The list of the best digital tools for freelancers and small businesses in 2021
by Vivien from EZYcount 30.06.2021
"To work more streamlined, I have compiled a list of tools and platforms to work faster and save money in 2021. For me, these are the best tools for Swiss freelancers and SMEs." Vivien, creator of EZYcount
Let's dive in!
Pay - purchase - receive
It's important to have a digital bank that centralise all your transactions: receiving money from your customer and automatically matching it to your invoices, paying invoices and QR invoices and paying your expenses on the go or online with a credit card.
We recommend EZYbank because it is a digital all-in-one Swiss bank.
It's even free!
EZYbank is dedicated to Swiss freelancers, small businesses, and associations.
OUR TIP: Make all the payments with the EZYbank business account and EZYbank credit card. Thus, all your financial transactions are centralized in one place and easily accessible.
EZYbank is launching soon: Join the waiting list to be the first to have access to it.
Build trust - keep in touch - be accessible
Distinguish yourself with your own email address.
firstname.lastname@example.org is not as professional as prénom.email@example.com
coiffeurdelagare.ch is a domain name.
Don't worry, it is very easy to have your own email address, using your own domain name.
We recommend a Swiss provider, which allows you to have your own e-mail address, with a simple web page "business card", in a few minutes.
An easy-to-use secure online accounting and invoicing platform aimed at SMEs and the self-employed.
Organize your office to be more efficient in your administrative tasks.
Find all the information you need to create compliant and complete Swiss invoices.
Free Excel model to calculate the value of your startup when it is not yet making a profit or very little.
Sales - Expenses - Cash
Everyone has to fill out their tax forms. To do this, you need your accounting. If you do it well, you will also better understand how you earn money and where you spend it.
Up-to-date, well-managed accounting is a good foundation for a successful business.
You have three options:
1) Outsource everything to a fiduciary. This costs at least CHF 2'000 per year and can go up to CHF 10'000 depending on the amount of transactions and the complexity of the business. Some SMEs can easily spend between CHF 50'000 and CHF 100'000 per year for an external accountant.
2) Use an Excel file to enter the transactions and send the file to a fiduciary who will take care of the year-end closing and the tax declaration. You may think you are saving money, but most fiduciaries will charge you at least CHF 2,000 to check the entries in Excel or redo them in their own accounting program. On top of that, the time you invest is extreme because you have to manually enter each line in the Excel file.
3) We recommend EZYcount, which automates most of your bank transaction accounting. By changing your habits slightly and making sure that your transactions are entered simply, you can save up to 80% of your fiduciary fees.
OUR ADVICE: 14-day free trial with professional help to get you started on the right foot. No payment required for the test phase.
Create - express yourself - highlight
Carrd is a simple and easy-to-use website builder for fully responsive, one-page sites.
Create beautiful websites quickly via various templates. Straightforward to use for beginners too.
Our tip: Convert your website into a mobile-friendly one to allow access from anywhere and any time
Invoice - follow up - collect
Sending and following up on invoices are essential tasks. They must be accurate and professional.
Using a modern solution that also offers QR invoices will save you time when sending, but also when following up your open invoices.
The use of a Word file is not recommended, because a mistake is quickly made like sending two invoices with the same number or forgetting an essential data for the invoicing (we have a complete guide on this subject https://www.ezycount.ch/en/how-to-create-legal-swiss-invoices/
We recommend EZYfacture, a simple, fast, professional system that gives you the possibility to generate QR invoices. Moreover, there is a free version for up to 100 customers. The paid version is available for CHF 100.00 per year.
Phone and Internet
Reach out - communicate - build connections
In Switzerland, there are three main services providers: Salt, Swisscom, Sunrise. They all offer good coverage and competitive pricing.
Currently, Salt has the best offer. The Swiss package for 23.95. - Unlimited calls & SMS/MMS/Internet in Switzerland and some roaming minutes and data in Europe and the USA.
