Useful Tools And Apps That Can Give Your Small Business A Boost

In my years of watching small businesses spring up I have come to realize certain things, one of which is, most small businesses that thrive and end up becoming great businesses with a large inflow of income are owned by entrepreneurs who have been able to effectively harness the knowledge and power of modern technology and social media tools. There are thousands of new and small scale businesses some of which may not stand the test of time and some of which have the potentials to become the next big thing.

In order for your business to thrive there are certain modifications that you need to make. It is no news that the internet is the most powerful force in this generation and it hoards deep secrets to successes of businesses which is soon to be unraveled.  To effectively run your small business and make profit, here are some necessary tools and apps that you might find useful;

  • PandaDoc

Documentation is a vital part of every business; it can come in a wide variety of format ranging from legal documents to certifications. In all, there is a lot of paperwork to be done and keeping up with all the formalities of contract documentation can be quite tasking. This is where the PandaDoc comes to the rescue. This tool is a platform used in managing large number of documents by digitalizing the process, making it easy to sieve through and work with. You can download this app online from the official website.

  • 15five

Some companies and NGOs require regular reporting on field activities and as the number of staffs grow it becomes difficult to manage reporting processes leading to a lot of work spill over and oversight. What you need is an app that enables you to manage team reports, enables your team to whip up easy and convenient reports regularly and have fun while doing it. 15five app does exactly that. It provides a means of getting reports from your team in an efficient manner; this would save you a lot of time and hassle.

  • ClickMeeting

The best way to grow your customers is by offering a live interactive session with some of them to provide adequate one-on-one information on your services. This would definitely make your business stand out. The ClickMeeting offers interactive video sessions with clients in form of a webinar to create a well integrated customer relationship platform which clients would definitely subscribe to.

  • FreshBooks

small businesses often handles a lot of financial transactions and without the aid of a certified accountant it may be quite difficult to balance financial records, leading to very complicated cash books with figures that don’t quite add up. This confusion can easily be avoided with the FreshBook app. What does it do? It is simple accounting software which is connected with the cloud so that you don’t lose any financial data. It is easy to use and can take care of all your little financial records and the best part is, you don’t have to be good at math to understand it.

  • Slack

Communication and effective collaboration is the bedrock of every organization. The ability to work together on projects and to maintain good communication to clarify instructions and to disperse relevant information at the appropriate time, with this in mind, slack app is the best tool for this level of communication. It is user friendly and works well for all forms of businesses.

  • Kajabi

Does your business come with tutorials? Do you lecture online on a particular subject matter? This tool is the most efficient way for you to manage your lecturing video tutorials and make good money off it. This app provides professionals with a platform to market their skills on video and sell them as digital products.

  • Mailchimp

Every business needs a good marketing strategy and one of the best marketing strategies for small businesses is email marketing. Email marketing involves sending a promotional mail to a large number of people at the same time, oh yes its perfectly legal. You can use mail chimp to advertise by sending newsletters and promos to a large number of potential clients.

Best Ways To Get Quality Followers On Social Network

When it comes to social networking, your followers are the tyres of your car, holding it up, supporting it, moving you and your business, in whatever directing you steer, they literally follow. That being said, there’s very little you can do without having quality followers and in large numbers too. Here are a few strategies to get quality followers in social networks:

  • Great Content

    The first most important rule in getting quality followers on social network is by captivating them with your content. If you are able to stop them each time they come across your post and hold their attention to it that surely means you’ve got some relevant content. You must know what they want to see, this can be achieved by monitoring the reactions in your previous posts and observing what posts or type of posts got more reaction, with that, you can make a mental note of what kinds of content are considered relevant.

  • Create a Balance

    It is important to place a balance between sharing other people’s posts and creating your own posts, you must try as much as you can to be original; this requires thoughtfulness and creativity on your part and will likely place you rewardingly in the category of the influencers. Posting shared contents once in a while removes the narcissist tag people may have placed on you seeing that you never share other people’s post. You also need to strike a balance between hard posts (seriousness) and soft posts (mood lighteners). Always strike a balance to avoid being stereotyped or too predictable.

