Business

3 free tools to help you run your business from anywhere in the world

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As technology becomes an integral part of our daily lives, the era when it was compulsory to do business from a brick and mortar location is fast becoming extinct.  The rise of the digital era has led to what experts today call ‘the on demand economy’  where consumers expect and demand an almost instant or very fast fulfillment of their needs. This has led to the rise of eCommerce which has revolutionized how we buy and sell today.

Nowadays, if your business is not online, it’s only a matter of time before that business slowly disappears. Even corporate organizations who saw no need for Digital Marketing in the past now have an online presence outsourcing online marketing to agencies like us while they concentrate on their core business offering.

As a small business owner, in order to survive in the fast chancing and highly competitive business world of today, you have to continuously and proactively stay abreast of marketing trends in your industry and adapt to new market conditions.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a chef or you run a restaurant. Even an event planner, a makeup artiste, a fashion designer or you run an e-commerce store owner can use these tools to optimize their business.

These 3 free tools will simplify your business process and improve the quality of your service delivery. It may even help you run your business from anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Nigerian business owner vacationing in Dubai. With the power of the internet, you can serve clients beyond your city/country.  You can be in Lagos, Abuja, Uyo, Owerri & Port Harcourt and service clients in Warri, Asaba, Kaduna or Taraba. So long as you have an internet connection, business should always go on. Are you ready? These tools come in no particular order of recommendation. Here they are:

  1. Google Sheets

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    With Google sheets you can create records, edit and collaborate with your staff via your laptop, android phone or tablet anywhere and anytime. All you need is a gmail account and an internet connection. With Google sheets, you can also work offline and it will automatically update when you’re connected again to the internet.
    Why I personally love spreadsheet is you don’t have to worry about loosing your work as everything is automatically and you can just login to access it anytime in the future. Plus you can track and know the last person who edited it (this encourages proper accountability).
    If you are wondering how to use spreadsheet in your business, here are a few things you can do with it. You You can create a budget, automate a formula, record sales, track inventory, store customer data or visualize information.  Get started with Google sheets.

  2. Invoice Generator

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    When a customer pays for your product, you give them a receipt as evidence of payment. This is proper accounting method and a business best practice. One tool that can help you do this is Invoiced. You can use Invoiced  to create a customer invoice, send it to them and follow up on payment owed. It’s quite easy to use and even integrates with popular accounting software like intuit and Quickbooks. Here’s a link to use the trial version of invoiced. However, if you want  a free version that does almost the same thing, go here.

  3. IFTTT

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    This to me is the 8th wonder of the world. Despite using this service for over 3 years now, it still feels like magic to me. IFTTT means: “If this, then that“. The service uses a technology known as internet of things (IOT) to automate the most mundane and repetitive human tasks. Let me explain IOT a little so you get more context. IOT is an advanced technology in which the internet is used to control various real life physical objects. Have you heard of smart cities or smart houses? Everything in such places is controlled by the internet. Imagine using the internet to open the gate of your house instead of going outside to do so, or using it to turn off the light in your room if you forgot to do so in the morning. Hope you understand? Back to IFTTT, it is the simplest application of IOT to marketing. IFTTT is an app that helps your devices and other apps work together automatically in ways that was not possible before. It automates some tasks on Social media, Email, iOs, Android, your home/office and more. Checkout IFTTT here. If you want to read more on IFTTT, go here, here and here. This quora article also explains how it works.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article? If you’re in need of specific tools for business optimization, please contact us. Which other tool do you use to optimize your business process? Let us know in the comments area.

 

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Olumuyiwa is a Digital Marketer and Communications Consultant in Nigeria. He has worked with some of the biggest new media houses & Social enterprises in Nigeria including Pulse NG, Linda Ikeji Media & Rise Networks. He is the founder of Delurge Consulting where he leads a dynamic team of talented Copywriters, Web Developers, PR Executives, Talent Managers & Showbiz promoters & Account managers. Contact him via delurge [at] delurgeconsulting.com to discuss your business needs.

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