The nature of small business is changing. In today’s connected world, business owners, staff, and clients can interact on a professional level from anywhere in the world at any time of day – as long as they have internet access.
With so many management processes now online, a whole host of innovative, virtual business tools have cropped up. They all claim to make things faster and simpler, but which are really worth your while?
Here are 10 of our favourite tools of the trade that make running a small business a little bit easier.
1. Online Apps & Email: Google Suite for Business
Google Suite for Business is a must-have. Not only does it provide unlimited cloud storage that you and your staff can access, it also offers professional email, collaborative calendars, online documents, video conferencing, enhanced security, and more.
2. Project Management: Basecamp
If your business is anything like ours, you have staff in the same city and on the other side of the world. We don’t all work the same hours, making project and team management extra challenging.
Basecamp to the rescue! Basecamp puts everything – big projects, small tasks, quick questions, deadlines, and more – under one, user-friendly roof. Basecamp allows you to create projects and to-dos, assign them to one or more staff members, and set a deadline. All updates are tracked in the same place, and when the task is done, you can check it off and send it to the archive.
3. Appointment Management: Calendly
Streamline your appointment management with Calendly. Here’s how it works:
- Set your availability. For example, you might be free for meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.30am to 4pm.
- Share your unique link. You can send it via email, or embed it onto your website.
- The receiver will open your link, see your availablitiy, and pick a time that suits them.
You can organise both one-to-one meetings and group meetings. Plus, Calendly works seamlessly with Google Suite, Outlook, iCloud calendar, and Office 365.
4. Password Management: Passpack
For both business and personal use, password managers are essential. Passpack is a fantastic option for small business. As well as strong password encryption, Passpack offers quick and easy collaboration. So, forget password spreadsheets that are out-of-date and insecure, and give a trustworthy password manager a go.
5. Accounts & Invoicing: QuickBooks
When it comes to invoicing, QuickBooks is a real lifesaver. This powerful tool makes it quick and easy to create and deliver stunning, custom invoices. It will even automate some of the process for you.
Here are three features that will benefit any small business, no matter the industry.
- QuickBooks’s invoices look neat and professional, and are finished with custom colours, branding, and your business’s logo.
- With QuickBooks, you can send invoices on the go – even from your smartphone! That way, when you jet off on holiday, you won’t get behind on your accounts. Plus, all invoices are stored on the cloud, and will sync across all connected devices.
- QuickBooks allows you to schedule recurring invoices, which are then sent automatically.
6. Online Payment Gateway: eWAY
If you sell products or services online, you’ll need a reliable payment gateway. eWAY is a great option, and with a number of price points available, you’re bound to find a plan that suits your business’s needs. Some features we love include:
- Trustworthy fraud protection
- 24/7 helpdesk
- Compatibility – eWAY has over 500 partner connections
7. Social Media Scheduling: Buffer
Whether you manage a number of social media accounts, or are looking to up your business’s social game, a scheduling app is a great way to streamline the process. We use Buffer. It’s user-friendly, straight forward, and packed with practical features.
From Buffer, you can schedule posts (text, links, photos, and videos) to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google Plus. You can check all of your analytics in one place, and reschedule popular posts.
8. Quiz & Poll Management: Interact
You’ve seen those quizzes around the internet: “Design a sandwich and we’ll tell you what city you should live in” or “Answer these five questions and we’ll guess your occupation”. Well, did you know that you can use those quizzes to, firstly, build your mailing list, and secondly, learn more about your target audience?
You can, and Interact helps you make branded, mobile-responsive quizzes with ease.
9. Online Meetings & Webinars: GoToMeeting
Connect with anyone, anywhere, any time, on any device with GoToMeeting. GoToMeeting is a fantastic virtual meeting solution for small businesses with remote staff and/or clients.
Organise times, send out invitations, chat or connect via video, and engage in convenient one-on-one or group meetings. As a bonus, GoToMeeting can also facilitate Webinars.
10. 1300 Phone Numbers: Telecube
1300 numbers are a great way to boost conversions and attract more inquiries. They look professional, are easier to remember, and are cheaper to call.
Setting up a 1300 number is easy with Telecube. They can configure your 1300 number to be routed to any landline or mobile phone anywhere in the world.
Wish You Had More Time to Grow Your Business?
As business owners, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day management of staff, clients, and the million and one projects you’re working on. Even with the help of the tools listed above, it can be difficult to find time to grow your business. That’s where our done-for-you services come in. Give us a call on 1300 554 495 or visit our Contact page today to learn more.