Tools to Boost Small Business Growth

small business, small business tools, business tools, entrepreneur, microsoft office 365

In the ever evolving Web 2.0 world and with Google leading the way, the rules always keep changing. There are many tools available to help small business owners grow their businesses, but like many newly formed business money becomes the biggest constraint.  Deciding on what software, tools and products to spend money on takes careful research and consideration. There are many tools available that small business owners can get something for nothing- and for new entrepreneurs, that something can have a significant impact on their businesses.  The web is full of free tools to help entrepreneurs start, run and grow their businesses for next to nothing. However, sometimes the free tools don’t offer everything and one either needs to upgrade the software to a full version by purchasing the software or membership or simply purchase a totally different product to get the full benefits to boost their small business growth.

Here’s a small list of free tools to help save new entrepreneurs some money and tools entrepreneurs should consider spending their money on in order to boost small business growth.

 

Design & Marketing

I’m unsure if you ever heard of crowd sourcing, but it’s a fairly big concept. The idea behind crowd sourcing is to allow a crowd of professionals to work on a project. The advantages of using a crowd sourcing website such as 99designs is that it reduces the costs for entrepreneurs, while solving different problems through a diversity of solutions.

99designs is the leading crowd sourcing marketplace for creative design projects, such as website graphic design, logo design, business card layout, and even marketing promotional material design. Small businesses can create design briefs, set the price, and let designers compete.

 

Video Marketing

Creative videos are becoming the future of digital marketing. And it’s no secret that video’s on websites have shown to increase conversation rates, retention rates and sign-up rates significantly. As much as I appreciate creative home made videos or webinars, I as much appreciate professionally produced videos. The key that engages me to a professional video is keeping the video down to earth and offering something that I can relate to.

Invodo is a full service video production firm that helps small businesses to better engage customers. If you’re looking to engage more customers and especially if you’re looking to increase sales (if you sell products/services on your website), than getting a professionally made video may be the way to go for you.

 

Project Management & Productivity Maximization

The idea of maximizing productivity of your small business use a software that maximizes productivity across your the different areas of your small business. A tool such as ERP (enterprise resource planning systems) inspires a businesses employees (and it’s owner/owners) to be innovative by thinking differently about the company as whole and eventually delivering the final product or service with full inspiration to the end clients. One of the leading companies in maximizing productivity is Epicor, which has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries.

 

Customer Feedback
Getting customer feedback is very important and by getting  feedback it allows small businesses to reduce product and customer support cost, optimize marketing efforts, or even select which products to add to the inventory. Get Satisfaction is the leading service that allows companies to place a “Feedback” link on their sites and thereby provide a mechanism for customers to submit ideas, ask questions, express concerns, review comments and concerns from others. There is even a way to offer timely praise.
Home Office on the Go
Office 365 is a semi-new product launched by Microsoft, which offers a secure anywhere access to email, calendars, office web apps, web conferencing, file storage and file sharing. This is ideal of the traveling employees within your small business. It’s a place where everyone can access everything and store everything – like having your office server on the go. There is also a FREE 30 day trial of Office 365. Check it out.
There are many different tools, software and online products to help small business owners. Some of them are free and don’t offer the greatest benefits in return. Other products are paid for by buying the software in full or on per month basis. Find the product that works best for your small business, even if it’s a FREE product, it may do the trick until you have the capital to go ahead and make the bigger purchase. Just remember one thing – you get what you pay for.
Eddie

Comments

  1. Some really great ideas here! With today’s technology there are so many low-cost online tools for small businesses to tap into for growth.

    We have a collection of small business marketing and productivity tools on our site that expands on some of the ideas you have here… worth checking out as well.

    http://www.sbmarketingtools.com

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