Small Business Tools – 3 To Put In Your Toolkit Today
November 28, 2014 : Tahnya Kristina – Guest Contributor
Editor’s Note: There are so many elements to a great business – an awesome product, possibly talented employees and the right tools to support you. Here is some advice on low-cost small business tools help you out as you operate your business!
Having a great idea is the first step towards starting a new small business, but it’s not enough to sustain the operation over several years. The key to running a profitable business is in the daily management – and that starts with the right tools.
The day-to-day management of a small business is essential to taking your start up to the next level of success. These duties include coordinating staff, balancing your books to keep them in the black, establishing partnerships and marketing your products.
Once you get your small business off the ground you need the right small business tools to keep it running. So how do some of the most successful small business owners do it? Everyone runs their small business differently, but sharing best practices can help maximize profit and minimize costs – two things that are critical to new small business owners.
Here are three small business tools you can’t live without:
Keep in touch with clients via Skype
This low cost communication tool allows small business owners to connect with people around the world via audio conversations, video chats and instant messages. “Networking is a huge part of any business,” said Jim Wang, a business blogger and founder of Microblogger. He added that using Skype allows him to keep in touch with business contacts, family and friends.
Wang admits he couldn’t live without Skype and uses it for much more than just virtual calls and conferences. “It helps me talk to or instant message with a large number of people absolutely free. I also use it to record podcast interviews, which would be harder and more expensive if Skype wasn’t available!”
Organize your day-to-day tasks with Asana
If time management is essential to your small business, then you can use this planning tool to get (and stay) organized. Eric Rosenberg, creator of the personal finance website Narrow Bridge Finance, admits that, “it has become my online hub for working through everything, from editorial calendar planning to website designs.” He honestly doesn’t know how he got anything done without it.
Asana is an online tool that allows small business owners to organize everything in their life in one spot, from to-do lists and emails to project management and business planning. It can be used to manage individual projects or to collaborate with a team.
Make sure your finances are on track with PayPal
If you need to pay vendors and employees or get paid by contractors and you’re looking for non-traditional forms of payment then PayPal may be exactly what you need. “PayPal is an online (web)site that lets you send and receive money (instantly)” says Tracie Richmond Fobes, founder of the family budget website Penny Pinchin’ Mom.
PayPal is a trusted online payment method used by many popular consumer sites such as eBay and Macys. Fobes uses PayPal with vendors because it’s a lot faster and more convenient than traditional methods of payment. “Rather than receive checks from my affiliate partners, they often pay me this way. I also use this for individual invoices (and) I pay my assistants this way as well” says Fobes.
These are some of the biggest issues for small businesses – cheap communication, project management and bookkeeping. What is your biggest business challenge? Do you have a favorite tool you would recommend to others?