I’ve been running my online businesses for over 10 years now and over the years have considered myself a detective of sorts. I’m always on the hunt to find the best of the best online tools to get paid to be you and grow your profitable online business. So, here are my 19 best business tools for entrepreneurs in 2021.
I have pretty much built my business using my laptop, an internet connection and these marvellous business tools.
Yet I know it can get overwhelming, especially with so many types of business tools out there. You simply might not bet a tech lover. So, you start searching and you end up with 15 online course platforms, 9 different payment systems and 22 email provider options….yeah that does my head in too.
Screw that. I love to simplify and take all that sleuth work out of the equation, so you’re just left with Tom Cruise and the best of the best…online business tools that is!
In this post, I’m sharing all the tools that you can use to run your business, that work, are affordable, integrate well and simply get the job done. Sure there are alternatives, but again, I love my tools and truly do believe these are the only ones you’ll need.
This post is broken down into website tools and plugins.
Full disclosure – some of these links are affiliate links for the tools I love and recommend and if you buy them I get a commission.
So, here are the best business tools for entrepreneurs. Enjoy!
19 Tools and Plugins You and Your Business Can’t Live Without
Your website is one of the most important things you’ll ever own and manage, so it pays to get it right.
My first website cost me $100 for the design, and a whole lotta learning and growing pains to get it looking how I wanted, but I loved it. Over the years I went on to pay more for fancy web design and awesome features. But the thing is, these days, I don’t need to, and neither do you!
You can get the most gorgeous-looking website that converts visitors into customers without having to pay an arm and a leg. Here’s how!
Namecheap – domains for your website
Namecheap is my go-to for buying great domain names at a really competitive price. With over 10 million domains under management, Namecheap is among the top domain registrars and web hosting providers in the world.
It gets a little addictive looking up great website domain names and then securing them…be warned! Too much fun.
Siteground – hosting for your website
I’ve been with SiteGround for around 3 years now and host all my websites through them as their uptime performance has been nearly perfect at 99.99% on average. This puts them among the most reliable hosts I’ve used. Uptime means your site is almost guaranteed to be working around the clock so you won’t miss out when your customers want to make a purchase.
Thrive Suite – the best WordPress website toolbox
I’ve always had a WordPress website as it’s just the gold standard in my opinion. For the last five years I’ve been using Thrive Suite, which you can think of as your all-in-one toolbox to create a WordPress website that converts visitors into leads and customers, and the complete marketing and sales platform.
For just $19 a month you get access to their beautiful Thrive Architect -the visual page builder I personally use to design and build all my website landing and sales pages (like this one)! It’s so damn easy to use too.
You also get Thrive Leads for creating all sorts of awesome forms and pop-ups to build your email list, Thrive Quiz builder, Thrive Ultimatum for countdowntimers and upsells and even Thrive Apprentice – for creating and hosting your own online courses. That’s a whole lot of small business tools!
Plus they provide you with an awesome free training university and great customer service. If you want to DIY a professional website and your online marketing and sales funnel – here’s your one-stop solution. Or you can outsource it to the thousands of Thrive Theme savvy freelancers out there.
Tidio- for customer love and support on your website
Tidio is a super handy live chat, chat bot, messenger tool and email tool all in one place. I personally use it on my website to strike up conversations with people who land on any page and have a question.
This dramatically cuts down on the time that it takes to communicate with your customers, while also creating a boost in sales and satisfaction by engaging visitors in real-time, especially handy on sales pages for your products and services so you don’t lose visitors, and instead convert them to happy customers. That’s where the importance of business tools becomes so obvious.
ConvertKit – for all your email marketing needs
ConvertKit is perfect for content creators, bloggers, coaches and people like you and me who prefer just getting their message across in emails, minus the fancy templates. That means you get better deliverability and way more chance of your emails being seen and opened. When it comes to nurturing your list, it is one of the best business tools for entrepreneurs out there.
It’s what I have personally used for over 5 years now and it’s a long term love-affair, because of its advanced yet user-friendly functionality including tagging to segment your list into interest areas, and sexy autoresponders and sequences to ensure you can send subscribers on a specific journey for what they signed up for.
