business is no easy feat, but investing in the right technology can streamline and simplify the process.
If you aren’t sure whether or not a tool is the right fit for you, sign up for a free trial! Most software products allow you to test their platform before you buy, so take advantage of this opportunity.
Speaking of free trials, you can sign up for a free 14-day full-featured trial of Interact here!