Online Business Tools

Our Top Picks For Online Business Tools

Our Top Pick For Interns

Why we recommend Acadium: Pretty much all interns are there to learn about marketing. It’s very affordable and they offer free training on multiple marketing areas. If you only want an intern in the US you can filter for that. Then when you turn on a button that you are looking for an intern they reach out to you.

Most of the interns I’ve brought on and eventually hired found us. Everyone on here is a beginner and you’d need to have clear standard operating procedures (SOPs) so that they can be taught by watching a video and following a checklist. If you don’t you’ll be teaching them how to do the same thing over and over wasting your time and overwhelming them.

What they could do to improve: They’ve evolved a lot and now have tools for internal communication on the platform. Like calling them or assigning tasks. They also did a name change and aren’t just focused on students but people in career transition. So with all the changes it doesn’t get confusing.

Some features only work on desktop and others only on the app so when giving weekly feedback you can only give it when you get a notification on Sunday 10AM when I’m normally at church and get the notification. I hope they fix this and I’ve asked multiple times. Also, interns seem to not be reliable or good at communicating.

Maybe it’s since it’s a free internship so they aren’t motivated to complete the 12 weeks and 10 hours per week since school, job, or kids takes priority. So make sure to set expectations and take the time to pick the right one. Or consider paying them minimum wages or like what we do $500 at the end of the internship.

Compared to the competition: we haven’t used but I’ve heard great things. I personally like to speak at a university or community college then be on the list for internships. Most college students need 2 internships to graduate.

Here in California most college students need to work so consider paying your interns. But if you are looking for someone with more experience. HIre a virtual assistant (VA) they are typically $25/hour and much more reliable. Running an internship program takes a special person. It shouldn’t just be about free or cheap labor.

Our Top Pick For Online Bookkeeping Service

Why we recommend Bench: When we first started using them we needed to catch up and used their service to catch up from the past couple of years so we could give our CPA what he needed to file. Just starting a business it is easy to get behind but taxes and bookkeeping you should never let fall to the wayside.

Bench helps you stay on top of your bookkeeping on a monthly basis. You sync your accounts and they organize into all the right categories so all you need to do is download the files and give to your CPA. You have an actual person who works on your account and monthly asks what certain purchases are that are out of the ordinary. It’s a really easy process.

What they could do to improve: I wish the monthly statements were complete quicker.

Compared to the competition: Most people I know use QuickBooks and I just hear all the time about how they are dreading working on organizing their bookkeeping. When I think about finances, bookkeeping, or paying taxes it doesn’t stress me out since we have teamwork and a system that works for us. So whether you have someone local or online.

You need to have a bookkeeping tool and makes sure you always pay your taxes on time in March or quarterly if you are a larger company. Having a system will create so much more peace and ease in your life.

Our Top Pick For Proposal Software

Why we recommend Nusii: This is what many of the StoryBrand Guides use so we decided to get it too. I like that we have a handful of templates I created that follow Proposals Made Simple from BMSU. So when I click the button “create proposal from this template” I’m able to make some tweaks and send it out within 15 minutes.

I also like that you can save sections. So when it comes to testimonials I like to pick 3 that are from their industry or if they are B2B service providers show them those 5-star reviews. I’m able to exchange a section for a “saved section” and make the proposal custom for the client.

What they could do to improve: Client communication and email notifications. For some reason when a client “accepts a proposal” I rarely see it in my email. I literally have to login to notice it so if I don’t login then a couple days go by. That just doesn’t look professional on my part.

The software allows the client to ask questions and you get an email but still you have to be on top of searching for the email and I wish there was one spot in the software you could go to view client messages or questions.

Compared to the competition: PandaDoc is what the other half of Guides seem to use. I’ve used it clientside and it was easy to use.

Our Top Pick For Invoice and Accounting Software

Why we recommend FreshBooks: We’ve been using them since 2015 and even used it before when working for another company. It’s great for local businesses whether you have contractors or employees, have products or services, or it’s just you.

After a free 15-minute call or paid strategy session, we send a Nussi proposal and when it’s signed we send a Freshbooks invoice. Since we have high ticket services building a StoryBrand sales funnel and monthly ongoing services like Local SEO we need to be able to autobill and setup recurring invoices.

We have too many clients to do this manually for and I’m sure you don’t like being the bill collector either. To have other more important things to do.

What they could do to improve: Finding tools is challenging. You have to click on the options on the side bar and wait for the page to load then you can click to find the menu item from that page. I’m not sure why they hide the list? I’d like to be able to hover over and be able to see all my page options and submenu options.

Like try to find “checkout links” since I don’t make them often I have to click on every menu page till I find the right page that shows me this submenu option. Yeah so a time waster. I wish Bench and Freshbooks combined. Some features overlap. I also wish that the “checkout links” could include recurring auto-billing and setup the client profile.

So I end up using this feature just for a 1-time service or to college a downpayment. So you still have to set up clients eventually manually.

Compared to the competition: Again I guess you’d use QuickBooks? This is all we’ve used. For personal budgeting and accounting we use EveryDollar by Dave Ramsey and we’ve tried to do both personal and business with that app but it doesn’t seem to work well since business revenue can spike since we have high ticket and monthly services we provide.
IMPORTANT: This page contains affiliate links to Acadium, Bench, Nusii, and FreshBooks. We earn commissions for referring traffic to these sites. While we are careful to only recommend products we actually use and like, you should know of our relationship with those companies.