3 Game-Changing Organizational Tools for Small Business Owners

by Guest Author on September 19, 2012

in Articles, Guest Posts

Easy ways to make your small business more professional and efficient

Over the last few years, the accessibility of business software has exploded. With the advent of cloud and mobile computing, small businesses are able to match larger competitorsí organization and efficiency on an unprecedented level – and that means greater opportunity, but also stronger competition. Here are a few of the most innovative tools that will change the way you do business.

A shared cloud-based file structure

If you and your employees are still sharing files and documents via email attachments, a free cloud storage service can be a huge time-saver. Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync, and Box.com are all competitive options – and with more services jumping on the bandwagon, cloud storage is getting cheaper and easier to find every day.

If you and your employees need a low-stress option for small documents like spreadsheets and Word documents, Dropbox is probably your best bet: it has by far the most user-friendly interface, and works for any file type. If you want to store large files (if you do photography or video editing, for example), you may want to look elsewhere – you’ll go through your free 2 GB very quickly, and Dropbox’s subscriptions are pretty steep. Go with Google Drive if you want a paid service.

VoIP for internal calls

If your business hires telecommuters or operates from multiple work sites, paying for internal calls is a big waste of money. Instead, have all employees networked on Skype Mobile or a comparable VoIP service (FaceTime and Tango are solid alternatives, although FaceTime requires everyone to be on Apple hardware).

With a VoIP service, all calls within your organization are completely free, even if your employees use different cell phone providers. For $4.99/month, Skype also provides group video calling, which is a great way to keep far-flung employees integrated with your team.

Mobile card readers

For independent contractors and other self-employed people, the inability to process credit and debit cards can be a major obstacle to impressing clients and demonstrating professionalism. Services like Square, PayPal, and Intuit allow you to accept cards online or from a mobile device. Most credit card processing services provide the mobile app and card reader free, and you can get a discounted swipe fee by paying a flat rate monthly.

This makes choosing the cheapest option a little tricky, so weíve done the comparison for you.

  • Square offers unlimited free swipes for $275.00/month, or a 2.75% fee per swipe – so unless you anticipate over $10,000/month in mobile credit card swipes, Square is the most expensive of the three.
  • Intuit offers a 2.7% per-swipe fee, or 1.7% with a $12.95 monthly payment. If you expect to process more than $500, but less than $10,000, Intuit is the cheapest option. Also, unlike PayPal or Square, Intuit allows you to sync your credit card processing with their QuickBooks accounting software, so it’s the clear standout.
  • PayPal Here has no monthly flat rate – just 2.7% per swipe – which means that it’s identical to Intuit for businesses that pull less than $500 per month, but more expensive past that point. If you’re already leaning heavily on PayPal for online transactions, it might not be convenient to switch over; but unless your small business is extremely small, itís worth making the change.

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Guest article written by: Shawna Davies is a staff writer for Going Cellular. She has a talent for organization and helping people navigate new technology. Sheís a confessed gadget freak, but when she gets out of the house, she loves spending time at the lake with her husband and young son. They live in Beaumont, Texas.

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Guest article written by: Shawna Davies is a staff writer for Going Cellular. She has a talent for organization and helping people navigate new technology. Sheís a confessed gadget freak, but when she gets out of the house, she loves spending time at the lake with her husband and young son. They live in Beaumont, Texas.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

RonLeyba September 19, 2012 at 17:53

Thanks for sharing the above information about those organizational tools. I think it can be used by small group of service providers as well. Two thumbs up for this.
RonLeyba recently posted… Mind Playing 50 Shades Of Grey Fifty Quotable Quotes [In Text And Images]

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Bernhard September 28, 2012 at 15:32

That’s a great list! I actually think that cloud base file infrastructures are the biggest innovation for corporate IT systems.

One thing that is missing (or only partly covered) are collaboration tools. I think with cloud infrastructure of maybe even dedicated web applications teams can work together so much more efficient than before.

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