Starting a small business on your own is hard enough without piling on the costs of acquiring and learning specialized software to help your company grow. Thankfully, due to the democratization of the internet and a plethora of great, free tools available, it’s easier (and cheaper) than ever to hit the ground running and make your ideas a reality. Before you invest in a suite of programs and services, take a couple of hours and give these powerful free tools a try:
An essential tool for small teams, Google Apps is a powerful, free alternative to the costly Microsoft Office line of productivity software. Compatibility between the two is pretty solid and getting better and better all the time, but the added bonus is that your files are saved securely and remotely in the cloud, allowing you to work between multiple machines and collaborate on documents in real-time.
Slack, the messaging app for teams, is quickly catching on in sectors and industries you’d expect to be stodgier and less willing to change. Government organizations, huge corporations like Walmart, and even NASA are using Slack in varying degrees for a simple reason: it’s simply the most flexible and easy-to-use messaging program that’s ever been created. Whether you need to share info with a single employee or simply pare down your various communication tools into one interface, Slack is the best way to go.
A must-get for small businesses and large organizations alike, Prey is a more sophisticated cousin on Apple’s Find My iPhone feature. As small businesses are ideal targets for thieves, it’s important that you protect your computers, smartphones, and tablets from loss or theft. Prey provides geo-location, push messaging, and even data wiping remotely, so even if a thief nabs your equipment, they won’t get access to your important data.
A task management tool that scales up as you do, Trello is a great, free alternative to more comprehensive (and more expensive) alternatives like Asana or Mavenlink. It’s a solid way to keep your team organized and your daily tasks in check, helping you organize your day-to-day operations and focus more on your business rather than trying to remember what you had left to do today.
If customers are taking up an inordinate amount of your company’s time on a daily basis, having an organized intermediary can help your customers get the service they deserve and keep them out of your hair so you can focus on other tasks. ZenDesk helps streamline your customer service department and can even integrate with your existing IT services to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
As your company grows and its technology needs expand, choosing an IT partner with experience helping businesses of every scale could be the cost-saving measure you need to remain lean and successful into the future. CMIT Solutions of Seattle is committed to helping small business owners succeed without the expense of having an in-house IT professional on staff. Our award-winning service and expertise can help you achieve a competitive edge and ensure your daily operations continue to run smoothly for years to come. Give us a call today or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation.