Earlier this week I shared some tips on evaluating your existing marketing toolkit. If you haven’t read that post, you might want to go back and read that one before you continue. 

Then once you have finished evaluating your existing marketing and productivity tools it will be time to look at what you might want to add to the mix for next year.

Evaluate the New Business Tools

The evaluation criteria are fairly straightforward. Does each of the new business tools: 

  1. Offer features not available with your current solution? 
  2. Can you afford the monthly service fee?
  3. Once you are past the transition, will you save time? 
  4. Is the company reliable? While I love startups, I am rarely willing to bet core business functions on an unproven entity. What good will it do if the company is gone in a year and I have to go through the transition process again? (Remember DO? We loved it until they were bought by Salesforce who took the application off the market.)

Business Tools We are Evaluating

We have stumbled across some really cool tools lately. While I am not sure all of them will make the final cut, here are a few which look really promising. 

Marketing Automation Software: VBout – Vbout is multi-channel marketing automation technology that helps businesses collect leads and convert them into loyal customers. Translation – this is a pretty solid competitor to Hubspot. Easy to use, lots of built-in templates, intriguing analytics. Their free version is a perfect way to try the product before you commit.   

Not sure about Vbout? Sign up for a demo. My conversation with Richard, founder of Vbout, convinced me there is a lot of passion behind this company. If it is as easy as it looks, we may replace our email, social media scheduling and reporting tool.  

QuickBooks Online Accounting Software – Think you know Quickbooks, well think again. Sure I have used Quickbooks desktop version for years, but their new features have me thinking about making the switch to the cloud version. With the ability to design branded invoices and process payments right from my phone I can give up my Square. The seamless payment integration with no need to transfer balances, will save me time and processing fees. 

Engagement Software: TryInteract – Scroll through your timeline on Facebook and what do you see? Polls and quizzes. What type of diamond are you? How much Will and Grace trivia do you really know? 

They are fun, silly and engaging, but until now fairly complicated to build. With simple, pre-built quizzes offered by TryInteract, you can have something engaging in your timeline in just a few minutes. Why do they work?  I asked founder Josh Haynam that question in a recent episode of More than a Few Words. 

What’s on Your List? 

So those are some of the new business tools we will be testing to get ready for 2018. What about you? What’s on your list? Keep up with all our software suggestions when you subscribe to our weekly newsletter. 

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