free and low cost tools to help run your small business

As a small business owner, you wear a lot of hats—and when running the business feels overwhelming, a tight cost can make things even more challenging.


The good news is there are tons of capable tools designed (and priced!) specifically for small businesses. Whether you want to overhaul your project management process, streamline team communication, or take charge of your accounting, there’s a tool out there that can help.

Below, we outline 22 of them—all offering robust free or low cost options.

Project management tools

1. Trello

Cost: Free plan

Trello offers a project management solution based on the KANBAN methodology. You can create project boards and cards to represent each task, categorize those tasks, attach files, and assign cards to individual team members.

Who it’s great for:

  • Task-oriented business owners
  • Employers with multiple employees
  • KANBAN users

2. Asana

Cost: Free plan

Asana follows the traditional to-do list format and builds on it to make collaboration and prioritization easier. Users gain the ability to categorize and organize tasks, create sub-tasks, assign to individual team members, set due dates, and more.

Who it’s great for:

  • To-do list lovers
  • Business owners looking for flexibility
  • Collaborators

3. Airtable

Cost: Free plan

Airtable promises a supercharged version of spreadsheet project management. Users can add team members to tasks, organize and prioritize tasks via drag-and-drop, and easily scale the complexity of their project management as needs change and grow.

Who it’s great for:

  • Spreadsheet fans
  • Business owners with advanced technological needs
  • Anyone looking for advanced project management

Scheduling tools

4. Calendly

Cost: Free plan

Calendly allows users to customize their availability, then share a link to their calendar to make scheduling easy and quick. The tool also integrates with most major calendar apps and video conferencing tools.

Who it’s great for:

  • Business owners who schedule lots of meetings
  • Someone looking for a straightforward solution
  • Anyone looking to save time

5. Doodle

Cost: Starts at $4.49 per user per month

Doodle makes scheduling easier by enabling users to send a curated snapshot of their available times—in email, Slack, and more. For larger groups, users can also send out a poll for team members to vote on the best times for them.

Who it’s great for:

  • Business owners booking large meetings
  • Anyone with a complicated schedule

Email marketing tools

6. Mailchimp

Cost: Free plan

With Mailchimp’s email marketing tool, you can collect email subscribers and design and schedule professional email campaigns. Mailchimp also includes email templates to get you started, plus features for A/B testing campaigns and send times.

Who it’s great for:

  • Business owners who are new to email marketing
  • Budget-conscious marketers

7. HubSpot

Cost: Free

HubSpot’s email marketing software includes many of the key features of a more expensive tool—including email personalization, A/B testing, and robust analytics to help measure and optimize email campaigns.

Who it’s great for:

  • Business owners with email marketing experience
  • Employers looking for more advanced email capabilities
  • Business owners in need of a solution that integrates multiple marketing channels

Related:- 4 small business tax mistakes (and how to solve them)

8. Sender

Cost: Free plan

Integrating with popular ecommerce platforms, Sender is simplified email marketing designed for ecommerce. Users can create automated email series and even import their entire product catalog, so it’s quick and easy to add full product information into emails.

Who it’s great for:

  • Ecommerce-focused businesses
  • Detailing product information
  • Price-sensitive marketers

    Design tools

    9. Canva

    Cost: Free plan

    Canva offers a simple way for anyone to create professional designs, from logos and branding to social media posts, presentations, and print materials. Users can choose from pre-designed templates and elements, customize, or build designs from scratch.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Business owners without design expertise
    • Social media-driven businesses
    • Businesses looking for a way to stand out visually

    10. Crello

    Cost: Free plan

    Focused on the digital sphere, Crello offers over 30,000 templates for everything from social media posts to ads. Crello also enables users to design video content, and even animation.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Digital-driven small businesses
    • Business owners interested in utilizing video and animation

    Social media tools

    11. Buffer

    Cost: Free plan

    Buffer is a simplified tool that allows users to connect multiple social media accounts and schedule posts across all of them from one place. As needs grow, paid Buffer plans also provide social analytics and reports.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Businesses active on multiple social platforms
    • Time-crunched business owners who want to schedule their posts

    12. Hootsuite

    Cost: Free plan

    Hootsuite enables users to connect social media accounts and schedule posts and ads. While they offer a limited free plan, Hootsuite is one of the most scalable options for a growing social media presence.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Business owners focused on growth
    • Anyone with social media as a core part of their marketing strategy

    Communication tools

    13. Slack

    Cost: Free plan

    Slack is the go-to tool for instant internal business communication. Add users, create channels by topic or team, or send private direct messages. If you’ve used messaging platforms on your phone, you’ll have a good understanding of how easy Slack is to use.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Business owners with multiple employees
    • Anyone who sends a high volume of messages

    14. Zoom

    Cost: Free plan

    Zoom video conferencing software is free for up to 100 participants and unlimited one-on-one meetings. It’s become extremely popular during the pandemic, and is consistently counted on for critical video calls.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Anyone looking for high quality and dependable video conferencing
    • Entrepreneurs with large companies as clients

    Accounting and bookkeeping tools

    15. Wave Accounting

    Cost: Free forever

    With Wave Accounting, users can connect bank accounts, sync and categorize expenses, balance books and transactions, access financial reports, and get ready for tax season. Wave Accounting also syncs with other Wave services like Invoicing and Money to let you do more in one place, save time, and keep accurate records.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Service-based small business owners and freelancers
    • Anyone looking for a free solution that doesn’t compromise on features

    16. Sunrise

    Cost: Free plan

    Sunrise’s self-service plan lets users connect their bank, perform double entry accounting, and accept payments. As needs grow, Sunrise’s paid plans include a dedicated professional bookkeeper.

