Starting a new business is never easy. From setting up your legal structure to landing new clients to actually running the business—your to-do list can get out of hand pretty quickly.
However, certain technology solutions can help you streamline processes and stay organized from the get-go.
Try these six apps to make your life easier when you’re starting your new business.
First, you need to set up accounting software to track and manage your finances.
QuickBooks is arguably the best accounting software out there for small to midsize businesses. It connects to multiple apps, can adapt to your needs as your business grows, and has excellent customer service. As of this writing, over 1.5 million customers rely on QuickBooks—sometimes it’s nice to go with the big guys.
Try QuickBooks Online if you’re setting up a brick and mortar or e-commerce business. QuickBooks Self-Employed is a better choice if you’re a soloprenuer setting up a freelancing or consulting business.
2. G Suite
Next, you need to decide on a platform for managing your email and documents. I’m a big fan of G Suite.
Like most people, I used Outlook for years before weaning myself off. In the beginning, I ran Outlook simultaneously with Gmail because I wasn’t sure if I would like it. Now I couldn’t imagine going back. It makes my life way easier.
For example, today a client emailed me an address for an upcoming meeting. When I opened the email, I was able to send him a canned response that said, “Confirmed. See you tomorrow,” and then easily add the meeting my calendar. My meeting was confirmed, and I was able to get back to work.
Google Sheets and Docs can also make your life easier. For instance, I’m writing this post in Google Docs. When I’m done, I can share it with the editor and she can make edits directly to the post. So easy.
Google Sheets does everything Excel does. Even pivot tables. And don’t worry, many of the legacy keyboard shortcuts you fell in love with using Excel are available in Google Sheets.
Worried about security? Google has about every security certificate you can imagine. It has all three accounting SOC reports, HIPAA, FINRA, and more. Learn more about Google Cloud security here.
G Suite makes so many aspects of running my business easier. From Gmail to Google Docs to Google Drive to the Calendar—having all of these apps working together makes coordinating with clients and vendors way more efficient.
Another app I think every business should be using is Smartsheet. This might seem like it’s redundant with Google Sheets, but it isn’t.
Smartsheet is a project management tool that looks like a spreadsheet. You can build out projects to track anything you want. When you see how powerful the filters, alerts, and reminders are, you’ll wonder how you managed without Smartsheet.
You can also attach Google documents to any line item in Smartsheet, so this will work really well with the above recommendation of G Suite.
For web conferencing and remote support, Zoom is all you need. From video conferences to webinars to remotely accessing someone’s computer, Zoom is like three tools in one. Recording a session is easy, too.
If you are using GoToMeeting, you will be so relieved after you switch over to Zoom. It’s much better.
5. Schedule Once
Scheduling a call with someone can be a painfully annoying task—especially if you’re the type of person who has multiple calls or meetings per day.
With Schedule Once you can easily share your calendar with prospective clients, and when they book a time, it’s reflected on everyone’s calendar. You can even sync it up with your CRM so that when a prospective client books a time, they are upgraded to a qualified lead. How’s that for simple?
6. Nimble CRM
Speaking of CRM, Nimble CRM is my go-to favorite.
Nimble does the heavy lifting for you when it comes to organizing client information. It automatically syncs your team’s Google Apps or Office 365 contacts, calendars, email, and social interactions to give you the most accurate and current information. It also adds social profile links for all of your contacts and companies.
Plus, Nimble offers powerful tools, like its Chrome widget, that make it easy for you to find contact details whenever you need them. For instance, I can be working on a client in QuickBooks Online, activate the chrome widget, hover my mouse over the client’s name, and Nimble brings up that contact’s information right in the sidebar.
Of course, Nimble has all of the standard features of any CRM as well as powerful segmenting capabilities to make it very easy to send individualized messages to a specific segment of customers.
Nimble helps you grow and manage your client list and the other apps help you run your business efficiently. This is an ecosystem you can work with, and it’s easy to keep everything connected because all of it is cloud-based.
Starting a business can be stressful, but with these six apps, you can run your new business efficiently from anywhere.
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