Tools That Help Small Businesses Save Money
Small business owners are not only always on, but also always on the go. These days, chances are good that even small businesses that boast employees are remote workplaces where telecommuting is the norm and everything happens in the cloud out of necessity. Building a client base or a cohesive team takes plenty of support, and these days that support usually comes in the form of software. Here are six tools that help small businesses tackle the kinds of day-to- day duties that can get in the way of chasing success:
eSignatures for Business
HelloSign is a must-have for any business where legally binding signatures are required to get the job done. It’s free for those who generate three or fewer signed documents per month, and just $13 per month for unlimited documents with Google Drive integration and an audit trail, just in case.
Video Conferencing Service
For those who seldom see the inside of an office, Adobe Connect is a top-of-the-line video conferencing service that makes hosting virtual meetings a cinch. Create private video chat rooms; share slides, files and documents; and run polls in real time. Connect is intuitive on both ends so you can have a meeting up and running without needing to walk participants through a complicated setup process. Alternatively, the Cisco WebEx Meetings app is a virtual conference room with a solid a/v system built in.
Free online accounting software from Sage is an easy-to-use, one-stop approach to accounting, invoicing and financial tracking. Sage One links bank and credit card accounts, records and categorizes income and expenses, sends and automatically applies payments against invoices, accepts credit card payments and generates thorough reports and statements. This is the kind of DIY accounting that not only saves money but helps business owners make more.
DropBox was one of the first names in secure cloud storage and remains the go-to solution for many small businesses because it gets the job done. Store and share documents, images, spreadsheets and other files so no matter where you are materials are always accessible to everyone on the team. Need to collaborate more effectively? Use Google Drive as a network file system by setting up a hierarchy of folders with carefully chosen permissions.
Signing employees up for Carbonite ensures that one dead device doesn’t spell disaster for remote workers. This inexpensive yet surprisingly powerful cloud backup solution for files, databases and even live applications doesn’t require extra equipment or set-up hours. Create an account and Carbonite does the rest.
And finally an app named Charlie is the personal assistant for businesses too small for PAs. It automatically syncs with professional calendars and combs through hundreds of online sources to send users a one-pager about the people and companies they’ll encounter in upcoming meetings. There’s nothing like extra intel when first impressions count.
These budget-friendly tools for small businesses let bosses (and employees) worry less and do more. Why not let software and apps handle a bigger percentage of the day-to-day? It pays to be able to concentrate on what matters!
– By Jennifer Thayer
Jennifer Thayer is the editor at Freshly Techy and enjoys writing on various topics such as technology, travel and lifestyle. She loves unveiling little tricks that help people get through their day with less work. Follow her on Twitter.