7 Great Online Applications And Programs For SMEs
If you run a small business, you’ll know that you’re more connected than ever before. You use your PC for a wider range of activities and you’ll probably be getting to grips with Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud-based applications.
Now it’s vital to be constantly connected, to access files from multiple devices and to collaborate online rather than printing files off and meeting people in person. The internet makes business life easier, but which programs and online applications should you definitely try if you run a small business?
You’ll already know about Microsoft Office. You’ll probably be using it already. Now, Office 365 allows you to save your documents to SkyDrive so that you can access them immediately from absolutely anywhere. Your favorite Microsoft Office programs are now cloud-based, which means that it’s easier than ever to take notes in Word at a meeting and convert them to something more detailed in the office, or to finish work a little early and finalize a document whilst you’re sitting on the train and traveling home.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Like Microsoft, Adobe has moved its software online. Subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud to use Dreamweaver, Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Fireworks, InDesign and all other pieces of Adobe software that you might have used before. Now, instead of purchasing a disc and installing everything to your PC, and then purchasing another disc when you need to upgrade, you can sign up online for the latest programs and automatic updates.
As the most popular instant messaging system, Skype allows you to send messages to business partners and colleagues. You can also make and receive calls, worldwide. In addition, Skype can be used for video calls and video conferencing. You can hold all of your meetings from your comfortable chair in your office, sending files to other people as needed. More and more companies are using Skype to interview job candidates and to make business deals remotely.
For email marketing, try MailChimp. Using the MailChimp website you can design emails, send them out to your customers and clients, business partners and employees as required, and monitor how many have opened them, clicked links and interacted. Your contacts can be split into lists and people can subscribe and unsubscribe whenever they want.
Calendars on the wall are no longer practical for on-the-go business owners and their employees. Instead, sign up to Google Calendar. It’s a completely free online calendar allowing you to add and remove your commitments, along with detailed notes. You can run multiple calendars, access them from anywhere and change them instantly. If you’re out of the office and need to know if you’ve got a meeting scheduled for the afternoon then you can use your phone or tablet to access your calendar and check.
Dropbox is an extremely popular online storage system and is great for small business owners. You can store files online, just as you’d store them on your PC’s hard drive. There are two ways to use Dropbox; you can access your Dropbox on the web and upload and download files as you need them, or you can install Dropbox to your PC so that it exists like an additional hard-drive. If you choose the second option you can simply save your files straight to Dropbox, drag them around and delete them if they’re no longer needed. All files are automatically synced thanks to cloud functionality, so you can access all of your files from any device with an internet connection and can share files and folders with clients and employees. Everyone can access exactly the same up-to-date documents.
Clearbooks’ online bookkeeping and accounting software is perfect for anyone running an SME and needing to keep track of company finances, invoice clients and quickly mark those invoices as paid. You can also see when invoices are due, and send out reminders. Clearbooks works as a CRM, and you can send out an invoice in less than two minutes. Clearbooks can keep track of money coming in and money going out, giving you a whole host of reports that you can send to the tax man.
Online applications are fantastic if you have a reliable internet connection and want to be able to work from anywhere. If you’re looking for IT support Manchester providers can help you to understand more about cloud-based solutions, Software as a Service and online programs. More and more software providers are ditching the discs in favor of providing your favorite pieces of software through a subscription-based service, and so if you’re not already up to speed there’s never been a better time to try things out.
Tom Williams writes about the latest SaaS and cloud tech developments, and enjoys trying out new pieces of software for business and personal use.
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