15 Top Business tools

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Today’s business environment is like nothing compared to earlier on centuries.

Technology and modernity have transformed all sorts of businesses and sectors ensuring lean and efficient systems while stretching their reach to markets beyond vicinity, in a bid to maximizing profits.

To fit into this modernity and efficiency, businesses need to embrace efficient ways of caring out their day to day operations.

In this weeks article, I look into some of the tools that come in handy while considering cost of acquisition as well as ability to handle and deliver business needs.

My list does not follow any particular order and focuses to enlighten on availability of free and affordable tools that can be used on both mobile and desktop platforms.

  • Accounting software and tools – These tools come in handy in capturing and maintaining financial information that comes quite handy during tax payments, example of such is “fresh books” for cloud accounting. Among the details and functions carried out here include,

    1. Invoicing and Billing

    2. Expense tracking

    3. Payment tracking

    4. Book keeping- P & L, balance sheets

    5. Payment systems – Paypal, Bitcoin, Venmo, Stripe, Mpesa, till no and Paybill

    6. E commerce – Build online store — Shopify

  • Project management tools, amazing for structuring courses and projects as well as managing teams, examples of this are;

    1. Trello, this application is amazing for getting organized, structuring courses and projects, for either yourself or teams working with you. It clearly shows whichever projects are at hand, tasks involved, persons handling and the activities

    1. Asana, This application is free but requires familiarization for ease of use.

    2. Team work, this can manage teams of up to 15 people

    3. Sqwiggle is another example that is good for teams.

    4. Slack – Real-time coordination with members of teams, projects or channels.

    5. Basecamp – Free Project management tool

    6. Odoo – Free Open source Project management tool
    7. Open Project -Free Open source Project management tool https://www.openproject.org/
  • Google Suite – This is a set of really great tools that are available for free online with any google account. Among the tools within the suite include

    1. Google Slides – Sharing presentations

    2. Google forms – Conducting surveys

    3. Google docs – Collaborative documents

    4. Google sheet – Collaborative worksheets

    5. Google hangout – Video conference meetings

    6. Google calendar – Schedule your day and get reminders prior to activity time

  • Time Management. This set of tools go a long way in keeping track of time and activities, specific tasks, events, time and activities. some key ones are

    1. Calendar management – Google Calendar,

    2. Coschedule

    3. Mynd

    4. Calendly

    5. Rescue time – for time vs activity logging for accountability

  • Communication tools

    1. Consulting, video conference, client calls for live stream and screen sharing

      1. Skype – Messaging app (text and video)

      2. Zoom – For online group

      3. Google hangouts- Video meeting tool for both mobile and desktop platforms.

      4. Viber – Mobile platform webmeeting application

      5. Webex – https://www.webex.com/

      6. Bigbluebutton – Free webmeeting platform https://demo.bigbluebutton.org

    2. Emailing

      1. E-client

      2. Google mail – Cloud based email

      3. Sanebox – manage and organize your emails

    3. File sharing

      1. Dropbox

      2. File share

      3. You send it

      4. Send a file

  • Marketing – Businesses require that people get to know about them so as to become an option whenever demand for their solution arises. Online marketing suite, websites and blogs are just but a few tools you can take advantage of to help market your business.

    1. Social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pin interest, Google plus

    2. Managing social media accounts – Buffer, enables tracing of social media accounts so you don’t miss responses and questions from potential clients. Hootsuite is yet another tool that combines your social media platforms into a single dashboard

    1. Blog and Vblog – Word press and You tube

    2. Scheduling posts, response and content distribution

    3. Email marketing – Convert kit, email drip and Mail chimp for Creating email campaigns

    4. Quora – pivotal resource for gaining information, informal polling, and voicing your own opinions publicly

  • Health and wellness – To assist keep you healthy and at your best, you require tools to help you with your foods, diets, sports, and memberships

  • Data Backups – Your business requires data safeguarding. Data is among the top most valuable resource in any business, a fall back plan on records in case of anything going wrong. Backup platforms are quite necessary for this. You may want to have a look at the below

    1. OmniFocus is a tool that will sync all of your data onto their cloud server for you to reference from any location, at any time.

