Running a small business requires entrepreneurs to wear many hats: accounting, project management, collaboration, marketing and so on. Just as there is no lack of tasks for you to do, there is no shortage of online apps and tools to help make these responsibilities easier or more efficient either. A place where you can get your customers engaged in your goals and insights to your business is by developing Communities of Practice online.
If you’re looking to take some of the tedious duties digital, then here are five tools that you can start using immediately:
Social Media Management: Hootsuite
HootSuite is the most popular tool for managing social media platforms because you can carry out and track campaigns across multiple social networks. There is one web-based dashboard that allows you to measure campaign results and keep on top of conversations. HootSuite also has analytics and scheduling for all your social media accounts. The free version allows up to five social profiles – and honestly, unless you’re a skilled community manager or in the online marketing business you probably don’t need more than that.
Employee Recognition and Engagement: Assembly
Assembly is a platform that can help your company in fostering company culture by making employee recognition and engagement endeavor easier. The platform allows employees to recognize their peers ‘good deeds’ in point-based system. Employees can then redeem their collected points with anything you can think of, like “Lunch with the CEO” or even give the points as a birthday gift to a colleague. You can integrate this fascinating platform with another popular platform, Slack.
Customer Relationship Management: Method
Method:CRM is your Swiss Army knife when it comes to online tools – sales, marketing, contacts, and tasks all in one customer relationship management tool. It syncs with Quickbooks in real-time for easy bookkeeping, keeps sales people aware of potential deals and allows you to delegate tasks to staff. You can integrate it with Gmail, Outlook and MailChimp for all of your communication and marketing needs.
Human Resources: AnyPerk
AnyPerk is an application that allows you to give your employees perks and discounts to hundreds of different companies. If you have a good benefits package, but you’re looking to expand it, joining AnyPerk can help you attract and retain talent. Your staff will get discounts in fitness, travel, food and more. What’s really cool about this program is that it comes with an extension for Google Chrome that will alert users to brands that they can use their AnyPerk discount on.
If you’re trying to reduce paper use or speed up contract processing, the best thing you can do for your business is to get an e-signature. Docusign is used by forty million people because it allows you to e-sign documents from any of your devices. The documents are encrypted with an audit trail, making them legally enforceable around the world.
QuickBooks is one of the most recognizable names when it comes to SMB accounting software. It’s functional and will meet all of your basic accounting needs, pull the transaction history from multiple bank accounts and keep track of income records, overdue invoices, and bounced cheques, all in one easy to use system. A lot of other small business software programs have been developed in order to integrate with QuickBooks, such as Method, the cloud-based CRM mentioned above.
No matter what your line of business, there is an online solution for you. If there isn’t – well, that’s a business opportunity!