Online business tools are becoming more prevalent by the day. Creative, tech-savvy entrepreneurs are constantly finding new ways to streamline their businesses and free up valuable time that can be used for clients or other business activities.
The following is a list of six online business tools that should become staples in your business over the next few years.
Communication is at the core of every company’s success. And, whether you’re talking to your staff, consumers, or other external parties (suppliers, contractors), you should be able to get your point across in the simplest and most hassle-free way possible.
VoIP (voice over IP) technology makes internal and external communications somewhat simpler. You may connect your phone line to an Internet Protocol network with this.
The advantages of this kind of communication are numerous, but there are a few features to consider. The ability to make calls from (and to) any place globally at the same price is one of them. Audio software and hardware may be used anywhere in the world. Hence, VoIP is a no-brainer if you’re looking to upgrade your communication infrastructure to a more fault-tolerant, cost-effective platform.
Advertising and Marketing Tools
Advertising on television is still an excellent way to promote your brand and products. However, you can supplement that with online advertising. One good way to connect with consumers in this day and age is by running ads on social media sites. Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, YouTube, Facebook… the list of places where you can advertise is almost endless.
Of course, it won’t come free, but if you know where to look for online ad space, you can get a good deal. Some of the sites even allow you to track people’s actions and adapt your campaigns accordingly, enabling you to cut down on wasted spending.
Sponsorship is another way to promote products or services online. You can have your website or blog sponsored by an external company at a mutually beneficial rate. In return for advertising their product, you’ll get either a money payment or promotional perks.
Project and Task Management Software
Most companies have a lot of balls in the air at any given time. Trying to keep track of who is doing what, when, and with which resources can be difficult.
Enter project management software. Programs that are designed to help groups organize their projects and tasks and then report on progress (or lack thereof) make it easy for managers and other team members to keep track of what’s going on.
It will also provide a visual representation that makes it much easier to see which project is ahead or behind schedule and where there might be bottlenecks in the process. Some task management software even includes built-in resource allocation tools, depending on your needs.
Time Tracking Tools
Whether you’re billing customers for your time or using that time to generate income, tracking your “billable hours“ (and non-billable hours) is the only way to get an accurate picture of your business’s financial position.
Online tools can help with this. One of these is a time sheet generator, which essentially records how much time you spend on client work. You can even use the time sheet to generate reports, showing how much time you’ve spent on different activities over a specified period.
Collaboration tools can make your business more efficient and profitable if you’re working with a team (or plan on doing so in the future).
You’ll need to set up some kind of intranet—or connect with an existing one—through which employees and members of your team can share knowledge and resources and communicate easily. Some companies use a tool like Microsoft SharePoint for this purpose.
Trello is one of the most useful free business tools available. It allows you to collaborate with people all around the world while also assisting you in organizing your tasks. You may use its boards to set tasks and assign them to your team members.
Hiring Software Tools
Hiring is a complicated process. From sifting through resumes to finding the best candidate for a job, it’s time-consuming and expensive.
Some of the tools on this list will make hiring easier. But some new ones have been developed specifically to facilitate hiring online. Consider signing up with a site like Upwork or Guru.
Using the right business tools means you can avoid wasting valuable time and effort on unneeded tasks or spending money on technologies that serve no real purpose to your business. It may take some research and testing to find out what exactly will work for you as an entrepreneur, but if you choose the right tools and use them correctly, you should be able to run your business more efficiently than ever before.