Surviving as a small business these days is tough. Thriving in the face of competition is even tougher. Large, well-established organizations often have more resources, more manpower, and better tools, all of which position them for success.
But that doesn’t mean small businesses should give up. Just the opposite, in fact. Small businesses have a number of benefits over enterprises, not the least of which is agility. And, thanks to the wealth of tools for small businesses available today, a small company can compete and perform the same functions served by departments at their larger counterparts.
Today, we thought we’d give a shoutout to a handful of tools that help us run an efficient, lean organization. We may not have thousands of employees, but we do have a lot of tools at our disposal that position us for success—even as a small business. Take a look for a few of our favorite tools for small businesses:
- Quickbooks online: The one-stop-shop for accounting, vendor payment, invoicing, and payroll.
- Nutshell.com: We came from Salesforce, which is a great tool, but tougher to track small details with. Nutshell is a tremendous (and economical) tool for tracking leads, managing leads, and all the things you’d want sales software to do. Easily our favorite on the list.
- Zendesk: A great support issue management software for looking at open issues, tracking support tickets, resolving tickets, and general support management.
- Scout: Scout monitors production systems and keeps track of everything from diskspace to databases all in one fairly-priced portal.
- Hootsuite: Social media management software. A must-have for businesses like ours without a dedicated social media department.
- Lingohub: Trying to reach multiple languages at once? Lingohub is pay-as-you-go translation that works really well. This is ideal for small companies trying to have an international impact.
- PivotalTracker: A tool for requirements management. We’ve been using this since day one and have been pleased the whole time.
- GitHub: GitHub is our home for source code. Even if you’re only slightly involved in open source, GitHub is a must-use tool.
- Basecamp: Basecamp is our tool for managing projects—essentially, anything that doesn’t fit into any of our other tools. Basecamp is very easy to use and has helped us navigate an endless number of projects.
- Google: We all know and love the tech giant Google. App47 uses Google to host our email server. (We use the calendar sometimes, too.)
- Mailchimp: Finally, Mailchimp is a tool for email marketing. Whether you’re sending a webinar or testing a newsletter, it’s great to have one interface with tracking all the way through.
Tools like the ones listed here used to be limited to big corporations with lots of resources. Now, for a small fraction of the cost, small businesses can operate like large enterprises. No need for multiple departments and lots of red tape—just sign up and go!
These 11 tools have made our lives here at App47 a heck of a lot easier. We may be a small team, but thanks to Zendesk, Hootsuite, Basecamp, and company, we can remain competitive in an industry jam-packed with heavy hitters.