5 Online Tools And Apps That Make Running Your Business A Breeze
Contributed by Cher Zavala
As any business owner will tell you, there often isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything. Running one’s own business is distinctly different than working for someone else and requires a unique skill set, determination, and a lot of creativity.
Fortunately for today’s business owners, many tasks and functions related to your business have become a lot easier thanks to easy-to-use apps and online tools. Creative developers have anticipated the needs of the modern business owners and have created a plethora of business solutions that cover everything from team communication to accounting and more.
If you’re a small-business owner or are considering the idea, these are five great digital tools that give you the freedom to run your business more efficiently and more effectively.
Many of today’s businesses operate in very different ways than they did in the past. More companies are consisted solely of remote staff and keeping everyone connected is a high priority. Simple emails and chat windows no longer meet the needs of these fast paced teams. They needed something better and they got it with applications like Slack.
Slack allows teams and groups to easily share files and communicate with each other in a group or privately with ease. It’s available on the web as and a smartphone app so no matter where you are, as a team leader or employee, you can communicate instantly.
While much of the business world has changed there are still many that require personal service and attention. For instance, salon services are not always something an owner can bring to the customer; the customer need to come to them and interpersonal communication is a vital part of the business.
However, even customers enjoy being able to use digital tools to manage their own schedules and appointments so offering that service is a must. Salons can use online salon booking tools and apps so customers can schedule their appointments quickly and easily. In many cases these tools offer a calendar function so your customer can choose the day and time that suits them best.
E-Commerce and Shipping
Online shopping is the norm these days and you can buy almost anything online and have it shipped to your door. For business owners that offer tangible products it’s vital that they have an easy to use e-commerce function on their website and can handle shipping quickly and efficiently.
Website plugins like WooCommerce and Shopify make it easy for customers to choose their products and pay online. If an online store owner handles their own shipping services like stamps.com allow them to purchase and print postage at their home or office and simply send it out with their local mail carrier.
One of any business’s top priorities needs to be visibility. You need to know that potential customers can find you with relative ease, especially if you’re operating solely in your local community. Having a website that is SEO optimized helps bring your site to the top a Google search but there are other ways to achieve this.
Moz Local is a free tool that lets you analyze your business’s presence on sites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Facebook and more. You can then use their tools to help your business establish a more prominent presence on the web which is where the bulk of your customers come from.
The way today’s businesses market themselves is perhaps the most profound change in the way we work. While word of mouth is still effective for community based businesses every business needs a solid online marketing strategy. There are plenty of marketing specialists who will do this for you but it’s also easy to do yourself through the power of social media.
Hootsuite is an app that lets you manage all of your social media accounts at once and provides valuable insight into your traffic activity and engagement, and allows you to schedule posts in advance so you don’t miss a post that offers an attractive discount to your customers.
Staying competitive in today’s rapidly changing business world is more important now than ever and taking advantage of digital tools is part of the path to success. Utilize some of these options and run your business easier and smarter which not only helps you provide top notch service but keeps your clients happy as well.
Cher is a content coordinator who assists in contributing quality articles on various topics. In her free time she also enjoys hiking, traveling and getting to know the world around her. Cher has built up many strong relationships over the years within the blogging community and loves sharing her useful tips with others.