    Who it’s great for:

    Invoicing tools

    17. Wave Invoicing

    Cost: Free forever

    With Wave Invoicing, business owners can easily create branded, customized invoices with drag-and-drop templates. Wave makes it a breeze to add customers, services, and products, send invoices to customers, and accept bank and credit card payments.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Small business owners who want to offer customers the convenience of paying directly from an invoice
    • Entrepreneurs looking to manage their day-to-day finances in one place

    18. Invoice Simple Invoice Generator

    Cost: Free

    Invoice Simple offers a simplified invoice generator. Users input company, customer, and billing information, choose a main theme color, and the tool generates a simple, professional-looking invoice.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Small business owners looking for the most straightforward invoice experience
    • Time-strapped entrepreneurs

    Payment processing tools

    19. Wave Payments

    Cost: Per transaction processing fees of 1% for bank payments and 2.9% + $0.30 for most credit card payments.

    Wave Payments makes payment easy for businesses and their customers alike. Customers can pay directly from the Wave invoices they receive, while business owners can customize each invoice to accept bank payments, credit card payments, or both.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Businesses with customers who want to pay digitally
    • Anyone looking to avoid long-term subscriptions and sign-up fees

    20. PayPal

    Cost: Varies by product

    PayPal enables businesses to accept and process payments in myriad ways, including through invoices, ecommerce checkout, and in-person via point-of-sale. They offer a wide variety of services, and are well-known around the world.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Small business owners with clients in numerous countries
    • Businesses that sell goods and services digitally

    Payroll tools

    21. Wave Payroll

    Cost: $20-$35 per month plus $6 per employee/independent contractor per month

    Wave Payroll makes it easy for business owners to pay both employees and independent contractors. The tool lets you direct deposit payments, generate W-2 and 1099 tax forms, and automatically create payroll journal entries.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Small businesses with under 10 employees
    • Small business owners with both employees and independent contractors

    22. Gusto

    Cost: Starts at $19 per month plus $6 per person per month

    Gusto offers payroll as part of a broader HR and benefits platform. The Basic plan offers most payroll features—including 4-day direct deposit, paid time off (PTO), and workers’ comp for any single state.

    Who it’s great for:

    • Small business owners looking for a solution with additional HR capabilities
    • Businesses with larger amounts of employees

    Tools to make small business better

    A lot goes into running a small business, but you don’t have to do it alone. The tools above are designed to make every aspect of small business easier, simpler, and faster. And with most offering robust free plans, there’s no budget too small to benefit.


3 Ways to Protect Your Digital-Age Business

The digital age has meant many different things to many different groups of people, and the same is no less true for businesses. Modern companies can, and therefore must, augment their business models with state of the art tech in order to stay competitive or to gain a competitive edge.

digital age

However, this also introduces new problems in the form of potential cyber attacks. In order to protect your company from cyber attacks, you’ll need to know these tips.


The IT department has been around for awhile now, and it has been associated for almost as long with ineffectual advice played for laughs on sitcoms. However, IT workers have been instrumental in creating the data and tech focused business landscape of today, because the machines on which modern companies rely are prone to a variety of malfunctions, both major and minor, that can impact the bottom line of the business in question.

This trend isn’t changing. In fact, IT workers have an even more important role as technology becomes more deeply entrenched in modern commerce and as the tech in question becomes even more advanced and esoteric. In order to keep things running smoothly, you’ll need to invest in IT via a managed service provider.

While you can hire IT workers for your staff directly, it’s a temporary solution, because you’ll eventually have to find and train replacements for these staff members when they were hired in the first place because they have a valuable and relatively rare skill set. Outsourcing your IT needs is far and away the best option in today’s world.

Related:- 5 practical tips for paying off your business debt


While the IT crowd can help you keep things operational at the mechanical level, you’ll still need solutions to the plethora of problems that can be caused by errant hackers. Hackers love to target businesses, because companies of all kinds have varying amounts of data on hand that is often more valuable than you might think.

Things like customers’ private information and even some trade secrets are readily available in many cases. At least they’re relatively easy for hackers to get their hands on. That’s why your business needs to invest in cybersecurity, because there are a variety of tools available to help you thwart hackers and all of their known methods, if you know where to look and have the budget at your disposal.

First and foremost, you’re going to want to hire a cybersecurity consultant for at the least the duration of the setup period. It takes an encyclopedic knowledge of all the various forms of cybersecurity software, as well as an eye for network monitoring, if you want to create a comprehensive security infrastructure.

Related:- 4 small business tax mistakes (and how to solve them)

Best Practices

Despite being able to protect your company due in large part to technological solutions, this isn’t always the case. Software can only do so much, and the majority of all security breaches are the result of simple mistakes on the part of users, and those users can be your staff. You’ll need to train your staff on the basics of online etiquette in order to ensure that they’re not putting your business at any more risk than is absolutely necessary.

You’ll want to make sure that your staff is using a password that isn’t easy for hackers to guess, and that means that they should use passwords that need to be written, because they’ll also be difficult to remember. In addition to this, you’ll also need to implement additional login security, and the frontrunner in that particular race is multi factor authentication.

Modern businesses have more advantages at their disposal than ever before. However, modern tech leaves a lot of room for error and a number of back doors that hackers can exploit in order to attack businesses. These problems can be overcome fairly easily, provided that you have an idea of the basic steps you’ll need to take in order to prevent hackers from infiltrating your network. These tips will help you do just that.