    2. Crash plan – Automatic backups

    3. Cloud backup storage

    4. Amazone S3 – upto 5GB free storage

    5. Backblaze and Box– Upto 10GB free storage

    6. Google drive – Upto 15GB free storage

    7. Zoolz – Upto 100GB Cold storage

  • Document management and workflow applications – Due to the current modern nature of businesses, record keeping and management is quite important as ability to track gives many advantages to the business as time and efficiency can be capitalized on.

    1. Hellosign – Enables digital signing. necessary during travels.

    2. Joget workflow – Free Open source document management application

    3. Wrike – Workflow management tool

    4. Echosign – With ability for appending E signatures

    5. Trello
  • Travel tools – To take advantage of the day to day travel sales and discounts, you require tools that would assist advice on decisions you need to make.

    1. Air BnB

    2. Around me

    3. Trip advisory

    4. Bonfire adventures

  • Content creation – Your business requires content to be developed for marketing, communication, promotion and many other purposes surrounding the business. Some of the tools that fall within this sub-class include

    1. Gimp – Prepare Visual graphical content

    2. Open office with Libre office, writer, calc, impress, math and more – This is free

    3. Canva – Graphic design tool

    4. Kizoa – Free Video editing software

  • Keep up with times, skills, information and knowledge on your subject of business using the below tools, Modern Professional Learners take charge of their own self-improvement (for the now) and self-development (for the future) using a wide range of tools and services

    1. Alison university – free online short courses https://alison.com/login

    2. Google scholar – Scholars material collection on google cloud and Scholarly search engine

    3. Udemy – Online Courses

    4. Coursera – https://www.coursera.org/

    5. Tedex videos – Keep up with presentations highlighting issues around your business on https://www.ted.com/

    6. Khan Academy – https://www.khanacademy.org/

    7. Flip- Custom make your news streams to you bringing only the kind of news you are interested in.

  • Customer relation Management – To keep track of your customers, you require tools to assist around, some of which are;

    1. Help scout

    2. Online help desk

    3. Lessonly – LMS for sales/support teams

  • Capture and organize ideas or points as they stream in meetings

    1. Ever-note

    2. Mind map, example X-map

    3. Mind jet – https://www.mindjet.com/

    4. Wisemapping -This is a free tool. http://www.wisemapping.com/

  • Internet connection

Get your business connected to the internet as well as equipped with the resources that go alongside use of internet, this is to assist take advantage of markets beyond plain eyesight into the so called famous world wide web. (Think of a giant “Spider web” structure covering the globe with a network on information)

The tools and platforms mentioned in this article are but a guide to providing the kind of solutions we require, more alternatives within the sub classes are available out there with different functionality, capability, results and ease of use.

Lots of other important tools you could have a look at include

  1. Bitly – URL and link shortner that comes with ability to track, when you want to know how many clicks have been recorded say within a day. This tool is free

  2. Google Analytics – For analyzing internet traffic in areas of interest as well as your website

  3. Google forms – Forms and survey tool

  4. Survey Monkey – Forms and Survey tool https://www.surveymonkey.com/

  5. Type forms – Forms and Survey

  6. Poll everywhere – Survey

These tools make it convenient while factoring in productivity, resource maximization while simplifying business operations.

 

Frank

Frank Odhiambo

Mind Grid Perspectives

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8 thoughts on “15 Top Business tools

  1. Good evening Frank,
    I find this article is very timely for me.
    Do you offer consultation on setting up a properly working office, either for a new business or existing one?
    If yes, kindly let me know.

    Asante

    Like

    1. Hi Labake, i appreciate your kind words. and wish to both encourage and offer my support to you whenever you need it. If need be, we could hold a session for some talk to keep you focused on whatever you wish to achieve without much strain. keep up the good work.
      Regards
      F. Odhiambo

      Liked by 1 person

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