Starting a business online is easy. All you need to do is register a domain name and launch your website. However, managing and growing your startup requires a lot of resources. If you do not have the right suite of tools to assist you then you are most likely to burn out within the first few months and abandon your business plan. Effective online tools save you time and money which can then be redirected to maximizing profits.
Who Needs Online Tools?
As an online entrepreneur trying to set up a home-based business, you are already juggling different roles. You need to worry about social media marketing and at the same time, you need to respond to customer queries. All this can become difficult when your sales suddenly increase. You will then need to recruit assistants or you could just learn to work smarter. Online tools can automate the process and cut corners to save you time and money.
Those who work hard are not always successful. You also need to work smart and must delegate your least important responsibilities to others who are specialized in their jobs. For example, you could do inbound marketing for your blog and save tons of money in the process. But did you know it would take more than a year to achieve mastery and get sustainable results?
Finding the right tool for the right task takes time and involves a lot of trial and error. You could spend months trying to find the right tool or you can listen to our advice and get started right away.
Tools to enhance Productivity for Business Owners
Feedly – https://feedly.com
Feedly is an RSS Feed reader used by millions of journalists and business owners. Feedly was launched when Google Reader shut down and serves as an aggregator of website content and news. Feedly is available as a mobile app and also has a web version for desktop users. The biggest benefit of Feedly is that you can read and browse updates on hundreds of websites in a matter of minutes. If you had to manually visit all these websites by opening separate tabs then it would have taken you several hours.
Feedly is a must-have mobile app for every information junkie in this digital era. Other Feedly alternatives are AOL Reader and Digg RSS Reader.
Zoho Apps – https://www.zoho.com
Zoho Applications is an Indian company founded by Sridhar Vembu who is its current CEO. Based in Chennai, it is the only Indian company that has emerged as a global leader in the SaaS space. Zoho offers free .in domains for businesses so that they can set up their website for free and get a business email id. It has different applications to manage your sales, accounting, lead generation and customer care. Zoho is today used by more than 15 million users all over the world.
An alternative for Zoho Apps is Google Apps for business which costs US$ 5 per user.
Skype – http://www.skype.com/en
Skype was acquired by Microsoft in 2011 since then it has gone from strength to strength. Skype is today one of the largest desktop messaging clients in the world. The firm was founded in Estonia and helps users to make cheap international calls through VoIP. Skype has a large user base in India and is used by businesses to interact with prospective clients and conduct interviews with new employees. You can also use it to communicate with family and friends.
Maniac Time – http://www.manictime.com
A time management software tracks how you use your time and gives recommendations based on your usage pattern. Time is one of the greatest undervalued resources we have. If we make effective use of our daily time, nobody can stop us from achieving our goals. Once you start using maniac time you will be able to identify the major time wasters in your daily routine.
Asana – https://asana.com
Asana helps groups of diverse individuals to collaborate together and build great products. It is a task management app which helps teams to track the progress of their projects by sharing and connecting vital information. It has a simple user interface and is one of the top management apps around. Asana is being used by Harvard University and companies like Uber and Salesforce.com
Paypal – https://www.paypal.com/in
PayPal makes accepting payments as easy as sending an email. Once you sign up for a PayPal account you can generate invoices and request payments from your clients. Paypal is one of the largest online payment services and is used by millions of users in India. Paypal helps your business save on costly fees charged by other payment gateways and opening a new account takes two minutes.
Hoot Suite – https://hootsuite.com
Used by 10 million+ users, the basic edition of Hoot Suite with limited features is free to use. Hoot Suite serves as a one-point stop for your social media management needs. It helps you connect to 35 of the most popular social networks and monitor your brand’s presence on these channels. It is used extensively by entrepreneurs and social media agencies to monitor multiple social media streams in a single window.
You can also use Hoot Suite to respond to customer queries on Twitter and Facebook in real-time. This helps in improving the rating and sales of your product. The application is available for Android, iOS and a web version is available for Windows.
These are some applications we have listed for readers. Do let us know which is your favorite tool in the comments below.