In recent decades, technology has revolutionized and evolved businesses. Automation and digital tools make the business run far smoother and more efficiently. Every company uses digital tools in its practices, regardless of business size and industry type.
Although, running a small business is not an easy thing at all as it contains various hurdles. All the tasks need to be done at the right time and within the budget. And having the right tool for a particular job makes a big difference. But choosing the right online tool is a challenging thing. So, let us make it easy to some extent.
Efficient Tools For Different Practices
Below are some easy-to-use and budget-friendly tools, that help small businesses execute different tasks effectively.
Trello is a prominent tool simplifying the project management process of numerous organizations. The built-in collaboration features help the teams to communicate and work with each other.
“Kanban” principle-based cardboards help to manage daily assignments. The app creates separate cardboards for each task and allows users to collaborate within them. For example, they can share files and leave comments.
Additionally, rescheduling and editing tasks are not difficult as drag-and-drop options are provided. Butler’s feature lets managers automate and streamline the entire process, by setting customizable actions as per the requirements.
- Able to handle unlimited tasks
- Image and file sharing among teams
- Lists organized by date or priority
- Lacks reporting
- No views available except Kanban
Skype is a popular communication tool among businesses. VoIP technology-based platform helps managers connect with their teams and discuss projects through call, chat, video conferencing, or audio messages.
The smart messaging features ensure that distance never interrupts between the sender and the receiver. In addition, one can also drag a particular person’s attention by using @mentions. It has a call recording function also, so it is easy to take notes after discussions. The instant messenger helps to connect with anyone in real-time.
As the tool is well-integrated with the Microsoft Office suite, users are able to upload Powerpoint presentations while video conferencing, and screen sharing, and they can also use the whiteboard.
- Real-time video meeting with up to 250 people
- Integration with Microsoft platforms
- Call recording and voicemails
- Call/video quality decreases if the user has a low-speed internet connection.
Buffer is a straightforward platform for managing the social media handles of various people. It is widely trusted by brands, companies, agencies, and individuals.
The app helps to manage the social media presence and schedules posts. Moreover, the analytics features allow tracking of the audience’s activities and figuring out the best time to post. In addition, buffer offers various features such as post scheduling, link shortener, and optimizations for hashtags, tags, and mentions.
The free plan of the app lets the users manage three social media accounts with basic features. The premium plan enables analytics and engagement features for more than three accounts.
- Image creation tool for social media posts
- Analytics and insights for each post
- Only basic functionalities for Instagram and Pinterest
Pixlr is an online tool for graphic designers to craft engaging and attractive designs for the website, social media posts, and business cards.
The platform is widely known for its quick editing options. It enables file cropping, reshaping, and resizing. In addition, image backgrounds can be removed, text & stickers can be added to photos, and filters can be used.
The free plan comes with limited images and stickers and provides access to only basic tools. The paid plans offer unlimited access to advanced features, stock images, stickers, templates, and fonts.
- Creative templates and images
- Advanced image editing features
- Lacks text editing tools
Managing the time and attendance of the employees can be time-consuming. Even modern time tracking tools are complex and costly. factoTime is the unparallel remedy to that. It provides details of employees’ time and attendance with an automatic payroll calculation feature.
With the mobile app, employees can easily punch in and out without any extra device. factotime has outstanding functionality features like selfie while punching, geo marking, and restricted punch from the register. The device only makes it more safe and more convenient.
In addition, factoTime can be operated through various devices such as Linux, Mac, iOS, Windows, and Android.
- Comprehensive attendance reports
- Accurate time attendance and working hour tracking
- Automatic payroll calculation
- Employee Payslip download functionality is missing
Xero is a SaaS tool managing businesses’ accounting practices. The platform enables multiple integrations and improves the financial aspects of a business.
Xero offers numerous features and functionalities such as creating expense claims, sending invoices, book-keeping, generating reports, and making bank reconciliation. In addition, it allows users to automate specific actions and set rules.
The app lets the manager categorize all the bank and credit card transactions, and it also helps to organize them. It allows to schedule the payments precisely so that the cash flow is maintained.
- Third-party app marketplace
- Inventory management
- Limited reconciliation feature against the bank statement
Google calendar is a well-known scheduling app for arranging and managing meetings. It doesn’t require a separate sign-in if one already has a google account. And it is entirely free to use.
The platform syncs well with its other products, so if the manager has a business email account and wants to set a meeting, he just has to create an event, add the guests, and find the time. And after that, Google does all the work. It will show each person’s calendar and even suggest the available time slots where every member can participate.
Google’s paid plan enables advanced features through which the manager can share a booking page with other people. So, the persons who are not part of the same company can set an appointment through email, and it automatically gets synced into the calendar.
- Reminders through emails
- Time customization
- Integration with Google Meet
- Allows other people to see one’s activities and schedules
- Challenging to manage if the number of appointments gets exceeded
Beaver Builder is a WordPress plugin streamlining the website building process. The platform uses drag-and-drop functionalities, so non-technical persons can also build a site easily.
The page builder fulfills modern designing needs as it enables various templates, photos, text editors, calls to action, pricing tables, etc. It is easy to edit any element on the page and the module allows users to add different things such as sliders, carousel, background, buttons, etc.
Beaver Builder enables fast switching to preview mode in real-time, so the users do not have to wait for the long processing. And if the plugin is deactivated, the changes are retained on the site.
- Live and front-end editing
- Shortcodes and widgets
- Limited content and templates
LinkedIn is a prominent name in the global online recruiting space. It enhances companies’ hiring practices and helps them acquire better talent for different roles.
Users can create profiles and search for any relevant information totally free of cost. They can post job vacancies or apply for roles through the app. LinkedIn is the largest platform where people build professional relations. Moreover, it is not just a recruiting tool, but it has become a social platform also. Users promote engagement with brands, colleagues, and former employees.
LinkedIn backs unique recruiting and marketing concepts. Content optimization practices are the best way to attract more candidates for a job role.
- InMail messaging
- Learning courses
- Lacks integrations
Digital tools make business practices go easy and improve the results. And one does not need to have the in-depth technical knowledge to use these tools so that they can be used by anyone. Additionally, these tools offer a free version with certain features; therefore, they easily fit within the budget. So, above listed tools can be considered as a reference while automating different practices.