Running a small business can be physically and mentally exhausting. From managing employees to keeping clients happy to dealing with suppliers and everything in-between the process can seem never-ending.
However, having the right tools for the job can make a difference to you and your business. From helping with communication to improving time management, using the right tools allows you to keep productivity up and focus on the more important aspects of your business.
In this post, we explore some of the best tools to improve communication and team activities in the workplace.
Google drive: It’s a one-stop-shop for all your file sharing and group working needs. With your first free 15 GB of data, you can store anything from pictures to stories, designs, drawings, videos, documents and much more. With data studio, you can also create reports from scratch or using one of the templates provided.
Hootsuite: If you’ve accepted the importance of social media to your business then you should know how vital it is to manage your social media profiles effectively. With Hootsuite, you can save the time you spend posting on social media individually by scheduling your posts in advance. It also allows you to setup pre-approved messages that help your social media team stay on message. Other features include tagging, searching, tracking, reports, insights and more.
Payroll: Because most small businesses decide to start off managing their payroll system themselves, there’s a variety of payroll software to choose from. If you have fewer than 10 employees, you can choose a free payroll software that has been tested and recognised by HM Revenues & Customs (HMRC). Whichever software you pick should be able to produce payslips, record deductions, make payments into pension plans and pay people over different periods. Consider referring to the government guide on payroll to comply with the legislation in place for paying your staff.
Invoices: Similar to payroll, this is another that most small business owners would probably take on themselves initially. With tools like Zoho books, you can connect to your bank account and create and send invoices. Depending on the plan you go for it can accommodate up to ten users with capacity for adding unlimited contracts.
Staff holiday planner: This is the easiest way to manage your employees annual leave. Effective management of your employees’ holidays allows for effective planning. Staff holiday planning software can help you keep track of your employee’s annual leave in other to make alternative arrangements. With this tool, you have 24/7 access to records so you can always know who’s in and who isn’t.
Slack: This is a not-so-new collaboration and communication hub. You can start individual or group conversations, you can create channels and divide them into teams, projects, clients or any other relevant groups. As well as voice calls, teams can also have video calls and screen shares. They can also drag and drop videos, images, audio, DPFs and other documents.
Outlook: It’s essential for any business to stay connected. Outlook gives you access to your emails, calendar and contacts on all of your devices. It also allows for easy scheduling and with its security features, you can wipe your data remotely in the case of a breach.
Mail Chimp: This is an all-in-one marketing automation tool that allows you to run campaigns, monitor you’re your emails open rates and other things that’ll offer you insight into your audience. You can schedule emails, create templates, divide and tag recipients and even design landing pages. With this tool, you can also identify the perfect time to send emails for the best results.
Buzzsumo: This is an amazing tool for finding content ideas and relevant outreach opportunities. If you’re ever struggling for ideas for a blog post, you can search for topics within your niche. For more specific targeting, consider filtering the results by language, country, type of content, wordcount and shares to find the top performing content. You can also get information on the people that have shared content on a site. Simply add a link to the article into the content analyser and it’ll give you a list of everyone that has shared it. Including their name, website, social media profiles and their activity ratios. You can then reach out to them as potential leads.
Skype: This is an oldie but a goodie. Skype allows for easy communication and collaboration. We’re not going to explore this any further as you should already know about it.
LastPass: This comes in handy because all of the tools mentioned above will require passwords. LastPass allows you to manage passwords more effectively. This includes sharing, creating, restricting assess, showing passwords etc. It’s perfect for both team and individual working. You can get the free version but of course, you’ll have access to more features in the paid version.
What’s missing? What are your favourite small business tools and resources?
Leave a comment below & let us know!