In the fast-paced world of small business, time is a precious commodity. As a small Canadian business owner, you wear multiple hats and handle various tasks, making efficiency and productivity crucial for success. Thankfully, the digital age has brought forth a wide array of automation tools designed to streamline your daily operations, giving you the freedom to focus on what truly matters – growing your business.
In this comprehensive blog, we delve into the realm of automation and present you with a curated list of cutting-edge tools that cater specifically to small businesses in Canada. From accounting and marketing to customer service and project management, these practical solutions are designed to boost productivity, save time, and ultimately drive your business forward.
Dive in, and bookmark this guide– it’s the master list of all the tools you’ll ever need to level-up your small business in Canada!
Automation Tools for Administrative Tasks
Running a small business in Canada comes with a multitude of administrative tasks that can eat up valuable time. However, with the advancement of technology, automation tools have become indispensable for streamlining these processes. Here are some key automation tools that can help you manage administrative tasks efficiently:
Virtual assistants powered by AI can handle tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing emails, and organizing calendars, freeing up your time for more critical business activities. Create a list of all the tasks you wish you could delegate to an actual assistant. Now, you can check which of those tasks can easily be automated by online tools that function as your own personal assistant! Here are our top recommendations:
Virtual Assistant Tools
Pricing Range: Free to $599 per month (Professional plan).
Description: An integration platform that automates workflows between various apps, saving time and simplifying repetitive tasks.
What makes it unique: If you can think it– Zapier can probably do it. This platform makes it easy to automate app to app actions. For example, automatically create Google Drive folders, automatically send emails, and so much more.
Pricing Range: Free to $15 per user per month (Premium plan).
Description: Calendly simplifies scheduling by automating appointment bookings, making it an invaluable tool for small business owners and virtual assistants to efficiently manage meetings and appointments without the back-and-forth hassle.
What makes it unique: No more back and forth to find the right time. Calendly makes it easy to keep your bookings and availability in check with one simple link.
Cloud-based document management systems enable easy storage, organization, and retrieval of important files, reducing the need for manual paperwork. No matter what business you’re in, document management is important. Keeping organized from start to finish can save you SO much time. Here are our top tools for managing your documents seamlessly– and taking advantage of automation.
Document Management Tools
Pricing Range: $6 to $18 per user per month.
Description: A suite of collaboration and productivity tools, including Google Drive and Docs, for easy document sharing and real-time editing.
What makes it unique: Make sure you’re connected across all your tools, from email to documents to video calls, Google Workspace makes it seamless.
Pricing Range: Free to $4 per user per month (Teams plan).
Description: LastPass is a secure password manager that enables small business owners to share passwords and sensitive information securely with their virtual assistants, ensuring data protection and easy access to accounts.
What makes it unique: It’s time to delete that long note on your smartphone or stray document on your desktop. No more scrambling around for your passwords. Keep them organized and secure by using a password manager like LastPass.
Automation Tools for Internal Processes
Efficient internal processes are essential for small businesses to operate smoothly. Embracing automation can boost productivity and ensure seamless workflows. Consider these automation tools for enhancing internal processes:
These tools help you assign tasks, track progress, and collaborate with team members in real-time, enhancing project efficiency and team communication.
Project Management Tools
Pricing Range: Free to $17.50 per user per month (Enterprise plan).
Description: A versatile project management tool for easy task organization and collaboration, making it ideal for managing projects efficiently.
What makes it unique: Trello offers a simple approach to project management, organizing tasks, projects, and notes in the form of Cards.
Pricing Range: Free to $24.99 per user per month (Premium plan).
Description: A powerful task management platform for seamless planning, organizing, and execution of tasks.
What makes it unique: Asana offers a more granular, task-specific approach to project management. Plus, it’s easy to learn, with a low barrier of entry.
Pricing Range: Free to $9 per user per month (Unlimited plan).
Description: An all-in-one productivity platform that streamlines task management, time tracking, and communication in one place.
What makes it unique: ClickUp offers a one-stop shop for project management and more. With more customization than Asana and Trello, it’s a great option for small businesses who want to use only a handful of tools.
Automate payroll, employee onboarding, leave management, and performance evaluations to simplify human resources tasks and ensure compliance with labor laws. As a small business just starting to grow your team, working with HR software is the easiest way to make sure everything stays streamlined and well-organized. Start by checking out these options to see which is the best fit for your business:
Pricing Range: $39 to $149 per month + $6 to $12 per person per month.
Description: A comprehensive HR tool for managing payroll, benefits, and employee onboarding, simplifying HR processes for small businesses.
