Working remotely doesn’t come without it’s difficulties, and certainly no one has ever said being an entrepreneur or the owner of a start-up company is a walk-in-the-park. However, there are thousands of programs and Apps in the world today that can help you achieve your business goals no matter where you are. From collaboration programs to free website hosting and design websites there is assistance for any need you may have.
With so many different options, how are you supposed to choose? BusinesSuites has done a round-up of our personal favorite virtual office programs and Apps. The following 7 tools are must-have in your virtual office suite:
Website creation fees range from free domains with only a handful of tools available, to high-end websites created by costly designers who charge well into the thousands to hire. Realistically speaking, start-up, entrepreneurs, and small business owners don’t have thousands of dollars to invest in a website, but they still require a website that can compete for their audience’s attention. What can you do?
We suggest checking out Weebly – a website designer with a professional, unique look, for an almost unbelievably low monthly cost. With Weebly, create your website, blog, e-commerce cart all in the same spot! The drag and drop building tools make creating your website a simple process and the professionally designed templates are fully customizable to fit your tastes. Don’t worry about the mobile compatibility of your new website or blog, your website is automatically optimized to fit mobile devices – guaranteeing your customers will have the best experience on your website no matter where they are.
If you work in an industry where project management is the key to success – you will need an excellent project management system you can rely on. Whether you coordinate with a team on projects, or you work solo, you’ll want a more efficient and reliable way of organizing your tasks than a planner, email chains, and instant messaging. Basecamp is a popular project management tool that allows you to keep track of tasks within each project and assign them to different members to your team as needed.
Each project is given its own page on Basecamp – and each part of the project can be organized in tasks to be completed. When you set due-dates for each assignment, Basecamp will automatically notify you via email on the day before the assignment is due to remind you that you need to complete it. Companies in every industry can benefit from Basecamp, but industries such as event planning, marketing, and support services rely on project management programs in order to be successful.
Tired of filling out an Excel sheet daily? Do you find yourself losing track of how much time you’re giving to just one particular project? Harvest is a great time management program that ties directly into Basecamp.
Keep track of how much time you are dedicating to one project and calculate what hours you are able to bill your clients for. Harvest allows you to manage your employees’ time and help your team better their time management skills and yours. You can track your expenses on each project to help you better price your services with Harvest time tracking.
Rather than bouncing back and forth between your social media platforms, find an app that allows you to track them all at once! Hootsuite is a great app that allows you to manage all of your company’s social messages from your phone. Schedule, publish, and edit posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more from one place. Monitor engagement on your posts so you can give timely responses to your fans and followers. Hootsuite is free for the first 3 social platforms.
Skype has long been a preferred communication tool since mobile devices like smartphones and tablets became popular. With a growing amount of business professionals choosing to work remotely, Skype created the Skype for Business App for a fee as low as $2.00/month.
Through Skype, you can chat more conveniently with your team, your partners, and your customers. Face time your clients when they need assistance with a product or service, or conduct meetings with your team members to discuss important projects. You won’t need to worry about passing important, secured information to a team member through the Skype for Business chat, the platform guarantees enterprise-grad security and management to protect all of your important information.
There are tons of great email services you can use, and some people may prefer keeping a personal calendar with them rather than leaving their schedule on their computer. However, Google Apps is a great source to use when you want to coordinate your email and calendar with email invites, due dates on projects, conference call times, and contact lists. Google Apps easily integrates all of your important documents and more into one spot for you to access. Google Apps includes a drive for storing your documents and sharing them with your team, the news app allows you to stay up-to-date on important events, and the calendar app allows you to keep track of meetings, tasks, and conference calls.
Email campaigns are an important part of obtaining leads for new customers, and nurturing current customers into continuing to use your services. With MailChimp, separate your mailing lists to target a more specific audience, and track what campaigns perform better than others all on one dashboard. MailChimp even stores the results of your campaigns on the first page that appears when you log in, making it easy to re-use campaigns that have performed well. With MailChimp, you’ll even be given tips on the best time to send an email based on your past email performances, and tools to help you grow your audience.
With all of these tools and a virtual office solution, managing your start-up or working remotely for a larger company will be made more manageable. BusinesSuites has virtual office solutions available at all 30 locations nationwide. Contact us today to ask about our virtual office spaces.