Technology can give your business a competitive edge and there are a number of web based tools available to help business owners. Most of the tools listed below are designed to help you develop, manage and grow your business.
• Dropbox gives you a safe and secure place ‘in the cloud’ to store your documents and files. With Dropbox you can have 2GB of free storage space or if you need more space you can subscribe to one of their paid business plans. In addition, you can access the files via the internet or your smart phone or tablet and you can also share files, which is great for
files or documents too large to email or if you are working with an outsourced team member.
• Google Alerts lets you set an alert for your industry, your business name, your name and any topics that are relevant to your area of expertise. You can see who is talking about your business, respond to any criticisms or thank someone for a mention or endorsement. Google Alerts will also help you stay up to date with what is going on in your industry, identify any relevant news stories and alert you to any blogs you may be able to guest post on.
• Skype is a great alternative to face‐to‐face meetings and provides free calls and video conferencing to other users. You can stay in touch with interstate or international clients and outsourced team members. It can also help you control your phone bills.
• MailChimp will help you manage one of your most valuable business assets, your customer database. Your database obviously needs to be up to date and MailChimp lets you tailor your email and newsletter campaigns, share them on social networks and track your results. If you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers on your database you can send up to 12,000 emails every month at no charge.
• Google Analytics can provide you with valuable information on the people who are visiting your website. You can see which online marketing campaigns are working best, what keywords are attracting prospects and what content is working. You can then formulate more targeted marketing campaigns and edit your website content to attract more
traffic to your site and turn browsers into buyers.
• Survey Monkey. Surveys are incredibly useful business tools and can provide you with information to help you grow your business. Survey Monkey allows you to create surveys to help you identify the needs, wants, frustrations and challenges of your target market. You can gain valuable customer feedback and product or service evaluations.
• SourceBottle.com is a fantastic way to intercept media call‐outs from journalists who are looking for sources to input on their story. With the story angle already set and the story definitely going forward, all you need to do is pitch why your expert opinion or experience will be best for the story.