Your small business, isn’t exactly a business if you, the owner are also the sole workforce. It’s a grey area but basically until you free up your operations, what you have is a glorified job. It’s not yet a business but it’s a good start. If you are wearing the hat of accountant, lawyer, buyer, salesman, service provider & web designer etc…. you’ll need to use your time super effectively to remain productive. Right now, it’s easier than ever to make that shift from 1-man-band to bonafide small business & spend your time on pushing the business forward. Not getting stuck on the hamster wheel. In order to do that you’ll need to use all the resources available to you. We’re talking about web tools, specifically cloud based tools in the form of applications. What used to take hours can now take minutes. In this short guide, we are taking a look at the best cloud-based web tools for your small business. As long as you have an internet connection, you can save 50% of your time with these tools. Use these tools to take your startup to business and your business to the next level.
If you run a B2B business, Invoice2Go allows you to invoice your clients and suppliers in seconds. Its a super useful tool that we ourselves have used in the past (for a different business). You can create & send immaculate professional invoices from your phone, take payments & refund orders. All in a few clicks. If you run a small business where you are the main workforce, get it. Thank us later.
Do you struggle with your accounting? Is keeping track of VAT a nightmare? Are your tax returns always a last minute struggle? Then Quickbooks Online is the tool for you. Quickbooks takes a lot of the hassle out of accounting and you don’t need to be an experienced accountant to make the most of it. Whether you’re filling in a self-assessment form, or need a more comprehensive accounting solution, Quickbooks has a product that suits your need.
If you use just one cloud-based tool for your business, make sure it’s Office 365. Why? Because it offers so much in one product. It provides all the usual Office tools such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. But there are also a huge range of other tools in there. From Skype for messaging and video conferencing to OneDrive for storing all your important documents digitally, Office 365 has pretty much everything you’ll need to make your business more productive.
Need to get your working life organised? Trello offers an excellent way to do just that. Although it’s most frequently used as a to-do list, Trello’s flexibility means that you can adapt it to meet your needs. You can get some advice on how to make the most of Trello here.
Pipedrive is the first CRM tool built from a sales persons perspective. It allows you to track & manage orders, grow your customer base, keep in touch with clients, schedule meetings & share information with a developing sales team. It’s the small business alternative to the below tools; Salesforce. Pipedrives ease of use makes it a user favourite among smaller, budget conscious businesses. The user interface is so simple you will be a master in days.
If you’re looking to streamline your sales process, then Salesforce is worth looking into. In fact, the company claims that people who use its software see, on average, a 37% increase in sales. Weighing it at £45 a month for the full CRM tool, Salesforce isn’t the cheapest tool around. However, if it does what you need then it should more than pay for itself. Slightly more complex to use, takes a while to learn but is designed for large businesses.
Need to jot down your ideas or set up a to-do list that you can check off as you go along? Then Evernote is well worth checking out. Its free version is great if all you need is a simple way of keeping track of your thoughts. However, if you need a more powerful note taking solution then bear in mind that Office 365 comes with OneNote – Microsoft’s own note taking tool. So you might be better off opting for Office 365 and all the other features it offers, rather than just paying for a standalone note taking tool like Evernote.
Dropbox is great for sharing and storing your documents. The most basic package is free, which is great if you’re just starting out and need to save as much money as possible. However, that free package is limited to just 2GB of space, which means you’ll struggle to share multiple large files. There is a paid for version of Dropbox available, but again you may want to take a look at Office 365 first to see if that better meets your needs. Office 365 provides 1TB of storage space, along with a whole host of other useful tools.
Whether you use any of these tools or find others, the point remains simple. Start using cloud tools. You will be shocked by the amount of time you can free up by using a few of these platforms together. For such a small cost, you can now access tools that previously were only available to large businesses that could build them internally like Oracle, Microsoft & IBM. Accelerate your growth dramatically by outsourcing the menial tasks like invoicing, accounting, emails & scheduling. It’s 2021, you should be spending your time where your business needs it most, so don’t spread yourself too thin by wasting hours filling out forms. If you are finding it hard to pick a cloud-based tool for your business, drop us a message. We’ll be happy to help!
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