Both time and financial constraints are important factors that can stop any business getting ahead. However, the use of online tools – many of which are free – can help businesses to run more efficiently, allowing you time to focus on how you can increase the growth of your company. Here we review five online business tools that may well be of interest.
Project management tool
When a project is underway and you have a number of people contributing to it, knowing who is working on each element and what stage they are at is crucial. Trello is a free online application that allows you to see exactly this. Each project is represented by a board, which has task lists corresponding to jobs to be started, those in progress and those completed; the jobs themselves are shown as cards, which can be assigned to team members and moved from list to list as they progress. Cards can have notes, attachments, check lists and due dates added to them, as well as allowing discussions to take place. The boards, lists and cards can be customised to meet your needs, so are adaptable to whatever line of business you are in; they are also very easy to use, so team members will quickly learn how Trello works.
Remote access and control of your computer
If you travel a lot for business, there is nothing worse than realising that you have not transferred everything you need from your desktop to your laptop for while you are away. However, this need not be a problem with a remote access service such as that provided by LogMeIn. Wherever you are, as long as you have access to the internet via another computer or a mobile device you can use this online tool to access your desktop files, run programs and check your emails; you can even wake up a computer that is currently in sleep mode using this. The service is simple to use and there is no need to worry about security, as the encryption used is the highest level that is available. LogMeIn increases business productivity, as never again will time be lost when you do not have access to the files you need; with free access for up to ten computers it is an invaluable service.
Presenting to remote audiences
If you wish to conduct a presentation over the internet, AnyMeeting offers a great service, particularly as for up to 200 users per session it is free of charge; be aware though that this does come at a price, as adverts will be visible when opting for the free package. Even if it is the first time you have conducted a webinar, the online software is easy to use, so you can’t really go wrong, especially as help is always available if needed; it is also straight forward from the clients’ point of view. In comparison to other free tools for hosting webinars, the range of tools offered by AnyMeeting is superior and there is no limit on the time that conferences can last for or how many you can conduct.
Small business accounting
If you have recently set up your own business, organising your finances can be daunting. However, with the help of outright it needn’t be. In its simplest terms the service helps businesses to keep on track with their income and expenses helping to ensure that they pay the right taxes and indeed is a lot simpler than many accounting packages available. Whatever method your clients use to pay you, whether it’s into your bank account, via PayPal or using cash, all methods can be supported. Although you will have to enter the records from till receipts for cash purchases manually, this is the only time when data input is required and there is certainly no need for you to do any maths – that is all taken care of. You can see at a glance exactly what is happening with your business finances through easy to read graphs. All your data is securely stored, so outright takes the worry out of all aspects of your accounts.
Buy to let mortgage calculator
There has never been a better time to be a buy to let landlord, so it’s not surprising that more people are exploring this business venture to provide a second income, with some even taking on property portfolios to meet their full financial needs. However, knowing how large a mortgage you could hope to secure is essential when considering purchasing property for this venture. Whether you are an experienced landlord or someone new to the arena, ProBuyToLet’s mortgage calculator is an extremely useful tool. It is able to give you an indication of the size of mortgage you could obtain and your monthly payment based on the value of the property, the predicted rental income and the mortgage rate you are hoping for. While only one of these three items of information needs to be completed for you to be quoted a value, if you have two or more available, inputting these provides a more specific quote. The tool is very easy to use, providing you with a good estimate for your buy to let mortgage in a matter of seconds.
About The Author
Sally writes business articles for a number of small local business groups.