In order to build a thriving and profitable online business you will need to invest in the right business tools and services to ultimately grow and scale your business to success.
The key online business areas you should consider when making an investment to grow your business include:
- Client Management
- Project Management
- Content Marketing
- Online Business Platforms (for course creators, entrepreneurs, influencers, etc.)
- Graphic Design
- Personal & Business Development.
The goal is to select online tools, platforms, and services that align with your online business goals that get the job done best without putting your business under financial strain.
There are plenty of cost-friendly tools on the market designed to grow your online business while simultaneously saving you time and money.
Fortunately, there are also a range of affordable plans available to meet the needs for just about any business owner.
So let’s dive in!
Client management is the processes your business has in place to manage every interaction between you and your current, past, and potential clients within a system.
Some great client management tools to consider investing in for your online business include:
Possibly my most favorite investment I’ve made so far in my business!!
HoneyBook is a client management software for creatives and small business owners. It includes robust features such as: invoicing, contracts, proposals, client portal software, workflows, and payment management tools perfect to stay on top of all the moving parts of any project and client journey.
Monthly plans are set at $40/month or $34/month when billed annually.
Or use my link to save 20% off HoneyBook for one year!
The goods get you:
- Free account setup & training
- Concierge customer service
- All HoneyBook features
- Your branding everywhere
- Customized workflows
- Payment processing of 3%
- Fraud protection
- Powerful mobile app
All backed with a 60-day money-back guarantee. If you aren’t ready to invest just yet you can sign up for a 7-day free trial to test out all the features laid out above.
Schedule meetings without the constant back and forth emails! No one likes that!
With Calendly you are guaranteed to never be double booked again with automated reminders, timezone detection, and automated scheduling.
Setup is super simple and easy and allows you to input your availability, share your link, and the rest is done for you as you sit back and watch your schedule fill up.
Features that everyone will enjoy regardless of plan include: calendar integration, control, flexibility, and timezone intelligence.
One of the best features of going with Calendly Pro at $12/month billed annually is being able to add the checkout function to avoid having to bill your client manually and preventing not getting paid on time.
Additionally, with Calendly Pro you can opt to receive SMS notifications, customized workflow automations, color customization when added to your website, and Stripe and/or Paypal integrations.
If you aren’t ready to invest just yet you can sign up for a 14-day free trial to test out all the features laid out above with no credit card required.
Having an online business inevitably means having to balance multiple different projects, tasks, and responsibilities to drive business growth.
Integrating project management tools within your business will ensure a streamlined process of leading the work of teams and/or projects to achieve business goals and ensure criteria is being met or exceeded during specific timelines.
Some great project management tools to consider investing in for your online business include:
ClickUp is the ultimate productivity tool that replaces all the other apps and introduces a project management system that includes everything from tasks, documents, goals, time tracking, and chat.
With ClickUp you can bring all your projects into one place to collaborate, organize, and track progress and goals.
Another amazing feature is tracking an entire project from start to finish with beautiful views with gantt charts, boards, and list views making planning easy and simple.
If you are visual like me, you will fall in love with this tool!
In terms of pricing, you have three pricing tiers – forever free, unlimited, and business.
An enterprise option is also available for larger businesses that would benefit from this option.
With ClickUp Business billed at $9/month annually you get unlimited spaces, storage, and custom views. From a branding perspective the Business plan feature includes branded and customized forms and workflow automations which is a big thumbs up.
Get 30% off the Unlimited Plan and 15% off the Business Plan using this link or if you already have a free ClickUp account use my discount code “LivinVivaciously”
- Google Workspace formerly G Suite
Get your business the tools to create, communicate, and collaborate all in one place.
A Google Workspace Business Starter plan priced at $6/user/month includes a custom and secure business email, 100 participant video meetings, 30GB of cloud storage, security and management controls, and standard support.
For $12/user/month you can upgrade to the most popular Business Standard plan which increases your cloud storage to 2TB, shared drives with your team, and 1st party data with Cloud Search.
You will be set up and looking professional in no time with Google Workplace. Ready to get started? Use the link to set up your Google Workplace account here.
As an online business owner it is key to having a strategic marketing strategy focused on creating value-driven, relevant, and consistent content directed towards your ideal audience and to maintain your current audience.
Some amazing content marketing tools implemented at Livin Vivaciously include:
Designing and using email marketing in your business has never been easier than this!!