  • Tag influencers

These influencers are more like the opinion leaders who have got a massive number of followers. Tagging them will increase the chances of your post being seen by a larger number of people. You are also making your post relevant by rubbing off their own relevance.

  • Add links

    Increase people’s ability to connect with you on other platforms and social media account, including your email, always provide these other accounts to broaden your online presence and gain more active followers.

  • Be active

    It is not just okay to post and share posts and disappear, you have to responsive and very quick about it; respond to people’s comments on your posts, answer their questions and  create interesting threads of conversation if they start one up. Overall, be like a 24 hours online customer service; never leave your followers unattended to and bee timely about it. What you need is a list of active people so when you get more active, like giving incentives and holding contests for liking and following your page or for participating in your request, you will be drawing the attention of other active people which will in turn increase the number of quality followers on your account.

  • Use relevant hash tags

    Use relevant hash tags that are trending so as to give importance to your post and have it surface when the hash tag is mentioned. This will increase the visibility of your post and the chances of you getting followed by more people.

  • Be trendy

    You might have very interesting content but there are numerous people out there who will mostly stop to look at a post that’s in line with what’s trending as they also wouldn’t like to drag behind. So it’s important that you know what’s trending at the moment and align your contents with it.

  • Be consistent

    If you do all of the above but you aren’t consistent, you do not keep it coming, and you may easily make an impression for the moment but will fizzle out in no time or be easily forgotten as long as you are away. You need to post constantly, make people look out for your posts. You need to continuously be trendy, strike a balance and be active, never stop or slow down, and I bet you, it’s a sure-fire way of keeping you followers and even non-followers at the edges of their seat waiting on something from you.

  • Buy active followers

    This is a sort of investment on your part, this is because when you buy real active followers, your outcome just doesn’t end in the immediately increased number of the followers by purchase but it leaves a bigger room for other non-followers to naturally follow you on the long run as well. So, this in my opinion is a great final move to getting quality followers on your social network.

Useful Tips On Data Security For Small Businesses

In the sustenance of any business, data security is very vital in ensuring continuity as the compromise of it could lead to huge consequences and may result in the overall death of the business. Once there is a security breach, you can be rest assured that there is a lingering of one or more of the following causes – fraud, hacking, misplacement of vital documents or even disclosure of information, deliberately or accidentally, by an insider.  In proffering solution for data security, it is important that these causes are brought into the light. Here are the tips for assuring data security in small businesses.

  • Don’t be a target

You need to understand why any hacker will go after the information you’ve got, or better still, know what exactly you need to protect from a hacker and guard it wholly. In many cases, if you can do without those information, for example, confidential details of your customers that may be implicating. Use less of their sensitive information in identifying them while running your business so that you will stay of the hackers’ radar.

  • Offer first hand protection

Ensure that paper documents are well kept in a safe place. Be wary of bad, clumsy employees as they are, in many cases, the culprit to most security breach. Make sure that all gadgets; laptops and tablets are protected with passwords. While storing sensitive information on your computers, the same information may not be advisable to store in any mobile devices, tablets, laptops and phones,this is because they travel and can be lost or stolen. Make sure the passwords are strong enough. Use unpredictable passwords and make sure it is mixed with digits as well. In order to be very sure that the password is still secret, have it changed from time to time. This may take a lot of dedication but I bet you it’s worth the hassles.

  • Do a thorough employee check

In view of the first point, it appears that you cannot thoroughly carry out your first hand protection all alone, your employees are to be a part of it, and in order to involve them, you need to establish a good level of trust for them. In order to ensure that your employees are really trustworthy, it is advisable to do a background check on them, especially on the newly employed ones. Ensure that they are clear of any criminal records otherwise, you may not know what to expect and that is going to be very risky for your small business.

  • Discard unwanted files properly

The case of accidental disclosure in many cases happen as a result of old, unwanted documents not being properly discarded. In devices and laptops, unwanted documents should be deleted from both its location and from the recycle bin. While unwanted hard copy documents should be thoroughly shredded before discarded, failure to take these measures could give room to fraud, or identity theft which is one of the worst types of scams to deal with, it could eat through your small business like a farm weevil undiscovered right before you realize it.

