One of the biggest challenges, when setting up a business, is the administrative part. Nowadays there are hundreds of thousands of software, tools, and apps that are created to make life easier for small business owners. However, the vast offers can be overwhelming for even the tech-savviest people.
In a world where the Internet offers millions of opportunities, be sure that your competitors are taking advantage of such opportunities. So, if you want to stay ahead and on top of the game, using the best tools will up your efficiency by allowing you to focus on more important activities. After all, the goal is to work smarter not harder.
Many of these tools are available as monthly or yearly subscriptions so those can add up fast. Most small business’ needs may not need feature-rich and expensive tools. Free or low-priced alternatives can get the job done just as good. This is a list of free or affordable options in different categories.
Overall business management: GSuite
Google created their apps with a strong focus on collaboration, and effortless sharing with team members or external party. Google Apps for Work (G Suite) was built in that direction too. It is organized into four categories spanning eleven products. Under Communicate you’ll find Gmail, Hangouts, and Calendar; under Store, there’s Google Drive; under Collaborate there’s Docs, Sheets, Forms, Slides, and Sites; and under Manage there’s Admin and Vault. That final one is designed to archive corporate email in organizations that have to retain data for regulatory compliance. So, basically, you can purchase a domain, set up an email client, track analytics on your website, launch and manage advertisement campaigns etc. With GSuite everything is centered and in one place.
Slack makes communication with the team easy and stress-free. What makes it special is that it was created particularly for business communication. It allows you to create public channels, private groups, message threads and private messages. With all these Slack offers maximum communicative flexibility.
Project management: Trello
Trello is one of the most popular teams and project management tools in recent years. It has simple and easy to use interface, which business owners find very productive and efficient in tracking ongoing projects. You can create various boards and cards, assign tasks, set due dates, add notes etc. You can easily ask for updates from team members or employees regarding the status of each task and see what has been done and what is still ongoing. Trello is free for individual and small teams use.
Cloud Invoicing: Envoice
When starting a new business it can be tricky tracking and send out timely invoices. Envoice is a solution that offers free fast invoicing, online payments, email invoicing, financial reports, invoice tracking, custom branding and much more. It will simplify your invoicing process and you can get paid online with a debit/credit card on PayPal, Payoneer, or Stripe.
Social Media Management: Hootsuite
The start of every business is tightly connected with building brand awareness and promoting it. Hootsuite is a tool that enables you to monitor all your social media activity without the hassle of switching between multiple tabs. With Hootsuite, you can post across various social media channels, interact with customers, and overall keep track of all social activity in one simple dashboard. It saves you time and boosts your productivity.
The tools mentioned above are the starter pack for beginning making your life simpler. As your business advances forward, you might find yourself in a need for various other software and tools for different needs so you might want to check SalesLoft for sales and lead generation especially if you are a b2b company. If you are not tech-savvy, but more design-centered, Wix is a tool for you. It will help you set up a website and blog. MailChimp, Dropbox, Skype are oldies but goldies. If those mentioned above are not for you, you can always check out other options before deciding on the best tool for each specific business function.