Growing a small business can be utterly overwhelming, but choosing the right partnerships to support business productivity can ease the stress and keep you focused on the right things. At Huck Finch, we’re bullish on operating as efficiently as possible, so that we can create the most value for our clients. As a result, one of the most common questions we get is: “What tools do you use to stay small and still create high-quality work?”
Admittedly, we’re not perfect, but we’ve found some excellent partners over the years that have turned some of our biggest weaknesses into strengths. Check out our favorite business productivity tools below and let us know what you think. We hope they help you as much as they’ve helped us!
Note that some of these links are affiliate links, which we receive a few bucks for that allows us to create this type of helpful content. We’ve actually used and love every single product on this list, so don’t worry about any funny business. But if you’d rather not use the affiliate link, click the regular one to the right.
Business Productivity Tools
Getting the word out about your business doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are a few free places to start expanding your brand’s digital visibility.
Energy & Focus
None of this matters if you don’t have the fuel to use it. Coffee powers most entrepreneurs, but Four Sigmatic is really tasty, mushroom-based coffee that has less caffeine and helps with focus while avoiding the crash that regular coffee has. We thought it was insanity too, but its a staple in our daily routines (and an incredible company).
From a lesser known company called Google, this is the best email/business productivity suite for the money. If you don’t know, you better ask somebody.
If you are anything like us, you hate the accounting side of things. We tried a few things to get out of accounting hell, and nothing took quite like Bench Accounting. It can be a little pricey if you’re just getting started, but the peace my we got from having them make sense of our books was easily worth it.
They have a free 30-day trial that lets you get a good sense of if they’re right for your business.
There are a handful of excellent project management tools out there that get the job done, but we kept coming back to Asana. It is free to use forever, plus it has some cool features to grow into if it becomes worth it for your needs.
Sales & Marketing
We love ConvertKit because it focuses on creators of all kinds. They started as a small business, so they created a product perfect for growing a small business. It is an ideal tool to build your mailing list, create forms and lead magnets for your community.
Check out ConvertKit if you need an easy to use email marketing platform and start creating better connections with your prospects and clients.
Writing a great proposal is hard enough without dealing with an old busted Word Template or cumbersome software. Better Proposals is the best solution we’ve found to get a great proposal out the door quickly. They have fantastic templates that they add to all the time to keep things fresh. Less time working on the damn formatting and more time focusing on making a proposal that your clients love.
We used to hate LinkedIn and Leonard made us love it. As much as we loved checking our sponsored inMail messages from people who have nothing to do with us, we broke down and decided to make LinkedIn work for us. Leonard helped us automate our LinkedIn outreach and get leads that really matched with our services and products.
If LinkedIn is doing nothing for your business right now, get Leonard immediately and drum up some piping hot leads.
Sumo is an excellent tool created by the cool people that started AppSumo. It is billed as “The Easiest Way To Turn Your Visitors Into E-commerce Customers,” but it is entirely suitable for lead capture for any business. It is dead simple to install on any site, and you can be launched with some sexy we marketing tools in 15 mins.
Proof is a handy little tool that shows your customers all the people buying your products and services. Nobody wants to eat at a restaurant that is empty. Similarly, customers are more likely to buy anything when they can see that others have made the same commitment.
Proof is easy to install and especially great for higher volume e-commerce businesses.
SEMRush is a market researchers dream. You can easily get all the info you need to support your SEO game, Content Strategy, and understand your brand reach all in one place. It is one of those tools that is easy enough to get what you need to grow your brand, while also allowing you to nerd out at any level imaginable.
If you have a research-oriented team member, get them a login and turn them loose.
Webinar Ninja says its the best webinar software on the planet and we tend to agree. After a few webinars cursing GotoMeeting and Zoom, we gave these guys a shot. They are totally focused on making webinars a great experience for your attendees and it shows. Little features here and there make it easy to integrate with your marketing tools and boost engagement with your audience.
In short, this is your Gmail on steroids. Like how Barry Bonds was great baseball, but then he juiced up and became absolutely out of this world amazing. It integrates seamlessly, allows you to track sends, creates meeting links, polls, and on and on. And that’s just the free version. Truly amazing tool from an amazing team.
Disclaimer, Mixmax is in no way illegal like steroids 🙂
Get Your Website Running
We switched to SiteGround a couple of years ago and are still a little salty over the fact that it took us so long. We thought hosting was just hosting, but their customer service won us over instantly. We’re pretty tech savvy, but they have still saved us hours answering questions and solving issues it would have taken us a while to sort through on our own.
100% no-brainer hosting, especially if you have a WordPress site.
Elegant Themes (Divi)
There are a ton of great WordPress themes out there, but we love Divi by Elegant Themes the most. It is incredibly flexible and you can do just about anything you want with no coding knowledge. As an added bonus, there are endless training videos that can get you the info you need if you are a DIY web designer.
If your website is beautiful, but you can’t collect any info from your visitors, you’ve just wasted a ton of time. If you’re on WordPress, Gravity Forms is the best way to make this easy. It has a drag and drop form builder and integrates with almost anything you can imagine on the sales and marketing side. You can add conditional logic, do calculations, and collect payments.
Get More Smarter
Teachery actually helps you help people build skills through selling video courses. We love them because they have no fees. While that may sound great at face value, no fees is a HUGE deal in the video course game. Their pricing is super straightforward, which is a godsend when you compare it to other products on the market.
Definitely check them out if you are in the video education game.
Skillshare has 27 billion classes you can use to learn anything. Ok, it probably isn’t 27 billion, but its a lot. We’ve found it especially helpful for creative learning. Some of our favorite geniuses like Aaron Draplin, Jessica Hische, and Paula Scher have classes you can take. In our opinion, having access to those minds for a few cups of coffee a month is insane.
Probably letting our inner design nerd show here, but if you get as excited about DIN, Avenir, and Gilroy as we do, this is a must-have. MyFonts makes it easy to load the world’s most beautiful fonts onto your site and stay on brand across all your brand touchpoints.
Adobe Creative Cloud
We pay for the whole Creative Cloud because it is amazing. Canva and other tools are probably more user-friendly, but there is no limit to what you can create in the Adobe Creative Cloud, so we’re happy to toss some money their way.