Looking for affordable tools to make running your business easier? You’re in luck. In today’s age companies fight over ways to provide you the best, most reliable, and least expensive software around.
Here are some of the best free technology tools you should introduce to your company today.
While online chat rooms like HipChat and Slack may seem like the obvious choice if you’re communicating with team members in other offices, it actually works pretty wonderfully for those sitting a few desks down from you as well. It’s important to give your employees the tools necessary to communicate in real time, as well as foster community and company culture. Using the tools above, they can share relevant documents, images, and links to multiple people without so much as an email subject line.
Online form builders
Just a few years ago, no one knew what an online form builder even was. But today, everyone is creating their own contact forms, surveys, and job applications with tools like JotForm without even knowing how to code. It’s pretty simple stuff, and it’s something everyone in the team can utilize to view the gathered information. Marketing may use it to send customer feedback surveys, while HR may use it to make a job application form. Regardless of the usage, online form builder tools makes forms really, really easy.
What was the workplace like before having all of our files in the cloud? If you’re like many other companies safely arrived in 2015, you might not even have Microsoft Word installed on your computer. Why would you need it? Using Google Drive or Office 365 gives you access to all of our work files wherever you are, any time. Utilizing this saves your team time, saves you money, and spares your office the need to print copies since anyone can edit and view documents in real time.
If you’re business is looking to scale, CRMs are really a must-have. Whether you need to have an index of sales leads, partnership contacts, vendors, or even internal, it will become important. It’s just a matter of how soon. The question becomes how much you’re actually willing to spend on it when the time comes. The beauty is that with all the competition creating new CRMs, you’ll have your pick of some great ones for free. Zoho, Bitrix24, and Insightly are some of the popular choices that don’t cost any money.
Kanban is a workflow methodology created by an industrial engineer at Toyota. The premise is pretty simple: start with a board; include columns for “projects,” “in-progress,” and “completed;” and actively move along tasks in collaboration with a specific team. Digital kanban boards, like Trello or Asana, are an awesome way for teams of all sizes to manage their workflows. Whether those teams are technical, marketing, design, or even human resources, it’s a great tool to have to improve efficiency. And while there’s added benefit to having the board in the office, digital tools make it possible to move projects along remotely.
Companies don’t need phones anymore. That felt weird even typing, but it’s the truth. The act of hearing someone else’s voice and discussing work is possible using a myriad of different services, like Skype, Uberconference, and Google Hangouts. Of course, it’s still nice to have a phone for ordering office pizza or in case of emergencies. But the rest of it can be done over the web, from interviewing applicants to connecting with remote employees.
Every company has their own systems or ways of doing things, but it’s never been easier to have all the tools you need without being weighed down financially.
Have any others to add to the list? Do you use any of the tools above? Let us know!
Chad Reid is a San Francisco Bay Area-based writer who has written for several publications including Tech.co, several Patch sites, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and a myriad of and business, tech and design blogs. He loves all things related to cats, and never turns down free food.