4 small business tax mistakes (and how to solve them)

With 2018’s tax season in the rearview mirror, and 2019’s tax season just around the corner, we’re revisiting the mistakes our new tax customers encountered and how we helped them get back on track.


Here are the four most common problems we saw.

1. Surprise tax bill

Ever open a credit card bill and get shocked over the amount owed? We saw many tax customers in that situation except it wasn’t a bill but a large sum due with their tax returns.

In 2019, the highest federal tax rate for individuals is 35%. State income taxes can vary from 0% to as high as 13.3%. Self-employed business owners are also subject to self-employment taxes on their business profits, which can add an additional 15.3% of tax (before self-employment tax deduction).

Tax debt can really add up quickly, sometimes as much as tens of thousands of dollars.

Solution: Set aside money and make quarterly estimates

It’s quite easy to avoid this pitfall if you implement a sustainable bookkeeping routine.. An amazing colleague of mine wrote this article to assist small business owners with their cash flow including setting up an account for taxes. For those who aren’t behind on their taxes, setting aside funds for your taxes as soon as you are profitable means you’ve covered your tracks when tax season comes around, and can focus on managing your business instead.

For most self-employed individuals, taxes must be paid quarterly: by April 15, June 15, September 15 of the current tax year, and January 15 of the following year.

If you have fallen behind and do not have the funds to pay your taxes when your returns are due, speak to your tax advisor about setting up a payment plan with the IRS. If you do not have a tax advisor or can’t afford one, you can contact the IRS online for payment options. Tax deadlines are serious, but the government does support small businesses with flexible plans.

Related:- Business Benefits of Doing a Management Programme

2. Accidental payroll

Most small business owners are considered to be self-employed by the IRS. This means unless the business is incorporated, you can’t be both owner and an employee of your business.

Sole proprietors, general partners in a partnership, and member-managers (any member involved in the management) of an LLC are all considered to be self-employed by the IRS. If you fall into one of these categories, you do not need to be on the business’s payroll. The only exception is if your business is considered a corporation for tax purposes, such as a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation.

We see too many business owners pay themselves as employees, even though their tax structure prohibits it. The IRS states that paying yourself as an employee when you are self-employed is prohibited, so following the rules can be very useful in saving time and headaches.

Solution: Stop payroll and amend payroll returns, pay quarterly estimates instead

If your business is not a corporation and you have paid yourself as an employee through payroll, and have remitted payroll withholdings, you should stop immediately! Contact your tax advisor as soon as possible to see how this can be remedied. You may be able to amend the payroll returns and get a refund for the withholding submitted. Instead, you would submit taxes through quarterly estimated tax payments as we discussed above.

3. Reasonable compensation

If your business is a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation, and you provide services to your incorporated business, the IRS considers you to be an employee and you must be compensated through payroll for those services.

The IRS states that you must pay yourself reasonable compensation for your services. Generally speaking, reasonable compensation is what you would pay someone else to do the same job you are doing in the open market.

Reasonable compensation is mandatory. We see too many corporations not paying any salary, while others paying too much or too little. All of these are problems.

Solution: Research for support or pay back amounts drawn

The IRS uses professional valuators, databases, surveys and salary studies to determine reasonable compensation for any service provided. That being said, you don’t necessarily have to pay for a salary report from a valuator, and can use other resources to support a reasonable salary. If the IRS challenges the compensation you’ve paid yourself, you can present your research and findings to validate the amount you pay yourself is reasonable and industry-standard.

You can use job posting salaries for employment in your area that are similar to the service you’re offering. If you were previously employed at a different company, and then started a business on your own in a similar role, the salary you were paid from your previous employment could be support for the amount you pay yourself now.

Figuring out reasonable compensation can be difficult, so we always recommend you speak with your tax advisor as a starting point.

Related:- 5 practical tips for paying off your business debt

4. Paying for personal items with your business account

The line between business and personal can get blurry, but the IRS requires clear records when it comes to your tax filings. Personal expenses should be kept separate from any business costs. If you are putting personal expenses through the business, you very likely owe additional taxes: you might owe income and payroll tax liabilities on top of those unaccounted expenses.

In a corporation’s case, these expenses can be deemed as salary. This could mean that you owe additional amounts for income and payroll taxes.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you used your business to pay for $1,000 of personal expenses instead of paying yourself a wage through your corporation. If you did not pay yourself reasonable compensation, the IRS may treat this as if you issued yourself a paycheck of $1,000 of net pay after tax and payroll withholding. In this example, you would have needed to pay yourself gross wages of $1,500 to get a net paycheck of $1,000. On paper, you’ve created a $500 income and payroll tax liability by using your business to pay for personal expenses. In short, you owe the IRS $500.

Not remitting or paying an employee’s share of payroll taxes can land business owners in serious trouble with the IRS. The penalty can be 100% of the tax due for all directors and owners of the corporation, and even possible jail time as it is considered a criminal offence!

Solution: Shareholder loans with interest, or set up payroll to cover tax remittances

If you take out money on behalf of your business and plan to put it back shortly afterwards, the amount used to pay for personal expenses could be documented as a shareholder loan. A shareholder loan must be documented properly: the IRS usually wants to see a note payable, or shareholder’s loan agreement, with interest being charged by the corporation and regular payments being made by the shareholder. Failure to do so could result in the IRS deeming the amount as taxable income to the shareholder, which means additional income taxes and costs to your business.

