Top Business Tools to Help You Work Less and Earn More

In this article, I share ​3 business tools that can help make your life easier and save you time. They can also help you serve your clients and customers better and earn more money. I will also include additional recommendations I have at the end. I’m only sharing tools I am using or have used myself and that I feel good about recommending to others.

Because ​integrity is important to me, I won’t recommend anything that I feel iffy about. To be as transparent as possible in my recommendations for top business tools, I ​share how long I’ve been using it, why I started using it, what I like about it, what I would prefer was different, and if I’m planning to change.

Disclaimer: This ​page ​contains affiliate links to products which means that I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. You won’t have to pay anything ​extra. I only recommend ​products and services I feel good about. 

​Top 3 Business Tools

1) Hosting Company: SiteGround

How long I’ve been using it: since March 2019. Why I started using it: I had been using Bluehost and ran into technical issues with them that their tech team couldn’t resolve (I won’t bore you with the details but it had to do with an API connection), even after spending hours chatting with them about it… and even more time waiting for a response from their customer support. Switching to SiteGround resolved the issue and I was very impressed with their awesome customer service which is always readily available with very little wait time.

Why I love it:

– functionality: affordable and reliable hosting (plus, switching to them resolved my technical issue),
– support: helpful support team that’s easily and quickly available,
– values: unlike my previous host, SiteGround is not owned by the Endurance International Group (EIG) which, according to some bloggers, has a negative effect on the web hosting ecosystem.

What I prefer was different: ​nothing.

Am I planning to change? Nope. Unless I move to an all-in-one solution that covers all my business needs (including hosting), I’m planning to stick with SiteGround.

UPDATE February 2024: I’m now using GreenGeeks. I like them as well but still stand behind my recommendation of SiteGround.

Where can I find out more:
You can get SiteGround Hosting here.

 

​2) Email Service Provider: ConvertKit

How long I’ve been using it:
since January 2019

Why I started using it:
I’ve tried half a dozen other email service providers (including MailChimp, Aweber, MadMimi, ActiveCampaign) and I was done playing around.

Why I love it:
– functionality: has everything I need in an email service providers (including great autoresponder and segmenting functionalities), – ease of use: is rather intuitive, elegant and easy to use (considering how much it allow you to do),
– values: their mission is to help creators make a living, getting paid for doing what they love (which I think is awesome).

Other reasons I’m happy to recommend it:
– I have great respect for the people behind it and
– I love some of the free webinars the company has provided.

What I prefer was different:
I think this is great as it is (of course, I wouldn’t mind if it was cheaper but I think it’s good value for the price).

Am I planning to change? ​​
Unless I move to an all-in-one solution that covers all my business needs (including email marketing), I’m planning to stick with ConvertKit.

UPDATE February 2021: I’m considering moving to SendFox since it’s only a one-time fee. I haven’t yet tried out ​SendFox’s functionality, though.
UPDATE February 2024: I downgraded to a free ConvertKit account in 2022 and really like it. I’m still thinking about moving to SendFox.

Where you can find out more:
You can sign up for a free ConvertKit account here.

3) Appointment Scheduling Software: AcuityScheduling

How long I’ve been using it:
umm…. probably 2016? I’ve been using it on and off for years.

Why I started using it:
I scheduled with someone who used AcuityScheduling so I checked it out and really liked it. I stopped using it for a while when I wasn’t taking a lot of clients who needed to schedule with me online. When I restarted using it, it was such a relief and made my life so much easier. I’ve also tried other scheduling softwares but this is my favorite.

Why I love it:
– functionality and ease of use: it has everything I need in a scheduling software (different appointment types, automated reminders at the frequency I choose, automatic time zone recognition etc.),
– aesthetics: it provides a clean look and I can customize the colors to my branding,
– values: it’s not Calendly (which is owned by Google… seriously, do we need to give big tech companies even more money and more power over our lives?).

Other reasons I’m happy to recommend it:
– it integrates with a bunch of calendars such as Outlook, Google etc. (I’m not using Google Calendar anymore for the reason I just gave but when I did, this was a really nice feature to have),
– it has a number of functions that I’m not using but that would be really neat (such as requiring payment during the scheduling process, scheduling group classes etc.).

