For the last few decades, business has become increasingly more digital. That means modern businesses are intertwined with the use of computers that have internet access. Obviously there’s a long list of advantages to computerising the industry – we wouldn’t have done it otherwise!
In the last few years the digital world has changed though. With the emergence of smartphones, apps and social media, an entire community has arisen which develops and inspires nuanced, industry-related software.
So whilst computers have long been integral in assisting with our general duties, we’re missing out on countless tools online that have been developed – much like apps – in the last few years that harness the latest digital technologies. We’ve helpfully curated a list of five tools that have been crafted to make your business more productive and streamlined.
Documents are saved on a daily basis and often they’re needed by more than one person on more than one computer. Thanks to Google Drive, the prospects of emailing updated documents to one another or risking your favourite USB memory stick in the hands of your clumsy colleague are safely dispelled.
Google Drive is a file hosting service that allows cloud storage and file-syncing across any computer that’s invited to a particular Google Drive folder. It’s perfect for businesses where files need to be frequently updated and accessed by multiple devices.
Google Drive also has an incredibly useful feature that allows for collaborative editing. This increases productivity by cutting out the save-edit-share cycle of having multiple people editing documents across devices.
Basecamp is project management software that allows users to discuss projects, share files, schedule appointments, set deadlines – the list goes on. Basecamp, like the name implies, is a common ground for team members to touch base and co-ordinate ongoing projects, as well as outline new ones.
Basecamp’s comprehensive search function, along with a daily recap email of all ongoing tasks, enables users to stay on top of their project progress. It essentially unifies all communications to ensure that each member of the team is reporting to the same place.
As we’ve mentioned before, social media is a must for the contemporary business. It can be time-consuming to manage your content across each social platform though, so the developers at Hootsuite designed a service to address the multitudinous nature of social media management. Hootsuite allows you to manage and view all of your social media feeds in the same place.
With Hootsuite, you can reply to engagement from followers on any of your linked social media accounts (including Instagram), as well as schedule posts throughout the day. This is an invaluable resource for maintaining your social media presence without devoting too much of your limited time to it.
Hootsuite also features a comprehensive analytics service that allows you to measure the engagement and growth of your social media presence. Whilst social media can lead to impressive growth of your company, it’s difficult to measure at times, so Hootsuite’s analysis and scheduling means you don’t have to second-guess your strategy.
Business has an inherent relationship with handling monetary transactions, and Hiveage allows you to manage, customise and calculate your invoices easily. A free service, Hiveage offers an estimation service to make things easier for you, which can then be easily converted into invoices once the client has accepted it.
As well as managing multiple teams and businesses on a single account, Hiveage enables users to accept payments in multiple currencies, cutting out any issues with conversion rates.
Hiveage’s time-tracking feature allows you to track your time (or your client’s), meaning at the end of the month you’re able to easily translate hours into currency to add to your invoice. A successful business deals with money efficiently and Hiveage’s streamlined approach is designed to make this happen.
If content marketing is part of your strategy – and if you’re online, it should be – then Buzzsumo will grant a powerful insight into what’s currently popular.
Buzzsumo effectively tracks popular content and ranks it based on its shares over the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn (i.e. the big ones). By categorising its content into broad topics, it allows you to search for trends – as well as great content relating to them – in your industry.
Keeping your content in line with current trends cuts out the chance of wasting time creating material that’s going to gather dust in the ‘uncool’ section of the web.
There’s a myriad of resources and tools online that can be harnessed to boost your business. The above list is just a small fraction of what’s to offer, so knowing what fresh software is on offer to businesses is a crucial tactic to remain productive.