5 practical tips for paying off your business debt

In a recent Wave survey, 60% of respondents expressed fear or uncertainty about their business’ future. Many business owners have unwillingly taken on debt to stay afloat during COVID-19, and aren’t comfortable having it hang around.


If being in the red makes you nervous about the future, these five practical tips for paying off your business debt will help get your business back on solid ground.

Tip 1: Create a budget

If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at your budget, it’s time to create a new one more accurately reflecting your business finances. Here’s how to do it in six steps:

Step 1: Set up your budget. SCORE, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), has some premade templates. Relevant ones include the Break-Even Analysis and 12-Month Profit and Loss Projection.

Step 2: Determine revenue from all sources. This can be done by examining all of your income streams.

Step 3: Subtract fixed costs from your revenue. These are expenses that don’t change from month-to-month, like your rent, payroll, and insurance.

Step 4: Decide on variable costs. These expenses vary based on how you use products and services, such as office supplies, utilities, and marketing spending.

Step 5: Save for lean months. Building an emergency fund with budgeted monthly contributions ensures cash flow during slow business seasons.

Step 6: Calculate your profits and losses. This is the easy part. Wave’s 100% free bookkeeping feature with automatic transaction importing can do all the math for you. It can also easily generate insightful reports to help compare spending for all the figures you need.

Tip 2: Restructure your debt

If you buy large volumes of supplies from vendors, they may be willing to bring down minimum monthly payments, allow longer repayment terms, or lower interest rates to keep your business.

Lenders might be willing to do the same with your business and credit card loans if you reach out to your issuer and discuss your situation. The pandemic has made many lenders more flexible.

Refinancing a single loan or consolidating multiple ones for a lower interest rate are also popular debt restructuring options. Consolidation has the added benefit of combining various loans into one monthly payment. Loan refinancing and consolidation are available at banks, credit unions, and the SBA.

Related:- To Help Your Business Use Slack More Productively

Tip 3: Minimize your spending

Minimizing your spending is a multi-pronged approach that can include a number of actions.

Sticking to your budget

The downfall of many budgeting systems is they’re a hassle to maintain. But Wave’s bookkeeping feature eliminates the need for entering transactions manually and lets you use your phone to scan receipts.

Understanding your costs

Wave’s bookkeeping also lets you categorize your expenses and compare different periods to see where you’re spending more than in previous years. You can then work on reducing costs to fit within budgetary constraints.

Cutting costs

Audit your fixed and variable expenses to find areas of improvement. You can usually cut costs by:

  • Reducing discretionary income for things like supplies, office parties, and technology purchases
  • Changing vendors and contractors to more affordable ones
  • Eliminating marketing methods with low returns
  • Renting out unused office space

Subscription and service fees can also drain your account. We’ve recently introduced Wave Money, a business banking solution for single-owner businesses that will let you manage your money for free. That means no monthly or transaction fees, account minimums, or withdrawal fees from network ATMs. In the meantime, you can use our free accounting software.

Tip 4: Increase your income

Paying off business debt is a lot easier when there’s more money coming in. Below are some ideas to boost your earnings.

Diversify your offerings

What other related services can you offer clients to provide more value and make your business a one-stop shop? The more of their needs you fulfill, the more valuable you’ll be. Graphic designers, for instance, can partner with web developers for a functional and beautiful website for clients.

Raise your prices

Raising prices is something many are hard-pressed to do for fear of customer backlash. But customers can be surprisingly understanding when they’re told about price increases in advance and provided a quick explanation of why, such as supply cost increases. Another option is to raise prices only for new clients.

Liquidate your assets

Inventory, equipment, and supplies with a thick layer of dust only tie up your business’ money. Selling them off means extra cash and additional warehouse space for more needed items.

Find alternative passive income strategies

Passive income can turn into a hands-off way to earn money after some upfront work. Courses, pre-made offerings like website themes and templates, blogging, and opting for royalties instead of a one-time fee are all passive income ideas.

Reevaluate your margins

Analyzing seasonal cost fluctuations and patterns lets you see how your expenses change throughout the year. That data can help you see marketplace trends, allowing you to adjust your prices accordingly.

Related:- Business Benefits of Doing a Management Programme

Tip 5: Create a debt payoff plan

You can chip away at debts with one of these two strategies:

Profit percent: Determine how much of your profits will go toward additional debt payments (e.g.5% or 10%).

Set amount: Choose a fixed amount to apply toward a specific debt, no matter what goes on with your business finances. If you find there’s never enough money left over at the end of the month for debt payments, this can be a good option to ensure you’re always making progress on bills.

The amount of money you decide to put towards paying off your debt can be added to your budget. You can hold yourself more accountable by making weekly bill payments rather than a lump sum at the end of the month.

Business Benefits of Doing a Management Programme

No business can succeed without reliable and meaningful management. This management involves planning, execution, control, measuring, organising, improving, and delegating – all the activities that encompass the running of an organisation. Even though management roles and responsibilities vary significantly, depending on the function of the manager, the main objective is always the same: to develop and sustain a successful and profitable business.