  • Basic internet protection

Make sure you are using a secure internet connection, spam filters and an up-to-date antivirus. Malware are not the only thing to worry about, Ransomware should be avoided by ensuring that the software and applications are frequently updated. It is also advisable not to go to untrusted, insecure sites or download from them, staying away from a problem is easier than solving it.

  • Use a cyber-security product

When you’ve done all of the above to ensure that the security of your small business is not compromised, there is still an additional insurance step you can take to be insured against data security breach, just in case it occurs. If by any chance the data security of your business is compromised, it will rather be too late to think of a solution, especially if the damage has already been done, but in insurances you can trust. It’s advisable to get protected from loses ahead of time. Cyber security products protect your laptop and other devices against damage from viruses and other attacks on your computer. It also helps pay for both system and data restoration costs. This is the final stop to the protection of your small business from a deadly data security

Simple Tips To Make Your Business Successful

In a modern society where competition exists amongst companies offering the same services, developing some ideas for business peculiarity may seem very difficult. Every entrepreneur’s aim is to maximize market strategies, breach gaps between producers and consumers, and achieve maximum profit at the end of the day. In order to make profit an entrepreneur would have to look deep into the market to find ways to stand out of the crowd, to provide services which no other competitor can top. Having understood the concept of competitiveness, there are different ways to make your business distinctive amongst other competitors:


For an entrepreneur to create significant influence in his business, they must think outside the box. There are chances that whatever idea you may come up with probably already exists. There are various products in the market; some products have similarities in functions. An entrepreneur should be able to look at the society in which they live in and find a gap in the market system which is yet to be filled. They determine what is lacking in the market. The entrepreneur might decide to create a similar product or service that is already popular in the market, but the difference can be the service, sales tactics, demographics, size and quantity, quality and structure, branding and packaging.


after a particular product is produced, it is important your customers know about your product. Customers want something new, something different from the status-quo. Customer’s knowledge of your product is of high importance. This is where social media and public relations play a vital role. Products can be advertised across all existing social media using all forms of media platforms and types, from written content to videos. This would create a significant buzz and get people talking about your product in no time. This may need a bit of financial investment but when done right; advertising will definitely give you the much needed boost that your competitors are lacking.


Determine the area you want to specialize in and stick to it so as to avoid a situation where there is a fluctuation in quality of product or service. Complete mastery of a skill is always required in order to be recognized.


Recreate your business in a unique way, let something set you apart from every other business especially those in your field. Creating promos’ and various forms of marketing strategies would get you noticed quickly.


this is a subset of a market where a particular product is focused. An entrepreneur should be able to identify the wants and needs of customers that haven’t been addressed by other competitors so as to satisfy the customers. This makes you prominent among your competitors.


Developing a meaningful relationship in the business world is the foundation to a successful venture. Create a good level of trust with your customers and employees, motivate your employees. Your business stands out when you have a good relationship with your employees and customers. It is said that your employees are your first customers and their satisfaction would drive a more productive business; this saying is completely correct.


Add value to your products. Give your customers the satisfaction of positively identifying your products from others in the market. Offer guarantees to your products and ensure honesty as to the goods and services you produce.


customers are highly sensitive to products they purchase from the market. If a problem is noticed in that product, they could easily write-off that product or give a negative feedback that might get into circulation.
Admitting to a mistake during production ensures an inferior product isn’t released into the market. Rather than sell these products to customers for fear of losing money spent on production, the problems should be resolved to avoid litigation of negative feedbacks.


Efficient and reliable customer service enhances good relationship between the entrepreneur, employees and customers. Therefore, you have to treat your customers delicately. Customers consider services rendered to them as a true test of a company’s capability.

