As the manager of a small business or an entrepreneur just starting out, you should always be on the lookout for anything that can improve your productivity, time management, organisation, and ultimately make day to day tasks easier to manage.
It can be hard enough trying to run things in the office without also having to worry about your online presence. But like it or not, today's business needs an online presence in order to ultimately succeed, or at least remain competitive.
Thankfully, there are a large number of tools and apps at your disposal that can be used to facilitate online functions and tasks leaving you free to focus on other responsibilities.
With literally thousands of useful apps to choose from, it can be a daunting task finding some that will best fit your needs. The following 7 tools are typically useful for any small business owner, and best of all, they are also all free.
If you aren't using Google Drive yet, you should get started right away. This business-friendly, easy to use tool is ideal for storing all types of files and documents, and enables you to access them from any mobile device.
You can also share documents with other colleagues, employees or team members, as well as edit them without from wherever you are. Its integration with other Google apps makes it an extremely functional and useful tool.
If you ever have need of services that you don't currently have the staff to handle, such as graphic design, website content, blog posts, marketing materials, etc., then you would do well to start using Elance.
This site lets you find and hire freelancers for the rates you are comfortable with, choosing from amongst thousands of potential candidates.
You can view reviews and credentials of the freelancers you are interested in, and post project details and wait for the freelancers to come to you.
Using Elance is a great time saver and the ideal way to find cost-effective services without having to hire and train a full or part-time employee.
UberConference is an online conferencing tool that provides users with an easy way to instantly set up conference calls.
With anywhere from just a few attendees to potentially thousands, this is an ideal app for all manner of online calls, from speaking with vendors, holding meetings with clients, or providing a training seminar for employees in offices all across the world.
Additionally, the remote screen sharing feature makes it especially useful when attempting to share information with others. It lets you show any other attendees on the conference call what is on your screen, so that you can easily point out images or review documents with others.
If your business takes advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, then having TweetDeck will give you greater control over your social media management and campaigns.
TweetDeck can be used to view multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts all at the same time in an intuitive interface, so that you can quickly post updates or respond to followers without having to flip between different platforms or accounts.
If you don't currently have a website but want to get one up and running quickly, you don't necessarily need to shell out thousands for a professionally designed website.Wix
Wix offers a multitude of different website templates to choose from. All you need to do is create an account, select one, and provide content for the various pages.
Wix writes the website code for you and uploads it, so that the result is a clean, polished looking website that is ready to perform.
In regards to website performance, there probably isn't a better tool than Google Analytics.
This handy platform will let you know how your website is performing, so that you can better figure out how to improve it and gain new visitors and increase website visibility.
Free and easy to use, it’s a great tool for maintaining a strong web presence.
Want to know more about how others view your business? Then use Social Mention, which monitors several different social media platforms for criteria you enter, such as your business name.
When your business name is mentioned on any network, Social Mention lets you know so that you can see if you are receiving good or bad reviews.
It is also a great way to keep track of customer concerns or see which areas of your business need improvement.