There are new and exciting business tools being developed every day. These can help you improve your productivity and open up entirely new channels for your business to thrive online. While there are hundreds of these kinds of applications available, I’ve handpicked for you my top ten favorites:
1. Exploratree: http://www.exploratree.org.uk/
Mind mapping is a technique for developing new ideas based on non-linear thinking. It allows you to solve problems by encouraging your brain to think creatively and explore outside of traditional project planning guidelines. This is a free tool, and you can not only save your own mind maps, but you can check out other members’ saved maps for a community database of problem solving ideas.
2. Text the Mob: http://www.textthemob.com/
This is a business version of American Idol’s audience vote! You can create polls or message boards online, project them on a screen during a presentation, and then have audience members text in their votes and comments to share with everyone. An amazing way to get people involved at your speaking engagements, sales presentations, and training seminars.
3. Zen Desk: http://www.zendesk.com/
By far the best of the web-based helpdesk applications out there; Zen Desk has clients like Twitter and MSNBC, but don’t let that fool you—it is simple to install and use even for a small business like yours.
4. Start PR: http://startpr.com/
This application helps you monitor your company’s reputation by skimming through social media sites and looking for user feedback about you and compiling it into one place. It’s a great way to manage all your Web 2.0 accounts and find out where your business is thriving online.
5. LItmos: http://www.litmos.com/
This is an online training tool which allows you to create videos, powerpoint slides, and instructional documents to give your clients or employees the training they need—even if they are thousands of miles away. As more and more businesses begin to work ‘virtually’, tools like this will be the office space of the future.
6. Clarity Accounting: http://www.clarityaccounting.com/
One of the most comprehensive and easy-to-use accounting applications (yes, it can be both!), Clarity lets you access your account from any location, provides reporting tools, and supports multiple users.
7. My Client Spot: http://www.myclientspot.com/index2/
Allows freelancers and independent contractors to manage their clients and projects online—giving access to everyone 24/7 and making it easy to manage multiple sources of revenue.
8. Skype: http://www.skype.com/
It’s an instant messenger. It’s a VOIP phone service. It’s a Video Conference host. It’s a file sharing tool. Skype does lots of things very well; and it is one of the most widely used applications in the world. Your clients probably use Skype—so why wouldn’t you?
9. Lattiss: http://www.lattiss.com/
A local directory/scheduling application that lets new and existing clients find you and schedule their own appointments at their convenience. Whether you are a masseuse or a Realtor, you can make use of this great product.
10. DocLanding: http://www.doclanding.com/
There are lots of online document sharing sites, but DocLanding is an entire file management system, and it is HIPAA and financial standard compliant for the highest level of security you’ll find online.
Here is an additional resource if you’re looking to compare credit card processing rates and reviews.
Are you using any online tools that you think make a huge difference in the way you run your business? Leave us a comment and let us know!