Running a business can be difficult; we all know that. But one thing which can make it so much easier is to take advantage of the many tech tools available today. So many believe it’s just too difficult to learn new things and so they just don’t do it. But truly nothing could be farther from the truth (well a few things, but for this let’s go with nothing!) Many of these tools are not only easy to learn and use, but can save you an enormous amount of time and money as well. Now I’ve got your attention!
Here are the top three tech tools we recommend:
Skype - This tool is so much more than a long-distance alternative and inexpensive way to connect with others. Yes, the capability to call anyone anywhere for free is GREAT, but that is only one of the many benefits you can enjoy with Skype. Perhaps one of the most utilized benefits for small businesses is the ability to instantly connect with your clients and others anytime you need them. Think about it; how often have you needed a quick response to a question, but had to wait hours for a return email or phone call? With Skype you can instantly message someone and get the info you need within seconds. Now instant messaging isn’t new, but one benefit to Skype is say you discover you need to talk in more detail with the person, with a click of a mouse and your trusty headset; you can be talking to that person within seconds. (Take that Facebook!)
Skype has also become the norm for business meetings, interviews, events and other opportunities where a personal connection is needed. As an example, look at TV and notice how often you see guest appearances via Skype. Guests no longer have to be flown in for an interview. Thanks to great technology and the use of webcams, it’s as if they are right there with you. That’s money in the bank if you normally host numerous events.
Another huge benefit for many is the ability to share your screen with someone while on a Skype call. Coaches especially appreciate this feature and the ability to walk someone through the steps they are teaching. It is also priceless when a problem arises as well. Having the ability to show someone exactly what is happening enables you to find quick solutions. (Just remember you share the screen throughout the call until you tell it to end. You don’t want to be embarrassed by checking email while Skyping because you forgot the share-screen feature was on.)
Basecamp -If you aren’t using Basecamp for your business, why not? It makes everything so much easier and streamlined. Basecamp is a project management and collaboration software that is not only convenient and so easy to use, but is also an excellent way to easily organize your projects and collaborate with your team and clients.
One of the best advantages of Basecamp is perhaps its unique method of keeping everything in one central location. This allows you to monitor numerous team members in one primary location and for coaches and speakers, offers a centralized location for your students to ask questions and keep their materials. Individual logins and passwords are provided, which allows easy access to files, notes, messages, etc. Think back to how much time you have wasted sifting through Outlook to find an email from previous months. With Basecamp, you easily follow the thread and have all that correspondence in a flash. Again, this can offer you a huge savings of both your time and money. And that is just a few of the benefits to Basecamp. There are so many more (including their whiteboard feature), so make sure to check it out ASAP.
Dropbox - This is a file-sharing and storage tool utilized by many businesses. The beauty of this resource is that it enables you to work with large files effortlessly. But there is so much more to it than that. You have the ability to share multiple files in one location, create and share folders, and best yet, numerous people can have access to these files through a simple invite. It is also beneficial for the on-the-go entrepreneur because of its ability to sync files and share folders among your many electronics such as your iPad, smart phone, etc. Since Dropbox is an online tool, you can access it from any of your devices.
With the paid versions of Dropbox you can even utilize it as a back-up system. Not only will it keep your files safe and sound, but if something were to happen to your computer or back-up in your home or office, you would still be protected.
Trying to run a business these days without utilizing some of these great tech tools is like trying to dig a ditch with a spoon. You might eventually get it done, but you’d be asking yourself the entire time-”Isn’t there a better way?” Using the right tech tools can increase your productivity, which of course, will affect your profitability. Start using these today and you’ll see what a difference having the right tools can make in your business.