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When you are running a small business you have to be many things at once, an accountant, a marketer, a technician as well as an administrator. Luckily, in today’s digital world, there are a whole bunch of inexpensive and sometimes even free tools that can help you manage your business more effectively.
Here are our pick of some of the top tools around, check them out and perhaps this Christmas treat yourself:
Creating flyers, social media posts and posters has never been easier than with Canva. The online application allows you to quickly and easily put together polished graphics. There is a whole range of starting off templates that you can use to create your masterpieces. It’s free to join for the basic package and the cost to license many images is as little as $1USD.
Is your office on the go? Do you find yourself needing to check that budget spreadsheet but are away from your computer? Google Apps is a game changer as it allows you to create and access spreadsheets, word files and presentations from anywhere, as well as use the Google Drive cloud storage. You can share documents with other people to help collaborate on items or you can also edit and check files on any tablet or phone.
This is a must for any business who wishes to send marketing emails to their network. Easily integrated with your ecommerce site or website, you can design beautiful emails simply and quickly to send to your list. The New Business Package is free which you can send up to 12,000 emails per month to 2,000 subscribers.
Wave is an Accounting Software for small business that allows you to create and send professional invoices, estimates and receipts in seconds, all through a secure network. You can also track the status of invoices and payments, so you no longer have to guess when those payments are coming in. The free online application also has an add-on for payroll which starts at $4 per employee.
Do you find yourself having to constantly print out forms, sign them and then scan them again? HelloSign is an eSignature software for Small Businesses. The best part about HelloSign is that you can request signatures from up to 20 people, so when you have a digital contract or deal that needs signing you don’t have to face the struggle of multiple scanned copies or mailing the important documents. It’s done through a secure network too, so your documents are safe. For up to 3 documents a month it is free. The next level up is $13 a month and allows you to sign unlimited documents.
Do you work with a team? Do you need to communicate or collaborate with a group of people on different sites? Or do you simply want to track tasks and workflows? There are a number of different and great services that do this for you. Asana & Producteev are productivity apps that you can track your team’s work and manage projects. You can categories projects and areas of the business to easily manage each area of your business. Trello also allows you to manage tasks with teams but does it in an easy visual way with separate boards for areas. Slack is an application for team messaging which can separate into different ‘Channels’. Have a look at each first and their different features to see which will be a better fit for your business.
Want to know more about what your customers are thinking? Just ask them! Survey Monkey makes it super simple to run an online survey. You can also integrate it with a number of different tools. The free version allows you ask up to 10 questions and receive 100 responses.
Don’t have time to spend on managing your social media? Buffer allows you to schedule in multiple social media posts as well as analyse the results. You can even use their tool Pablo which allows you to create beautiful Social Media posts in seconds.
Another help to your social media management is Hootsuite, which allows you to view all your feeds side by side as well as monitor your competitors and keyword mentions. The free version allows you to use 3 Social Profiles as well as basic analytics and message scheduling.
IFTTT or “If This Then That” allows you to create automated processes between your electronic devices and online applications. Everything from receiving an email on the weather everyday at 7am, to automatically reposting your Instagram photos to your Twitter account. There’s a whole bunch of applets or recipes available on the website that can seriously change the way you work or even live your day to day life.
BizCover is Australia’s No. 1 online business insurance, where you can compare multiple quotes from Leading Insurers online in minutes, purchase your policy online and have your documents emailed immediately on binding.