There are many online tech tools available for setting up a new business. As a small business owner myself for the past 10 years, I’ve come to rely on several that I recommend. (Down at the bottom is one Joel has been using a while.) The top 12 I recommend are:
- Basecamp3 – https://3.basecamp.com/ This is a very simple, web-based, project management tool. You can store files and create task lists with due dates that can be assigned to different team members. You can share folders with clients or not. There is no limit to the number of projects you can create. They offer a free 30-day trial without a credit card needed. This is a tool I use every day and it’s well worth the $29 per month I spend to be able to manage a variety of different projects with my various team members and clients.
- OneDrive – https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-us/ – Microsoft’s One Drive allows you to store all my files in one place online. Then access them from anywhere and from any device. It’s great for collaboration and provides real-time notifications when a document is being edited.
- Adobe Sign– https://acrobat.adobe.com/us/en/sign.html: The free version of this web-based tool has been all I’ve ever needed to get contracts sent and signed by all parties. The perfect tool for anyone who needs to get their contract signed quickly to commence work.
- QuickBooks Online– https://qbo.intuit.com/: A great tool I use to track all my income and expenses. I can use it from anywhere since it’s a web-based tool.
- Google Mail, Drive and Calendar–https://www.google.com/: I use Gmail for all my email needs, as well as all of Google’s tools such as Drive, formerly known as Google Docs, and the calendar. With Drive you can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations. These can be shared and downloaded. You can upload your Word documents and Excel spreadsheets also and they convert very nicely. The calendar can also be shared so other team members know your availability.
- Free Conference Call – https://www.freeconferencecall.com/ – This free online tool allows you to have free conference calls. Invaluable when you need to include several people in one call.
- Skype– http://www.skype.com/: This free tool can be used to speak with anyone else who has a Skype account. For a small fee, you can make calls to landlines and cell phones as well. There is also video conferencing. There are also free tools you can use to record your conversations if needed.
- WordPress– http://wordpress.com/: If you don’t yet have a blog and, you should set one up at WordPress. It’s easy to use and the perfect way to show off your expertise.
- HootSuite– https://hootsuite.com/: The free version of this tool is all you need to manage your entire social media presence from one place.
- Adobe Express – https://www.adobe.com/express/create – You can create social media graphics and videos with Adobes free graphic design app.
- Dropbox– https://www.dropbox.com/: This is a file-sharing tool that can be synced with your computer. You can share links with colleagues and clients and invite them to a shared folder. It’s very easy to use and serves as a good backup for files. There is a free version as well as a more robust paid business version.
- Jing– http://www.techsmith.com/download/jing/: Jing is a free tool that allows you to create videos and take screenshots and then share them with anyone. This has been very useful in my business to show a client or team member where to find something on a web page or to provide instructions. Videos are limited to five minutes.
You may use other tools as well. Talk to other people in your specific industry to find out what other tech tools may be useful to you in setting up your new business.
UPDATE: Another wonderful tool to use to create social media graphics is Canva. I’ve been using it for quite a while now for myself and clients. Canva’s online social media graphic creator lets you create social media image posts and share them in seconds, thanks to their library of templates and Canva’s intuitive drag-and-drop design platform that’s online and free to use. Check it out: https://www.canva.com/create/social-media-graphics/