In today’s technology dependent world a majority of small businesses are driven by a combination of productivity and collaboration. Incorporating various technologies has streamlined business processes while improving productivity and allowing for collaboration between teams in real time (even if they are in different parts of the world).
So as a small business what are the tools that can help improve the productivity and efficiency of your business and direct you to greater success? In this age of tech, there are now a number of online tools that have made it easier for teams to work together, manage projects, communicate effectively, delegate responsibilities, prioritize tasks as well as manage accountability.
There are a variety of both web based and native device apps that can be used, it’s only a matter of finding out which tool is the ideal fit for your business. Below we have listed out and discussed a few useful online tools for small businesses:
- Office 365: Most of the applications listed below are products of small businesses or start-ups, whereas Office 365 is developed by Microsoft, one of the largest tech companies on earth. This means that office 365 has an impressive range of features in relation to file sharing, online meetings and email management. In addition to this OneDrive in 365 offers cloud storage solutions for small businesses, you can start with the business essentials package or sign up directly for premium in order to get the added features – like HD video conferencing.
- Trello: This is a brilliant application, both web based and with its own native apps. The app is so intuitive it can be used by a uni student to manage his tasks, day to day by people to manage grocery lists and some people even use it for their fast growing businesses. How it works is fairly simple, you set-up boards which can then have a set of tasks assigned to them. These tasks can then simply be moved around with a simple drag and drop. You can also tag tasks to other users for delegation, collaborate and check them off once completed. It’s basically a very fluid to-do list that is very user friendly and has a broad spectrum of use, from personal to business.
- WorkflowMax: This is a tool that’s ideal for both small businesses and freelancers alike – the ones who provide a service and bill their clients on the basis of time. Without a lot of effort, employees can track the time they spend on various tasks while remaining accountable for the work done. Using WorkflowMax you can create professional, instant quotes for potential clients and invoice them later with professional forms. Using the same app you can build project timelines and view your productivity statistics and analytics. With a low monthly subscription cost it’s a great way for service based businesses to keep organized.
- Connecteam: A tool that’s been designed to allow small businesses to create their own employee management app that can have the company branding. The app can be used by employees to clock in to work, communicate, collaborate, view/create project checklists, upload files, view schedules and even train for new positions. It is a great app for businesses with a large number of employees who work from remote locations or at different sites each day.
- 1Password: If you are still using your mother’s maiden name, childhood pet, or nickname as a password then you need to reconsider your online security and ideally change them immediately! Yes, it can be hard to remember so many passwords, especially with the many online accounts to keep track of and the stringent password requirements on some websites. But if you don’t change up your passwords from such simple ones you are inviting scammers and hackers to your door. Instead come up with a complex password. Using 1Password you can now generate one and save it within the same app, in addition to storing your passwords securely, it can also auto-enter them for you on certain sites and apps. With 1Password Teams, it allows an administrator to grant (or revoke) access to shared password vaults.
Ultimately you have to carefully think about what your organization needs, do some research into what online tools are available and picking the right one for you. Identify where and how you can improve on productivity and time management, then see if some of these tools are the right ones for you!