Quality management programmes give managers a useful and practical overview of the realities of business, and provides useful industry insights to candidates. With the constant rate of change and development in businesses, gaining a competitive advantage means an investment in management. Aside from the personal wins of development and learning, here are the business benefits of investing in management training:

Related:- To Help Your Business Use Slack More Productively

Take a look below at 10 top benefits of ongoing staff development:

  • Keep up with industry changes
    Industries are constantly changing and so it is important for a business to develop to avoid being left behind. It’s also important to make sure your business is complying with any industry regulations, which can be achieved through ongoing training, making sure your staff’s skills and knowledge are up-to-date.
  • Be in touch with all the latest technology developments
    New technology is being developed all the time and so it is not sufficient to run a one-off training session. Regular training needs to take place to ensure that staff are using all the latest technology comfortably and to its full potential. This can be achieved through implementing a customised staff IT training program, and by integrating employee training with IT support.
  • Stay ahead of competitors
    Standing still can kill your business, so by making sure your staff are constantly advancing, you will continue to move forward are remain competitive within the marketplace.
  • Be able to see weaknesses and skill gaps
    With regular training, a business can more easily identify any gaps in the market and skill gaps within the existing workforce. By identifying these gaps early, there is time to train staff in these required areas so they can fulfil the role effectively.
  • Maintain knowledge and skill
    Although one off training may be provided to new starters, or other employees, it’s important that training schemes are put in place to help develop skills throughout their job. To retain knowledge, skills need to be practiced and refreshed on a regular basis so elements aren’t forgotten.
  • Advance employee skills
    Once a business has spent money on providing basic level skills, these can easily be built upon and improved to provide much more benefit to the business. Staff that know more can bring more to the table, and your business will reap the rewards.
  • Provide an incentive to learn
    If training is provided as part of a longer development pathway, employees will have much more incentive to learn, participate in the session and put their new skills into practice.
  • Increase job satisfaction levels
    Through continued investment from the business, staff can have a much higher sense of job satisfaction, which can improve their motivation towards their work. This reduces employee turnover and increases productivity, which directly improves the profitability. It also prevents competitors from taking away your best employees by offering training incentives.
  • Provide internal promotion opportunities
    Employing new staff involves high recruitment costs and hiring fees. However, with ongoing training, your existing staff can become more eligible for internal promotions. Unlike new staff, you can guarantee they have a complete knowledge of your business, the correct skill set and are people that you know and trust.
  • Attract new talent
    All businesses want to have the best employees and so with ongoing training, this will not only mean better staff retention, but the business may also attract better talent from the start, as this gives the business a good image and is a key feature many people look for within their job search.

As you can see, ongoing training is important not just to employee development, but it also affects the success of your business.

Many businesses are now starting to see the importance of training and investing in their staff, with Forbes reporting company spending is on the rise, with $130 Billion USD spent worldwide in 2013. However, training should not be seen as a one-off exception, but as a regular necessity, to help fill skill gaps and keep the business moving forward successfully.

Related:- Five things to consider when naming your business

Just like any other business investment though, there needs to be an organised plan put into place. This will help to provide more structure and allow employees to know what to expect. Therefore, before jumping into finding training providers, it’s important to step back and think about a few key areas:

  • Skills – Make sure you take your time to find out what skills your staff would like to develop and why, as well as working out where you want to be in the industry and what skills are needed to get you there. Any training you provide should be transferable and relevant to your employee’s current job, to keep them engaged in the overall process.
  • Frequency – You should also consider the frequency of training, to achieve the medium and long-term improvements. It is a careful balance, to make sure there is enough training, but not too much that staff lose interest or struggle to keep up with their daily work tasks.
  • Delivery – You should also look at the many different types of training that are available, to decide what is best for your specific business. As well as one-to-one training, you could also have group sessions, or eLearning which is now a very popular route and requires less time away from the business.

Is your organisation having trouble with staff retention, onboarding or skills development? Get in touch with Saxons Learning Solutions to discuss your technical training needs, or Saxons Training Facilities to discover Australia’s premier training venues.

To Help Your Business Use Slack More Productively

In a time where the Internet and technology have found ways to connect us seamlessly and instantly, business communication has become easier than ever before. From anywhere in the world, small businesses, startups, and large corporations alike have found ways to utilize the Internet for maximum productivity, using applications and platforms like Trello, Hive and Skype to get the job done quickly and easily. One popular app that has made its way to plenty of companies is Slack, which BetaNews reports has over 10 million daily active users along with 85,000 paid customers—and for good reason.


Companies use it as a hub for notifications, calendar reminders, project development, and uploading files—all of which increases workplace productivity. But how do they do this? And how can you take advantage of Slack to boost your efficiency and productivity? You can get started with this as soon as now, as we’re going to outline 4 tips you can follow to make your Slack channel (and your business!) more productive.

Related:- Five things to consider when naming your business

Set up Slack channels for more organization

The best thing about Slack is that you can have as many channels as you want, and for any purpose. These channels serve as group chats, and can include (and exclude) anyone in your workspace. For instance, you can have a channel solely for file sharing, another one for discussions on a particular project, and even one for random conversations. You can also name these whatever you want so that employees can take one glance and know its purpose.

Use Slack bots to automate tasks

Once you’ve settled into Slack, automate tasks with the range of bots Slack and other developers have to offer. An article by HP on ‘Great Slack Bots for Small Businesses’ recommends Attendance Bot, which is a great bot for shift management. It can keep track of sick days, vacation leaves, and even track time or shifts. Aside from this, there are bots for all purposes—IT support, scheduling meetings, and even team building, it’s all a matter of finding the best one for your business.

Leverage app integrations

If you’re using other apps outside of Slack to collaborate with your team, you can connect them to Slack. Apps such as Trello and Google Drive can be integrated within your channels, so that you don’t have to keep switching in and out of Slack. Simply click your team name in the left-hand corner, then choose “Apps & Integrations.” Make sure that you have the permission to do so, as only team owners and administrators can limit who can add apps to the team’s workspace.

