Let me just say…my life would not be the same if it weren’t for the Cloud. I love the Cloud. So much so that I don’t mind sounding like a cult member and capitalizing “Cloud.”
As I move into 2013 I wanted to give shout-outs to programs I use that keep Metropolis running in the hope that they can be of use to you:
1. Hootsuite – Though my social media intern is the one handling this now, all of my social media posts are written and scheduled in Hootsuite. It takes about an hour a week to schedule the posts for the following week. It’s so great to do it once a week and not have to think about it (other than replying to tweets and the like)
2. WordPress – Both Metropolis’ blog and this blog are run on WordPress. It’s always been my go-to platform for blogging (though I did love livejournal so when I was 14). Super easy, super fantastic.
- 2A. Editorial Calendar plugin for WordPress. Like Hootsuite, but blog-specific. Most of my posts get saved as drafts (when I have forethought, which is not often) and scheduled by weeks. Well, okay, thats IDEAL. In truth lately the posts have been more “Hey! I’ve thought of something to blog about. DO IT NOW.”
- 2B. Social Networks Auto Poster – This is specific to this blog, though I just haven’t had the time to install it on Metropolis’. It auto updates your social media when you’ve posted a new blog entry. I use it only for FB and Twitter but it can handle a lot more (Pinterest, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc)
3. Google Drive – Metropolis sales team is essentially run on gdocs. It’s where I’ve kept my cash flow statements, my trade show contacts, my email templates. Sharing with my sales team is the best part and makes my life easier. They can add questions that buyers ask to a doc I’ve created and all of them can read the answers, which makes my life easier and them more informed.
4. Prestashop – Metropolis’ website is built on Prestashop. I’ve been blessed with nerd powers and have been building websites since I was a pre-teen, so setup was fairly easy for me. I could see it being a bit of an uphill battle since there are SO. MANY. OPTIONS. to configure, but it’s nice to be able to run coupons, shipping options, customer groups (wholesale pricing v. retail pricing), and sales stats right on the same dashboard.
5. Stitch Labs – I only started using this in August and have been using it mostly for invoicing purposes, but plan to use it more for expense tracking and such once Jan 1 comes. For the most part I like it. It makes inventory tracking freakishly easy, and the invoice generation is so wonderful. My main complaints are that it mostly makes me do more manual things and I’m lazy (order inputting for retail sales is the big one). I have 3 consignment stores that I use Stitch Labs to keep track of and that part isn’t really automated either, but it’s doing a better job than I did without it. If you have Etsy it can auto pull your sales in.
6. Zoho CRM – I was looking for something that was similar to SalesForce without being so spendy and Zoho is it! I use it to keep track of our wholesale leads and accounts. I love the OpenSourceyness (NEW WORD) of it and my ability to edit things that are specific to us (like where the lead came from, what kind of store they are, etc). My sales director and I also use it to assign the leads to our sales team. Zoho seems to have a lot more apps than just the CRM but I haven’t tried any so can’t vouch for their usefulness.
I think that Stitch and Zoho could essentially do the same things but for the moment I’m keeping them separate.
What are your favorite apps? Let me know if I’m missing out!