When you own a business, it can feel like doing the work of 10 people. Particularly at the start, a business owner can be responsible for managing everything from accounting to travel arrangements to making sales calls. Fortunately, today’s business software can make juggling all these tasks a little bit easier.
Here are 9 online tools no small business owner should be without.
Scheduling appointments is a pain for small business owners with limited staff. Turn the job over to this handy app. It allows customers to schedule their own appointments online and helps you manage them by sending confirmation and reminder messages via email or text. Appointment-Plus integrates with MailChimp, Constant Contact, iContact and more.
Get a 360-degree view of your business finances with the cash flow management dashboard from Bank of America with no enrollment or cost for business clients who use Bank of America Online and/or Mobile banking, since its fully integrated into your digital experience. Integrate your account activity to help categorize and track debits and credits, major expenses and key transactions all in one place. You can set cash flow thresholds, and alerts to make proactive adjustments.
Manage your inbox, contacts, and relationships all in one app. Cloze automatically pulls from your email, social media, calendar, calls, notes and more, then gathers all the information about each contact in one place. Next time you contact that person, your entire interaction history is at your fingertips. Cloze Business is $13.33/user/month.
Make web conferencing a breeze with JoinMe. For $20/month you get unlimited audio, video, and screen-share meetings and unlimited time for up to 50 people per meeting. Dial in with VoIP or by phone (you can even give participants a toll-free number to call). Then stream up to 10 webcams and record and store up to 5GB.
There are plenty of other helpful online tools. Please share your favorites with us.
Shoeboxed does more than scan and organize receipts (although if you’re a frequent traveler like me, that’s enough). It also creates expense reports, helps you prepare for tax season, tracks mileage using your phone’s GPS, and scans and organizes business cards to create exportable contact lists. Plans start at $29/month.
Whether you’re a solo-preneur or have a staff, every entrepreneur can benefit from this free app. Just push a button on your device or computer to start tracking your time. It helps you track billable hours, create more accurate invoices, and pinpoint time wasters. Toggl syncs across all devices so you can start on one and stop on another. It also integrates with popular apps such as Asana, Basecamp, and Trello.
This project management app’s boards, lists, and cards make it intuitively easy to use. Create a board to track an overarching project, then add cards and lists to break down the associated tasks. You can add comments, file attachments, labels, due dates and more to cards; checklists and due dates ensure no one misses a deadline. Trello works on devices from iPhones to smartwatches and Kindle tablets, ensuring you and your team can use it on the go. The Business Class plan ($9.99/user/month) lets you connect Trello to Salesforce, Slack, GitHub, Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox, Mailchimp and other popular business apps for even more functionality.
8. Tripit Pro
This app ($49/year) has everything you need to stay calm, cool and collected no matter where business takes you. Tripit Pro gathers all your travel information in one place and syncs it across all your devices. Share your itinerary with others, track reward points, get alerts for flight schedules and delays, and find new flights if your plans change.
9. Zoho Social
This collaborative social media management platform is ideal for businesses that actively market on social channels. Zoho Social allows you to manage multiple social networks, schedule unlimited posts and monitor keywords—all from one single dashboard. It’s easy to learn what customers are saying about you, making social listening a snap. Beyond these features, Zoho provides robust analytics and offers customized, real-time reports about your results including how far your content reaches and the amount of engagement it earns. There are three plans available to small businesses, including a free plan that offers the option to try before you buy more advanced features.
About Rieva Lesonsky
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.
Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.
Bank of America, N.A. engages with Rieva Lesonsky to provide materials for informational purposes only, and is not responsible for, and does not guarantee or endorse the services mentioned. All logos and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners and are used under license from Rieva Lesonsky.
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