The truth is that Salt constantly offers the best deals. The deals change every couple of month.
Promote - grow - sell
It's not uncommon for more than one in three people to read your marketing emails.
The last time you posted a message on Facebook, how many people viewed it? I bet a lot less.
If someone is interested in what you're selling, get their email address and send them comprehensive and useful newsletters regularly.
Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing platform that helps you manage and communicate with your current or potential customers. They offer free resources and help pages.
OUR TIP: Use one of their templates to get a quality email in minutes.
Share digital files
Share - secure - deliver
For sharing large files - like pictures, data, and presentations - it is better to use a cloud based data sharing tool, which helps to keep the quality of the file transferred and is faster than a regular email server. Swisstransfer, as it's named is based in Switzerland and lets you send up to 50 GB of data in one go.
Free-of-charge and subscription-free
Work collaboratively online
Edit - access - participate
Work on a project at the same time with your team or share the process with your clients for a more effective work.
For internal and external communication.
Google drive is an easily accessible cloud-based application and a great home office tool.
Store - protect - simple
An internet user has on average between 70 and 80 passwords to remember. Let's not talk about always having the same ;) or your hometown or birthday ....
The only real solution is having a software doing this for you in a secure manner.
bitwarden is an open source password tool that create high-security passwords eg.: 5Lxy)h4%La - and store them safely so you can use them quickly when you need them.
Plan - spend - invest
A credit card allow you to purchase now and pay later.
Our recommendation is Cornèrcard. They are specialized in credit card. Have great offers for private persons and companies. They are based in Switzerland and they deliver to you detailed monthly reports that you can easily integrate in your accounting.
OUR TIP: Do you need a company credit card : Read more..
Call - talk - communicate
Your workplace shouldn't have limits anymore. Stay connected wherever you go and get a real-life meeting experience from home or from abroad. The solution is video conferencing.
Jitsi, an open source solution, is designed for conferences and meetings to bring your communication to another level.
On your mobile too!
OUR TIP: record important meetings
Discuss - chat - communicate
Sending emails to your co-workers is outdated.
The information-sharing technologies are an online atmosphere that can help streamline the processes. And they also have an effect on teamwork.
Features you need to have in a chat tool:
- Voice Calling
- Organized Conversations
- Video Conferencing
- Screen Sharing
Design - create - personalize
Lack of ideas to boost your upcoming marketing email?
Canva offers a variety of templates, pictures, designs and animation free. No royalties to pay!
Downloading files from the internet can cause trouble if the author has not given you the right to use his resources.
OUR TIP: push your newsletters to a new level by using Canva elements
What are the most necessary tools in your office?
You probably work more than 40 hours per week. Your workplace affects how good you work.
There are some simple tools and tips you can use to boost your productivity. To make the maximum out of every single day.
Your workplace has to comfortable and convenient. Create an environment that fits you, your needs.
A good computer has a huge effect on your performance. Imagine a slow laptop with lots of bugs that freeze down every hour? You get angry and spend less time doing valuable work.
"Smarter Technology for All"
TIP: Our recommended laptop: Dell Notebook XPS 13 delivered directly to your address.
Clothing and accessories
If you or your employees need specific clothing or accessories to work, for example, in a harmful environment. They need the proper accessories, like shoes, helmets or vests delivered quickly to your address.
"Switzerland's online market leader in the fields of IT, consumer electronics and telecommunication. Galaxus is the largest Swiss online shop with a steadily growing range of products for almost all daily needs, offering consistently low prices as well as fast, reliable and free delivery."
Be aware of your budget before you make investments. Expensive purchases do not necessarily bring you customers or sales.
Pillars of a successful business
There is one common thing in all business owners: they want a successful and profitable business
This is the reason why new businesses with potentially great ideas often face a very common problem: a business will not prosper overnight. Growing a flourishing business takes time, commitment, and a lot of work.
Do you have an affordable tool which helped you a lot?
Share it with us. Tell us why you like it so much.