What I prefer was different:
It would be nice if I could remove the “powered by AcuityScheduling” footer in the lowest tier plan but that’s a minor complaint. Other than that, I think this is great as it is (of course, I would be great to just have a one-off payment instead of recurring payments but it’s worth the money and I definitely want them to stay in business).

Am I planning to change?
Nope. If I found a scheduling tool that was a one-time fee and as lovely as AcuityScheduling, sure I might change. But I’ve done a lot of research and not found something that I like more so I’m sticking with it.

UPDATE February 2021: I have since switched to another scheduling tool but only because I was able to snag a lifetime subscription so it’s saving me money. There are still things I like better about Acuity Scheduling so if I didn’t have a lifetime subscription for the other tool, I’d continue using AcuityScheduling.)

Where can I find out more:
You can try AcuityScheduling for free here.

​Additional Recommendations for Your Business

​Professional Editing Services

​If you need help with editing, I ​highly recommend contacting Pavita Singh of pavEDITa. I trust her with all my editing needs (if you find a document with lots of typos, it’s ​because I didn’t ask her to look through it before sharing it with the world.)

You can find pavEDITa here.

12 Comments

  1. ReneeSeptember 7, 2019

    Love your honesty!

    Reply
    1. BereSeptember 7, 2019

      Oh, thank you so much, Renee!

      Reply
  2. JackieSeptember 14, 2019

    Thank you for sharing! I actually use different tools for each of these things, so it is nice to see how others like tools I am not yet familiar with.

    Reply
    1. BereSeptember 14, 2019

      Oh, you’re so welcome, Jackie! Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  3. Scott MadererSeptember 14, 2019

    I use different tools for all of these. There are tons out there. The real key is to find the tools that work for you and then execute with them. All too often we get trapped in the what tool should I use loop. Thanks for sharing what you use all of these are indeed excellent and would work for any coach starting out.

    Reply
    1. BereSeptember 14, 2019

      Hi Scott,

      “The real key is to find the tools that work for you and then execute with them. All too often we get trapped in the what tool should I use loop.”
      Yes, that’s so true! Thank you for your comment.

      Reply
  4. Christopher LeeNovember 19, 2019

    Wonderful suggestions! I personally use Acuity and it rocks! Going to have to check out the others you’ve got listed here. Great article.

    Reply
    1. BereNovember 19, 2019

      Thank you, Christopher! I’m personally really happy with Acuity, too. My life definitely has gotten easier since I started using it again. Sometimes I wish there was a comparable scheduling tool that’s a one-time payment only but I haven’t yet found anything I like quite as much.

      Reply
  5. Carmen SakuraiNovember 19, 2019

    Thank you for your reviews, Bere! I also use different tools for these, but I think it’s really important to find a service you can use and stick with it… avoid the shiny object syndrome.

    In my internet marketing days, I’ve witnessed too many friends constantly switch from one service to another because there’s always that cooler new product. Lol… find what does the job and move on to the meat of your business so you can start making money! 🙂

    Reply
    1. BereNovember 19, 2019

      I think that’s such a good point, Carmen: “I also use different tools for these, but I think it’s really important to find a service you can use and stick with it… avoid the shiny object syndrome.” I have changed my email list around so many times and it’s exhausting. No Email Service Providers (and no business tools in general) is perfect so it’s really about finding something that does the job well enough.

      Reply
  6. MisaNovember 19, 2019

    Thanks for sharing! I play the very lowest – aka for free – tier game for now but I will keep an eye on your recommendations once I am ready to upgrade to better functionality and features!

    Reply
    1. BereNovember 19, 2019

      Thank you for your comment, Misa! Yes, good points about free alternatives. Acuity Scheduling has a free version, so you could totally use that (or Calendly). In terms of free Email Service Provider, I can recommend http://www.mailchimp.com. It doesn’t have an autoresponder but it’s better than not starting an email list at all.

      Reply

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