SIMPLE TOOLS FOR NIGERIAN BUSINESSES

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In the last decade technology has been an integral part of doing business. It is safe to say that thriving businesses around the globe are based on their adoption of technology.

Businesses in Nigeria need to keep up with trends which are ever changing, at most, we play catch up with trends in technology.

I will not be wrong to say that businesses have need for the following:

  • Email Marketing
  • Design for social media handles
  • Task Management (for businesses working in teams)
  • Book keeping

Email Marketing:
This is a marketing automation platform & an Email Marketing Service that has a ‘drag and drop’ email editor which anyone can understand. There are several templates to choose from and personalize before sending to your email list. You can startup with a free account where you can send out up to 12,000.00 mails

MAILCHIMP: This is a marketing automation platform and an email marketing service, having a drag and drop email editor which anybody can simply understand, with lots of email templates to select from, after which you can send to your email list, which with the free account you can add up to 2,000 emails and send up o 12,000 mails.

MAILKITCHEN: This is also a platform that offers bulk email services with built in email templates. It is pretty easy to use and signup is free.

As a designer I love to have freedom to design and not get limited by functions so I use the the following (These tools below are considered technical):

MJML: This is a responsive email editor without the option of a ‘drag and drop’. This tool is ideal because it gives you the freedom to create unique looking newsletters and catalogue emails. The downside to this tool is the skill set, time to get the email designed, exported and imported into any email service provider of your choice.

TOPOL: Isn’t this the best free thing? this is a ‘drag and drop’ email editor with the option of sending bulk emails or exporting to html.

Design For Social Media: 
We all are familiar with challenges with handling social media. Content is the currency used in social media. A page / handle is as interesting as the content the project. We usually have the best of ideas for content, graphics but we are stuck because we cannot afford a quality graphic designers, poor image quality, expensive stock photos etc

UNSPLASH: This is a website dedicated to sharing copyright-free photography under the Unsplash license. It is free to download and provides great photos for different use cases.

CANVA: This is a free graphic-design tool website. You can design good e-flyers, cover pages and blog post images for free. You do not necessarily have to be an expert to use this tool.

BUFFER: This tool helps manage all your social media accounts from one location, saving tons of energy and time spent in posting across various social media accounts. It supports a free account.

Task Management
Holding people accountable at every point in time is a key indicator of growth in business. Established businesses assign persons to monitor the activities and assigned tasks. For most small businesses it is not sustainable but again, technology has come to the rescue.

ASANA: This is a web and mobile application designed to help teams track their work. It is one of easiest ways to manage team projects and tasks. it’s learning curve isn’t steep and can be adopted in matter of minutes. They also have a large community and good user guide.

TRELLO:Trello is an easy, free, flexible and visual way to manage your projects and organize anything. It is trusted by millions of people from all over the world. Trello is similar to Asana but both have their unique value offerings depending on what your team decides to adopt for project & task management.

Book Keeping:
Keeping good accounts for business is another tasking job. knowing how and where to assign figures and also making sure that at the end of the month books are balanced with little or no knowledge of accounting. Few tools offer services in this area. There are both free and paid versions.

WAVEAPPS: Wave delivers innovative financial services and award-winning free software to small- and micro-businesses around the world.

ACCOUNTEER: This is an online accounting software for small businesses. They offer a range of services namely invoicing, accounting and collaborations.

FINBOOL: This is a financial start-up in Nigeria. This app gives ease for accounting, invoicing and also the ability to receive money from clients via online payment. The best part is, it is Nigerian, made by Nigerians for Nigeria.

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Chiama Arinze

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By Chiama Arinze

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