Planning to start a small business? Here are some of the best tools to get your team up and running:
- Connect via Skype.
Cutting costs is definitely a huge part of the reason for going with Skype. But there’s also the reason that most people around the world have Skype accounts. That means more can connect to you and your business. If you’re on the lookout for clients, then you know how great that is. A big market gives your business a better chance at making it. Also, Skype is great with group chats. Send files, call clients from all over or just video chat, Skype makes all that possible for free. And it’s easy and quick to install. No need to be an IT wizard to make this one work on everyone’s device.
- Store and share with Google docs.
Team work needs constant and reliable communication. If you’re going to build a business, that communication needs to happen in an instant. Sending over files through email that the other person needs to download first, read then send over to email again is tedious and time-consuming. With Google Docs, you can upload a document and ask everyone on the team to read or edit the file together. That’s great because it’s easy for everyone to coordinate changes or updates to the file. No need to waste minutes of your day going back and forth through email.
Also, Google docs does away with the need for a huge server memory for your team. That helps. For young companies, keeping expenses low is part of the everyday and the free storage Google docs offers you really comes in handy.
- Do remote work with Blue Jeans.
Want everyone to do a meet and greet with the client? Video solutions offer you an easy and convenient way to make this happen. Blue Jeans Group Video Conferencing solutions, from video solutions provider Blue Jeans, are great options. Video clarity is great, which brings the face-to-face interaction to another level. It’s also easy to use and since it’s cloud-based, no need to worry about putting together a complicated video infrastructure. It works on your laptop, tablet and phone via smart technology. That makes it accessible to everyone on the team.
That’s also why it’s a great tool for remote work. With videoconferencing, you can allow your employees to work from home at least once or twice a week. That’s a huge perk. According to an article on the blog, Webex.com, telecommuting affects employee retention by 95 percent. Corpmagazine.com’s article on how to attract top talent also mentions the importance—and rewards—of allowing employees to work from home.
That means, not only do you save on recruitment and rehiring costs, you also get to attract the kind of talent you want by offering them something more than monetary bennies. It’s a win-win for you and your team.
- Use Trello for task assignments.
Trello looks much like a project board would in real life. That’s why it works. Creating and assigning tasks is simple. There’s also an element of fun since you can drag the tickets all over the board, from one project to another. Because of its design, it’s easy for everyone on your team to see what everybody else is doing and which projects are on the pipeline. One great side-benefit to that is everybody knows what’s up so you get to keep everyone on the same page. Trello also makes it easy to spot which projects are still due. A long queue of pending tickets under one project quickly gives that away.
- Manage your projects with Asana.
Need a better project management tool? Try out Asana. You can create projects, assign tickets and track tickets easily enough. The only caveat is that the number of people you can give access to is limited. You’ll have to pay more if you’ve got a bigger team. For small teams, though, it’s perfect. If you need a Content Management System (CMS) to track different projects and keep everyone up to date, this one is a fine choice.
- Use SheerSEO.
Huffingtonpost.com’s article includes SheerSEO on its list of tools for small businesses. It helps you see how your competition is doing or to just track and monitor your own activity. With so much of the market online, it only makes sense to use whatever tools you have to give you the best advantage. Tools like this make it easy for you and your team to see what it is you’re doing right and what keeps the bounce rate up.
- Master your social media accounts.
FaceBook offers your business a way to reach a huge market—for free. It’s a chance to connect to your customers in real time. Learn what they like and you’ll see those shares and likes increase. That also works with Twitter and Instagram. It’s a great way to build your brand while still keep marketing and advertising costs low.
So if you want help getting your business off the ground, start with these tools.