One Tool You Can’t Live Without to Help You Run Your Business

1111Running a business requires us to wear many hats and wield many tools. But for most business owners there is one go-to tool that they can’t live without. One thing that makes them a superhero. One tool, that if taken away would give them hives. We asked business owners what that tool is. Here’s what we learned:
“The Smith Travel Research (STR) report is a hospitality industry tool that assists in knowing where we are regarding our pricing strategy and rate and occupancy strategy on an ongoing basis within our market. This tool provides great information and feedback as to our overall success within our competition set to ensure we achieve a minimum of 100% of our fare market share at all times and hopefully much more than 100%. It also serves as a guide for our ability to make revisions on an ongoing basis to maximize our market share at the best rate possible each week.”
-Bob Adler, Thunderbird Suites

“Our Employees. Without question, we could put the most amazing kitchen and bathroom products on our showroom floor, but, without a knowledgeable sales staff, our beautiful products would be just that. The ability to sell plumbing is one skill, but to sell all the proper parts to make things function properly is an art.”
-Eric Richardson, Website Manager, Community Home Supply

“A dynamic, turnkey and integrated email marketing solution! Having this enables our company to quickly and effectively communicate a variety of messages to our clients. Integration with our internal CRM system is an extremely valuable feature that allows our marketing department to measure email success rates and overall campaign ROI seamlessly.”  
-Jennifer Gaster, Marketing Manager, LWG Consulting

“I can’t live without Dropbox. I am constantly working on multiple documents at once, and my desktop screen is constantly overflowing. I find nothing more cathartic than to clear it off, archive and know that I will be able to access at a later date.”
-Bill Fiely, Vice President Marketing, Aligned Modern Health

“ There is no way to run a sales team today without CRM and Salesforce makes creating dashboards easy which can really help you focus your time in the right areas with a sales team. “
-Jeff Purtell, Chief Operating Officer, Acquirent

For me that one tool is Excel. I’m no fan of Microsoft office; I’ve sworn off Powerpoint and Word but Excel is my power tool. Almost any question that I ask about my business; should I rent a bigger office, should I hire another advisor, what should I spend to create a new lead, all of those questions can be answered in Excel. I’ve created prospect lists, social media scheduling tools, strategic plans, budgets. If a day goes by that I haven’t opened up Excel, I start to get edgy!

What business tools do you use to be more productive and successful?

Brad FarrisBrad Farris is the founder of EnMast, a community of business owners committed to being better leaders and growing better businesses. He is also principal advisor of Anchor Advisors, with experience leading businesses & business owners into new levels of growth and success. Through his work with over 100 Chicago area small businesses he has experience in guiding founders and business owners through the pitfalls and joys of growing their business. Connect with him on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Image courtesy laffy4k

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  1. Easypromos. Allows me to focus on creative lead generation without the programming and I can tap into and coordinate multi-channels. The more creative my thinking the more I can get my fans and followers to do my marketing for me.

  2. Online collaboration tools have become very important these days. It’s a lot easier to work directly with clients on web-based tools than send emails back and forth. For example, Google Docs and Skype make for a much better combination than MS-Office and emails.

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