Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to break the bank on great systems for your small business to get started.
You simply need to find relevant technology to creatively and efficiently help you get your hustle on! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s that easy for a startup or small/medium business to thrive in Africa. I’ll do my best to keep this short and informative.
This is PART 2. You can read part 1 here
So, here we go:
6. File Storage & Synchronisation (Google Drive)
Storing documents to allow for easy collaboration has always been a bit tricky for teams working together on a project, but no longer with Google Drive, Google’s cloud based office suite. Drive includes a word processor (Google Docs), spreadsheets (Google Sheets), a presentation program (Google Slides), and a form builder (Google Forms). We’ve compiled a list of a few of the reasons we love Google Drive and some tools that can make it even more powerful.
The nicest thing so far as I’m concerned, about Google Drive, is that it is FREE and comes with:
- Document processing capabilities for (‘Word’, ‘Excel’ and ‘Powerpoint’)
- A familiar and easy to use interface
- 15GB disk space
- Collaboration capabilities
- Forms and surveys
This means you can get started writing proposals, presenting presentations, recording numbers of a spreadsheet, and much much more without having to spend a single cent on Licenses. Learn more about Google Drive
MailChimp is a marketing automation platform and an email marketing service. It provides marketing automation for e-commerce businesses. Send beautiful emails, connect your e-commerce store, advertise, and build your brand
- It’s easy to see who has opened your e-mail and how many times. This means you can quickly see who’s engaging with you the most and prioritise them for follow up through your sales pipeline.
- It’ll help you write more interesting content. By checking the “click rate” on articles you can see what’s appealing to your readers – and what’s not.
- It can help you to track the performance of your newsletter i.e. How many customers opened it, etc. If you link your Woo Commerce to MailChimp you can use advanced e-commerce responders to monitor your customers’ progress. If they abandon their shopping cart, you can send them an autoresponder to help close the deal.
8. VoIP (Make Calls using Data & cheaper airtime)
VoIP services are generally more price competitive than the incumbent fixed line providers. Savings can be achieved through more cost effective line rentals, as well as discounted call rates. VoIP providers also offer a substantial discount when calling between branches or other users on their network (known as On-Network). It is becoming clear that traditional telco providers cannot compete with Voice over IP (VoIP ).
The beauty of Voice over IP is that you can take the service with you, make and receive calls from anywhere provided you have internet connection.
Flexibility and Scalability
You are able to have more than one phone number on a single internet broadband line, and adding additional lines only requires increasing the size of the internet line – allowing superior scalability on the fly.
You have the option of incorporating extra features into your service – quickly and easily! These extras include features such as Hunting Facility, Direct line numbers, Caller ID, etc which are often standard features with a VoIP service.
For Incoming Calls, your VoIP number could be Non-Geographic (i.e. 087) it is not tied to a specific area or line – you could appear to be a national company and can keep the same number wherever you go. You do however also have the option for other numbers such as 010, 020, etc – just enquire with your provider.
9. Sage One Accounting (The simplest and most cost effective way to get a handle on your finances)
Sage One empowers South Africa’s small businesses. Free yourself from admin with clever, easy features, built around you.
Take care of invoicing on the road, banking at the office and leave from home. Works with PCs, Macs, iOS, Android, and Windows.
From sales and purchases to cash flow, VAT and reporting, Sage One’s features support every step in your business process. Create quotes, and invoices in seconds, send them to your customers and track what they owe. Use budgets to keep track of your company’s performance against targets you have set.
Since there are so many tools out there that can help you handle your business better, I thought it best to just list other things to consider. So here goes:
- Online Backup – because laptops get stolen, ‘smash and grab’ is a thing, disaster occur. We can offer you a solution that backs up your laptops, desktops, servers, etc. Consult online for free
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – for example; do you have something in place to remind you of your best paying client’s birthday? I’ve oversimplified the use of a CRM here but it’s small things like following up on emails, knowing the stage you are on your sales process, setting reminders to make calls, etc.
- Virtual Meetings – You need a combination of Visuals and Audio to host or participate in meetings that take place without you physically being there. The internet allows us to now collaborate from anywhere in the world, so long as we’re connected. Yes! If you are thinking Skype, it’s one such a tool. But there are others with more features and better suited for team collaboration.
Thanks for reading, let’s continue this another time