Many small businesses today rely on the Internet to help them operate from day to day. Whether it’s for backup, marketing, web development, or support, there are plenty of online tools that can do the job. Many of these tools have both free and paid versions; depending on what they will be used for.
Storage and Backup
Google Drive is great for storing and editing files such as Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. Users can create folders, share them, and comment and collaborate on one another’s work. There is even a chat feature that is very helpful to increase communication between users. The most enticing feature of Google Drive is that 15GB of storage space is offered for each account. No longer will you have to worry about storage limits for your files.
Dropbox also allows the storage and sharing of files but that is its main purpose. The account storage limit starts with 2GB but can be increased up to 18GB as long as enough people join under that account. One very neat feature that small businesses can benefit from is that Dropbox allows hosting of html websites. This is very ideal for testing a website without using hosting space.
For years, Google Adwords has been the top ad-serving platform for both large and small businesses. There are many coupons that can be used to help a business get started for a very little cost. Inside Adwords, you have the ability to choose keywords based on niches such as “Cheap Handbags”. Then a price is set and, depending on how high you bid per click, Google will feature your ad for that keyword. For local small businesses, a specific area can be targeted which can have a big impact on the clicks to sales ratio.
Newsletters have been the top way for getting word out to customers about the newest products, sales, or news. So instead of having customers come from just ads traffic, they can be enticed back with email marketing. MailChimp offers many creative newsletter templates and lots of customization options for the user. The great thing about MailChimp is that it is free for up to 2,000 subscribers or 12,000 emails per month, which should be plenty for a small business.
For years, Blogger has been one of the top blogging platforms today and for good reason. There are thousands of free templates around which can be customized to the users’ wishes. Many small businesses use Blogger to host their blogs simply because:
- It’s free
- Has an easy to use interface
- It has lots of customizing potential
Weebly offers the best click and drag experience making it easy for any novice to create beautiful websites. With a good variety of templates and plenty of web elements to add, Weebly ranks as one of the best click and drag web-designing platforms around. Weebly offers 2 plans, free and pro which is great, because any small business can create a website and go pro once they feel that it works for them.
GetSatisfaction is a great business to customer platform that allows small businesses to quickly help solve customer issues while also getting valuable feedback. The price is steep, however, starting at $425 for the Small Business Edition. It can be integrated with helpdesk and other programs, which makes it very streamlined and easy to use.
If a small business is on a tight budget, then Google Forms should do the job. It allows businesses and users to create surveys that can reveal detailed graphs depending on the amount of people that took the survey. The best part is that it’s free and very easy to use, especially when combined with Google Drive.
As you can see, there are many online tools that can help managers to make their small business succeed. While some are free and some paid, these tools are considered priceless to many businesses. With the Internet growing day by day, it is essential for small businesses to make use of all of these tools to maximize their profits and reach more customers.