Our Favorite Tech Stack
There are SO many valuable tech tools out there for OBMs. With such a huge array of tools out there, the key is knowing which ones are right for your OBM business, so that you’re only using what’s valuable to you. Otherwise your desktop will be clogged up with a bunch of unused programs gathering digital dust.
When it comes to running yours and your clients businesses, mastering these will save you tons of hours each week. They’ll also help you automate and systematize your business, saving you time and money in the long run.
Here’s my round up of the essential tech tools every OBM needs for running a tight ship. Some of these are free, and some come at the price of a monthly or yearly subscription. But trust me – these investments are worth their weight in gold!
Please note that while some of these links are affiliate links, I only partner with websites and platforms that I use on a daily basis and provide real value to my business and my team. No clicks for a quick buck at OBM School!
The project management program I couldn’t live without! Teamwork PM is where you centralize all of yours and your team’s activities, assign tasks to each team member, set deadlines for deliverables, share resources, and drop links to finished docs. It’s a game-changer for staying organized when you’ve got multiple projects on the go.
HoneyBook, Dubsado, 17hats, Activecampaign
These CRM platforms tie all your systems together in one place, to make your biz run more smoothly and efficiently. You can set up different workflows for different types of projects, and just duplicate the workflows each time rather than constantly reinventing the wheel. It’s all automated, seamless, and super professional.
Zoom is arguably the best video conferencing software available. Its performance is reliable, it’s super easy to use, and you can get an entire team together on a call (up to 100 participants at a time on standard subscription). You can also easily screen share for improved collaboration on documents, which is invaluable as an OBM.
Cloud Storage & Documenting:
Google Drive is the holy grail of your online biz. It automatically backs itself up and is accessible from anywhere, even if you don’t have an internet connection. It’s an awesome collaborative tool for teams to use when you’re working with content, files, or images in tandem. Multiple users can be working on a file at one time, without having to download and re-upload the file, and you can keep track of changes made within a document, as well as leaving comments and tasks to action.
Email & Calendar Providers:
Google Suite allows you to get a personalised email address that links to your domain name (like firstname.lastname@example.org). It securely backs up yours and your team’s emails and files. You can also create group mailing lists, such as email@example.com .
Siteground offers a number of reasonably priced hosting packages depending on your unique business needs. They’re one of the top recommended WordPress providers, with easy WordPress integration available on all sites. With Siteground you also get 24/7 support, so if your website goes down at any time then there’s always someone on hand to help.
Both Calendly and Acuity are amazing tools for scheduling in discovery calls and client meetings. Think of them like your personal assistant – they set up your appointments so that all you have to do is show up on time! Clients are able to view your availability in real-time and self-book their appointments with you. They’ll then receive a unique meeting link and password via email so that all they have to do is log in when the time comes.
Real Time Communication:
Slack is a communication tool that allows you to keep in touch with everyone on your team, saving you the hassle of going back and forth via email. It also integrates with other tech tools too, so you don’t have to switch between apps. You can use slack to keep topics separate, set up private communication channels and keep conversations on archive if they aren’t in use any more.
Need to share passwords securely with yours/your clients’ team? LastPass is an award-winning password manager that stores encrypted passwords online. You can securely share and access passwords from any device at any time and instantly autofill your passwords into saved sites of your choice.
Time Tracking & Invoicing:
Harvest is a great time-tracking tool that can be integrated into other platforms like Slack and Teamwork PM in order to track yours and your clients’ team’s workload. Time tracking helps you locate any inefficiencies and helps you figure out how much your time is really worth. You can then easily translate working hours into timesheets, and automatically pull the billable time and expenses you’ve tracked into invoices to bill your clients. It’s a game changer!
Canva is amazing for producing high-quality graphics for free (premium options also available). You name it, you can design it on Canva. From social media posts, to business cards, to jazzing up your PDF documents, Canva has hundreds of stylish templates that you can adapt or simply use straight away to get professional-looking graphics for your biz.
Social Media Automation:
SocialBee aims to get your more leads with less effort. It automates your social media posts so that you can spend time focusing on what matters most. You can also categorize your content to get the best mix across each of your social channels and repost your best-performing evergreen content.
Lucidcharts allows you to create diagrams and workflows for data visualization, so that you can better understand your metrics and use them to drive innovation in your biz. Real-time collaboration means that no matter where your team are, you can all work together on the same page.
OBM Legal Bundle from Contractista
So many freelancers either procrastinate or overlook the importance of having tight-knit contracts in place – and we get it! Navigating the legal side of starting and running an OBM business can feel stressful, especially when you don’t know what you don’t know. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Kailey Jacomet, a business attorney and founder of Contractista to create OBM Contracts for hiring contractors, working with retainer clients and project based agreements. You can purchase these contracts individually or as a bundle at a 15% discount using the OBM15.
Signnow allows you to create secure documents and e-contracts that your clients can sign anywhere, anytime. They have a partnership with USLegal, meaning you get access to the largest online library of hundreds of thousands of legit legal forms. SignNow is also compliant with industry-leading security standards which ensures that your documents are signed, shared and stored with multiple levels of protection.
Online Form Builders:
Online form builders such as Typeforms and Google Forms make collecting and sharing information comfortable and conversational. It’s a web based platform you can use to create anything from surveys to apps, without needing to write a single line of code.
Record quick videos of your screen with quick links provided to cut down on meeting time, provide clients and team members with video walk-throughs of company processes and more! These tools also have easy to install extensions so you can access them with one click from your browser bar.
Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. We only partner with websites and platforms that we use on a daily basis and provide real value to our business and our team. No clicks for a quick buck at OBM School!