I was reading a press release about how join.me , a screen sharing service from Logmein has recently been updated to include new collaborative features, including new benefits for join.me pro (the fee version).
When I think about how simple join.me is to use (as well as other products) I’m amazed that more business owners are not taking advantage of these tools for their businesses. Sure, MANY are, and these business owners are at the higher end of the technology productivity scale.
Yet their are so many more business owners who are plodding along in their business yet missing out on increased productivity as they are unaware of or have not taken the time to learn how to leverage more tech tools to boost productivity, communication or more.
Think about your day to day business life. Where do you go? Who do you meet with? What do you use the computer for? Sit down with a good technology consultant and seek their advice in what are some of the simple but very effective tools you can use to boost your business even just a little bit.
1. Are you angry that you can’t update your web site yourself and have to turn to your web developer for every change. Get a new web person and ask them to design a simple, yet effective web site using Word Press.
2. Are you tired of not being able to get work done on your computer or tablet because you are not around WiFi enough. Invest in a $30 a month wireless broadband gadget (mobile hotspot) and have WiFi everywhere you go. Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T sell these devices.
3. Do you keep finding that Excel is just not cutting it for you as you try to keep up with customers. You should really be using a simple tool like BatchBlue to organize your contacts and keep track of who they are.
4. Do you have great customer stories and wish you could share them with the world? Buy a low cost and simple to use Kodak Zi8 and a microphone and start video taping these stories and post them on Youtube. Here’s some of my simple interviews on Youtube. If you want more robust video hosting with more control of things check out my other favorite video hosting platform – Brightcove
5. Are you finding that your virtual team (or employees) are not communicating as smoothly and effectively as they should be? Sign up with Office 365 or Google Apps and start collaborating and sharing like never before. You’ll find that Zoho and other vendors have a full suite of online and low cost tools for you to use in your business as well.
6. If you’re still using an old school phone that is not a “smartphone” ditch the one you have and get a new BlackBerry, iPhone, Android or Windows phone. These phones are like mini computers and you can use apps to get more work done (and play) while on the phone. Just like a good husband or wife – no phone is going to be perfect.
7. As your business grows you’ll find that the phone on your desk is not growing with you. Their are lots of low cost and amazing technology that can replace your old phone system. With these services your “phone” is much more than a phone but is a productivity enhancement tool that can seamlessly integrate into your computer system as well. Check out 8×8, M5 Networks, Alteva, RingCentral and other vendors.
8. Why should you have to lug a computer around all over the place. Many vendors are making some amazing tablets that really make you wonder if you need to carry around a computer everywhere. Apple’s iPad is the leading tablet on the market. But I’ve seen an Android based tablet from Lenovo that is very innovative and other tables from Samsung, Black Berry (Playbook) and other vendors that might be best for you.
9. If you travel a lot their the first tool on your list should be a pro account from Tripit with the intelligence built into this smart service, then next time you fly you’ll at least be lots more organized in regard to your mileage credits, flight changes and more.
I could go on and on and on with so many great technologies that can enhance your business but I’ll stop here….
Well just a few more…
10. Dropbox is a slick and simple tool for sharing files. I use it to transfer many gigabytes of files with my team. Yousendit is great when you really need to SEND a file to someone directly and don’t want to share a file with them.
11. Google Chrome is neat as it enables you to synchronize your bookmarks and passwords across browsers, no matter what computer you are on. Simple and free but VERY effective.
12. Carbonite is wroth the $50 or so per month as it automatically backs your information in the cloud. Period. They also have a version for small businesses so you can manage several computers. You can also remotely access your files as well – very slick.
13. This product is not cheap, but it’s an investment that can help you BOOST your customer sales process if you take the time to use it right. This is Infusionsoft if you are tired of not knowing how to manage and NURTURE leads Infusionsoft will automatically (once you set it up) reach out to contacts through a variety of campaigns to help you keep in touch with or stay connected with new or current customers or prospective customers.
These are just a few technologies that can help improve your business life. Some are cheap or free, others might cost a few hundred dollars. Either way. Check’em out and see what works best for you.