What makes it unique: Gusto excels in its simplicity, user-friendly interface, and emphasis on payroll and benefits administration.
Pricing Range: BambooHR's pricing is based on the number of employees and starts at approximately $6 to $8 per employee per month.
Description: BambooHR is an all-in-one HR software that simplifies HR processes, including applicant tracking, onboarding, time-off tracking, performance management, and reporting.
What makes it unique: BambooHR excels in providing a comprehensive HR solution with a user-friendly interface.
Pricing Range: Zoho People's pricing starts at around $1 per employee per month for the basic plan.
Description: Zoho People is an HR management system with features for employee onboarding, attendance tracking, time-off management, performance appraisal, and HR analytics.
What makes it unique: What sets Zoho People apart is its seamless integration with other Zoho apps and third-party software, allowing businesses to create a fully customized HR ecosystem that suits their specific needs.
Automation Tools for Sales and Customer Relationships
Maintaining strong sales and customer relationships is vital for the success of any small business. Automation tools can assist in managing customer interactions and enhancing sales processes:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM platforms help you track customer interactions, analyze data, and manage leads, ultimately improving customer satisfaction and retention. As you begin to build your sales pipeline, a CRM is a great opportunity to start systemizing your business. Here are some favourites for small businesses in Canada:
Pricing Range: Free to $3,200 per month (Enterprise plan).
Description: An all-in-one marketing, sales, and service platform that automates lead management and customer relationship nurturing.
What makes it unique: HubSpot’s CRM features a great Free option for businesses starting out, and is easy to use and navigate, even if you have no technical expertise.
Pricing Range: Zoho CRM offers a free plan for up to 3 users, and their paid plans start at around $12 per user per month.
Description: Zoho CRM is a comprehensive CRM platform that includes sales automation, marketing automation, analytics, and customer support tools.
What makes it unique: Zoho is highly advanced and customizable, a great choice for scaling businesses who need a robust tool.
Automate email campaigns to nurture leads, send personalized offers, and engage with customers effectively.
Email Marketing Tools
Pricing Range: $12.50 to $25 per user per month (Business plan).
Description: A tool that automatically checks grammar, spelling, and tone in emails, maintaining a professional image in correspondence.
What makes it unique: For businesses who aren’t ready to start launching full marketing campaigns, Grammarly Business is a great choice to help boost your regular correspondence and outreach efforts.
Pricing Range: Free to $299 per month (Premium plan).
Description: An email marketing tool that automates email campaigns, audience segmentation, and reporting.
What makes it unique: Mailchimp's all-in-one platform not only offers email marketing but also allows users to create landing pages, run social media ads, and track campaign performance through detailed reports.
Pricing: ConvertKit pricing starts at $29 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers.
Description: Designed primarily for content creators and bloggers, ConvertKit focuses on simplicity and automation. It offers customizable opt-in forms, automation sequences, and easy-to-use tagging features to segment your audience effectively.
What makes it unique: ConvertKit's user-friendly interface and subscriber-centric approach make it a top choice for creators who prioritize building meaningful relationships with their audience through personalized content.
Automation Tools for Finances
Effective financial management is critical for the growth and stability of small businesses. Automation tools can streamline financial processes and provide real-time insights into your business's financial health:
Solutions using AI can help you automate bookkeeping tasks, categorize transactions, and generate detailed financial reports. By cutting down on repetitive bookkeeping tasks (which can take hours per week), you can win some of your time back.
AI Bookkeeping Tools
Pricing Range: Free to $79 per month (Copilot plan)
Description: Automated accounting tool that allows you to save time with AI. Keep all your accounting organized, gaining a birds-eye, real-time view of your finances, and a 24/7 accountant that never gets tired.
What makes it unique: ReInvestWealth stands out from other accounting software providers with its cutting-edge AI accounting feature, Copilot, which automates bookkeeping tasks, offering small businesses a seamless, time-saving, and cost-effective solution to manage their finances with ease.
Automation Tools for Marketing and Social Media
Marketing is essential for small businesses to reach their target audience effectively. Automation tools can amplify your marketing efforts and improve your social media presence:
Schedule posts, monitor mentions, and analyze performance across various social media channels, saving time and improving engagement.
Social Media Management Tools
Pricing: Later offers a free plan that allows users to schedule up to 30 posts per social profile per month. They also have paid plans starting at $12.50 per month, offering more advanced features and higher post limits.
Description: Later is a social media scheduling platform that enables businesses to plan, organize, and schedule visual content across various social media channels.
What makes it unique: Later stands out with its user-friendly visual content calendar, allowing users to preview and arrange posts in a visually appealing way. It also offers the unique feature of "Linkin.bio," enabling businesses to create a shoppable Instagram feed, driving traffic and sales directly from their Instagram account.
