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In 2018, more and more people are leaving behind the traditional office layout and working remotely. From a business perspective, this drastically reduces overhead costs and allows business owners to tap into a global market.
To get the job done right, online business owners need the right tool stack. While having an online business removes the need for large printers and break rooms, there are various tools needed for operating a successful business. Here’s what you should have in your 2018 tool stack.
Time Management and Recording
Don’t just estimate how much time you spend on a project; record it! Having an accurate way to calculate time will help you refine your standard operating procedures, bill accordingly, tweak your package offerings and pricing and pay contractors you work with. You don’t need to get fancy. You can use something as simple as an Excel sheet and calculate your time at https://www.ontheclock.com/Free-Online-Time-Card-Calculator.aspx.
You’ll also want to use recorded time as a measure of your productivity. Consider using a productivity app that uses the Pomodoro technique to get the most out of your day.
Email Marketing Sales Funnel
To generate leads for your online business, you need to have an email marketing sales funnel in place. This is how you’ll collect potential client information, start to build a rapport with them, and ultimately sell them your goods and services.
To build your funnel, you will need an opt-in or lead magnet that encourages people to share their information with you. You will need an email marketing system, such as MailChimp, to capture the information and begin emailing them. Finally, you will need a bulk email verification service to make sure everything is getting delivered. Check out the Top 10 Bulk Email Verification and Validation Services Compared – AccuWeb Hosting for more information.
Project Management Platform
If you need to keep a team on track (even if it’s just a team of one) you need a way to visually organize the tasks and deliverables of your project. Before the internet age, project management was expensive and required a lot of training for effective use. Things are simpler now. Project management tools like Bandcamp and Trello are lifesavers when it comes to assigning tasks and due dates, and communicating with a team.
Trello, in particular, has an easy-to-use system that operates like a virtual whiteboard with Post-it notes. With its minimal learning curve, integrated features, and lack of cost, Trello is a must-have tool for 2018 online businesses.
Since you can’t walk up to your employees’ desk when you operate an online business, you need a safe, fast way to share important documents. Cloud sharing has changed the face of business. Think about it: you’re at the airport waiting for your flight and realize that you left the flash drive with important information at home. You frantically call a friend to see if they can break into your house, upload the files, and email them to you. Alternatively, if everything is in the cloud, you sit back, relax and wait for your flight.
Google Drive is a commonly used cloud platform, as it integrates with various office related programs and connects conveniently with one’s Gmail account. DropBox is another popular option due to its enhanced security and customizable formatting.
Having the right tool stack for your online business will bolster your success in 2018!