Website Design Colchester Essex
We’ve all seen massive changes in how we do business over the last 24 months. As a small business owner serving over 360 local clients, I’ve had to adapt like everyone else keen to build my business while maintaining an excellent support service for my exciting clients. 
Over the last 12 months, I’ve adapted to some significant changes where a couple of employees have moved onto other roles (nothing I've said, they were just ready for a change) and I have chosen not to replace them for the time being. I’ve also moved my business from a serviced office space back to a home office setup to help save some funds. 
During this time, I’ve employed several tools that have helped me maintain and improve the standards that my clients have come to expect, and I would like to share these with you as some may be useful within your own business. This is not a sales pitch, just a few recommendations based on my experiences. 

1) Calendly 

Calendly has been an absolute game-changer in managing my diary and appointments this year. Once linked to your diary Calendy allows you to specify when people can book meetings with you. You send your client (or potential client) a short link so they can access a page that shows them your availability. They can select a day and time for the meeting. If it’s a Zoom meeting being booked, then Calendly will talk to Zoom and set up the Zoom link automatically. 
I have a range of meeting types currently set up with Calendly ranging from a 30-minute discovery Zoom meeting, a book an SEO Introduction and a let's get your website live meeting. When you setup the meeting link Calendly also allows you to add a note about the meeting and what the client can expect to be talking about and I would recommend adding a sentence or two in this section. 
The other great thing I have found about using Calendly is that it gives you control over when meetings can be booked, for example, I specify to keep Wednesday afternoons free as I pick up my daughter from college on Wednesdays. I also keep Fridays meeting free as I like to use Fridays for strategy projects and blog writing projects. 
Here’s a short video that introduces Calendly and shows you how to set it up: 

2) Canva 

Graphic Designers might raise their eyebrows at this suggestion. Still, for any small business owner managing their social media and needing to create graphics quickly, Canva is a great tool. As a fellow graphic designer educated using Photoshop, Illustrator and Quark Express (I’m showing my age with Quark Express), I would agree that Canva is not dynamic enough to produce very high-level creative material. Still, I believe it’s a very useful tool for quick DIY graphics.  
One word or warning with Canva, quite often, I see poor quality graphics that have been produced using Canva, and they stand out a mile, so my suggestion would be to take a little time over your designs and don’t just grab the first template you see as it’s probably been used 1000 times before that day. 

3) Hootsuite 

Hootsuite is basically one place for all your social media platforms, and the best part is that you can stack up a stream of social media posts to publish months in advance. Hootsuite allows you to connect to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google My Business, Instagram, and many others. I usually spend a few hours a month setting up my posts and then let Hootsuite work its magic. Of course, employing a professional Social Media Manager is not the same thing but combined with Canva, Hootsuite is an excellent tool for SMEs who understand the importance of maintaining a presence on social media platforms but may not be able to allocate time every day to the task. 
Here's a short video that introduces Hootsuite: 
I hope that was useful. If you would like to talk more about these or any other business tools you are using to help you adapt your business to the changing world, I would love to hear from you, and you can book a Zoom meeting here: 
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