Thanks to the recent surge of global online communication (social media, smart phones, app development, etc) mixed with a slumping worldwide economy, it’s now a better time than ever to be a small business owner. True, unemployment rates are still high, leaving many in a lurch, but I’d suggest you look at the bright side of our current situation by leaving the resume-pushing job search behind you, and create your own brand new job instead . . . with you as the CEO.
Start a small business! I’m serious . . . find something you love to do, create a market niche, build an online presence, and take a chance on the one person you can believe in 100%: yourself. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it in the long run, so here’s a few online tools that’ll help you keep track of and manage your projects, finances, employees and communication.
Google Voice – Perfect for communication, this app keeps track of your voicemail through an online portal and gives users a free number so customers and business associates can reach you no matter where you go in the world. This extremely handy tool also transcribes your voicemails into email messages, allows you to send free text messages, and offers low rates for non-domestic calls. How cool is that?
Asana – For keeping track of projects, reducing email clutter, and managing multiple tasks with teams, Asana’s an ideal tool for any small business to have at their disposal. Update tasks through an email that’s simultaneously shared with all involved, easily assign duties to specific team members, and meet-up in chat rooms to discuss how it’s all progressing . . . Asana helps keep you and everyone involved well on top of things.
Wave Accounting – This free program will help you manage your finances, taking the place of a small accounting department by generating/organizing spreadsheets and expense reports. Wave also syncs up nicely with most banks and updates automatically with your banking transactions. Plus, you don’t have to be an accounting wiz to operate it . . . it’s designed for amateurs.
Clockspot – This one serves a dual function that relates to juggling payroll and employees. Basically, Clockspot is exactly what its name implies: it allows workers to clock in/out from any computer or phone. This is an awesome tool because you can track employee hours, transfer payroll data onto excel sheets, and workers can post progress reports to show what they’ve accomplished for each clock-in session. Oh, and it’s free so that’s another bonus.
This tiny list certainly doesn’t do justice to the long line of available tools out there to help get that small business of yours off the ground, but hopefully just the mere suggestion of such an idea might be all the inspiration you need to take control of your future. Good luck!