Tools are integral for success in the online business space. There’s no trophy for accomplishing tasks singlehandedly without help. On the contrary, people are recognized for the end result of work done and online entrepreneurs are only as successful as the tools they use.
With a computer system in one hand and the right instruments in the other, you are on your way to building a multi-billion-dollar business. Sounds farfetched? Take a cue from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel – founders of Facebook and Snapchat. They recognized an opportunity in the market and harnessed it with the tools at their disposal.
You too can build the next big online business. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to make that happen. Tools abound to make the job easier.
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Here are five business tools every serious online entrepreneur should have:
McKinsey reports that 70% of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they are treated. Customer service cannot be neglected in business, and online businesses are no exception. The remoteness of these ventures creates a need for support to customers at every point of their online journey.
Acquire thrives on customer-centrism as it prioritizes customer satisfaction on every side. Timely response to customers is vital to get their inquiries on the way. Delay in this regard tends to get customers agitated.
Features of Acquire include the following:
- Live chat
Acquires’ Chatbot collects customer interactions on your site, giving you adequate information to serve them better.
Trained in making conversations, the bot attends to customer inquiries instantly. It answers common questions and collects feedback for further correspondence. Customer inquiries are filtered based on their subject and channeled to specialized agents for efficient and swift resolutions.
It gets even more engaging as you interact with customers in real time on co-browsing. Helpdesk agents share the same computer screen with the customer. They get to see the issue first hand and navigate through it on the shared screen allowing learning to take place in the process. The customer sees how the issue is resolved and is able to handle such problems subsequently.
Collaboration is big in the workplace. Unlike offline businesses, online ventures don’t have the privilege of always being under one roof. When the flow that comes with face-to-face interactions is missing, it can cause the business to have setbacks.
Trello creates seamless online collaborations via its simple-to-use organizing and planning features. Pictures speak volumes, so It uses visuals to give an overview of tasks, team members in charge, and how far they have gone.
Features of Trello include the following:
- Visual organization
- Project tracking
- Task planning
- Automatic backup
Rather than send work instructions and updates via emails, they are represented on the board. This simplifies complex tasks. Team members get to see the “how” of executing these tasks.
It’s an effective tool for project management. You create a to-do-list for tasks, delegate them and track their progress along the way. There’s no waiting for employees to report work progress personally to team members or worry that it could slip their mind. Everyone keeps track of things as they unfold.
Seemingly little tasks are often the most time-consuming. Sometimes, you may need to combine multiple apps to get things done and moving from one app to another slows down productivity.
Zapier automates content sharing across apps which don't have inbuilt integration. Apps that normally don’t align can be streamlined in the work process, easily, without complex technical settings.
Features of Zapier include the following:
- Online developer portal
- Capacity to connect over 300 applications
- Automation of repetitive tasks
- Accounts management
- User community online
- Individual connections with apps
Referred to as Zaps, its automation is void of code, meaning the average computer user can integrate the app into their workflow. You automate the system, leaving you with more time on your hands to concentrate on more pressing duties. Work processes are organized faster and in simple ways without deeper knowledge of coding.
4. Zoho Invoice
Payments are a huge part of any business, but the need for a comprehensive payment platform is more eminent in online businesses because they deal with online transactions.
Zoho is an online invoice application that helps you to keep track of money flow. It ticks the boxes of expense management, reports, billings and payment reminders.
Features of Zoho include the following:
- Invoice on the go
- Easy estimates
- Expense tracking
- Efficient invoicing
- Online payments
The tool offers opportunities to create bespoke templates in sync with your brand. You can add a personal touch to your invoices to enhance your brand image and perception. You also get the chance to communicate with your clients in real time, negotiate prices and agree on payment terms.
Basecamp ups the ante of the traditional group chat. The messaging application is designed for team collaboration – enabling team members to communicate with each other on matters that are of concern to them. It takes care of a common problem people have with group conversations – being bombarded with unsolicited messages. Members can opt out of conversations they aren’t interested in.
Features of Basecamp include the following:
- Team collaboration
- Project tracking and reports
- Tasks delegation
- Document management and file sharing
- Message boards and Instant messaging
- To-do lists
Basecamp offers online businesses of all sizes the resources for project management. They get to communicate about project ideas, share documents and keep track of work.
Big on collaboration, its simple interface enables team members to keep a tab on everything happening. They are updated on project developments, with reminders about deadlines. The homepage boasts of three sections: Company HQ, Projects and Team. Navigation on the platform is very easy as team members can dive into relevant sections of their work.
Nowadays, there are tools for everything. It’s no longer about executing tasks, but how fast you are at it. The earlier you tick off a task, the faster you move on to the next.
Online tools maximize your efforts, creating more opportunities for your business to thrive. For every task on ground, there are tools you can use to boost efficiency. It’s up to you to identify and use them.