The right digital tools can streamline many common tasks associated with running a business. Unfortunately, though, many business owners neglect to use them. You can gain an advantage over your competitors by incorporating the five following digital tools into your business’s operations.
Developed in 2007 by former MIT students Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston, DropBox is a cloud storage platform that allows you to upload and store data on the cloud. The service creates a special folder on your local hard drive, and any files stored here are automatically synced to the cloud. Once uploaded to Dropbox, you can access your files from any computer or device with an internet connection.
Launched April 2012, Google Drive is a cloud-based storage and document-sharing service. Like Dropbox, you can use it to store files on the cloud. However, Google Drive goes one step further by offering a full suite of document creation and editing tools, including Docs, Sheets and Slides. Google Docs, for instance, is a word processor whereas Sheets is a spreadsheet app, and Slides is a presentation app. Google Drive offers 15GB of free disk space. Once you reach this limit, you must pay a monthly fee for additional space.
Assuming your business engages in social media marketing, you should consider signing up for HootSuite. Developed by Canadian computer programmer and entrepreneur Ryan Holmes in 2008, it allows you to track, analyze and manage your business’s social media accounts. Using HootSuite, you can create and schedule social media posts to publish on a later date. Rather than logging in to your Facebook account every time you want to publish a new post, you can create them in advance on HootSuite. The platform currently supports Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and WordPress channels.
FreshBooks is an award-winning cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping service that’s great for small business owners. It allows you to create and send personalized invoices, set up recurring billing subscriptions, track business-related expenses, run reports, accept payments on a mobile device and more. FreshBooks offers a 30-day free trial. There are multiple paid subscription plans starting at $15 month per month.
Do you struggle to remember important appointments or other business-related activities? If so, you should download Evernote. Available for most desktop and mobile platforms, Evernote is a versatile note-taking and organizing app. Using the app, you can create notes in the form of plain text, a web page, photograph, voice record or even digital ink. You can then create reminders for your notes, instructing Evernote to remind you at specific dates and times. Evernote is free to download and use, but you’ll have to pay for extra data usage and features.
These are just a few digital tools to consider using in your business. Regardless of what your business does, these tools can save you time and energy while allowing you to focus your resources elsewhere.