5 Tools Your Business Needs Yesterday

If anyone knows anything about needing to watch the bottom line, it’s a small business owner. To assist you with this, we’ve put together a list of free or little cost software tools that can assist your company with achieving your big dreams while not exceeding your budget.

Document Scanning

If you’re in business, at some point you’ll need a document scanner. Evernote offers that and so much more, including the ability to save a webpage. With Evernote, you’ll be able to scan documents, notes from meetings, and even business cards using nothing more than just your smartphone’s camera. Scan multiple documents in a single session and you can have each one treated as its own document as opposed to all being tied up as one.

Accounting

You’ll also need a way to make mobile payments. There are quite a few apps out there for this, each one with its own merits. However, Wave is one that stands out. If you want to make sure your books remain balanced, Wave offers you the right tools for the job. With its free version, you’ll get reports and accounting functionality, you’ll have the ability to scan receipts and invoices right into the system too. In fact, the free version goes a long way, but it will cost you a small amount (quite cost-effective) if you want to work with direct deposit payroll and payments. This will cost less than $20 each month.

VPN

Small businesses that are concerned about things like security (every business should be), should be utilizing VPN services. This will assist with hiding your online activity from hackers and will limit what users can and can’t access. Most virtual private networks are on a sort of pay-to-play basis, but there are a couple, like CyberGhost, that offer you what you need at little to no cost.

Endpoint Protection

What’s the point of having a business if there’s a possibility that it can be shut down by hackers or viruses? Thankfully, there are quite a few options out there that offer endpoint protection in both free and premium versions. Avast is one such option. With Avast, if you choose to go with the free version, you won’t have any sort of access to data shredding, a firewall, or proactive controls. That said, you still have solid rescue disk functionality, security scanning, and malware blocking. All of these are quite useful.

Project Management

Wrike isn’t always free. In fact, it can be up to $100 each month, but it’s a project management solution that happens to be one of the best out there. There is a free version that’ll support as many as five users as well as however many collaborators you need, along with 2GB of storage.

With the free version alone, you’ll have the ability to share files, manage tasks, and keep an eye on the activities of your group by checking out the real-time feed. If you do find that you need reporting and customizations, you’ll want to go with a tier that isn’t free. However, for the small business that’s just starting out, the free version will meet all of your current needs.

Finally, here’s a bonus one for you. If you need to connect with remote workers, prospects, or clients, you’ll be in need of a good video conferencing solution. Join.Me gives you a plan that’s free to use for as many as 10 participants. You can even share screens and it supports five video feeds simultaneously.

Of course, there are quite a few tech tools that businesses need, but the ones you’ve just read about are ones that are imperative to have regardless of whether you’re a one-person operation at the moment or if you’re already established.

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Tanveer Naseer is an award-winning and internationally-acclaimed leadership writer and keynote speaker. He is also the Principal and Founder of Tanveer Naseer Leadership, a leadership coaching firm that works with executives and managers to help them develop practical leadership and team-building competencies to guide organizational growth and development. Tanveer’s writings and insights on leadership and workplace interactions have been featured in a number of prominent media and organization publications, including Forbes, Fast Company, Inc Magazine, Canada’s national newspaper “The Globe and Mail”, The Economist Executive Education Navigator, and the Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center.

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