• Mikaela Vargas

Tools & Resources I Use In My Own Business

Updated: Mar 20

I think we can all agree that there are a billion and one tools and resources out there to start, run, and grow your own business. This can be an overwhelming process and it’s definitely one that has had me ‘trial and erroring’ lots of them!


But, I feel like I’ve gotten a pretty good hang on the ones that are working for me and I’ve had a few inquiries into the software I use to run my business and manage clients. So, I’ve decided to share the tools and resources I use in my own business.


Now, while a lot of you are pet care or pet product businesses, that doesn’t mean some of these won’t be helpful for you.


For pet business software, check out my software recommendations here or on my tools page.



Also, disclaimer time: I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) for mentioning some of the below tools. However, I never recommend tools that I don’t either use myself or recommend to clients (with wonderful clients).



The Tools I Use Every Single Day:


GSuite


For email, blog writing, client questionnaires, and scheduling/calendar


GSuite is a staple when it comes to running a business, regardless of industry. I use GSuite for all of my email communication, document writing, collaborating on partnerships (GoogleDocs), recording income and budgets (GoogleSheets), and scheduling calls and seeing what’s on the agenda for the day (Google Calendar).


I must use it at least 50 times per day - It’s really that important to my business.




Asana


For task and project management


I use Asana to assign tasks for myself or my assistants/contractors when it comes to marketing, new products or services, building out workflows, etc.


I also use it for my content clients as it’s a great way to organize the workflow, assign tasks, upload photos, paste in GoogleDoc links, assign to clients or contractors to work on projects, etc.


It’s also free, which is a super bonus (There is a paid version, but most of us won’t really need that)!




Dubsado


For client management, invoicing, contracts, and workflows


Dubsado is probably the biggest game-changer I’ve ever implemented into my business. Before Dubsado, I was creating each invoice and contract manually, I designed each proposal in Canva, and couldn’t keep track of what the heck was even going and what was the next step.


Dubsado is the PERFECT place to organize all of this into one system. This is how great it works:


  1. A potential client will submit a form on my website, which also has them schedule a call at the same time.

  2. It then sends me an email to prompt me to send over the pre-call questionnaire and follow-up individually with each client (mind you this email template is already built out for me so I can just customize and send).

  3. It sends them the questionnaire, which they can complete before our call.

  4. After the call, Dubsado tells me the next step is to edit and finalize the proposal. The proposal also has within it the contract and invoice already DONE! I can send it to the client.

  5. Once they move forward with all the paperwork, it prompts me to send over their onboarding steps, etc. etc. etc.


It’s really that easy. I can’t even imagine how I’d run my business without Dubsado. It’s da bomb. If you want to try it, here’s a promo code for 20% off your first month!




Slack


For team communication


Slack is yet another system I use on the daily. It’s great for team communication as we create projects and update each other. It works almost like the good ole’ days when we used to instant message (IM) our friends on AOL! You can create different channels for certain clients, projects, etc. so that communication can stay organized in case you need to go back to access. It’s essentially the best alternative for drafting long emails!





The Tools I Use Regularly:


Flodesk


For email marketing and/or newsletters


Flodesk is relatively new in terms of email marketing software, but it was created with the goal to alleviate the problems that other email marketing systems have, which I think is awesome!


They have beautifully crafted templates and a very user-friendly interface that I love.

Plus, until further notice, through my link, you get 50% per month FOR LIFE.

P.S. Here’s my blog post on why I switched from Convertkit to Flodesk.




Zoom


For video meetings and client coaching calls


Zoom is a wonderful software if you’re needing to meet via video. They work wonderfully if you’re working with clients via video or if you need to record a video of yourself - in fact, I used it for my Empowered Petpreneur online series.


What’s especially great is that you can schedule meetings that automatically have the link to the call in the Google Calendar invite. Pretty cool, huh?




Grammarly


For grammar and spelling checks


This system is like the word grammar and spelling checker but on steroids! They have a free version, which works wonderfully. I use it on all of my client content. You can also add it as a plug-in to your browser so it can catch website edits, email marketing errors, or Facebook posts as well!




Canva


For free (or paid) graphic design


Canva is like the ultimate when it comes to free and easy-to-use graphic design. For simple projects, I’ll use it myself - creating Instagram and Facebook graphics, flyers, email banner images, workbooks for products, PowerPoint templates, you name it! I’ve also made business cards and posters for clients all using Canva!




Unsplash & Pixabay


For free, high-quality stock photography


Unsplash & Pixabay are great resources for those needing quality photographs and aren’t yet ready to invest in branded photography (although I highly recommend it). If you are going to use stock photography, please take the extra 2 minutes to find something that represents your brand and vibe! Just my two cents. 😉





The Tool I Have Used & LOVE:


YourLegalBFF


For affordable contract templates to run your business


YourLegalBFF is my go-to for my own contracts as well as the place I recommend my clients go-to when it comes to contracts. In fact, pretty much ALL businesses who HAVE a website need a Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. Do you have one?? You learn more about it in my blog post here.




Well, there you have it! My current list of tools and resources I love and use in my OWN business. Any questions? I'm right here. Comment below or email me at mikaela@petmarketingunleashed.com.


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