Work Ethics – Things That Should Not Be Seen On Your Work Computer

Many times, in various kinds of job, the contents of the employee’s work computer are a measure of his/her devoutness and hard work to the job. Your work computer should necessarily contain your work and not peripherals, as a silent rule, an employee is expected to dedicate his entire time to the job during work hours and nothing else, not even your computer storage should say otherwise. Here is a list of things you should never store on your work computer:

  • Personal documents

    The gap between your personal documents and your office work should be kept sacredly wide, this is because you wouldn’t want personal stuff to intermingle with your office work, truth be told, if you were an employer that wouldn’t put a smile on your face. It can have more repercussions in the future than you can imagine. First, as a sign of regards to your job and your employer it is best to keep personal things in your personal laptop as that isn’t what you’re being paid for at work. Any signs of personal stuffs in your work computer can be considered very unprofessional and downright disrespectful to the job. Keeping away personal documents will also make your computer less likely to be jam-packed with things you won’t need at work and this will in turn ensure that your work computer is faster and has a lot of storage space. Consider also, the fact that your life is going to be bared out as soon as you are fired and still have a ton of personal documents, photos, videos on your work computer that you wouldn’t be given the chance to delete at the point of lay off.

  • Obscene materials

Whether it is your personal files in form of nude photos and videos or it is a random pornographic material off the internet, having the above point in mind, this one is almost as bad as a capital offence, the effect when discovered is alarming and it is downright intolerable. Apart from you doing or keeping something besides your work, your image as an employee is prone to be rubbed in mud and you will be considered a top-class pervert for the records, now, that is something irredeemable added to that little sack letter.

  • Anything that reveals your side job

It is very likely that most jobs already have their own competitors in the market place, a business threat, but you, dear employee, are not supposed to be the competitor, the threat. It is wise not to make your employer jealous, you don’t have to rub your devotion to some other job on their faces by having it right there in your work computer. Keep both hustle from intermingling and make them feel both individually important, hey, it kind of sounds like double dating right? Wrong. This is your career, you get paid for it and most people in your personal life will be proud to hear of it, don’t mess it up.

  • Addictive computer activities

Some days at work you feel that urge to quickly and harmlessly look through your personal social media account and see how many people commented on that charming little photo you posted last night, I tell you, your mind is working against you, it’s a set up dear employee, don’t do it! This is particularly for those addicted to their social media.

You are going to log on to Facebook thinking you’ve got one spare minute for it and then you’ll end up taking up a couple of hours, watching those tempting humorous video clips or checking out your crush’s throwback pictures. I repeat, don’t!  If you are a computer games freak, it’s good you have an innocent little means of escape, I’m proud of you, but you know what? Not right there sweetheart, you’re at work for Pete’s sakes! Video games are one of the world’s biggest addiction, you don’t want to need to cross that challenging level in your computer game and be caught in a dilemma of losing all you’ve worked for, both in the virtual world and in your real world, watch out for your boss, better still, don’t just have those damn games on your work computer!

  • Secrets

I know you may be thinking these are company secrets so they are acceptable on your work computer, right? You’ve never been more wrong. Imagine if your employer or superior comes across them on your work computer, don’t think they’ll be proud you have them, they’ll probably first think ‘if we can stumble across these, then so can anyone else’. This can lead to security breach, identity theft and fraud if they get into the wrong hands. It’s best not to leave secrets vulnerable to exposure to anyone else, people can snoop, information can get out and you wouldn’t want to be the one to make that a reality. In addition, if you must store your own personal secrets, then it should stay on your personal laptop.

Now You Can Delete All Tweets With Following Methods

Are you wondering why anyone would want to delete all their tweets? Isn’t expressing your views and sharing them with the whole world the reason for the existence of social media sites like Twitter, you might ask. Sure it is. But then there’s this one tiny, little problem – our tongues don’t have a bone. How often has it happened that you ended up with your foot in the mouth? While you are not in the virtual world, it is difficult to take back what you said but as regards what you say on Twitter, it can be easily removed from public memory and save you from any further embarrassment. Just think about it. You took a sick leave from office to watch the FIFA world cup and ended up tweeting all through the match. I am sure there would be someone among your followers who would be working that day and will be unable to digest your happiness and make sure you land up in trouble. Wouldn’t you like it if you could delete all your tweets in such a situation? Having established the necessity of deleting all your tweets sometimes, let’s look at a few services which let you do just that:

  • TwitWipe

As the name suggests, is a website that lets you wipe out all your tweets in a flash. You just need to log in using your Twitter credentials in the website and confirm that you want to delete all your tweets and your job is done. All your tweets, retweets, and favorites will vanish. However, there is a minor technicality involved here. Twitter only shows 3200 tweets in your timeline. The number of tweets will be as many as you have tweeted but your followers will be able to access only the last 3200 tweets by you. This means that when you use TwitWipe to delete your tweets, the recent 3200 tweets will get deleted. What about the earlier ones, will they resurface, you ask. Twitter doesn’t guarantee that they will. Still, if they do, you can use TwitWipe again! For all the tablet and mobile buffs, TwitWipe doesn’t have an app yet, but you can use the website on your phone/tab browser and it works just fine.

Here’s the site:

  • TweetDelete

This is another one of those services that allow you to delete your tweets in bulk. But this one offers a little more custom options. Here you can set an age limit for your tweets. If you the kind of person who was a devout environmentalist a couple of years back and since the past few months have become a full corporate slave, so to speak, then this is the site for you. You can choose to delete all tweets older than, say, two years and still keep your recent tweets so as not to disappear completely off Twitter. However, once you set an age for your tweets, this site will make sure that every tweet that gets older than that age will automatically get deleted. So, you might want to re-set your age limit or de-activate this service once your job is done. The 3200 tweet thing mentioned earlier is applicable for this site too.

Here’s the site:

  • Tweeticide

Not only is this app’s name quite cute but it is also a tad bit different than the ones mentioned above. As you might have guessed it, this is an application available on the Apple Store. It claims to provide the same service – that of deleting all your tweets – however, it hasn’t received enough ratings on the app store. Moreover, it is a paid app. There is another app called TweetCleaner by the same developers that provides a similar service and the best part is that it is cheaper as compared to Tweeticide.

Here are the download links:



For android users, there is this app called DELETE TWEETS: DLTTR (link: ) that allows you to delete all available tweets. It is free of cost and the app has received some good reviews too. However, I would still suggest that if you can use your phone/tab’s browser to delete all your tweets (using the first two services and many others like and and the list goes on and on), then better go for it instead of these apps as the websites are used by thousands everyday and they have a complaint or feedback mechanism in place, if any issues might crop up.

In the end, just think it through before you hit the ‘confirm delete’ button while using any of these services. Don’t do it in a fit of anger or emotion as there is no way to recover those precious tweets of yours. Think once before you tweet, think twice before you delete is the mantra! Happy Tweeting!



How To Get An Idea For Your Online Startup!

So you have watched “The Social Network” only about five hundred times and you are ready to take the plunge and seek your own fortune as an online entrepreneur. Fantastic! Great to have you on board! Now if only someone provided you with a road map to the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the entrepreneurial rainbow; you would be set! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, because it does not quite work that way. To quote John Lee Dumas of the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast, “It’s not easy. If it were, then everybody would be doing it!” You need to be disciplined, pragmatic, dutiful and thorough with every step of the entrepreneurial journey; the first step being to get an idea that is going to work.

How do I get “the” idea?

Getting a valid and viable business idea is one of the most challenging steps for prospective entrepreneurs. There is no “one size fits all” solution for this. Different approaches and strategies work for different people and you need to find something that is going to work for you. For those that are stumped but are too stubborn to give up on their entrepreneurial fervor (a certain degree of stubbornness is a must have for all entrepreneurs, so bully for you!) I have enumerated a few approaches underneath that should get the ball rolling.

  • Solve a problem you have yourself

The best way to start is to identify a problem that you have yourself. The founders of Microsoft and Apple understood the potential of personal computers but it was not present in everyone’s homes because an average person is not familiar with machine language. The founders of Google realized that the World Wide Web had an inordinate amount of information; however, it was available to only those people who knew where to look. Chances are that you may never have an idea that would change the world forever, but that does not mean that you will not be successful. You need to analyze your day to day life and see what could be done better and understand whether you have the ability to make a difference. You could end up “connecting the dots” at any time, while enjoying a drink with your friends, or while taking a shower. Make sure that you are ready to jump on it as soon as you do!

