Home Internet Affordable yet effective digital tools for new businesses

Affordable yet effective digital tools for new businesses

Most new business owners do not have a lot of spare cash. As a result, they tend to make do and mend, rather than invest in tools and equipment.

Often, this turns out to be a false economy. It leaves them working less efficiently and more messily. That makes it harder for them to keep their costs down and more likely that things will get missed. Not using the right tools, from the start, really is counterproductive.

Good business tools need not cost a fortune

Fortunately, there is no need to worry about the cost of having access to the best possible digital tools. Most business tool providers understand that start-ups cannot afford to pay hundreds per month to use their services. Therefore, many of them offer free or low-cost versions. For example, allowing a small team to use their tools for $10 to $15 per month. They only start to charge more when a firm has grown to the point where they have more users that need to use these tools.

Business account tools

From day one, business owners need to keep track of their finances. Failure to do so will lead to their first tax return being wrong. Trouble with the tax authorities is the last thing a new business owner needs.

Plus, not keeping track of the money that is spent and received can quickly lead to cash flow issues. In America, 82% of small businesses fail within the first five years due to this issue.

Two good reasons to use a good accounts package and do so from day one. Here are a few free, or virtually free ones:

  •       ZohoBooks
  •       QuickFile
  •       FreeAgent
  •       Bookio
  •       Crunch
  •       GNUcash

Bear in mind that some of these packages are only designed for use in certain countries, so check this before signing up with one. It may also be worth talking to your bank to see what they have to offer. Make sure that you can easily transfer your account files to another package, should you choose to change your bank.

Workflow and project management tools

Project management tools are invaluable, regardless of the size of your business. When you use them, you can be sure that nothing gets missed and that everything is done on time. This improves the quality of the service or product that you deliver. These tools also make it easy to identify improvements. Including ways in which processes can be honed to reduce costs.

These tools make it easy to identify each step and task and lay them all out in an orderly fashion. Then, assign the delivery of each one to someone, along with completion dates. They and the business owner can then track progress.

Here are some for you to consider using. None of them are expensive for small teams:

  •       Slack
  •       Asana
  •       Toggl
  •       Liquid Planner
  •       Trello
  •       Basecamp

You can read more about what these tools do and how using them saves most businesses money, by clicking here.

Producing business documentation collaboratively

Sometimes, you will also need more specialist and targeted apps or software. Tools that enable a diverse group of people to achieve very specific tasks together. For example, producing project documentation, instruction manuals, or marketing campaigns together.  To do this, firms of all sizes are increasingly turning to document collaboration tools.

In the past, these tools were a bit clunky, which made them slow and difficult to use. Typically, someone created a document, emailed it to everyone to read and edit, got the replies, and edited the master document. Then, send that out again, for further edits. Inevitably, the editing process went on forever as people repeatedly tweaked each other’s work.

Also, it was not unusual for people to end up inadvertently working on an outdated version of the document. That resulted in wasted effort and further slowed down the production of the final document.  Fortunately, both of these issues have been solved. It is now easy to get access to effective version control for a small fee. Using this type of document collaboration tool everyone can be sure that they are accessing and editing the latest version. There is no need to wait for someone to email it to you or for someone to copy and paste the changes into a master document. It is a highly efficient way to pool knowledge to produce all of the documentation a business needs to serve its customers.

Where to find out more

The above are just a few examples of the free or virtually free digital tools that are available. If you would like to read about more, just click here.


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