When you’re running a small business, having certain tools that can make your operations seamless is ideal. Communicating is necessary for the continued existence of any business. It’s required for employees to communicate on project collaborations and to meet with new and existing customers.
Whether you’re trying to create better communications between your colleagues or clients or manage your projects and business operations, you can use the following tools to help you do so.
Email Hosting Provider
With the majority of communications being handled via email, it only makes sense that you use a reliable email hosting provider. However, rather than using free services like Yahoo or Live, you should opt for email accounts that have your actual business name: @YourBusinessName.com. Not only will this make your small business feel legit, it will also ensure that emails are sent where they need to be when you click the send button. Likely, you’ve noticed how unreliable some of the free email accounts can be. This is especially so when your company starts to grow massively – say, from a handful of people to about 500+ people.
Handling this type of load can be hard for the freebie email accounts. If you have yet to grow, it’s a good idea to future-proof your emails by upgrading to this ahead of time. Using GoDaddy or Google Apps for your emails can be a more reliable option, but there are others available.
File Sharing Tools
Sending videos, documents, images and presentations via email can be slow and sometimes impossible, depending on the email provider you are using and what the file size limits are. To help speed along the process of sharing files, you can use file sharing tools like Dropbox and Google Drive.
These tools are affordable, even for small business owners. These come with secure networks that keep the files you share safe. The great thing about these tools is that once you upload them into the cloud, you can access them from anywhere. So if you ever leave a file on your desktop, but was already uploaded to Google Drive or Dropbox, you can get access to it on any mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop that you can get access to. As long as you have the Internet, you can download the app and get instant access to your account. Just to note, files are transferred immediately, so no more waiting for downloads.
Professional Business Phone Lines
You can spend loads of money on a PBX system or you can instead use a virtual phone that offers all of the same features at a fraction of the cost. Switch.co is a virtual business phone that you can use on any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. You can send SMS messages, transfer files, record messages, accept voicemail and integrate with Google apps like Drive, Gmail, Chrome and Calendar. A toll-free number can also be purchased to make your business look more professional.
This software enables you to organize sales and customer support with the use of a virtual receptionist. Just like with an expensive business line, you can create custom greetings, convey business hours and provide a dial-by-name directory.
With these business tools, you can help your small company leap forward by bounds. Having software to use for project management, customer service and communications is imperative for the survival and success of any business. Give these a try and see how well they work for your small business tasks.
Customer Relationship Management Tools
Keeping track of the communications between your business and your customers is vital for providing great customer service. Building a strong relationship with your customer base is made possible when you have access to the messages that they send your company. Knowing who to contact and what about makes a world of difference to your clients.
This will ensure that follow-up emails are sent in a timely manner and that problems are attended too quickly. A CRM can also prevent sending the same response to the same client. Not only are emails tracked, but marketing and sales tracking can also be performed using CRMs like ZoHo and Salesforce.
Project Management System
Jotting down your project info on your notepad (electronic or paper) is not an effective method anymore. When you’re working on projects that involve other people, you can easily streamline communications, files and notes with the use of a PMS. Software like Redbooth (previously known as Temabox) can be used in conjunction with Dropbox, since it is integrated.
Another option is Work etc, which offers more comprehensive features for project management. With these systems, you can get everyone on the same page, so that you can focus on the actual project. This helps teams to reach milestones and deadlines faster and easier.