Software, Tools, and Services I Use And Recommend
I regularly get asked about different online tools, resources, and services I specifically use every day in my business. This resources page is a curated list of the tools and resources I’m currently using.
Whether you are just starting out or continuing to grow and optimize your online presence, I think many of you will find value (at least I hope so) in knowing what I use.
Of course, every person and business is unique, so I’m not suggesting that everything I use will be right for you. There are a lot of alternative choices out there today.
Please note: I personally use each and every resource on this page.
But before you start checking into the resources I trust and use, an important disclosure:
As I previously mentioned, I currently use and have a lot of experience with each of the products and services on this page.
That said, here’s my shortlist of the resources I use in my retail floral business:
Web hosting is very reasonably priced, so there really is no excuse not to have your own website today. I currently have four web properties under the Greenfield Flower Shop brand.
Several of my web sites are hosted on Bluehost. Why? Since most sites today run on WordPress, their one-click automatic WordPress installation makes it incredibly easy to get a new site up and running quickly.
You can use your Bluehost account to host multiple domains — so you don’t need to pay more for hosting when you’re ready to start another website. They, too, provide outstanding customer service. Call them anytime, they are happy to talk with you directly.
If your budget is tight, I highly recommend using Bluehost for your website hosting. You can get started now for $3.95/month, which is an awesome deal!
Cloud Storage and Backup
When I started out, I backed up all my online data to an external hard drive. It was less expensive and more secure than online backup services. But a lot has changed with cloud backup services. Here’s what I’m using today.
pCloud is where I save all of my photos and videos, as well as backup copies of all my website files. I started out with their free plan, but have since upgraded to a lifetime plus plan because the deal was so attractive.
If you’re looking for first-class security and a great lifetime deal, I’d suggest checking pCloud out.
Social Media Management
Every business today uses social media, but I’ve found that the hardest part is managing it all. Here are the tools I use to manage my social media accounts:
Shortly after I launched our Greenfield Flower Shop Facebook page, I began using FPTraffic for scheduling and account management.
Today, I manage more than a dozen combined Facebook pages, Facebook Groups, Twitter and Instagram accounts from one interface using FPTraffic.
In my opinion, it’s the most productive and cost-effective social media management tool out there today. If you want to improve your reach on social media while making it a lot easier to manage, I would suggest you take a look at FPTraffic.
The support is top-notch, and it has a very active, helpful, and supportive Facebook community.
It’s a tool that I rely on and have used since 2013.
IFTTT is another tool that I use to automatically post to and from other social media accounts that I use, like Instagram and Pinterest. I like it because it’s very easy to use, effective, and best of all, it’s free.
In the flower business, building a direct mail list of customers and prospects is easy. However, I’ve found that building and managing an email list is much easier with the right tools. Here’s what I use.
Wishloop is an all-in-one tool that I use to easily generate email lead capture and announcement overlays, as well as sales pages for my shop. I like it because it simple to use (especially if you’re not a “techie”) and it flat out has worked very well for me. It comes with a 14-day free trial so you can try it out risk-free for yourself.
I’ve used the Wishloop suite of apps since it launched in 2015, and it’s an investment that has paid for itself many times over.
Mailchimp: Great social features. I use it to manage Greenfield Flower Shop’s VIP Club email list.
Aweber: One of the best email marketing and newsletter delivery tools around. I’ve been using Aweber for more than 10 years now to manage many of my targeted email lists.
Get a fully functional 30 day free trial and a free “What to Write” guide and give it a try. You’ll see why I like Aweber so much.
Photo and Video
Being in the flower business, much of my site content is visual, so it’s critical for me to use tools that do the best job and are a solid investment. Here’s what I’m using now:
Canon SD 790IS Digital Camera: Purchased this camera back in 2008, because I wanted a small point-and-shoot camera for traveling. Been using it ever since for all my product catalog shots.
Obviously, there are a lot more choices available today, including smartphones. But this camera gives me better image quality in different lighting conditions and more creative control over my photos, while still being easy to use.
Even though it’s over 10 years old, it’s still more than enough for my everyday use. You can find a good reconditioned one on eBay for around $35.
Google Keep: Keep is Google’s alternative to Evernote and Microsoft’s OneNote. As an Android user, it works seamlessly with my other Google apps. It’s free, simple to use, and is more than enough for my needs.
Irfanview: IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative graphic viewer for Windows that helps you organize, edit, and share your photos. It’s free, and easy to use.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2020: The consumer version of Adobe Photoshop, it’s the software I use for all of my image editing and graphics. I recently upgraded to the latest version. Since I used version 9 for a long time, it’s not likely I will have to upgrade for some time. When I bought my copy, I found the best price on eBay, but you can also check Amazon as well.
Sony Movie Studio 15 HD Platinum Suite:
Although there is a lot of good video editing software out there, I personally found Movie Studio to be the easiest for me to work with, plus there is plenty of online support available.
To Be Continued…
This page will always be a work in progress. I recommend bookmarking it for your convenience.