  • Use insider knowledge:

Not everyone has the ‘a-ha’ moment while they are in college. A vast majority of entrepreneurs tend to have successful careers first and then form companies that solve problems that are unique to their respective industries. Are you involved with an enterprise software company and your supervisors just pulled the plug on a “killer” feature because of a complete lack of vision? Are you an open source developer and you just designed this amazing hack that made you life exponentially easier? You may be sitting on a treasure trove without even realizing it!

  • Find a mentor:

Contrary to popular belief, successful entrepreneurs tend to share their wisdom with the next generation. Many do so via their blogs or social media accounts, but there are several who might be willing to provide a helping hand, provided you stumble upon something that holds a lot of promise. Try to avoid getting in touch with the Richard Bransons and the Mark Zuckerbergs of this world; they just have too much going on. That being said, there are successful entrepreneurs making a real difference in their respective communities all over the world. Attend networking events at your neck of the woods, talk to people and if you have an idea with enough ‘oomph’ to it, you will find people who would be excited by your vision. F6s is an excellent place to start your networking initiatives.

Lao Tzu said that ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’. If this article provides you with even the most minutest of nudges in the right direction, then I will consider it to be a success!

Five Laptop Or Pc Accessories That Will Increase Your Efficiency

Multitasking is the need of this generation. You need to be able to check your email smoothly while you are working on that office presentation. Playing your favourite game while uploading pictures of last night’s party on Facebook must be without any hindrance. In the midst of all this multitasking, what if you are in a flight without the comfort of your home’s charging point? The expectations from a laptop/PC have undergone a sea change. Computer manufacturers have tried to match up to these expectations but there’s still a long way to go before you stop needing any supporting accessories for your laptop/PC. Here’s a list of five such accessories that make your life easier:

  • Wireless Mouse

Call me old school but howsoever responsive your laptop’s track pad maybe it’s not as smooth as the physical mouse. A lot of people feel the need for a mouse but then don’t want to block that USB port, which they might need for connecting other devices to their laptop. It is here that a wireless mouse comes into the picture. Incredibly easy to set up and not so pricey, it is a must have unless your first encounter with a computer was in the form of a laptop, in which case you are completely fine with the laptop track pad.

  • External Monitor

Imaging you are preparing that ‘all important’ presentation that will decide whether an investor puts his money in your idea or not. You have all the data you need in a couple of pdfs. Isn’t it irritating to the hilt to juggle between those two pdfs, your PowerPoint presentation and numerous other things that you might have open on your computer? Yeah, there are latest laptops which allow you to divide your computer screen into various parts and work on them simultaneously but unless you are in possession of such a computer, setting up an external monitor is the best that you can do.

  • WiFi Dongle

This is indispensable if you are using a personal computer. Most old models do not have the WiFi capability and even those which have are following the old WiFi standards. You can’t change your PC just because of this one issue. Instead, the solution is to invest in a WiFi dongle. They come really cheap and all you need to do is plug them into one of the USB ports and you are good to go. You will experience huge improvements in speed and reliability of the network. This means a lot of time is saved which would have otherwise been wasted by you just staring at the screen, waiting for that file to download.

  • External Battery

This is a no-brainer. Just like your smart phone, your laptop’s battery is limited. An external battery becomes a necessity if you cannot work without your laptop, be it because you are uncomfortable working on a tablet or because all your important data is on your laptop. Not as cheap as the wireless mouse or the WiFi dongle, it is nevertheless a good investment to make.

  • Laptop cooler

How many times have you felt enormous heat on your lap while using your notebook/laptop? It’s no rocket science that high temperatures aren’t good – neither for you nor your laptop. A laptop cooler ensures that the operating temperature of the machine doesn’t harm the machine or you. There are different types of laptop coolers. An active laptop cooler is another machine which needs a power source. It might be one which can work while being connected to a laptop’s USB port or it might be one which needs to be connected to a power adapter. Whichever type it is, what an active cooler does is use external fans to drive all the heat generated by the laptop away from it. A passive cooler, on the other hand, is nothing but a ‘chilling mat’. All you need to do is place the laptop on this mat, which doesn’t need any power source. Its surface is made from such a substance that it can absorb heat from the laptop, thereby preventing the temperature to rise too much.

