Starting and running a business can be tough. You often have to figure out where to start: since there’s no single formula for putting up a successful business, you’ll have to chart your own path to success. Most businesses aren’t profitable from the start, and you’re likely burning through your cash reserves on day one of operations!
Elon Musk once said that being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss. You’ll have to rely on your wits and learn how to spend money wisely. We at DealNerd want to help you out, so we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best tools for your small business that will help you thrive!
Use Cloud Based Services to Save Your Business Money
The rise of widespread cloud computing is one of the last decade’s major breakthroughs. Services like Dropbox, Asana, and Hootsuite have provided many business owners with cost-friendly tools that can multiply their productivity tenfold! We’ve listed some of the practical cloud based services your business should be using in the section below.
How To Go Paperless And Save With Online Faxing
I think we all agree at some level that fax machines can be considered archaic. However, there are still a number of cases where you have no choice but to use this clunky relic of the past. For one, certain government agencies and law firms still rely on fax as this is one of the most convenient ways for them to send and receive copies of physical documents.
This necessary, but limited, use of fax doesn’t really justify spending a lot of money just to buy a fax machine. If your business needs to send a fax, there are services like eFax that provide cloud based faxing services and so much more! Here are five reasons why you should consider using a cloud based faxing service:
You can ditch the actual fax machine – Even if you had the budget for it, most modern offices have to say goodbye to the fax machine. Why would you want a loud, heavy obstacle cluttering up your office, when you can have the complete bliss of taking it all online? Online faxing is the way forward.
The security of knowing your recipient – Let’s face it, as much as old fashioned faxing was considered ‘handy’, when you sent a confidential fax, did you honestly know who was reading it at the receiving end? I don’t want some Joe-Nobody reading my blood test results. Online fax services provide comfort in the security of technology. Faxes arrive directly in inboxes as PDF, and all incoming and outgoing faxes are stored in the cloud. No more misplaced faxes!
No more toner, paper, or machine repair costs – Fax costs can easily rack up: there’s the machine itself along with its upkeep, the paper, the toner, and the fax line itself. It becomes never ending. Online faxing services should give you one clear price per month which includes everything including the number. No installation either which is a massive benefit. Just sign up and you’re set.
Going mobile is fun – Online faxing really leaves that clunky fax machine behind and puts the new world of faxing right in the palm of your hand, given the right mobile app of course. eFax offers a great working mobile app. It even allows you to sign and send it right back. Genius!
Fax to email is the future! – An easy reason, really. Being a slave to the old fax machine was never fun. Now you can have them arrive directly in your inbox, wherever you are. Online faxing makes the whole faxing process a lot like email – quick and painless!
Decrease Costs With Cloud Hosting File Sharing Services
In today’s world, businesses need to share large files between employees, vendors, and contractors. There are a number of great services available like Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive, but how can you maximize your efficiency between all your devices when out of the office? Learn more with our five tips for small businesses.
Focus on compatibility – Pick a sharing platform that works on all devices utilized by your business. If your business operates multiple OS environments, you should make sure the service can connect to your PC, Mac, Android, Windows 8, Blackberry, and iOS devices. Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box all have numerous applications available.
Integration is key – If you need more integration options, check out Box. It integrates with CRM tools like Salesforce, Netsuite, and productivity platforms like Google Apps.
It’s not backup – Don’t confuse file sharing for backup. File sharing is great for business productivity, but when push comes to shove, it isn’t a great solution for backing up important business operation files. Make sure you have a backup solution that moves your data to multiple locations, and specifically off-premises if possible.
Avoid conflict saves – Dropbox and Box are good with notifications about multiple users accessing the same file, but they can easily be missed if you aren’t in front of the computer. Make sure you are saving with some type of versioning if using in a multi-user environment.
Go 3rd party to get work done – Get the most out of your investment and edit documents while on the road. 3rd party applications like Documents To Go and Quickoffice Pro let you actually do work on your mobile synced devices, instead of just viewing the files.
Go Free First – All of these sharing options (Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Mediafire) have free plans with plenty of space to help you get started with their service. Some even let you refer friends to earn more space. Use the free version with their apps to make sure you like the service before investing in a premium paid plan.
Hold Productive Meetings Anywhere Cloud Video Conferencing Tools
Modern technology and growing internet speeds have brought about the rise of telecommuting. Companies used to spend a lot of money to send executives to meetings a few years ago. It wasn’t just airfare and hotel costs; the productivity loss while employees were in transit also had to be taken into account.
Today, we no longer have to be physically present to participate in meetings. Web and video conferencing solutions have allowed us to hold productive meetings with people who are literally on the other side of the planet. Here’s a list of the three best web and video conferencing tools for your business.
Skype for Business: Skype has become virtually synonymous with online meetings. There’s a free option, but the paid version offers a whole suite of features that will make telecommuting so much more productive at a very affordable cost. Some of the paid version’s features include the ability to collaborate on PowerPoint files, being able to hold calls for up to 250 people, and HD audio & video conferencing that makes conversation quality very clear.
GoToMeeting: Another robust video conferencing service that’s picking up popularity among small and medium businesses. Aside from the typical video conferencing features, GoToMeeting allows people to easily record the whole conversation. It is also built for presentation: it allows users to hand over mouse and keyboard control to different attendees just as you would in real life. Like Skype for Business, GoToMeeting is available to business owners at a relatively affordable cost.
Google Hangouts : No list would be complete without a free alternative! Google Hangouts may not have the same extensive suite of features that paid solutions offer, but it is still a strong contender in the video conferencing space. Its best feature is the fact that you don’t need to install an actual program on your computer to use it. All you have to do is to go to the website, log in with your Google account, and use the service. This is especially useful for cases where you need to attend a meeting, but don’t have your personal computer with you.
Save On Costs With Cloud Online Accounting Software
Business owners who have invoices, take payments, or simply have a high traffic should take advantage of the numerous inexpensive financial tools available to them. If you’re tied up with managing a small business, you may not have time to head to the bank to handle your accounts. With online accounting tools, the bank comes to you through your mobile device, tablet, or laptop. If you are dealing with a business that is exclusively e-commerce based, online accounting tools are most likely a better option than their desktop counterparts. We’ve prepared a list of the best online accounting tools for you below.
Shoeboxed: Shoeboxed offers its users easy receipt scanning and check managing. It’s a great way to go green by going completely paperless. Your important financial information is organized online with this handy tool so you never have to worry about losing your receipts again.
Freshbooks: Online billing, accounting, and invoicing software await when you use Freshbooks. This cloud-based solution is great for small business owners who already have a lot on their plate. Take it easy with this great online accounting option.
Quickbooks Online: With Quickbooks, you can literally run your entire business from anywhere. This software is accessible through your mobile, tablet, and laptop. Manage accounts, checking, invoicing, billing, e-commerce, and much more with Quickbooks online.
H&R Block Free: H&R Block is branching out with this online accounting tool. You can manage your money, checks, cards, and much more with this tool. Also expect cool features like tax software, calculators, nearby office locations, and even tax preparation services.
Xero: Xero’s accounting software is designed to be efficient and easy. This New Zealand based company offers Software as a Service for all of your accounting needs. Small business owners will benefit from this easy to use publically traded online company that is listed on both the New Zealand and Australian Securities Exchange.