Flodesk is the holy grail for creatives for perfectly designed emails, opt-in forms, and workflow sequences that look and feel amazing on any device.
In a few uncomplicated clicks, you can design and send on-brand marketing emails and forms to your growing email list.
Everything feels intuitive with this powerful email marketing tool and one of the key reasons we love it here at Livin Vivaciously.
A typical Flodesk plan costs $38/month which includes unlimited everything.
This is one of the many pros of Flodesk, especially as a growing online business. You won’t need to worry about the increasing cost for your email marketing as your email list grows.
If you are into saving money, you can use my Flodesk link to get it for $19/month!
Don’t worry if you’re not ready to fully commit yet. Flodesk offers a 30-day free trial, where you can check out and test all its specs from creating a landing page, testing our workflow sequences, customizing a preloaded template, and learning everything you need to know about an email list.
Do you have a new business idea, service, or product you’d like to introduce to your audience? Not sure what features and details to consider?
Typeform specializes in dynamic digital form building and online surveys so you can reach your customers and learn everything you need to know to create the best service possible based on user needs.
Typeform is the leader in creating interactive digital experiences with your audience to drive more responses and data from your market research efforts. It’s conversational, interactive, and engaging.
With a free account for life option getting started on Typeform is quick, easy, and simple.
Alternatively, there are three pricing tiers available for businesses that are looking for a powerful approach to forms and online surveys. Available Typeform plans include:
- Essential Plan – allows for a more personal touch to forms for only $35/month
- Professional Plan – includes everything from the Essential Plan plus more powerful and interactive forms to improve user experience and responses. You can get the Professional Plan for the same price as the Essential Plan when billed annually at $35/month
- Premium Plan – advanced features including team collaboration, file uploads of 4GB, and Salesforce integration for just $70/month
Check out Typeform here and get started with creating your own custom forms and surveys.
ONLINE BUSINESS/ E-LEARNING PLATFORMS FOR COURSES
Digital learning and courses have been steadily rising in popularity. With many looking at various ways to create digital products and multiple revenue streams for a growing online business, courses can definitely help reach these goals.
An E-Learning platform is a place to find educational content and search and purchase courses on almost any topic from entrepreneurship and business, yoga, travel, or fashion.
With tons of options available to choose from, here are a couple we can recommend:
Kajabi is a complete online business platform for serious entrepreneurs, businesses, coaches, experts, or influencers. Pretty much anyone can teach, consult, or coach on a topic they are knowledgeable and experienced in.
Kajabi provides anyone with the framework to create profitable content on almost any subject without having to become a coder or marketing expert in the process.
Your website can be up and running with just a few clicks, while your landing pages and emails are being sent to people who want your digital course or product.
Additionally, customizable templates take care of the framework so all that is left to add is your special sauce, experience, and expertise.
Getting started on Kajabi is easy and free with a 14 day trial. You will probably be hooked after the trial so the most popular Growth Plan for $159/month billed annually will look very enticing.
With tons of features including 15 products and pipelines, 25,000 contacts, advanced automation, and affiliate programs to join. Get ready to prioritize your success with Kajabi.
Another great option to create online courses and coaching is Teachable. Build an online business you are proud of while Teachable takes care of the rest and keeps it growing.
Join over 100,000 creators who are already on Teachable sharing their knowledge with the world. With unlimited courses and students available on all paid plans.
While you can’t join a free trial of the Basic or Business paid plans, Teachable does offer a 14-day free trial of their Professional Plan. This will provide anyone with enough exposure to experience the versatility of the E-learning platform.
Some of the amazing features of Teachables’ Professional Plan includes:
0% transaction fees, live chat support, 5 admin-level users, Zapier integration, graded quizzes, course completion certificates, upsells, and an unbranded website.
To get started create an account on Teachable and enroll, where you will automatically be entered into a Professional Plan trial. Bonus points for not requiring a credit card for the free trials.
Having a well thought out, purposeful, and intentional visual content to communicate your brand message is vital for your online business to grow and flourish.
With a brand kit including a logo, submarks, color palettes, and brand elements not only makes your brand look and feel professional but elevates your core message, value, and expertise brought to the table compared to other businesses.
This investment is a no brainer for me!