Plus you can create beautiful landing pages and even sell basic digital products now, so it can essentially be all you need to run your biz!
Podia – all in one platform to sell courses, digital products and memberships
After years of trying a TON of online course and LMS platforms I’ve been using Podia to sell not only my digital products, but courses and even basic memberships. Plus you can use it for free optins and create upsells to your products.
You can also integrate it with YouTube or Zoom to host free and paid webinars and automatically have the recording up as a course for sale. They now have easy-to-use and beautiful sales page templates to make your life even easier.
Even better, they don’t take any fees on your course sales and have super-affordable plans starting at US$39 per month, or for US$79 you can sell all three and have an affiliate management system.
In fact, you can use Podia to act as your website, your own shop, basic email list and even your blog!
If you want to host your own online courses on WordPress and integrate them seamlessly into your WordPress website, then I highly recommend Thrive Apprentice – part of the Thrive Suite for $19 a month.
It’s now the most customisable WordPress course builder on the market. With full, drag-and-drop visual editing capabilities across every course page and element, you now have complete design freedom over your online courses and brand.
Thrivecart – my go-to high converting payment and upsell tool
ThriveCart (not related to Thrive Themes by the way) is an awesome payment platform that allows you to create gorgeous + secure checkout pages that convert. I’m talking about the ability to add in descriptions of the offer, testimonials, a video message, payment plans and even countdown timers right on your checkout page.
You can use this as a standalone tool to direct website visitors right to payments or use a direct link in emails and social media. You can use it to sell and deliver an automatic digital product download, or join your membership or course hosted via another tool or platform.
Why I have this in addition to Podia is that they do checkouts REALLY well. So much so that I’ve seen a massive increase in conversions, including the ability to email abandoned checkouts. It’s for that reason alone that it can be called one of the best business tools for entrepreneurs.
I also chose them for their excellent affiliate program that allows me to invite partners to easily sign up and start sharing their own unique link to any page on your website – not just a sales page, as well as automatically pay them out!
Canva – your one-stop graphic design tool
Canva is an awesome graphic design platform that allows you to create all your graphics, logos, social media posts, workbooks for courses, amazing slide presentations and more.
You can use it on your laptop and its mobile app, and have access to millions of images, fonts, templates and illustrations, and turn your designs into PNGs, JPEGS, PDFs, and more.
Later – for scheduling social media posts to your fave platforms
Later, is a cloud-based platform that helps you plan, manage, and schedule your visual social media posts and stories on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
You can preview your Instagram feed and create just the look that resonates with you and your brand. Plus you can bulk schedule all your content for a week, month or more to save you time and energy, as well as add in hashtags.
The analytics show you what’s working best, and you can simply repurpose scheduled posts again and again.
Acast – for hosting and promoting your podcast to multiple destinations
Acast is a podcast hosting and analytics service that powers a podcast ad marketplace. Every podcast needs hosting to deliver the RSS feeds and MP3 audio files to listeners, across a ton of great platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Google Play and more.
Acast provides this hosting and gives podcasters the most amazing insights and analytics to understand their audience better. I love it.
It’s also super-easy to upload, schedule and publish your podcast, as well as embed the audio player on your website and create links for social.
Headliner App – for making great audio and video teasers to promote your podcast, videos and IGTVs with captions
The Headliner app allows you to share your Headliner videos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, SMS/iMessage & more!
You can also set up Automatic Audiogram Videos for your podcast. Headliner will automatically select a clip from your new episode and make a video for you to share.
We love it for my podcasts, taking a 60 second audio clip, adding in the podcast image and you’re off and running with an engaging audio snippet, or video if you prefer. See it in action here on my Instagram.
Streamyard – for doing livestreams to Facebook and YouTube with professional logos, labels – perfect for lives, summits, etc
StreamYard was built with three things in mind and they continue to focus on these pillars today, which include:
- ease of use
- stability, and
- professional-looking streams
StreamYard is built on those pillars. You can quickly create engaging content with guests, show onscreen comments/lower thirds, and brand your broadcasts with themes, overlays, and backgrounds.
