If small businesses are masters at anything, it’s an efficient use of resources. Whether it’s managing your cash flow, customer experience, or apps to get through the day, small businesses rely on their tools to stay on top of the world. Fortunately, there are thousands of apps, websites, and tools that are geared to do just that! Here are 5 tools that we’ve found useful:
Dropbox is a tool that ‘auto-magically’ syncs your files across multiple devices and allows you to access them anywhere you have the app installed (including your mobile devices!). Don’t want to download the app? You can always access your content right from their website on any device that has an Internet connection. Plus, it’s FREE (for 250GB) for just enough space to handle your basic document needs, or pay to add storage, security and team collaboration needs.
In today’s world, staying connected (at all times) is no longer an option but a necessity. And with multiple things going on at one time it’s better to use a tool that allows quick and time sensitive communication without being disrupted. Skype does just that. It allows you to connect to members of your team throughout the office, share screens when demoing a product, and even host conference calls. Not to mention they have an app on your mobile device so you can take your conversations on the go.
With small business juggling so much at any given time, it’s imperative that things stay organized and deadlines are met. Basecamp (from 37Signals) allows multiple projects, teams, and tasks to be organized in a clean and easy to use manner. Plus, because it’s web based (accessed from any web browser) your team can log in and check off tasks anytime. Did we mention it’s easy to use? You can have you’re entire workforce up and running in no time.
There are a lot of time management apps out there, some more expensive than others. One that seems to be growing more and more with bushiness is the use of Google Apps. Google Apps is a suite of applications that allows your business to run more smoothly (picture Microsoft Office stored in the ‘cloud’). One of the most popular is the use of Google Calendar, a calendar app that allows it’s user to share and sync to multiple device and access from anywhere. If Microsoft Outlook isn’t your style, Google Calendar may be the right solution for you.
Collecting information from your customers is hard (some would say harder than ever). With everyone ‘busy’ in their daily lives it’s difficult to not only reach but request a response for your products or services. Well, there are tools to help! We have two in this category, both aimed for different situations. The first is for collecting information from your existing customers by using Survey Monkey. Survey Monkey makes it easy to create and manage surveys you can email to existing clients. But what if you haven’t established a large customer base or are looking to build a new product entirely? Ask Your Target Market (or AYTM, and also free to use) not only allows you to gather information from your own client lists, but also makes it easy to set up and target new customers you are trying to reach and gather an opinion on how they would use your product. They also offer additional features like reporting options and data exports!