Startups and SMEs can be run very easily from a small office space or even home office. However, you still need the right tools to ensure productivity is as high as it would be in a full-staffed large office.

We’re a small team ourselves, so using simple tools is crucial to helping us keep the office running smoothly.

With these essential tools, your small business is ready to succeed no matter size it is.

Collaboration and team discussion

If you work with a team, a collaboration app is critical. It replaces long meetings, shared notes and whiteboards full of ideas. Instead, all of that moves online, and each member of the team can add and update information to the project as it goes along.

In that vein, Trello is essentially a collaborative list making tool with other cool features. Beyond that, there’s a lot of collaborative tools on the market, and you may need to experiment until you find the right one for your needs. SlackEvernote and even Google Drive are all ones to consider.

Cloud storage

If you’re sharing a lot of documents or producing a lot of work for clients, you may need extra storage on top of what you have on your computer. Cloud-based storage can help. It can also work as an essential backup so you won’t lose everything if you have a hardware malfunction. Consider applications like DropboxMega, OneDrive, iCloud and Box.

Cloud collaboration for document signings.  

Signing documents is a part of every business from contracts to legal forms, every employer and employee will sign a document at some point in the business. However, you shouldn’t rely on snail mail to get these documents signed or require everyone to have a scanner in their house.

You can avoid the time delays associated with standard postage by utilizing the convenience of sending the documents via email. Tools like DocuSign and Adobe Reader allow for automated signatures, making signing documents that much easier and quicker. There are many tools that also allow you to print the documents, sign and rescan them into an email. If all else fails, you can always dust off the old scanner.

Expense tracking apps

To bolster the role of your small business account, consider using an expense tracking app. From Shoeboxed to Expensify, there are countless options on the market with all kinds of price points and amenities. For example, you can get apps that allow you to shoot a picture of your receipt, apps that sync with your accounting software and apps that even track your mileage so you don’t forget to claim that expense as well. This also allows your employees to track their business expenses much easier from their homes or remote offices.

Social media management tools

Social media offers more than just a place to meet other professionals or get a few likes. These platforms are also useful places to find clients or hear about professional opportunities. To make the most of your online presence, create professional profiles on the sites that your clients are using. You can find demographic information about who uses which platform online.

Then, follow companies or individuals who are likely to post things of interest to your clients. Invest in a social media management app, like HootSuite, so you’ll never get behind on social media posting.

Accounting and financing tools

Managing your finances can be tedious, whether it’s your strong suit or not. One mistake, even a small one, can negatively affect your small business. You could miss out on opportunities, lose revenue or even be audited. Tools like Quickbooks IntuitFreshBooks and Xero are great options for small businesses.

These tools often offer customizable dashboards and online payment receipts. All accounting tools integrate your accounts, show you your financial overview, your expenses, help you with payroll and other financial necessities for your small business.

Invoicing tools

If your business runs on invoices, you know the importance of being paid on time by customers and clients. When they’re late on payments, it hurts your cash flow and your ability to expand and grow your small business or startup. Tools like Wave and Indy offer free options to send your invoices sooner so you can get that revenue back in your business’s pocket.

Freelancer tools

From time to time, you might need freelancers to help run aspects of your small business that might not be your forte or that you might need some extra help with. Especially as a startup, there’s no need to put every task on your shoulders. Freelance employees are great options for your business if you don’t have enough funding to hire full-time remote employees just yet. Sevrices like FiverrUpwork and offer a wide variety of professionals, from marketing to accounting to content creation. These sites can help you fill any gaps you need in your small business without seriously hurting your budget.

Job posting sites

When your business is ready to expand to hiring full-time employees, it’s a great sign of growth. You don’t want to slow down that growth by not using the proper tools. Job posting sites like IndeedGlassdoor and Monster can help you reach out to job seekers and find the best talent to help you expand your business even more.

Payroll tools

Payroll is essential for keeping your employees happy and your business in good legal standing, and having multiple errors looks bad for your small business. Fortunately, tools like Xero, and Namely, offer a variety of plans for you can use to help you with legal aspects, automated payments save you time and more.

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