Coming to think of it, some might call these accessories a luxury. But in today’s times, when lines between a ‘power user’ and a ‘general user’ are getting blurred, these items have come to be seen as not only add-ons but also efficiency enhancers. A few years back, an external hard disk was considered as required only by those who had a lot of data. Now, it is a necessity. With the advent of technology, laptops might get exceptional battery backup, smoother multitasking features and very little heating issues and then some of these accessories might get irrelevant. Till then, spending a little on these seems to be a good decision, considering the time and effort that you save.

6 Must Have Apps For Small Businesses

The word ‘App’ is no longer only a reference to Temple Run or Angry Birds or even Facebook or Whatsapp for that matter. Sure, these apps have gathered a lot of attention because of the way they touch our lives but Google Play and the Apple app store are filled with numerous applications that not only entertain kids (or adults) or make it easier for people to be in touch but also make numerous aspects of running a business hassle free. A small business doesn’t have the funds to set up different departments like Human Resources, Customer Service, Marketing, Accounts and so on. Most of the times, there is just one person looking after the whole department. Technology is their only solace. Be it marketing your business online, or accounting for your expenses, or managing your contacts or even reaching out to your customers to solve any issue that they might have, there is an app for everything. Apart from the essential apps ones like a cloud app (be it Dropbox, Google Drive or Sky Drive) and LinkedIn, here is a list of a few must have apps for small businesses –

  • CamCard

Whatever business you are in, networking cannot be limited to LinkedIn. You meet a lot of important people and the first thing that they do is give you their business/visiting card. You give them yours and then everyone goes about their work. Then, a week later, you are in that person’s city and you want to meet up that person with respect to a project that you have been working on. But, alas, you left his card in your office. It is here that CamCard comes into the picture. CamCard just needs you to take a picture of the person’s card and you are done. All the details mentioned in the card will be saved in your phone’s memory. This saves you from the trouble of preserving every card that you receive. Moreover, it’s a completely free app.

  • Expensify

Unless you are a one-man business (which is not that rare these days); you need to take care of expenses made by your employees and co-workers. Now days, many startups take in unpaid interns who are only reimbursed the expenses that they incur in the course of their work activities. Hence, keeping track of employee expenses can be a huge pain. Expensify aims to simplify this process. Employees can easily upload their expense details on the app using scanned images, the approval process becomes simple and faster as approvals become a matter of seconds on the app and the accounting of the expenses is made easier too as this app helps you to export the expense details to your accounting package.

  • Local Vox

This app is especially for those brick and mortar businesses that are looking to create and establish their online presence. It helps these businesses market themselves online with a special focus on the local area in which they are situated. In a way, it just provides an extension to your offline business. This is becoming increasingly necessary for those brick and mortar stores that are looking to remain relevant in the ecommerce era by targeting the younger generation who need that Facebook page, that Twitter handle and that all-important website. Local Vox takes care of all this and more.

  • Skype

Needless to say, it is increasingly becoming clear that you don’t need to be physically present in order to have a face to face meeting. Big business deals take place over video-conferencing these days. Before you are ready to spend a fortune setting up a swanky video conferencing facility in your office, good old Skype is your buddy. Completely free, Skype lets you connect, call or video chat with anyone from across the world. A must have app for any small business.

  • Square

How would you like it if you could track your sales in real time and manage your inventory with one single click on your iPad? Square Register does just that and more. It also acts as a Point of Sale (POS) that works on tablets and smart phones, thus making it easier for you to transact. Payment processing is available in US, Canada and Japan. It has lots of useful features such as, connecting a receipt printer or bar code scanner, recording complete or partial refunds and many more, making it a much needed app.

