We live in an on-the-go world, where nothing ever seems to slow down. It only makes sense that we’ve adapted and are increasingly searching for ways to work on the go, too.
Business owners have historically been trapped at their desks from 9-5, Monday through Friday, and sometimes even later and on weekends, too. Now, though, new technologies are constantly emerging that allow business owners and their team members to work remotely from anywhere in the world as long as there is internet or phone access.
This is great for businesses and business owners. You’re able to regain some semblance of work-life balance, breaking free of the office, at least, while still getting everything done that you need to. In the long run, this can help your business scale, especially since nothing is in your way to slow you down.
Having the right tools, of course, can make a world of difference in being able to work on the go without it being an enormous hassle, so let’s take a look at 7 of the best business tools that will help you work on the go — and grow! — in 2020.
1. Virtual Business Phone Systems like Tresta
Having a conventional phone system that’s wired through your office doesn’t really do anyone any good, and it’s not exactly convenient to keep up with a second phone at all times, either.
Virtual business phone systems allow business owners to purchase as many business lines as they need, which can then be accessed through mobile apps downloaded onto mobile phones that are already in use. You can then answer business calls from your personal phone without putting your personal information at risk, and you can divert calls elsewhere when you need some time away.
Virtual business phone systems like Tresta come with a full suite of features that will benefit your business, including call navigation menus, analytics, and even texting. If you’re waiting for a doctor’s appointment or at the airport for a flight, you won’t want a call from an employee, but you can answer a text relatively easily. Choose from toll-free or local numbers, and know that these plans will scale with you as you grow.
2. Answering Services like PATLive
Answering services are more of a service than a tool, but they can be essential resources for small businesses who don’t always want to be slammed with non-urgent incoming calls while they’re focused on other things.
Answering services like PATLive, for example, can answer incoming calls to your business on your conditions and then transfer any urgent or sensitive calls straight to you. This prevents you from getting bogged down with non-essential calls while still helping you handle business-critical tasks you need to address.
3. Communication Tools like Slack
Communication with your internal team and potentially any clients or third-party vendors that you’re working closely with can get a little messy if you’re trying to work remotely. That’s where communication tools like Slack come into play.
Slack uses instant-chat technology and intuitive conversation threads, allowing you to loop in whoever you need without interrupting anyone else. You can tag different users, upload files, share documents, and so much more, and best of all, their mobile app is incredibly easy to use. There are several other great alternatives out there, but Slack is the one that is most popular and accessible for most small businesses.
4. Social Management Software like Hootsuite
Most businesses are heavily invested in social media marketing since it’s a great way to connect with your audience at a relatively low cost.
Keeping up with your business’s social media profiles, though, can be downright exhausting. There are multiple platforms to keep up with, and you’ve got public engagement, private messages, and regular posting to monitor.
If you or any of your team members need to manage your social accounts on the go (and frankly even if you don’t), you want to look into social media management software. It allows you to sync multiple social profiles with one dashboard, so you only have to pay attention to one app alerting you to new messages and notifications. This is the way to go and ensures that no customer messages are ever missed and that they’re all addressed promptly.
There are a lot of great social management software tools out there, and they all offer similar features. Check out Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Agorapulse, and Buffer to start.
5. Customer Support Tools like Groove
Customer support should be a major priority for all businesses, and tools like Groove can help with that.
Groove is an online ticketing and help desk system that can help your team work together to best serve your customers. You can deliver instant answers to customer inquiries and chat back and forth to find any solutions necessary.
Right now, Groove is only for desktop, but they’ve got a mobile app coming soon. In the meantime, you can use a laptop while traveling to handle any customer inquiries quickly.
6. Invoicing & Payment Processing Software like Quickbooks
Processing and accepting payments should be one of your favorite things to do as a business owner, and you want to be able to do so no matter where you are.
Invoicing and expense tracking software like Quickbooks is a must-have for all businesses. It comes with a great mobile app that allows you to create, send, and manage invoices, track your current financial data, and manage and input expenses quickly. You can even share access to your accountant with one quick click.
7. Project Management Software like Trello
Project management is another challenge that plenty of business owners run into when they or their team members are working remotely. It’s easier for things to slip between the cracks and for confusion to happen about who is supposed to do that.
Even if you’re all working in the same office, project management software can reduce or eliminate the likelihood of this happening. Trello is a great (and free!) example; you set up “boards” and then move “cards” from board to board to track its progress. On each card, you can add project descriptions, share links and files, tag users, set up checklists of what needs to be done, and set deadlines.
Another option is Asana, which is similar but also scales slightly better as your business grows.
Working on the go allows business owners and their employees flexibility like never before. Now, with web-based software and answering services like PATLive, you can truly operate anywhere while also gaining other valuable benefits like serving your customer base easier and better internal communication.