All kinds of companies and businesses, from huge multinational companies to sole traders and energetic start ups, are conducting more and more business online. This doesn’t just mean contacting customers and making sales over the internet, but also internal communications and business dealings. The advantages of online business tools won’t escape any savvy business mind – accessible from anywhere, they are perfect for those who work from home, spend a lot of time travelling to and from business meetings, or the small business owner who can’t help but do some extra work in the evenings. So, what are some of the best online tools for business?
- Collaborative document-sharing sites. There are a number of different options for sharing documents between colleagues and employees. You could print them out and walk across town for your colleague to mark with a pen, email them back and forth with increasingly complicated file names showing which version you are using, or take advantage of file sharing sites that allow users to edit collaboratively. Google documents is surely the most well known, but other options such as DocLanding may be more suitable for businesses that require the highest levels of security.
- Videoconferencing tools Videoconferencing is a great way for a business to gain the benefits of face to face meetings – brainstorming, collaborative action, immediate feedback and so on – for the minimum cost. Instead of having to arrange transport, which may involve costly flights, book meeting rooms and take the time out of a busy day to get to the meeting, personnel can converse with colleagues from their desks, without sacrificing the important body language and connection that visual contact gives. Skype is one of the most popular videoconferencing tools online, and will definitely give a taste of the benefits for those who are unsure of their precise needs.
- Web-based CRM systems Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software allows for the tracking and integration of vital business data. This data is then available to staff as a cohesive package, so that sales, marketing, customer support and finance functions are streamlined and more efficient. CRM software can also flag up problems or opportunities in business processes, allowing guided decision making. Web based CRM allows for quick updating and access of information, regardless of where an employee is. There is a huge range of web based CRM systems available, from low-cost bare bones applications to advanced integrated systems.
- Social Media Monitoring Tools Social media is becoming more and more central to customer communication and how businesses are perceived. Various tools allow you to monitor social media for references to your company. Start PR compiles this information into one easy to read database.
- Audience Interaction Tools for Presentations A good presentation can gain you contacts, customers and business contacts. Various tools exist to spark audience participation, but Text the Mob has to be one of the best. Polls that are created online can be projected onto a screen. The audience then text in responses and comments which are shown in real time.
This article was written by Workbooks, leading supplier of web-based CRM software.