When you are the sole caretaker of a business venture that you have founded and are working on it from home, because of lack of manpower, the efficiency of the business may be hindered. These handy tools will simplify all the core tasks for you and up your business game.
1. Invoice maker
With GST the hassle of managing multiple taxes is gone, yet it is not easy to get a good invoice generator with support for GST in India. There are a few paid options such as Tally, QuickBooks etc. that work well, but as a new business you might not want to invest in these. We recommend you try out the free GSTPro (www.softwarebilling.in) or EzyInvoice (http://ezyinvoice.com). Both let you add products, set tax rate and create an invoice quickly. Once you have enough sales, you can invest in a paid software that offer additional features.
2. Social media scheduler
Social media has become one of the key areas to focus on, when it comes to business. However, it may not easy to spend a lot of time and post updates regularly considering you are also running a business. We recommend that you sign-up for a free HootSuite (https://hootsuite.com) account and use it to manage your social media posting. The free account lets you manage three social media sites, which is good enough for most new users. You can schedule posts and also receive performance metrics to see the performance of each post.
3. Email marketing
Email marketing is a big function that can boost your business by connecting with existing as well as new buyers. MailChimp (www.mailchimp) is our recommendation for your email marketing needs as it offers a number of handy features including ready to use templates, easy contact management, create pop up forms as well as integrate it with Facebook and Instagram ads. You even get a basic report regarding your email campaign in the free account to understand what works and what doesn’t. Keep in mind that the free account limits you to 2,000 contacts with a maximum of 12,000 emails per month.
4. Creatives making
So you have set up a social media account and have the email marketing sorted, but what about the content? You would like to connect with the buyers with beautiful pictures that make you stand out from the crowd. This is where Canva (www.canva.com) comes into the picture. Canva lets you create unique logos, posters, business cards, flyers, infographics etc. by making the process simple. You just need to select a template from the hundreds available, customise it with colours and fonts, add elements like arrows, frames etc. and then let Canva create a graphic as per your requirement.
5. Storage and file sharing
Once you set up a business you realise that there are tons of documents and images that need to be stored and shared when required. To keep things simple, we recommend you use Google Drive. You get 15 GB of space when you sign up for a free account, it gives you desktop and mobile apps for easy access and there is no limit to how many devices you can use to sync data. The interface is easy to use as well and there are various options on what kind of access you want to give to others when sharing a file.
If you are looking for a one stop solution to all of your small business needs, Zoho (www.zoho.com) is your answer. Zoho offers a full suite of services and tools, be it for invoice making, email marketing, accounting, social media, web conferencing and so on. The best part is that their free plan for most products give you all the tools you would require at the start of your business. Once you grow and require more features, you can invest in one of their paid plans.