Related:- Developing Mobile Apps For Business Processes

Silence notifications

A basic, yet sometimes necessary tip that digital consultant John Boitnott recommends is to silence notifications from channels, users, or everyone when you need it. Being the team owner can get a little hectic—especially if you’re part of all the channels. Not to mention, all the push notifications coming in can distract you from your work, which will definitely be counterproductive. That said, you can mute notifications from certain channels or users. You’ll still see how many new messages there are in your sidebar, but at least you won’t have to suffer from the classic Slack notification every few seconds anymore.

In a nutshell

At its core, Slack is a messaging app meant to improve workplace communication and reduce the emails sent, and while it still serves this purpose, Slack can do far more, according to SmallBiz Club’s article on ‘Top 5 Business Communication Tools in the Modern Workplace’. By using Slack strategically and taking advantage of all it has to offer in terms of bots, app integrations, and features, your business’ communication and productivity will improve in no time.

Five things to consider when naming your business

Entrepreneurs who are fresh out of the gate with their business idea naming frequently ask my firm for advice about their branding: their corporate identity, logo and, of course, what to call their new venture.


Many of the considerations and concerns are universal, so here are a few of the basic facets that we convey (and addressed ourselves in naming our own shop, Clout) when the time comes to name your venture.

1. Shut up and say something

First and foremost, keep in mind that you are naming a business: This is a company and not your baby. As you begin to list out possible names, you must start by taking your train of thought forwards and backwards through their meaning. Ask “I want my name to say Y about my company,” and “Y would have these connotations.”

Test them out among those around you, anonymously online, with street-level strangers. The world is your focus group.

When all else fails, hit them over the head with wording that is to the point and easy for your market to find you with. At some point, you have to stop deliberating and just be out with it.

Related:- How Your Lifestyle Impacts Your Mental Health

2. Be unique but not esoteric

When being creative, decide how committed you are to using your surname (i.e. “Eastman”) versus a coined word (i.e. “Kodak”) versus existing words (i.e. “Film Company”) or a combination of all three. In all cases, it must be easy for everyone to identify, remember, pronounce and verbally convey.

When George Eastman and his mother coined “Kodak” as a brand name, they did so because (beyond his appreciation of it’s timbre) it achieved three of his most important criteria: it was short; it was almost impossible to mispronounce; and, it was something that he could have absolute ownership of.

When coining a word, always keep word of mouth in mind: How will your name be conveyed on the radio? (Google is a coined, phonetic interpretation of “googol” that people obviously took to with ease).

Avoid obscurity and being pedantic: If using a motif that’s particular to your industry, avoid using terms and jargon that would be foreign to outsiders (unless you are operating strictly business-to-business in an esoteric field).

3. Own it

Beyond knowing if you can legally proceed with your business name (in your given industry and/or jurisdiction), you need to determine if you can have “ownership” of it in your market. How tough a war will you have to wage in search engines to rank first for your business name? How hard will you need to fight for word of mouth and the like?

If you’re confident that you can use a business name to stake your ground, and to become a recognizable business (and that you are not flagrantly infringing on anyone or copying a competitor), add the name to your shortlist.

Avoid treading on an existing business name: Even if your product or service is geared to bolster or involve an existing brand, you may seem like you are riding coat-tails and could open yourself up to litigation. Think about how your company name will be used when it hits the streets: Will your market refer to you by part of or all of the company name? Will they use an acronym? What kind of nicknames, positive or otherwise, might emerge?

Related:- What is Progressive Abstinence

4. Scalability

We often tell new entrepreneurs not to neglect thinking of the scalability of their new company name (both literally and figuratively when it comes time to see it print, on swag, etc.). When choosing your new business name, you have to envision it in the present and future and in all of its forms: short, long, colloquial and the like alongside changes in the industry.

Will adding a noun to your business name really help you now (or hinder you later if you can’t easily change it or rebrand)? What happens when you expand markets, products, and territories? There’s a bit of an art and science here in not limiting yourself to one area if you foresee growth. For example, would Apple have chosen “Apple Computer” as their name had they foreseen becoming a large consumer and telephony electronics manufacturer?

5. Timelessness vs. Trendiness

It is very tempting for start-ups to hone in on buzzwords and memes. However, buzzwords can become passé as quickly as they become popular and using them can backfire painfully fast. What you think of as hip could quickly turn cheesy with your market if you’re trying too hard.

As Joselynn Maas aptly put it in her post about creating a logo for a small business, the best brands are those that can stand the test of time. Her example of Coca-Cola is perfect: great evidence of this is in seeing the consistency of their trademarks on the sides of stores in photos taken during the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

And, while it’s also in vogue to misspell words (especially to exploit web domains such as “.ie,” “.ly” or “.ee,”), doing so increases your risk of losing prospects in their search for you. If you go this route, be prepared to commit to concerted marketing and web efforts to detour your audience to your website, phonebook listing or the like.

