We give you recommendations for small business tools that can streamline your work management and more.
As a small business owner, you probably think carefully over every business decision to ensure that it makes the most sense financially and strategically. This means a lot of work every day, which can justifiably get overwhelming.
Why not rely on some tools to take some of the pressure off you? There are several helpful software products and apps that can streamline your workflow, manage your admin activities and pull up handy reports at the click of a button.
From accessing free social media schedulers and creating free website templates to automating payroll and enabling easy file sharing — there are tools for every whim and purpose, making the lives of small business owners like yourself much easier.
In fact, if it were not for digital tools, 31% of businesses would have had to close all or part of their operations during the pandemic. No wonder 76% of small businesses turned to digital tools to help weather the Coronavirus outbreak.
Our List of Handy Small Business Tools
Here, we give you our top recommendations for small business tools that you should invest in:
1. Endpoint protection from Avast
Worried about your business website being shut down or taken over by hackers? You are not alone — cyber-crime is on the rise everywhere. That is why Avast’s endpoint protection solution is so valuable. Even the free version offers you top-notch security scanning, malware protection, and rescue disk functionality. And if you choose to upgrade to the premium plan, you get a solid firewall, proactive control access, and data shredding.
2. Project management from Wrike
Cannot seem to keep track of open projects or who is working on what? Wrike lets you manage and allot tasks and monitor your project group’s activity through a real-time feed.
With the free version, you can support unlimited collaborators and up to five users, perfect for a small business that is just starting. You can choose from one of their paid options for customizations and reporting and gain insights from a wealth of data.
3. Video conferencing from Join.me
In a post-COVID world, video conferencing has become the go-to option for check-ins, client meetings, and candidate interviews. If you need a reliable free tool to start your business, try the free plan from Join.me.
You can share screens, host up to 10 video participants and support up to five different video feeds on a single call. Make connecting with your teams, clients, and vendors a breeze with this reliable video conferencing tool.
4. Applicant tracking from Zoho Recruit
When you are starting out as a business, chances are you would not be recruiting in hordes. That is why the applicant tracking tool from Zoho Recruit is ideal. With it, you get access to one recruiter and up to five open job positions at any given time.
You can publish new vacancies, track the number of applicants and update the status until the position is filled. You also get five free email templates that you can use to communicate with applicants at different stages of the recruitment process.
5. Accounting from Wave
Your business books need to be balanced on time. Manual accounting, however, can be a drag. That is where the Wave accounting tool comes in. With the free version, you get comprehensive accounting and reports functionality and the ability to create and scan invoices and receipts.
6. Email marketing from phpList
You have probably already heard of phpList, and for a good reason. This is one of the best open-source email marketing tools out there for businesses large and small.
From readymade email templates to a drag-and-drop editor to email list segmentation based on subscriber attributes, the possibilities are numerous with this handy tool.
Best of all, you can get detailed bounce analytics and automatic flagging support from phpList. You can start using this tool (including all features) for only $1 and grow from there. For a business starting, that is a pretty sweet deal.
7. Business Intelligence from Microsoft Power BI
Data is the backbone of pretty much every industry out there, but how do you absorb critical insights from millions of data points without spending forever on it? Simple — invest in Microsoft’s business intelligence tool.
You will get daily data refreshes, scan up to 10000 rows of data per hour, and publish your findings online. The free plan gives you 1GB per user, and with extra payment, you can boost this to 10GB.
Plus, with Power BI Pro, you can access live data sources as well as data on a physical server while collaborating with team members on environments like Microsoft Office 365 — all for $10 a month per user.
8. Customer Relationship Management from Apptivo CRM
Customer data is one of the biggest weapons in your arsenal, but most CRM platforms come with features you are unlikely to need and price tags that will make your eyes water.
Instead, go for the free Starter plan from Apptivo CRM that supports up to three users and pares customer data management to the basics.
You get 500MB of data, detailed reporting features, milestone tracking, and project templates, along with easy integration with your helpdesk and other tools. If you are new in the game but scaling fast, you cannot do much better than Apptivo.
9. Customer feedback from Qualaroo
You want to know what your customers are thinking, but how do you go about asking them and collating all that data? Qualaroo saves the day with its excellent targeted survey features that give you AI-powered, granular insights into customer behavior and what it means for your business.
You get access to advanced features such as exit-intent surveys and AI sentiment analysis that let you create more thoughtful experiences for your end-user. There are no free plans, but you can try any of the paid plans for 15 days without paying.
10. File sharing with Dropbox
This tool makes file storage and sharing a breeze. Simply upload all your files from any device or platform, provide or remove access rights as you need to, and edit your Microsoft Office files directly from the Dropbox page.
Microsoft Office and Google Cloud are just some of the many tools you can integrate Dropbox with. Plus, you can purchase the paid version for $12.50 per month per user.
11. Legal documents from Docracy
Hiring a lawyer can be expensive, even for more prominent companies. Docracy has you covered with open-source legal documents on thousands of topics, from basic NDAs to specialized employee contracts, and also lets you sign contracts for free.
While you will need to eventually get your documents reviewed by a professional, using Docracy can save you large sums of money on legal consultant fees.
12. Employee time tracking with QuickBooks Time
Mainly if your team is working from home, tracking each employee’s daily input can be exhausting. Opt for QuickBooks Time instead, which uses GPS monitoring to let employees track their hours directly from their phones and send you aggregated timecards.
Less work for you, more clarity on where work hours are going. Plus, it is a QuickBooks product, so you can be assured to receive valuable business insight with real-time, interactive reports.
Over to you
Technology offers you powerful ways to streamline your business operations at low cost or sometimes even for free. If you are running a new business and want to take it to the next level, invest in some or all of these, depending on what you need. You will thank us later!