linda
Linda Phillips
March 11, 2015

10 Must Have Tools for Business Owners

business toolsTechnology has successfully become a crucial part of any business owner’s success. Whether it is business plan software or accounting software, technology has completely overtaken the playing field making it feasible for the small business owners to compete with their well-established rivals. The same technology is used by almost all type of business owners for boosting their sales and productivity. However, there are certain tools that help in using the complete potential of the technology and without them; it wouldn’t be easy for the businesses to compete with their rivals in this highly aggressive cutthroat marketplace.

If you are also an owner of a small business and want to ensure that you business boosts its sales by saving your valuable resources and time, then using the best online tools will surely help you in generating significant outcomes in short time. I have selected 10 popular tools that every small business owner must have as an important part of their business strategy.

1) Dropbox

Nobody likes carrying around a bag full of gadgets because each has an important document. To offer you an easy online storage solution, Dropbox serves as the savior for performing multitasks by generating a virtual connection between your different devices connected via the Internet. With its cloud saving ability, users can easily save their important files and folders in their Dropbox accounts that can conveniently be accessed from anywhere.

dropboxKey Features of Dropbox:

  • It stores all important files in one place, saving you from the worries of carrying your bag of documents everywhere.
  • Users can easily share your files with your friends and colleagues.
  • It allows the users to maintain organization for keeping all their files intact.
  • Users can create personalized folders for saving your documents consequently.

2) HootSuite

For small business owners, HootSuite has a two-fold purpose. Its first purpose is to let the users visualize the trending topics related with their business niche on its dashboard. It includes the current topics people are talking about and how you can use this information for promoting your blog posts. Secondly, you can use HootSuite for scheduling social media posts for your business branding.

hootsuite 1Key Features of HootSuite:

  • It allows you to schedule your posts across different accounts.
  • Users can add relevant keywords related with your business in the stream on HootSuite for monitoring in real time the significance of these keywords.
  • It comes integrated with many personalized statistics and reports that you can choose according to your requirements.
  • It has teams and organizations feature that helps the users to limit the access o their social accounts designated for a particular project.

3) Schedulicity

If you own a small business where you have to schedule meetings with your clients either personally or online, then you can check out the new Schedulicity tool that offers automatic scheduling feature. This tool allows your customers to visit your website for checking out when you will available for appointments. You can input your working hours to help the customers schedule their meetings as per the available time slot.

schedulicityKey Features of Schedulicity:

  • This tool has the ability of emailing you when your client fixed an appointment with you.
  • Users can also send automatic reminders to the customers about the scheduled appointments.
  • Ability to fix your available time slots using this tool to let your customers know you have time to meet with them.

4) Google Drive

For small business owners, keeping track of their documents have never been so easy without Google Drive. This tool is designed to help users with setting up files for “read only” purpose, and it also allow others to make the changes in the file. The environment of Google Drive is created to support database driven as well as word processing documents.

google driveKey Features of Google Drive:

  • Allows you to download templates created by others.
  • Users can easily collaborate with others and share your files and documents as well.
  • Easily conquer the researched data with Google’s sheets as they are integrated with all essential features required for handling most of the spreadsheet requirements.
  • Ability to easily sync your data with your PC or Mac with the help of Google Drive app.

5) Google Analytics

When you have just started a business, your main goal is to achieve significant traffic on your website. But the main question is to determine where this traffic is coming from. Here comes the role of Google Analytics. This tool provides you important insights that help you to boost the sales of your products and services among both desktop and mobile phone users. It also let you visualize how people are using your services or products across different platforms.

google analyticsKey Features of Google Analytics:

  • Discover your audience activity by tracking the outbound links.
  • Get the real time statistics of your website.
  • Users can create custom campaign URLs for tracking the efficacy of Link Building campaigns.

Here are some additional resources to help your business measure the overall success of your social media efforts.

6) Odesk

For small business owners, the most difficult task is to hire talented skills of the industry to boost their productivity and revenue. However, finding the right candidates can be cumbersome especially when you have a startup business. To help you in getting the right set of talents from a particular industry Odesk is the best option. This service allows you to find eligible contractors looking for jobs, you are then able to hire them based on your business’ needs.

odesk

Key Features of Odesk:

  • Odesk offers contractors’ profiles mentioning the past experiences, client reviews, and their sample portfolios that you can use for making the correct decision before hiring their services.
  • Efficiently interview the eligible contractors using Odesk work-space where you can assign them work as well.
  • Provides users with tracking tool, enabling you to check the work progress on various projects.

Another great alternative businesses should consider is Fiverr, which is a community of people who are willing to do tasks starting at only $5.

7) MailChimp

MailChimp is an effective tool for retaining your potential customers. When you own a small business, it becomes necessary for you to get reviews from your customers regarding your services, ideas, and products. MailChimp’s service comes with well-defined templates and well-marked instructions to help you create effective newsletters for sharing with your current contact list.

mailchimpKey Features of MailChimp:

  • Users can easily make visually attractive E-blast for catching the attention of the readers.
  • Ability to send regular newsletters to your clients to keep them interested in your services and products.
  • This tool is best suited for different screen sizes.

Businesses should also consider setting up autoresponder emails to help gain a loyal following of fans and customer.

8) RingCentral

Businesses often deal with clients, partners, and colleagues in multiple locations, and it’s difficult to meet everyone face-to-face. RingCentral’s HD Video Conference feature has completely revolutionized the concept of making long distance calls with its impressive video calling feature, thus making and audio call making capabilities.

Key Features of RingCentral Web Meetings:

  • Gain a unified video conferencing experience across desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Connect and collaborate with colleagues and customers.
  • Instantly start or schedule meetings with up to 50 participants.

9) Slideshare

Slideshare is an effective tool that allows the users to share their digital presentations and slide shows with a global audience for better business branding and promotion. With over 50 million users accessing this tool, sharing your digital presentations over this tool in the form of videos, pictures, and music files helps you to gain visibility for your shares.

slideshareKey Features of Slideshare:

  • Functions as a sharing platform for the businesses.
  • Comes with a blog-embedding tool so that you can place your creations on your business website or blog.
  • Sharing videos and pictures over Slideshare helps by adding visibility and flare to your website.

10) Infographics

Another great tool for small business owners are Infographics. They help grab the attention of your target customers by sharing the relevant statistics and data about your products, services, industry, etc.

infographic infoAdding Infographics can have major benefits for your business:

  • Helps make your offering clearer to your target audience.
  • If the graphics of your infographics are interesting, it will increase your business’s potential reach exponentially.

Here are some additional ways that the power of infographics can help boost your company’s discover-ability.

I have cited the top 10 favorite tools that all small businesses should consider, however if you are willing to boost the efficiency and success rate of your business, there are infinite number of other tools available over internet that could be used by all business owners as per their business needs. What are some of the business tools and apps you prefer to use to help boost your business’ productivity?