My Favorite Software for Running an Online Business

blog business tips Apr 13, 2023

Today we're gonna be talking about my favorite softwares and what I use to run my business. As a business owner in the online space, in managing a team and clients that are all online, softwares are my best friend. I have definitely gone through a lot of them, so today we're gonna be talking about my favorites and ones that I recommend you to use, whether it's bookkeeping softwares, payroll softwares, banks, just general SOP softwares, team communication, etc. 


Financial Software

My number one software, of course, because I'm a bookkeeper and wanna give you my favorite bookkeeping software, is Xero. Xero is a great accounting software. It has amazing customer support. The price is way lower than QuickBooks Online.  It links with a lot of CRMs and ways that you accept payment, things like that. It works better for creative entrepreneurs and the way that their systems and business runs. And for any online business, Xero is the way to go. I would say it is hands down better than QuickBooks. 

Gusto. Gusto is my favorite payroll processor. It does not mean that you have to use it solely if you have employees, but if you have contractors as well, you can pay them through Gusto. I have a mix of employees and contractors, and Gusto manages everything for me. They will take care of all my payroll tax returns. They take care of withholding and paying the tax that I withhold from my employee’s checks. They take care of paying my contractors for me, all I have to do is go in and approve their hours. My team keeps track of their hours (for those that are hourly), inside of Gusto with their time tracker. And so I have to go in, approve their hours and click run the payroll. If they are a contractor, I go in, put in their invoice number, and then the amount that I was supposed to pay them, pay it, and everything gets directly deposited to their bank accounts.

Like I said, it will withhold all my employees taxes. It gets paid to the IRS and state and everywhere where it needs to go. And I don't have to do a thing with that, which is amazing.  It has an awesome app for your team so they can see all of their pay stubs, change their bank that they want it deposited to, track their hours (for employees) etc. It's just a really seamless way to pay your team and then at the end of the year, you don't have to worry about 1099s, W2s, all of that type of year end stuff. Gusto is my favorite payroll processor and contractor payer. 

My favorite bank is Relay. Guys, Relay is so cool. I would say it has to be a tie between Relay and Blue Vine. They are both great online banks. They have amazing apps that you can use. They link with Xero and QuickBooks really well. I like their customer service. But earlier this year, Relay came out with the Profit First method of transferring percentages that get deposited. Based on percentages, it'll automatically transfer from one account to the other (like from checking to tax savings). Because previously all of the banks, you can set up transfers and recurring transfers, but it wasn't based on a percentage of the deposit that went into your bank account. Now Relay has partnered up with Profit First to do this, and that's what outweighs Relay over any other bank. Relay also works really well on the bookkeeper/accountant side of things.

Side note, I do not follow and I don't really recommend the full on Profit First method. I think it can be a little bit confusing and hard to manage, but Relay makes it easier. I personally use a simplified Profit First Method for my business, and that's what I recommend to the clients that want to implement something like that. But we do have clients that use Profit First. Complete with all the seven bank accounts, and the different transfers and things like that. And we help and support them because we understand Profit First and if that works for them, that's amazing. We really try to customize the bookkeeping and the financial strategies that we put in place for our clients based off of them and their needs.


Software for SOPs, CRM, and Task Management

As far as SOPs, I basically put everything inside of ClickUp. If it ever crashes on me, I will probably crawl into my closet for a week straight because I am so obsessed with ClickUp. It's probably been about a year and a half ago that I went in and set it up. We're still always changing things around, setting up new automations, stuff like that, but I have actually built my own CRM inside of Click Up. I didn't really like any of the ones that were out there, just for what I needed, so I built my own with ClickUp. It has worked amazingly.

We use it for our CRM, for our task management. I use it for podcast planning, our social media, all of our marketing stuff is inside of there. And then all our client management stuff. All of my bookkeepers have a workspace and then they have their clients, and then every single month we have literally every single step in what they're supposed to be doing laid out. It's very important to me that everything's documented and it's easy to figure out, and that nothing is missed. So that is the key thing that I have put in place to make sure that we are serving all of our clients to the utmost of our ability and that nothing gets missed on a monthly basis.


Communication Software

And then for team communication we use Slack. Slack is amazing too. I would say Slack and Click Up have transformed the way that I've run my team as an online business with an online team. Inside Slack we have a general channel where everybody's in it. I have a marketing channel that me and my marketing person is in. And then we have a bookkeeping channel with me and my bookkeepers. And then obviously you can private DM any individual team member. And then I have one for my executive assistant for just like admin stuff.

I think my favorite feature is that if multiple people are online at the same time, you can start something called a huddle. It connects you real quick and you can just chat, like a quick phone call. You can do it whenever you see other people online. So sometimes we'll be working late at night, start a huddle, and we'll just have a little co-working session. Then inside that huddle you can share your screen and do all the stuff. If I have a bookkeeper that has a question and they just quickly hop into a huddle, it makes it easier because we can talk through the software or accounting problem that might have come up. So I like that for team communication.  

For client communication, I would say if I had to start my business over, I would probably go with Slack. But we just have it established too much that it would be a lot to switch over now. So we use Voxer for quick communication, just quick questions. Asking them to send over their statement or refresh their bank feeds or something like that. And then anything super important, we wanna keep it in our email so that we have documentation and we can always go back and refer to it if we need to. That way we don't have to ask our clients multiple different times on something. So we use Voxer and email for our client communication.

We don't use any Instagram, social media planning stuff. We do use Tailwind for Pinterest scheduling though. For the backend of publishing our podcasts, we use BuzzSprout. People ask me what I use to record my podcast episodes and I like Riverside FM. That's the best podcast recording studio that I've figured out, and it works great for having guests on the podcast as well. Makes it really easy to upload audio and video into Descript, which my executive assistant uses to edit the episodes.


My Live or Die, All-in-one Software

And then my live or die is Kajabi guys. I could not operate my business without Kajabi.  It is like my all-in-one type of thing. I don't have to have a separate email software like MailChimp or Flodesk or whatever. I don't have a separate CRM because I've kind of paired Kajabi and ClickUp for that.  All of our workflows and automations are inside of Kajabi. It is the most golden thing ever. It was really hard for me to pull the trigger whenever I first started the business because it’s a high software fee per month. But it is the world's best thing ever because everything is right there. And it seamlessly works through all of the workflows. I have all my funnels set. All of my contacts are in there, people pay me through Kajabi, and it hosts my website. I can really provide a good client experience because things can be automated. 

Running an online business is very interesting because you have to have all of kinds of software and integrations to make things work. I definitely have gone through my fair share of different platforms. So hopefully this helps you decide what to use for your business. If you have any questions, let me know. We can chat through it because like I said, I've been through a lot of 'em.