The small businesses of today never had it so good – they have a plethora of tools at their disposal, and the best part is that most of them are free to use. However, not many people take advantage of these tools simply because they’re unaware of their existence and/or don’t realize the returns they could offer their business. There are tools to help with just about every aspect of a business, and all you have to do is sign up for them or download an application to your computer. Besides the usual accounting and money management software that are common and used regularly in any business, the web also offers the following tools that help collaboration, administration, and growth:
- Basecamp: One of the best online project management tools in the business, Basecamp is easy to use and convenient when you have more than one person working on a project. It allows collaboration across locations and projects; a dashboard shows all people on the project a list of activities that have been assigned, that are on-going, and that have been completed. Basecamp allows you to assign responsibilities, upload files, check off tasks completed, and monitor performance across your organization using a single platform. You can try out a free version of Basecamp before deciding if you want to sign up – pricing starts from $49 a month and is flexible based on your company’s needs.
- Veetro: If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution that helps promote and manage your business, look no further than Veetro. It allows you to prepare and send invoices, manage your projects and schedules, provide customer support, and boost sales through advertising and marketing strategies. You can use email and other tools to advertise and market your business, track leads and client preferences, and pursue sales leads. When you set up shop with Veetro, you don’t have to manage and keep track of multiple tools to run your business.
- Google Calendar: This tool is absolutely free and extremely easy to use – it links to your Gmail account and lets you schedule appointments and reminders for important events. You can not only set alerts to reach your mailbox or mobile phone (through text messages), you can also share your calendar with others and synchronize them with those who are attending the same events you have scheduled. It’s also possible to make your calendar public so your customers can keep track of your activities and events.
- Twitter and Facebook: They’re not just forums to keep in touch with friends and family members, they’re also the best ways to advertise and promote your business. All you need to do is set up accounts on both these social networks and spend some time on each every day. Use Twitter to connect to both customers and others in the business, to inform your customers about events and promotions, and to monitor what the competition is doing. Use Facebook to connect to your fans, answer their queries and respond to their feedback. You get the most advantages from social networks by staying connected to your “followers” and “friends”, and keeping them informed about all that’s going on with your business.
- Wazala: And finally, if you want to use your website to sell your products and services, Wazala is the easiest way to do so. It allows you to set up an online shop that links to your site; customers can pay with credit cards, Paypal accounts and Google Checkout. You have your own private online store, and all you need to do is paste a few lines of code into your website.
Online tools are only as good as the way you use them, so choose the ones that benefit your business and which generate the maximum returns for your company.