Running a small business is not an easy task. From coordinating employees, managing payroll and HR tasks, watching out for cybersecurity, maintaining high quality products and services, overseeing marketing, and interfacing with clients, any small business owner knows that they will often be required to play a ton of different roles all at once.
Luckily, there are innovative tools available to help small business owners, ensuring that each of these areas runs more smoothly. Let’s take a look at six of the most helpful tools for any small business, in no particular order.
1. Scheduling Apps
Managing schedules can be a huge hassle within any small business. No matter how few or many employees you have, there will also be last minute schedule changes that can make keeping track of a calendar that covers everyone in your small business seem nearly impossible. Add to that mix the changing needs and priorities of your clients and you have got one tangled mess.
Scheduling apps go a long way towards solving this issue. With a shared calendar online, everyone can adjust and update their availability in live time, providing slots to show when they can meet. Calendly is a great option for this, or try Google Calendar, which works nicely with other apps and platforms, like Slack and Zoom.
2. Video Conferencing Apps
In today’s business climate, where nearly every type of business can be conducted remotely, it is essential to have a reliable and easily accessible video meeting platform.
Face to face interactions are important not only for strengthening communication among team members and employees, even if you are meeting exclusively online. Video meeting are also important for having conversations with clients. Presentations can be conducted via video app, so you will want a video conferencing tool that allows you to use multiple features, like screen sharing, presenter mode, and more.
Zoom has boomed in popularity during the pandemic, and for good reason. Zoom offers all the services listed above and syncs easily with Google Suite, Slack, and other platforms. Plus you can record calls and meetings, so anyone who was unable to attend can stay caught up on the latest with your small business.
3. Remote Storage
Whether your small business sells handicrafts or provides at-home care for senior citizens, you are going to have a pile of digital files. Making sure every employee can access digital files as needed- and keeping them organized for yourself- is a necessary ingredient for any small business to run smoothly.
Today there are plenty of remote storage options for your digital files. Apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Sync, among others, allow you to upload, organize, and access your files from any device, so long as you have the right password. With Google Drive, you can also edit documents in live time, making this digital storage option double as a collaborative workspace, where individual team members can add comments and make suggestions, and everyone can track any changes that have been made.
4. Social Media Scheduler
Social Media marketing is key for nearly every business you can think of. But just as keeping track of multiple employee and client schedules simultaneously can be difficult, keeping track of when you have posted what (and to where) can be a headache and a half. Social media scheduling apps allow you to create a calendar of social media posts across platforms.
You set up the post and format it to your preferences, then upload it to the calendar day and time that you would like it to be posted. The scheduling app will do the rest, automatically uploading it to the social media platforms you have selected.
And social media scheduling apps allow multiple employees to upload and add new material, so your two social media interns can work together to make sure your instagram, facebook, and pinterest posts are generating the optimal amount of buzz.
A few good social media schedulers to begin with: SproutSocial, Later, HootSuite, or Loomly, but there are plenty of options available to choose from, depending on your business’s specific needs.
5. Digital Accounting Software
What is one of the elements at the core of any business, big or small? Yes, that’s right. The money. With a good digital accounting software you can keep all of your financial information organized and up to date. And that means everything, including payroll records, Christmas bonuses, incomings, outgoings, profits and losses.
Quickbooks is a popular digital accounting software. One of its main features is to help you choose the best tax solutions once tax season rolls around, saving you time, money, worry, and effort.
6. Find The Right Insurance Provider
With so much of your business activity taking place over the internet, you will want to make sure that your small business is well protected in case something unexpected happens. Choosing the right insurance provider can help give you peace of mind that no matter what unforeseen event may occur- be it a hacker’s successful cyberattack, a PR snafu, or a physical break in- your business is covered.
Choosing an insurance provider you can rely on is a great tool to help your business run smoothly; it allows you to forget about all the background fear and worry and get on with the hundred and one other tasks that you have to attend to to keep your business running.
With so many innovative new tools available, you will be able to keep every different aspect of your small business connected, organized, accessible, and in sync. Your employees will be better able to communicate and collaborate, even across long distances, and you will be able to keep track of progress and campaigns as they evolve, in real time. Plus, with a good insurance company to complement all of these organizational and storage tools in place, you will not only be organized, but also protected in case of any eventuality. That way your small business tasks, operations, interactions, and transactions can all run as smoothly as they possibly can.
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