Canva is a graphic design platform with the main purpose for anyone, with any design knowledge level, to be able to create social media graphics, presentations, templates, guides, and other types of visual content you can think of.
With a wide variety of preloaded templates for users to pick and choose from allows any business owner to become their own in-house graphic designer.
The free version might be good enough when you are starting out, but as your business grows, I highly recommend investing in Canva Pro. (You can also get these customizable branded Canva templates if you want to save time and don’t want to start creating from scratch!)
To get access to features not available on the free version such as customizable brand kits, downloading transparent images, access to stock images, and one click background eraser you will be taking your graphic content to the next level!
As an avid user of Canva Pro on a daily basis, signing up for the upgrade is guaranteed to streamline your design processes so you can focus on other parts of your business.
Sign up for your Canva Pro account today for $119/annually and get access to the “one-click magic resize” feature plus many more with my link here.
The only app you need to edit your videos!
From Youtube videos to IG Reels, InShot is hands down the easiest app to use.
With just a few clicks you will be video editing, playing with filters and effects, adding popular vlog music, and incorporating fun stickers and texts to videos.
The app is completely free to download and quite a bit can be accomplished without upgrading to the Pro version. However, with the app’s premium version you won’t be facing any limits on the effects, filters, stickers, and transitions you can use.
And as a bonus the Inshot watermark will be removed on your creations plus you won’t be dealing with ads.
Inshot Pro has three pricing tiers at $3.99/month, $14.99/year which includes a free three-day trial, or a one-time charge of $34.99 for lifetime access. I recommend just paying for lifetime access cause you won’t regret it and you will be on your way to creating on-brand content.
BUSINESS AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
People will always be behind the reason for success for any type of business whether online or not.
To invest in your business is to invest in amazing people, experiences, and knowledge. Some of the best ways Livin Vivaciously has grown and flourished into what it is today is by investing in both a Virtual Assistant and Coach.
- Virtual Assistance (VA) services
A Virtual Assistant is a professional specializing in just about anything from administrative duties, public relations, web development, to design and branding.
As Livin Vivaciously was growing at a steady pace with our Brand Development Coaching Program, Social Media Branding Package, Strategy Sessions, and digital shop it was time to bring someone on board that could help with branding & design work, content marketing, the brand development program, and any ad hoc problems and tasks that come up with being an online business owner.
I had an initial call set up with a potential candidate, where I met someone who I not only clicked with but shared similar values, passions, and were driven by our love for design and branding.
This is when my experienced Design & Content Marketing Virtual Assistant, Aliyah joined the Livin Vivaciously team.
We have been inseparable ever since Q4 of 2020 and work amazingly together building on the Livin Vivaciously brand to help freedom obsessed womxn build authentic and profitable personal brands!
I can definitely recommend Aliyah for everything design, branding, strategy, and web development. Feel free to reach out to her for a chat at firstname.lastname@example.org
- A coach
Looking to grow your confidence, create a lifestyle you love, and build a true-to-self brand.
A brand development coaching program might be the answer to getting out of that rut, feeling lost and overwhelmed to having a roadmap towards the life you deserve.
Finding the right person to mentor and coach you is the first step towards developing your confidence, making the essential mindset changes required to create your story, to show up as YOU, and to finally start that brand, business, or project you’ve been procrastinating on.
As a Brand Strategist I’ve had the opportunity to meet, network, and work with some amazing coaches and friends who are amazing at what they do.
Check out Cynthia Pong from Embrace Change a Career Coach for Women of Color. Feminist career coaching for women of color who are ready to step into their power and build their business and earn more money.
I can also recommend Vivienne Okafor from thevoguide a Brand and Content Strategist. With her impactful storytelling abilities and a unique voice, Vivienne might be the perfect mentor to propelling you forward with your online business.
If you’re an entrepreneur ready to bring your big brand vision to life, the Social Media Branding Package may be just what you need. This is a one-stop shop service for building a cohesive, stand-out brand AND content strategy that work hand in hand.
If you want to find your authentic brand strategy, check out this brand strategy quiz I created to help you understand how to show up in your business in alignment with your unique energy, personality & Human Design.
For full transparency, please note that some of the links featured in this blog post are affiliate links. If you sign up for any of the platform(s) listed above, I will earn a small commission from the sale. You will not be paying anything more for utilizing these links. Whether you decide to join these platforms is completely up to you and your full discretion.