Do you remember when you first started your business? You probably had a diary a few notebooks and a file? Fortunately for business owners and entrepreneurs, today we benefit from online tools which can be used on laptops, desktops and mobile devices. Think about a typical week, month and year running your business and the tasks you need to complete. As business owners we keep thinking, “There must be an easier way, surely there are online tools to help?” In this blog we explore a few online tools many business owners cannot live without.
Managing your business finances
Business finances are critically important to ensure your business grows and the doors stay open. This means you need to provide; quotations, invoices, receipts, manage your cash flow, understand where cash is flowing, analyse business expenses and income, payroll, provide financial documents to your accountant and financial institutions.
Keeping your business compliant in South Africa
Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) is the starting point of business compliance for business owners and entrepreneurs. Paying annual returns keeps your registered business active and prevents business de-registration. Annual returns can be paid online and should not take more than 5 – 10 minutes. First you need to register as a customer on the CIPC website. Secondly, check your business registration status each year and ensure you make annual return payments, here is the step by step guide from CIPC.
Need a B-BBEE certificate, apply online on the CIPC website. Learn how in the step by step guide provided by CIPC. The certificate is free, valid for 12months and issued within 24hours.
Managing numerous projects is a normal day for business owners, the important question to ask is how can project management be more efficient? The answer is simple, use Trello to manage all your projects. Trello provides a simple user interface with options to plan workflows, capture information, track projects and collaborate with teams.
Developing a professional business plan
A business plan can be quite intimidating if you do not have experience especially the financial projections. There are two paid solutions to consider Enloop and LivePlan, both help you draft a professional business plan. These solutions do not replace the need to do research and find facts supporting your business. However, if you combine your research with one of these tools you could have a winning business plan.
Saving, sharing and backing up your business documents
Your most important business documents should be available anywhere, at any time, on all your devices. Fortunately, this is possible when using cloud storage options, try Google Drive and Dropbox for online storage and backups. Also download the mobile apps on your mobile devices, this way you will never loose any documents you need to share.
Email marketing and growing your subscriber list
Building a client list and community for your business is extremely important. Your email content should provide readers with useful information and not be spammy. Using an email marketing service can help grow your business client base and add value to your subscribers. However, sending one email at a time will probably take hours. Try MailChimp, an email marketing service which includes bulk email, email templates, reporting and is very easy to use.
Enjoy trying out these tools to help you manage and grow your business. The blog included links to all the tools, to save you time scrolling through the page you can find the links to each tool mentioned in this blog post.