Anyone who tells you that their business practically runs itself more than likely owes a great deal of that to a small number of web services and software apps that tirelessly work behind the scenes. From getting teams to work together to staying on top of email to creating and storing documents, it can take a wealth of code to run a business, at least to run one well. However, setting a company up isn’t as easy as simply fishing a few apps out of a barrel. You need the best that you can possibly get, and at a price that’s affordable. With that in mind, here’s a look at a few that you need to have working for you right now.
When it comes to taking notes and then using them to get your work done, an app that syncs across each of your devices and also comes with a browser version can be indispensable. Evernote does all that and more. In fact, it even offers templates that can help assist you with productivity. Their goals chart template, for example, helps you list out all of your goals so that you can stay on track. Not only is this app a leader in note-taking and synchronization across different platforms, but it’s also easy to use. It might be difficult to find another app that does everything this one does.
The realm of customer relationship management isn’t one that’s solely for Fortune 500 companies. Even one-person businesses can benefit from an ordered approach to maintaining the sales processes, tracking their leads, and making sure that their follow ups are handled in a timely manner. Due to its vastness, Salesforce.com does require a bit of patience and training, but it offers exhaustive features that are at pricing that’s affordable, which make it a must have.
The accounting in QuickBooks is based on flowcharts and is as near to a standard when it comes to financial management as can be had in the world of small businesses. The software has one of the easiest processes to help you import all of your company’s financial data, and once you’re set up, you’ll find most of its important features, from billing a client to cutting a check are simply a click away from the home screen.
You should back up your files regularly to either a network attached storage (NAS) device in your office or an external hard drive. That said, what if there’s a fire? You can hedge your bets by using an online backup service such as Mozy. This service automatically archives anything you’d like on the internet, where it’ll be safe and sound. Just choose what you want it to back up and it’ll take care of it, either all at once while you’re sleeping, or in real time as you make changes to files.
If your company doesn’t use a blog to share up-to-date product and business news, then it’s about five years behind everyone else. It isn’t too late to catch up though. WordPress takes only a few minutes to install and there’s even a free option that’s hosted at WordPress.com. The platform is incredibly simple to use. In fact, it’s so easy that your team will likely be begging for the chance to contribute to your blog as opposed to whining about it being too hard to navigate.
We’ve used both frugality and capability to round up our five favorite web services and software tools for powering your business. Of course, not all businesses will need every single type of app or service, but hopefully at least a few of these will meet your needs.