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4 small expenses that eliminate stress and help your business grow

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One of my biggest challenges in opening my business was deciding how and when to spend money. At first we tried to go home. A $ 5,000 radio ad purchase? Yes, we did it. We have hardly sold anything. A $ 2,500 contract with an unnamed marketing company? Yup, tried too.

These days? I do a lot more myself and have learned to watch and carefully count every penny. Here are 4 expenses that I gladly pay for each month; they are not only cheap, but I think that they will help your business grow too.

Zendesk Customer Service Software

It has been said many times that creating good customer experiences is among the most important things you can do as a small business owner. Customer service is a huge part of that.

But have you ever seen a customer service plan in a business plan? Have you ever heard a new entrepreneur talk enthusiastically about his customer service plans?

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There is a lot of great information for entrepreneurs, like these 10 tips for improving customer experiences, but for someone who builds a brand from scratch, it can be confusing and overwhelming to find a way to check all these boxes.

We struggled with this problem for a very, very long time. We tried to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via mobile phone. It was a mess. We tried a voicemail service. Customers thought it was too impersonal given our brand. Enter Zendesk. It's an online ticketing system that allows us to wipe out all customer service requests in a standard time every night. Instead of being available 24/7, we are able to focus on activities that develop our business during the day and offer exceptional and comprehensive customer service when we are ready to do so.

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For $ 9 a month, it's an easy win.

Square Payroll

Thus, almost all entrepreneurs know Square well, largely thanks to the mobile credit card readers that they created and that they then offered for free.

With a growing user base, they began to diversify the way they monetized their users. Online payroll was an obvious starting point, as many business leaders were already using Square to process credit cards, send invoices and more.

A 2013 National Small Business Association survey found that only 6% of companies spend less than $ 50 on payroll in a month and only 22% spend less than $ 100.

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Square does it all for $ 29 and $ 5 by check? Good quality! This is especially advantageous when Square's online payroll service can be completed for all your permanent employees each month in less than an hour. The business owner spends an average of six hours a month, almost a whole day of work, on his payroll.

AHREFS Online Marketing

Ok, online marketing can be a dirty word for many business owners who have already been burned by native, PPC or native, unscrupulous advertising companies.

AHREFS does not sell anything other than data. But, they offer a ton.

First of all, the basic features you will use immediately include an active backlink checker, a way to track the keyword positions in the search engines, new keywords to display, the value of your SEO traffic and your best job.

Over time, it becomes clear that AHREFS offers the most robust solution for spying on your competitors that exists anywhere.

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Koozai is a London-based digital marketing agency, they have set up one of the best guides to use AHREFS that I've already met. This is well worth the 13 minutes it takes to read (plus some to digest).

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An online marketing suite for less than $ 100? It is an easy sale.

Canva: creating graphics in minutes

So the world has become more visual, apparently from day to day. All we have to do is watch the rise of Instragram to realize that consumers and really people are interested in the visual.

The Next Web showed how fast Instagram has grown:

The problem for many of us is that it's easy enough to take high quality photos, after all, we all carry more powerful cameras in our pockets than ever before. 39, a professional cameraman had access ten or twenty-five years ago.

But create high quality infographics, graphics and other visuals? It's been too long since this was the domain of graphic designers and no one else.

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Canva comes with a preloaded set of templates that work on all your social networks, as well as on your blog. What's not to like?

Canva for Work costs $ 13 a month. It's the best deal in content creation today.