Developing Mobile Apps For Business Processes

In 2018 alone, the mobile industry generated more than 1 trillion dollars globally. This sector allows companies to make good business decisions and make the operation transparent.
Does your brand want to continue investing in the mobile sector in 2020? Maybe you should know the trends to follow:
Android is still the mobile operating system leader
Google’s operating system is still the fastest-growing, compared to its rival iOS. In 2019, three times more apps were created on the platform than those developed for its Apple counterpart. This is much clearer in the gaming ecosystem, where there are four times more new proposals in the Play Store than in its competitor. The apple brand only dominates in Utilities.
There are five categories of universal appeal
If your brand wants to develop an app and plans to reach as many people as possible, it is important to know which categories are equally popular on Android and iOS. Games are the most downloaded type of program on smartphones, although Google’s operating system has a very clear advantage. However, in topics such as Finance, Health and wellness, Travel and Sports, the downloads in the Play Store and the App Store are almost identical.
iOS is the platform to generate money on mobile apps
Perhaps Android solutions are more numerous and generally more downloaded by users. However, the goose that lays golden eggs is still Apple’s operating system. In 2019, although Android is vastly larger, most of the revenue comes from the App Store. There are three categories that stand out in terms of collection: Entertainment, Videogames (almost the same on both platforms), and Social.
The shared economy is still popular
When companies like Uber and Airbnb took on enormous relevance in 2017, this segment of the mobile industry grew like foam. It is expected that the download figure will continue to rise in 2020. So if a brand wants to debut in the mobile environment, it could bet on a business model that relies on this type of commercial offer to grow.
Google and Facebook still dominate mobile marketing
Again, with no surprise to anyone, the two largest advertising companies worldwide are accounting for the bulk of mobile advertiser spending. They both occupy virtually equal parts of the industry, about a third each, with Mark Zuckerberg’s company a bit ahead. However, the programmatic technique could be a major rival, as it now has an enviable 12 percent of the pie.
It is easier to convince for a subscription than of a mobile purchase
Interestingly, people are less and less willing to make purchases within mobile apps. For 2018, the action that generated the most interaction among users, with a 7.2 percent rate, was the direct purchase of the programs in the Play Store and the App Store. However, by 2020 it is expected to drop to 2.3 percent, just above the rate for in-app acquisitions. Subscriptions, on the other hand, will rise to 4.8.
Advantages of integrating business apps for your business
Technology and electronics are making inroads in our lives by leaps and bounds to such an extent that we can no longer conceive of our day-to-day life without gadgets, connections, and so on, even at work. And this is not a negative thing. Business apps are all positive things.
The advantages of integrating business apps for your business are many and varied, allowing you to improve and be efficient in all aspects.
Why integrate a business app into your business?
Surely this question has been in your head for a long time, that’s why you are reading this post. If so, perfect, because what we are going to tell you is just that, the advantages of integrating business apps for your business.
Immediate management

The usual thing, at least in quality business management apps, is that they allow you to have remote and immediate control of the tasks that are your responsibility.
Improves coordination
Having all the information on products or services, clients, and work teams means that all tasks can be coordinated effectively, improving productivity by optimizing all processes.
Tracking of processes
As head or section manager, you can do complete and real-time monitoring of the activity of your workers, making sure that everything is carried out in the most correct and effective way. This is one of the best advantages of integrating business apps for your business without a doubt.
Management improvement
Many of the steps taken in the app development companies can be carried out more efficiently from the app. For example, security, data privacy, expenses, and all accounting processes.
The news
This implies that any novelty is reflected instantly. Therefore, we are also aware of incidents and can resolve them as soon as possible.
Automation of processes
Surely there are some processes in your company that can be automated thanks to the use of an application.
In this way, you are saving time, energy, and money, in addition to being able to offer that time to a worker to take a break or simply get on with another task that requires their abilities and skills. This is a great advantage of the integration of apps business for your business.
New functions
The sector increases and improves significantly every day, creating more and more very useful functionalities that may or may not be included in the company’s application you choose for your business.

5 ways small business can compete with bigger firms

Gone are the days when small businesses couldn’t compete with bigger companies. Technological advances have helped to even out the playing field, but there are inherent advantages to being the little guy.


Here are five ways your small business can compete with larger companies, and sometimes come out ahead.

1. Be nimble

Sure, bigger companies have a larger staff and more resources. But that can also add layers of bureaucracy to their infrastructure. The more vice-presidents and managers you have, the longer it usually takes to create, develop, approve and implement change. As a smaller firm, you have fewer internal hurdles to clear when implementing changes. You can also respond to customer queries or complaints faster because there are fewer people in your company who have to meet, discuss and approve how to reply to such client feedback. According to a study by QMS, smaller companies are actually more efficient, productive and cost-effective than large ones.

One tool your SMB can employ to make its collaboration and innovation process even more efficient is social Intranet. It takes the old-school corporate Intranet model (let’s all just list our company events, birthdays and human resource forms on one internal site) and updates it using today’s social networking approach, so employees can truly contribute creative ideas and content (including video, Web links and photos) from anywhere in real time.

2. Get personal

What sets many SMBs apart from large companies is their ability to build personal relationships with customers and suppliers. If you know many of those players by name and have an ongoing relationship with them, nurture it. You can do it in little ways: mention them in your company’s blog, write a client case involving them and post it on your Web site, ask them to take part in a roundtable on improving customer service and products at your firm. You can even publicly acknowledge their personal or corporate milestones (anniversaries, contract wins, awards, etc.) on social media. There’s evidence that when it comes to forging business and sales with other SMBs, personal contacts still make a difference.

Related:- Looking for Bride’s Mother Dress? Let Neena Gupta

3. Be social

Social media and blogs have given small businesses the opportunity to market themselves to a massive audience of potential clients, and it seems to be working. Last year’s Social Media Marketing Industry Report found that SMBs benefit more than bigger firms from using social media when it comes to making sales, generating leads and partnerships, increasing site traffic, subscriptions and overall marketplace exposure, and cutting marketing costs. It’s not always easy to manage a social media strategy when you’re a SMB but there are technology tools to use and organizational steps to take so it’s a little easier these days.

