In my work with small/medium businesses and entrepreneurs, I hear a near-constant refrain: overwhelm, overwork, and lack of productivity. While there’s no one silver bullet that can solve all of these problems in one fell swoop, choosing and implementing the right technology can make a HUGE difference not only to how you work, but to your overall bottom line in your business.
In particular, online or cloud-based tools (that is, applications or services that you access via the internet, instead of being installed on your computer) have a number of benefits for your small business. With online tools, you don’t have to worry about computer compatibility and you won’t need an IT person to make sure your software works – as long as you have access to a browser, everything is handled on the service’s end. Also, many cloud services are either low-cost or free, which can be a huge boon to a small business – no more $500+ outlay of cash for an upgrade to your office software suite. Plus, you have the added benefit of being able to access your data from any computer, anywhere.
Even though online tools can be great, as with any technology, you need to choose wisely. You want to look for cloud services that solve a real business need that you’re having – whether it’s CRM, project management, accounting and finance, or something else entirely – and choose a tool that will bridge that gap for you. Gain some skill and mastery with that tool, and then move on to solving another business need. Don’t make the mistake that I see all too often of signing up for multiple services at one time – that can lead to even more overwhelm than when you started, and you’re not likely to solve your problems when you’re in a state of overwhelm.
To make the selection process a bit easier, I’ve created a curated list of some of my favorite services, tools, and apps. Since I’m constantly checking out new cloud services, I’ve spent my time separating the wheat from the chaff. If you’d like to leverage the work that I’ve already done, my list is yours for the taking here.
A big part of my job is helping my clients navigate the seemingly endless array of online tools that are available. I know it can be daunting! I’m always on the lookout for tools that are specifically designed for small businesses, and especially ones where the company actually cares about the needs and goals of SMBs and entrepreneurs. I partnered with Deem as we have the same philosophy toward empowering small businesses, to maximize their productivity and find success.