Are Your Business Tools Holding You Back? Here’s How I Use 1 Tool That Liberated Me

I’m thrilled to share an exciting update with all of you regarding our recommended business tools for solopreneurs. Since my previous post earlier this year, I’ve been on a quest to discover and fine-tune my workflows, resulting in a significant boost in productivity and efficiency. As a fellow solopreneur in the early stages, I understand the importance of having agile tools that adapt to your evolving needs. So, are you’re business tools holding you back? Let’s dive into the upgraded list of our preferred business tools that will undoubtedly make your professional life easier and more enjoyable.

are your business tools holding you back

The Zoho Operations/Marketing Tools I Use:

  1. In 2022, I made a smart decision by purchasing a Zoho One license for my business. It has proven to be incredibly valuable and has greatly contributed to the growth of my business. With a Zoho license, I have access to a wide range of apps that cater to my specific needs. The best part is that I can choose which apps are most relevant to my business and easily add more as my business continues to thrive. Here are some of the amazing Zoho apps that I rely on.

    • Professional Email (Beautiful, uncluttered email system)
    • Writer (Document writer)
    • Workdrive (Think Google Drive or Drop Box but it this one reads RAW files)
    • Booking (Scheduling)
    • Books (Accounting software for invoicing and tracking)
    • Campaigns (Email campaigns)
    • Cliq (Functions the same a slack and helps me stay in touch with my remote team)
    • CRM (CRM robust enough for enterprise use, which I use for tracking my contacts)
    • Bigin (Customizable Pipeline CRM which I use for tracking prospects and client sessions)
    • Flow (Automation between apps like Zapier)
    • Landing Pages
    • Checkout (Place checkout links anywhere)
    • Forms (I use these for podcast signup, client questionnaire and model releases)
    • Zoho Social (Social Media Scheduler)
    • Sign (Obtains a signature from any document in Writer)

Yes, this all from one license and if you purchased these services separately you’d be paying probably double and dealing with different service providers and their policies. I have one service relationship no matter which app I need help with–that in itself is a winner.

All Employee Pricing (two users) $888/year
Flexible User Pricing (any number of users): $1080/year

Initially, I had concerns about the potential cost increase associated with adding a team member when purchasing the Zoho license. However, that’s not the case. Consider the work involved with onboarding and offboarding team members across all your applications. With Zoho, this process can be effortlessly accomplished through a few clicks in the admin panel. Also, most individual applications already charge per team member, so Zoho remains remarkably cost-effective. To put it in perspective pro-level CRMs alone can cost you more than the Zoho All Employee Pricing, like Copper CRM which I tried a while ago costs $59/month.

I chose the All Employee Pricing plan when I joined, as I was working independently. After bringing on a Virtual Assistant, my annual subscription fee rose to $888. Despite the cost increase, it remains an excellent value due to the advantages of having a comprehensive system with an array of features including a professional-level CRM.

Here are a few Zoho apps I don’t use, because I either didn’t care for it or it’s a tool my business hasn’t grown into.

  • Zoho Site (Website) – My Zoho One license came with a website and blog, but unfortunately, it didn’t quite meet my expectations. I found the design options to be limited and the blogging experience to be quite poor. It’s frustrating when website platforms treat blogging as an afterthought instead of recognizing its importance for success. You’re left having to write your blog outside of the platform, figure out everything else separately, and then drop it into a small box. It’s time for a change, people.
  • Thrive – Zoho recently released Thrive, an impressive loyalty and affiliate management software. While it may offer more features than I currently require, it’s reassuring to know that Zoho has a powerful solution available when I eventually need to efficiently manage my partnerships.
  • Tables – Zoho recently launched Tables, a team collaboration tool that bears some resemblance to Air Table. Intrigued by its potential, I decided to give it a try. However, upon testing it out, I found that it leans more towards being an advanced spreadsheet rather than a comprehensive alternative to Notion. As someone who heavily relies on Notion for collaborating with my virtual assistant on our marketing plan, I was hoping for a more robust solution from Zoho. I remain optimistic that Zoho will continue to enhance Tables in the future.
  • Projects – I initially used Zoho Projects for managing my photography sessions, but I found it to be too excessive for my needs. As a result, I decided to drop it and now I’m using Bigin CRM which allows me to track projects in pipeline.

As my business expands, I have full confidence in Zoho’s continuous development of innovative business solutions. I believe that they will always provide the necessary applications to effectively manage any aspect of my growing business. If you are considering switching to Zoho for your business requirements, you can use this link to receive $100 in wallet credits.

Other Marketing Tools I Use:

I can will write a blog post about each of my favorite tools and how it enhances productivity, but for now, here’s a list.

  1. Marketing:
    • Marketing Plan & Project Management – Notion
    • Podcasting – Squadcast by Descript
    • Podcasting – CastMagic
    • Graphics & Content – Canva
    • Video Editing – CapCut
    • Video Clips – ClipOpus
    • Website & Blogging – Showit/Wordpress
    • Ai Personal & Writing Assistant – Monica
    • Visual Inspiration & Resources – Raindrop Bookmarking

After meticulous curation, I integrate my business tools into my workflow, subjecting them to rigorous testing. Undoubtedly, these tools will boost your productivity, streamline operations, and ultimately lead to your professional success. Good luck.

About Angela Acosta & the Atelier

Based in New Jersey, Angela Acosta specializes in personal branding and portrait photography for women business owners and professionals in New York and the tri-state area. She expertly channels brand narratives through tailored images, offering insights on wardrobe and styling to ensure authenticity. With a deep commitment to capturing the essence of each client, Angela transforms branding with impactful photographs that resonate and inspire. Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.