Building a business is never easy, but thanks to ever-developing technology you have access to useful and effective tools that can simplify almost all aspects of a business—from facilitating entrepreneurial journeys to minimizing distractions while building up a brand.
So scroll down and make your business more productive by trying these 17 great tools (in alphabetical order).
1. AngelList: This is a perfect tool to search for investment opportunities for startups. This social network and funding platform also helps in looking for candidates that may be interested in joining the business.
2. Asana: This Web-based project management system has become an integral part of many entrepreneurs' lives. It helps teams to track their tasks and projects with conversations and notifications, and to update their progress on work. Asana is free for teams of up to 15 people; the premium plans start at $50 per month.
3. Bright Journey: This is a fast-growing community of entrepreneurs who share startup knowledge. You can post questions to a group of top-notch business minds. Users vote for the best answer, which then appears at the top. The resources shared here are extremely useful.
4. Dropbox: You can easily have your own little place in the Cloud with Dropbox, because all your company files, photos, and videos can be safely housed here. All the large files you keep in Dropbox are backed up in one place and allow only certain employees, associates, or clients to access them. Dropbox is free for a fixed storage level, but additional storage comes at a price.
5. Evernote: This tool helps you stay organized across all your devices. Teams can create a shared notebook to capture and share ideas, documents, invoices, and receipts, and anything else that they might want to have available for future reference. You'll have access to all that via laptop, desktop, and mobile devices.
6. Flipboard: This is a news app for tablets and smartphones, and it's localized in more than 20 languages. It pulls in stories from around the Web and reformats them into magazine-like pages of text and images so you can easily flip through them. It can pull the links from your social media accounts as well.
7. GitHub: This is a collaborative tool for your developers; they can store all their source code as well as task lists. Business owners can create many teams with differing permission levels for various repositories. GitHub helps you do source code management to continuous deployment, and also helps to build software in the way that works best for you.
8. Grasshopper: This virtual phone system helps grow your business in an organized and professional manner. With an 800 telephone number, your company gets a more legitimate image. It encourages your customers to dial in from across different area codes. You can also forward as many phones and cell phones to the 800 number as you like.
9. LinkedIn: Probably the most recommended social media resource for professionals, this platform has over 300 million users. Small businesses and marketers can use it for highlighting their accomplishments, sharing content, and connecting with other professionals. Also, you can use LinkedIn groups to make connections with likeminded people.
10. Meetup: One of the largest networks of local groups, Meetup helps businesses find local gatherings and networking events in their niche. Many businesses have expanded their clientele base by reaching out on this platform to potential customers who enjoy live networking. If you want to host a group on Meetup, you'll need to pay $5 per month.
11. Moz: This site serves as a knowledge base for inbound marketing and SEO, offering best-practices and lessons on how to improve your marketing efforts, as well as helping you measure your skills in the digital marketing segment.
12. Product Hunt: This site will update you daily with information about new products and tools. It's a place where people share and geek out about their next favorite thing.
13. Skype: As we all know, Skype is a leader in VOIP calling. It allows you to communicate and talk to anyone in the world free of charge for as long as you want. You can comfortably hold video conferences with colleagues, clients, and other entrepreneurs, along with screen-sharing and file-transfer options.
14. Slack: This is an instant messaging and team-collaboration tool for modern teams that helps reduce the internal email load and makes work more productive. It helps provide a transparent view of your messages, your files, images, PDFs, documents, and spreadsheets. The robust features help you connect the tools you use and avoid constant switching among them. It also automatically indexes and archives everything that is shared so that you can find it whenever you need.
15. Square: Square Register is a point-of-sale system that allows registered members to accept debit card and credit card payments on mobile devices. It serves businesses to help monitor their sales trends and manage inventories, and makes it easier for market stalls and contractors to run their business efficiently.
16. Streak: this is a CRM (customer relationship management) plug-in for Gmail to manage and share sales leads. This productivity tool keeps track of status, notes, and details of each customer as well as schedules all crucial emails for the most impactful times. It also provides a complete timeline view of your emails so that you can see who all read it, when, and on what devices.
17. TripIt: This is a perfect travel organization tool that helps you build a personalized itinerary for every trip that you can access from any device, anytime, even if you're offline. Just forward your travel confirmation emails, and it will provide you a detailed itinerary with important dates, times, directions, and confirmation numbers. The pro version is available at $49 per year.