As a business owner, you manage all aspects of the business, whether you’re a marketing specialist or not, if you start a business it’s something you have to learn to do. The same with finance, sales, HR, Legal and strategic planning. As a business owner, I know all too well how difficult it can be to keep track of all aspects of a business, even though I have a fantastic team, it’s ultimately on me at the end of the day to ensure everything is running smoothly.
I’m always on the lookout for new tools and resources to make my life that little bit easier. I’ve spoken to you previously about the wonders of Trello for time management and Slack for effective communication. Last year I was approached by a new company called 9 Spokes (some of you may have heard me mention this), an online dashboard that gives you a clear overview of your business in one place. Too good to be true, right, that’s what I thought when I first heard about it.
Well, I was wrong, it turns out I actually love 9 Spokes and they are now a sponsor for my online course – The Guide to Starting a Business. I know what you’re thinking, that was a bit of a leap, well, let me tell you how it happened.
When I was first approached by 9 Spokes I thought it was another business trying to sell me a quick win, which as you know there is no such thing. But as a business owner, I know how hard it can be to grow a business so I gave them the time of day. Being a transparent and honest business, I will only ever recommend things that I have tried and tested and fully believe in. For a month, my team and I trialled the 9 Spokes dashboard and we all came to the same conclusion, this product is great, especially for those in the early stages of their business.
What’s so great about it?
9 Spokes really does give you a clear overview of all aspects of your business in one place. It focuses on the 9 areas of business, including, marketing, sales, productivity, customers and finance, hence the name 9 Spokes. It brings together all your business apps into one platform, allowing you to view analytics from QuickBooks, Facebook, Google and more in one place. Not only that, but it recommends the best apps for your industry. The amazing thing about it is it’s FREE, and if you aren’t already subscribing to the different apps, it enables you to have a free trial and find the best one for you.
I think my favourite thing about the dashboard is that it simplifies what all of us, business owners have been doing for years. I’m always flicking back and forth through different apps, this just makes it easier as I can see everything in one place.
There are some tools we use that aren’t yet compatible with 9 Spokes. However, they are always looking for the latest business apps to integrate into their app catalogue to enhance the customer experience.
The online tool for entrepreneurs
For those of you just starting out, this is a tool you need to be using. One of the biggest issues I had when starting my business was deciding which apps to use, which ones were effective, which ones worked and which ones to trust. This is why it’s a great tool for start-ups, it recommends apps for you and your industry that you can trust. It will introduce you to tools you didn’t know existed but will do wonders for your business.
Not only that, but it comes with so much information on how to use each app and utilise all the app’s features. It will really help to guide you as you go through the stages of setting up your business.
If you’ve been in business for a while you’ll know that it’s easy to resist change and do things how they’ve always done. That’s why I urge start-ups to adopt tools like 9 Spokes from the beginning, the longer you do something the more it becomes a normal behaviour and a part of your everyday working life.
Nothing to lose
Unlike other online tools and dashboards, 9 Spokes really is free and I don’t just mean a free trial. It literally doesn’t cost a penny. So, you haven’t really got anything to lose by signing up and giving it a go. But I think as soon as you start using it, you’ll love it and see just what it can bring to your business.
New Ways To Work
This is just one of many tools I have discovered that has changed the way my business operates. What are the biggest challenges in your business, maybe there is a free online resource that could help you solve this?
Please feel free to leave a comment with the names of any tools, dashboards or apps that you use. After all, we are all savvy business owners looking for new ways to work