Google Analytics has been working for us; it’s very robust, there’s a ton there and, best of all, it’s free. It fits our needs right now. It’s not the most user-friendly, and it does take some work to get up to speed on how to use it, like how to set goals and look at different metrics, but once you are up to speed, the information you get is excellent. And it has integrations with a huge number of software providers, which we love.
We love Slack--we think it’s awesome. It has definitely made things easier for our team, especially since we’re in two different locations. We have a couple of automated functions set up in Slack. We have a channel to see all payments and orders coming in. Our operations processes also trigger Slack notifications at integral points. For instance, when an order is placed, an invoice is paid or a proof is approved, an automated message is triggered to the correct channel in Slack. It’s a nice way to keep the flow of orders going and see how well you’re doing during the day. We also have certain commands set up in Slack that report out daily revenue. It’s a fun way to track, and the Giphy integration is hilarious! Overall, Slack makes communication more streamlined and more enjoyable.
We use Google Hangouts for all of our video conferencing. It’s OK, but I find it unreliable at times. It’s especially frustrating on Macs because it will just randomly mute the sound on your microphone.
We chose Freshdesk because we don’t have robust customer service needs right now, so went with the cheaper option. And we’re not even using all they have to offer at this point in terms of integrations and functionality. Freshdesk gives our team access to tickets, and alerts us if a ticket has not received a response in a certain amount of time. We also use it to assign issues to certain people. For really high-level functions, it’s good. However, I can’t comment about the user experience when you start digging deeper into its functionality.
The best part of MailChimp is the integrations. It’s super easy to integrate MailChimp with a ton of different software options. The one downside is that the built-in designs are not very sleek, so you need to custom-build your email campaigns using HTML, rather than using their templates.
We use AWS cloud storage for all of our customers’ galleries.
We keep mainly business documents and files that we need to share quickly in Google Drive.
We use Dropbox for Business primarily to store all of our graphics, as well as artwork while in active production.
Our bookkeepers use the QuickBooks Desktop Enterprise version, and have it hosted on a shared server. It allows us easy access to our financials from the server.
Bill.com is used for managing all payables. What’s great is you can also send ACH payments directly through them, and they will cut the checks for your business; you don’t have to mail out invoice payments. Everything is super-easy to do: You can email your invoices to Bill.com, they automatically get loaded on the site to get approval from the appropriate manager, and they automatically go on to the payment stage.
Propeller Industries is an outsourced CFO and bookkeeping firm, and they are amazing. They put us on a few platforms that we like, like Bill.com.
Tallie is great for expenses. It’s really ideal for larger businesses with multiple departments and employee expenses, but it’s always easier to get onto a platform before there is a pressing need.
Our experience with Gusto has been all pros, no cons. It has a really simple user interface, it’s relatively inexpensive, and it’s met all the needs we have had at our stage. Prior to using them, we were using payroll through QuickBooks and our bookkeepers were doing it. Now, with Gusto, we can manage it all in-house. We can easily manage full-time and part-time employees, as well as supporting salaried and hourly workers. It has taken a lot of work off our shoulders!
We use Trello to manage all of our business planning. It allows us to easily assign tasks and projects to different team members and prioritize our work. We tried Basecamp and Asana, but Trello was the best for our purposes. But it’s not perfect yet. I still come across instances where I want more functionality that’s just not there yet.
We use GitHub to manage our technology stack – developers are committing code directly in GitHub and, therefore, we use the software to manage development sprints. It’s not a great user-interface, but we’ve found it easier than adding yet another tool into the mix.