I love it to do livestreams to my specific Facebook groups like my $10K Club, or to stream to multiple locations at once like YouTube and Facebook. You can co-present and screenshare and it’s just super professional.
Best of all you can do it from your laptop, if you have a set up already of a ring light and great mic, rather than just your mobile!
Webinar Ninja – for hosting free and paid webinars, live summits, and creating a great sales funnel to your products and courses
WebinarNinja is an all-in-one webinar solution for coaches and creators to grow and retain their customers with webinars, that are either live, pre-recorded or automated. So you can play around to your heart’s delight.
For example you can take a free optin, create a short training video for it and set it up as a webinar that instantly plays when people register – more like a free training. From there you can invite them via email automations to register for a live webinar.
You can create free or paid webinar series and and WebinarNinja makes it easy to teach, market, and sell via webinars. It’s optimised for results, but simplified for users and lets you, as the host, focus on the presentation, not the tech. They have built-in email, landing pages, and analytics and so much more – no small wonder that it’s one of my best business tools for entrepreneurs!
Get started from just $39.99 a month
Asana – managing tasks, projects, and team
Asana, is a free project management tool. It’s great for simple personal to-do lists through to complex projects. It’s as easy as ‘type in your task and hit enter’.
Business management tools are vital for productivity, and with Asana you can create specific projects and assign tasks to yourself and your team very quickly and then sync them to your calendar so you know they’ll get done!
(Extra info: Asana integrates with Airtable and Slack with either Zapier or Airtables own automation system, which allows for more tasks to be automated).
Slack – for all team comms
Slack is basically a messaging app on steroids. It’s meant for teams and workplaces, and can be used across multiple devices and platforms, and is equipped with robust features that allow you to not only chat one-on-one with associates but also in groups.
We use it for quick and efficient chat, updates, quick checkins and sharing links back to tasks in Asana. We also use the channels for bigger teamwide updates like for our Untapped Podcast, $10K Club or launches so that everyone gets notified. Or you can create group messages if there’s more than one team member involved.
Lots of people use it for working with their clients too, and even for hosting course communities.
Airtable – for systems and managing…well all the things
Airtable is an easy-to-use online platform for creating and sharing relational databases. The user interface is simple, colorful, friendly, and allows anyone to spin up a database in minutes.
In short it’s way better than Excel which used to be my fave. Then my Digital Business Manager showed me all the features and I was hooked.
We use it for our content calendar, $10K Club membership, Untapped Podcast guest form and updates and so much more.
The fields in an Airtable table are similar to cells in a spreadsheet, but have types such as ‘checkbox’, ‘phone number’, and ‘drop-down list’, and can reference file attachments like images. It’s not just one of the best business tools for entrepreneurs. It’s the bomb.
Airtable is free, and more awesome features cost extra
Zoom – for all your online meeting needs
Zoom is my number one go-to software for hosting online meetings with my team, for podcast interviews, training calls, and my $10K Club group coaching calls.
I also use it for creating course content and recording over the top of my screen. Zoom has great call quality, screen sharing, and awesome meeting collaboration features like breakout sessions.
It also has webinar hosting features! Zoom is the one tool that allows me to communicate with anyone, worldwide, for free. Just add a decent internet connection and a headset, and you’re set to go!
Loom – for quickly and easily recording videos + screenshares
Loom is handsdown the coolest tool ever and I use it EVERY day. It helps you capture, narrate and instantly share videos to communicate faster, clearer and in a more personalised way to your clients, customers and team.
It’s 100% free for 5 minutes of recording per videos, but if you want to record unlimited videos and for as long as you wish upgrade for just $8 per month.
I use it to answer my $10K Club member emails with a personal video response – I can share just my face, or just my screen, or my screen and my face. I use it for creating course content and for all my team training and quick instructions to show them what I’m after.
What do we say about Loom? Baby, you’re top of the pops when it comes to the best business tools for entrepreneurs.
Best Small Business Tools…
These truly are the best of the best business tools for entrepreneurs out there. Some of them are also great free business tools for startups, which is fantastic if you’ve just started your business.
Now, go forth and conquer those business tools, entrepreneur! I believe in you.