Five Online Tools That Can Transform Your Small Business Operations

By on July 10, 2015

Small business owners have a tendency to stay stuck in their ways of doing things. Often you’re too busy running your business to take the time to research software updates or new products on the market that could save you time and money. However, what you’re missing could be costing you! There are a number of software tools that can help decrease your costs while increasing your levels of organization and personalized customer service. You work hard, and to help you work smart, here are five software tools that can save you time and money.

Here are some great, low-cost tools that can help you organize and run your small business more efficiently across multiple departments.

Mail Chimp

This e-mail management software was created with small businesses in mind. If you have fewer than 2000 subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month absolutely free. Mail Chimp integrates with hundreds of other apps and allows you to synch your business databases with their service. With the free subscription, you can design a company newsletter and easily embed sign-up forms on Facebook and WordPress pages even if you have no previous coding experience. You can also customize and automate your customer e-mails according to their time zones. While getting started with basic email campaigns is free, you can get an unlimited number of emails for up to 500 customers for as little as $10 per month.

ZenDesk

This software is designed to help businesses provide excellent customer service. Pricing ranges from as low as $1 per month for a starter account to $125 per month for the enterprise account. With a starter account, you receive a number of customer service communication channels. Using an unlimited number of email addresses, you can create a knowledge base that customers can access for answers to their most commonly asked questions. You’re also provided with a web widget and can interface with online platforms such Twitter and Facebook as well as having mobile access on a variety of devices, including Kindle Fire. With a paid subscription you can access other features, such as customer satisfaction surveys and custom reports.

Wave Accounting

This award-winning company provides free software for invoicing, accounting, and personal finance that allow you to create accounting reports and billing invoices, scan receipts, manage personal finances, and access e-mail support. The software was designed specifically for companies with 9 or fewer employees. You can add payroll and credit card payment services for an additional charge. Despite being free, their numerous customer reviews are very high.

Vendio

This software is designed specifically for e-commerce. Most features are included in all pricing plans. Pricing is dependent upon the number of items you have for sale, or SKU’s. One of the most time-saving elements is that it simplifies the process of selling your product on multiple sites, such as eBay, Amazon, and Facebook. When you add a product, or change a price on one platform, those changes can be made on all platforms simultaneously. All transactions are tracked and the data presented in charts that reflect current trends, costs and profits. The data can also be used to generate tax reports. They provide a Facebook store application that allows customers to make purchases without ever having to leave Facebook, as well as a store widget that can be embedded on your personal website.

Zoho

This multi-purpose online service offers a limited free version, which includes email and live chat. Free invoicing is limited to up to 5 contacts. Software applications are available in the categories of sales and marketing, customer support, email & collaboration, finance, human resources, and business processes. Each of these categories has its own monthly pricing plan, ranging from $12 to $50 per month. However, you can also pay per use for functions that you don’t utilize often enough to justify a monthly subscription fee. Some money-saving features available include automating email responses, generating payment reminders and invoices, and accepting online payments. You can also use it to assign tickets and completion deadlines to specific agents. Using the data tracking information, you can generate customized daily reports for everything from sales figures to agent performance.

These are just a few of the software tools that can provide the technological resources recommended by the U.S. Small Business Administration to help your business remain competitive.

Join Us in the Conversation...

We'd love to know your thoughts on this article.
Meet us over on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter to join the conversation right now!

Adam Toren

About Adam Toren

Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.