My Must Have Small Business Tools

I started this business from scratch and without formal education. (CRAZY!!!) When I was first doing photography on the side, I got creative to operate without expensive software and platforms. As my business has grown, so has my list of must-have tools that make my day-to-day operations run seamlessly so come wedding day or tax season, I am ready to go!


Take my word for it, you need Dubsado! The list of features, functionality, and customization is endless but it is absolutely my go-to customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Trying to master your workflows from the first client inquiry to their following up for reviews after your service has been rendered? Dubsado has you covered. For clients that sign and work with me in a short time frame of 2 months, to those who choose me as a photographer 2 years in advance of their event, Dubsado allows me to customize and automate communications to any type of client need.

I keep and build my invoices, contracts, questionnaires, and client guides in Dubsado. Not to mention that I can easily customize their aesthetic of them to match my brand and specific needs! I manage my client lists and maintain the variety of inquiries that come in.

The customizable workflow automations that kick in when someone wants to know more about my services or when we’re in the thick of wedding planning, Dubsdado has saved me HOURS and HOURS of emailing back and forth and client details and has built my client list ten-fold!

You can find out more by visiting Dubsado’s site. You can even leverage their amazing support team while you’re there too if you have any questions! 

I was hooked after a week and Dubsado is so sure you will be too. Use this link to get 20% off your first month or year!


What Dubsado is to managing my bookings and automating much of the client relationship process, Trello is to my backend project management. I use the free version but that doesn’t limit me in how effective I am or what the tool is for me!

I keep step-by-step processes, projects, and tasks mapped out using Trello’s intuitive task system for managing all things small business and managing a team! It keeps the ARP Team organized and helps us have clear communication. It easily integrates with my email too. So, it keeps my email in box from becoming clogged. I’d be lost without it!


Running a business is no joke! Social media even without a business sometimes feels like a full-time job, so Planoly is a winner for me. If I am planning a family vacation and want to totally unplug, Planoly gives me that ability by allowing me to schedule out all of my social media activity from Instagram posts to TikToks. From where to post and when, what geotag to use, who to tag, and/or what hashtags to include (with their custom hashtag list builder – my fav!), every detail about scheduling posts is thought of!

I even leverage their calendar to set reminders of couples’ anniversaries so I can shout them out every year! Planoly is robust and saves me hours of being on my phone or desktop sharing across social channels to reach my audience. Use this referral link.


Where was the world before Canva? We were stuck using jankity Microsoft, haha! I started using it for personal use like creating a weekly schedule, but quickly saw the benefit in my business. Many of my documents I create in Canva. I love how many design types they offer so that whether I’m creating a story for Instagram or a Pinterest image, I have everything I need at my fingertips in a super user-friendly design platform! I’ve also saved my branding fonts and colors so that my marketing continues to remain consistent!

There are also amazing communication features within it if you’re working within a team! Though I don’t use this feature, you can schedule auto-publish to social media platforms like Pinterest too.

I am all for efficiency and having great business systems. I’ve tried many things through the years, but these have stood the test of time for me and my business. They play a huge role in my success and customer service and I wouldn’t operate without them! I hope this helps you elevate your client experience and gives you time back!

Latest Posts: