Joshua Julien Brouard
16 August 2023 • 4 min read
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Julie has started a new small business, and she's looking for tools to help her conduct her business. She searches for "online tools for businesses" but comes up with many lengthy articles from websites trying to sell an affiliate's products. She realizes this and feels just as uncertain as before she started her search.
I've created this article to help Julie and anyone struggling with finding a meaningful list of online business tools to help them get their business off the ground.
I'd argue that LastPass is one of the best online business tools available today.
And this is for one reason alone: it performs one function and does it well.
And let's be honest; it's tricky keeping track of all of your passwords. (I'd be hesitant to admit how many times I've used the "forgot my password" feature on a website.)
LastPass conveniently stores ALL of your passwords (and those of your employees) onto one platform. It also takes the risk off of you, particularly if you're storing all your passwords on your personal computer or a cloud service.
But is LastPass secure?
Most definitely. Your sensitive data is safely encrypted; nobody, including LastPass representatives, can access your password.
The Cost: You can get LastPass for free or sign up for LastPass premium for only $3 per month. It’s a worthwhile investment!
The phrase "Dropbox me" has almost become as well understood as "Google it." Dropbox provides a cloud service that can be used to store and share files. You can also use it to directly edit documents.
Dropbox provides efficient file sharing and a place to back up files in case of hardware failure.
The Cost: Now, you can use free Dropbox Basic. However, it's constrained with only 2 GB of space. Dropbox offers four different premium plans, with the most basic at $119.88 per year/$11.99 per month and the highest at $24 per user per month billed yearly/$ 30 per user per month billed monthly.
No article about small business tools is complete without mentioning Canva.
Yes, it's "that tool" that makes us all feel like professional graphic designers. Canva has taken the small business world by storm by providing small business owners with the ability to create social media graphics for use in social media marketing and other designs using simple-to-grasp templates and useful features.
Canva can also have its place as part of your website-building tools.
The Cost: Canva is completely free at its most basic plan. However, businesses may opt for either Canva Pro or Canva for Teams. As marketing tools go, it's a must-have.
Trello should be thought of as a "productivity dashboard." It's a way to effectively manage tasks, create lists, and optimize your team's workflow. Trello has become incredibly popular with small businesses and larger ones alike.
It's a fantastic tool with many features, including third-party integration, checklists, automation, and more.
Nothing stimulates business growth more than a highly-efficient team.
The Cost: Trello is available for free. However, larger teams may be better off with one of their premium packages which range in cost from $5 to $17.50 per user. Don’t let that put you off though. It’s a great investment.
Another great online business tool is Slack.
Say you run an online store or an online marketing platform, and you've got staff working on different functions. You have someone to manage customer relationships, someone else for email marketing and social media, another person who handles distributions, and a few other people handling different aspects of the business.
As your customer relationship management team grows or your staff grows, it can become trickier to send notices, establish clear lines of communication, and work on tasks together.
Slack solves this issue. It provides an excellent communication and collaborative work platform that works on any device. It boasts various chat functions, data protection features, and project management functions.
The Cost: Slack is free but is also available as different premium options, depending on your organizational needs. At the least, it costs $7.25 per month.
Before speaking about HubSpot, let me start by covering what a CRM tool us:
Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are used to manage relationships with the company involving current and prospective customers.
HubSpot provides a platform for everyone in your business, regardless of their role (sales, operations, marketing, or legal), to work on the same record system.
HubSpot helps sync customer data, reduce redundant data, and automate processes.
The Cost: HubSpot is available as two different premium options, either professional or enterprise. Professional starts at $800 monthly, and enterprise begins at $3600 monthly.
Zoom is undoubtedly one of the most popular free tools available. This video call service has taken the world by storm.
Don't believe me?
Think about the last time when someone requested a “Skype call.”
Zoom is the new Skype, along with competitors such as Google Meet.
Zoom has nifty in-built features such as virtual backgrounds, reactions, and scheduling meetings.
The Cost: Zoom is free, although it's limited to 40 minutes per meeting. Another option is to opt for one of their premium plans, with the cheapest at $149.90 per user per year or $15.99 per user per month.
Given how many are out there, it can be tricky to decide on the right tools. I hope I've made the process easier by listing some of today's most used and popular tools. Best of luck in your search!
One of the most common business tools used in organizations are communication tools. Slack is an excellent platform for this. It provides an efficient instant messaging platform that offers various chat functions, third-party tools integrations, and project management features.
CRMs such as HubSpot are the most effective management tool as they ensure data synchronization among teams.
E-commerce tools include plug-ins, platforms, and apps that assist business owners in managing their online stores. An example of this is an e-commerce platform such as Shopify.
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Joshua Julien Brouard
Joshua J. Brouard brings a rich and varied background to his writing endeavors. With a bachelor of commerce degree and a major in law, he possesses an affinity for tackling business-related challenges. His first writing position at a startup proved instrumental in cultivating his robust business acumen, given his integral role in steering the company's expansion. Complementing this is his extensive track record of producing content across diverse domains for various digital marketing agencies.
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