  • Freshdesk 

Howsoever small a business you may run, you cannot ignore the customer. Customer is king. But with a very small workforce, as is the norm in present times, it becomes difficult to keep the customer always happy. Freshdesk is a customer support software that is very easy to setup and can be really helpful in keeping track of various customer complaints and requests. Use Freshdesk and never forget to reply to that email, message or tweet and keep your customer always engaged. You can choose to start using it with a free trial and opt for a paid package later on.

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4 Websites Which Help You Create Your Own Website

CVs are out. Personal websites are in. Traditional brick and mortar businesses are sprucing up their online presence. Government agencies all over the world are focusing on e-governance in response to the increasing demands for transparency and faster delivery of services by the public. Whether you are a professional who is looking to reach a wider client base or an age-old business trying to remain relevant in this ‘click and buy’ era, a website is the first and the most important aspect of your online presence that you need to focus on.

The process of creating your own website essentially involves three steps – purchasing a domain name, signing up for a hosting plan and building the website design. All these can be taken care of by one single entity or by multiple entities. It all depends on you – whether you are the non-technical kind who would prefer to outsource it to some third party who takes care of everything and charges you a fee for it or you are the tech savvy kind who would prefer to browse the World Wide Web till you get the best deal for all the three tasks. Whichever kind you are, here’s a list of a few websites that can help you in getting your own website up and running

  • GoDaddy

This is arguably the most well known website that serves those who are looking to get online. A quirky name, coupled with an even quirkier ad campaign, provides you the option of buying your domain name (the name which people will enter in the browser to reach your website), choosing a hosting plan and designing your website with the help of their website builder. You can select any one or more of their services and rely on other service providers for the rest. For example, you can use GoDaddy to buy a domain name of your choice, and then host your website on any other server. It all works just fine. GoDaddy offers combo plans for those who opt to use all their services. So enquire about any discounts that they might be offering if you are looking to save some bucks (who isn’t?).

  • Weebly

Similar to GoDaddy, offers you all the required services but goes one step further. You can create a sub-domain and use their services for free, subject to certain limitations. This means, if you want to create a website called, what Weebly does is allow you to create for free. Along with this sub-domain, you can create and host your website for free using this sub-domain. This comes in really handy for newbies who aren’t ready to pay for building their website yet. Once you are sure about your site, Weebly will help you get your own domain and host it online. One drawback of Weebly, when compared with GoDaddy, is that it does not have a special website for the Indian users. You need to pay in US dollars which might be an irritant for many skeptics and small businesses.

  • BigRock

This is like India’s GoDaddy (if you know what I mean). Again, like the previously mentioned sites, provides domain name, hosting and everything that you might need in connection to a website. All this, with an Indian touch. Since it is an Indian company with its headquarters in Maharashtra, the barriers of language and payments in foreign currency are done away with. Though it must be mentioned here that GoDaddy too has a completely separate website for Indian clients where all payments can be made in rupees.

  • Hostinger

We talked about Weebly, which provides you free services if you opt for a sub-domain. But what if you don’t want to compromise on the name of your website and have already purchased a suitable domain name and what you want is free hosting and website designing while you test the online waters? Does Weebly allow you to do that? The answer is no. If you already have a domain name but don’t want to spend on hosting or website designing yet, is where you should go. Barring a few restrictions on space and traffic (which is quite obvious as there are no free lunches), Hostinger is very simple to use. Your website will be up and running in a matter of minutes. There are a lot of website templates that you can select from and edit to meet your requirements. The only drawback is that the site takes a little extra time to load and there are chances of downtime. But, considering the services that they are offering for free, this can be overlooked if you are just testing your websites and will anyway go for a paid plan soon. Hostinger offers paid plans too. Even while I was using the free plan, their services were good (except the downtime for a few minutes) and the reply from customer care was prompt.

So, if you are sure about what your website should be, then GoDaddy is the best option for you. You can try BigRock too. Otherwise, it’s always best to try your hand at Weebly or Hostinger (which, by the way, also offers the sub-domain facility like Weebly) and make up your mind as you go about things. However, it’s always best to decide on a domain name very early on and purchase it right away as they can be difficult to get hold of since there are millions building websites even as I speak (or write, have it as you may please) now.