Let software make things easier for you. Here are some applications that will help your productivity and efficiency. Most are free too.
1. www.dropbox.com – Great free storage app, simple to use, you can download to your desktop so you simply save like you would to your harddrive except that it syncs with the online portal and anyone else´s dropbox with whom you have shared the folder. Surprising easy to use and allows you to store, share and access your files on any device. Once you download the software you’ll never have to email a file again.
2. Google Apps– Google has quite a few free tools that can help you manage your business and most work seamlessly together. If you want to move your business fully "into the cloud" google apps is a great and cheap option. Includes, Google Reader, Calender, Alerts, email, and other integrated apps.
3. www.podio.com - Said to be the new Basecamp, Podio is a social work platform for the enterprise or project team. Podio is easy to use, just like Facebook and twitter but designed for business collaboration. Connect with your team, pass content, and hold group conversations across all of your business applications. Very professional especially for connecting with employees or clients on projects.
4. www.basecamp.com – With some very new and innovative kids on the block Basecamp is said to have been ¨left behind¨in some features, but it still remains a project management app worth mentioning, it lets you keep all your files in one place, keep all your client discussions centralized, and keep track of important dates making life a lot more organised.
5. www.yast.com- If you feel like you need better time management try yast. It is simple, you do something, you time it, you see how long it took. Great for keeping control of time taken on assignments or time-wasting things. Has a good mobile app too.
6. www.evernote.com - If a big part of your job involves coming up with creative ideas from online resources, then Evernote would be perfect for your business. It allows users the ability to save sentences and paragraphs they see online and even entire web pages. You can also type random thoughts, and record your ideas using their audio recording feature, as well as create to-do lists and access past notes from anywhere.
7. www.skype.com – Is a free software application that lets you make and receive voice and video calls over the internet and to landline and mobiles at cheap rates. Also a great instant messaging tool between employees and offices to pass notes, web links and documents in real time.
8. www.salesforce.com- All small businesses need a CRM as they increase organisation, follow.up rates and client response times. Salesforce is one effective CRM that helps organise leads, opportunities and accounts and much more. Easy to share and assign tasks between multiple employees.
9. www.linkedIn.com – LinkedIn is great for networking, but you can also use it as a tool to find prospects, service-providers or collaborations by geography, name, job title or the type of groups they frequent. I´m a big fan, with very useful relevant profile information so people can find you and you can find them.
10. www.wordpress.com - do it yourself website and blog builder. While it is still useful to have a designer design your website, nowadays you should be able to make small and regular content changes to your website to keep it relevant.
There is an abundance of innovative tools available today that are specifically designed to make start-ups and small businesses become more efficient, competitive and profitable. This is great news for small business owners because in today’s highly competitive market it is important to get all the tools and help we can to remain competitive and productive.
Don´t shy away from these tools, business ownership is about continual development and staying up to date with innovation. They are normally easier to use than first expected. However, there is an abundance to choose from so choose those that will really add benefit. Start with one or two, master them and incorporate them in your daily routine and then move onto the next ones.
Please add others that you think deserve a mention.
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