Pricing Range: Free to $99 per month (Pro plan).
Description: A social media management tool for automated post scheduling and analytics to optimize social media engagement.
What makes it unique: Buffer is known for its simplicity, cross-platform posting, and social media engagement management, making it a versatile choice for businesses seeking to efficiently manage multiple social media channels.
Automation Tools for Customer Support
Providing exceptional customer support is crucial for building loyalty and brand reputation. Automation tools can enhance your customer service efforts:
Use chatbots to provide instant responses to customer inquiries, even outside of business hours.
Pricing Range: Free to $145 per month (Pro plan).
Description: A platform for building Facebook Messenger chatbots, automating customer interactions and lead generation.
What makes it unique: ManyChat is known for its user-friendly interface, extensive integration with Facebook Messenger, and a wide range of pre-built templates that make it easy for businesses to create interactive and personalized chatbot experiences without any coding knowledge.
Pricing: Offers a free plan with limited features, and premium plans starting at $15/month.
Description: Chatfuel is a user-friendly chatbot platform that allows businesses to create chatbots for Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and Instagram.
What makes it unique: It offers a drag-and-drop interface for easy bot building and integrates with various third-party tools.
Pricing: Starts at $49/month.
Description: Botsify is a chatbot platform that allows businesses to build AI-powered chatbots for websites, Facebook, and other messaging platforms.
What makes it unique: It offers pre-built templates, natural language processing (NLP), and live chat handover for better customer support.
Implement ticketing systems to organize and manage customer support requests efficiently.
Pricing Range: $5 to $199 per user per month.
Description: A customer support platform that automates ticket management, ensuring efficient customer issue resolution.
What makes it unique: Zendesk is known for its extensive integrations and robust API capabilities, allowing businesses to create custom workflows and connect with various apps and services easily.
Pricing: Offers a free plan for up to 3 agents, with paid plans starting at $15/agent per month.
Description: Freshdesk is a user-friendly customer support software that provides a centralized helpdesk ticketing system, automation, and multi-channel support to enhance customer service efficiency.
What makes it unique: Freshdesk's gamification elements, such as rewards and leaderboards, motivate agents and boost engagement to deliver exceptional customer support.
Automation Tools for Productivity and Time Management
Time is a valuable resource for small business owners. Automation tools can help you manage time effectively and maximize productivity:
Monitor how you spend time on various tasks, leading to better time management and resource allocation.
Time Management Tools
Pricing: Free with basic features, premium plans start at $6/month.
Description: RescueTime is a time tracking and productivity tool that helps entrepreneurs understand how they spend their time on digital devices to identify areas for improvement.
What makes it unique: Its detailed reports and website blocking functionality enable users to optimize productivity by minimizing distractions and focusing on key tasks.
Pricing: Free with basic features, premium version available for $1.99.
Description: Forest is a unique productivity app that uses gamification to help users stay focused and avoid distractions by growing virtual trees during work sessions.
What makes it unique: Users can plant real trees through the app by earning virtual coins, making it an eco-friendly tool that also boosts productivity.
Pricing: Free with limited features, premium plans start at $4/month.
Description: Todoist is a powerful task management app that allows users to organize and prioritize their tasks, set deadlines, and collaborate with teams.
What makes it unique: Its integration with various platforms, such as email, Google Calendar, and Slack, streamlines task management and enhances productivity across different tools.
Get organized and cut down on the time you spend looking for files, doing administrative tasks, and more.
Pricing Range: $14.99 per user per month.
Description: A note-taking and collaboration tool for capturing ideas, documents, and meeting notes, improving team productivity.
What makes it unique: Evernote stands out with its robust features, including advanced organization options, seamless synchronization across devices, and support for various media types, making it a comprehensive and versatile note-taking platform for users of all types.
Pricing: Free with basic features, premium plans start at $5/month.
Description: Notion is an all-in-one workspace that combines note-taking, task management, and collaboration features, providing users with a customizable platform for organizing information.
What makes it unique: Its flexibility in creating databases, kanban boards, and wikis within the same platform allows users to tailor the tool to suit their unique organizational needs.
In conclusion, embracing automation tools like these can revolutionize the way small businesses operate in Canada. By integrating these innovative solutions, you can streamline administrative processes, boost productivity, and focus on what truly matters: growing your business. Invest in the right automation tools today and unlock your business's full potential.
Try ReInvestWealth's Copilot today, an AI-powered accounting software that automates bookkeeping tasks, and experience seamless financial management for your small business. Learn more.