4. Tell your own story

Break out of the traditional marketing and publicity box of simply issuing a press release that shills your latest product and recounts why it’s so amazing. Those formulaic quotes don’t sound real, and thousands of other companies are doing the same thing every day. But only you can tell the unique story of your business: how you started and grew your business as well as all the personal bumps you encountered along the way. A 2010 study by the University of Chicago found that products marketed using “brand biographies” highlighting passionate entrepreneurs overcoming the odds were chosen 71 per cent of the time over products that weren’t promoted that way. Just think of all the category killers whose branding is strengthened by their leaders’ back stories. There’s a reason The Social Network drew in millions of moviegoers with the story of Mark Zuckerberg. It’s the same reason they’re making a biopic about Apple’s Steve Jobs as we speak. People love to hear personal stories.

Related:- Kiara Advani Showcased The Perfect Bridesmaid Dresses!

5. Use tech

Okay, we’ve already mentioned a few ways your SMB can harness technology to compete with the big guys. And there are many online tools out there that can help small businesses run more efficiently and effectively. But since it’s impossible to ignore the big players, why not take advantage of the fact that most of them are now launching their own services targeted to SMBs? Corporate giants like IBMRogers CommunicationsDell Inc. and Research In Motion Ltd. are all vying for your SMB budget dollars with products and services that, ironically, might just help you compete with companies as big as them. Whether it’s cloud storage or Web marketing, they’ve all got something designed (and priced) just for companies your size.

Effective Team Building for Successful Organization

Times have changed and unlike the earlier times when a small-scale entrepreneur was able to build an empire single-handedly. In today’s business scenario, the environment has become so complex and competitive, that it is not easy to achieve success on your own.


The business environment is in a continuous state of turmoil, and achievement of tasks depends more and more on the outputs of teams rather than efforts of a single person and there the term Team comes in existence.

What is Team?

A team is group of small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they are mutually accountable. ( Definition by Katzenbach and Smith – 1993 ). Different definitions are coined by many people for Team. But the purpose behind forming team remains same to achieve common objective.

There are some important aspects of successful teams as follows.

Aspects of the Team Building

To build an efficient Team, approach has to be dynamic and adaptive in this competitive world. However, there are certain aspects of team-building to be followed by the members in order to achieve the end target.

  1. Team should be small in number. Small group is able to deliver better results. If team is say fifty people then it is good to divide it into sub-teams as probability of such bigger team to give better output is less if compared to team of 5-10 people whose probability of successfully sorting out their individual, hierarchical and functional differences, and work towards a common goal, and also be accountable for the results.
  2. To succeed as a team, the team should have appropriate mix of skills and traits. If the team has people with homogeneous skills then it won’t be very effective to accomplish their set goals and objectives. On other hand if team has skills and traits more than what are needed for requirements then it may cause unnecessary disruptions which can affects results. We can explain this aspect by giving example of maintenance team in industry. Such team should consists of different people with different skill sets like mechanical, electrical, civil, information technology. It would become difficult if such team has people with similar skill sets.So there are basically three categories of team skills:
    1. Technical abilities or expertise needed for the task
    2. Problem-solving and decision-making skills
    3. Interpersonal skills
  3. Team should set their goals on the basis of requirements placed on them by the organization. This helps the team to define their boundaries and scope of their job.
  4. Team should take common approach to achieve common goal set.
  5. Team’s mutual accountability is the most important aspect of this approach. Mutual understanding is important in team members to work in coordination with each other to target common objective.

As we already know team is group of people with complementary skills who work together to achieve common goals. So it is important for team members to communicate with each other to and keep learning from each other eventually maximizing their strengths and weaknesses. However there are certain principles of team building.

Principles of Team Building

  1. Each member’s roles and responsibilities have been written down and explained to them in clear and unambiguous manner.
  2. Every team member should understand their own responsibility and should be committed towards their work to increase the team’s productivity and work towards the team’s success.
  3. Team members should collaborate with each other in order to take their tasks forward smoothly.
  4. Effective Communication becomes essential factor in team building. It is essential for any manager and team members to communicate with each other in freely and openly about nature of work, goals set for team, and methods adopted for accomplishing objectives.
  5. The manager should be polite, humble and approachable so that team members do not hesitate to approach him with whatever issues they might have. This also helps the manager to bring about coordination among team members.

Along with such principles there are some approaches to team building. There are five approaches that are generally followed.

  1. Interpersonal approach: Interpersonal approach is most ancient approach among others emerged in 1950 which is based on human psychology. It develops social and personal awareness between the team members. Better understanding of each other’s nature will help to work easily within team. Interpersonal approach enhances bond between teammates which also enhances productivity.
  2. Role-Definition: This approach is based on roles and norms which exist within team. Defining roles and responsibilities for each person in team, defining expectation from each person enhances coordination between team members which ultimately gives better output while achieving common goal.
  3. Values: This approach is based on values that team members adopt while executing their roles and responsibilities. It is important that the team members have same values. For effective teamwork and coordination, values given to each should be well justified otherwise it would become difficult for team members to work in team.
  4. Task based approach: This approach is based on individual’s skills and how he executes tasks assigned to him and make teamwork successful. It is managers’ who should put all the tasks in clear terms. Bigger tasks should be broken down into smaller tasks by manager. Then it becomes individual’s responsibility to contribute in team by working on his tasks to achieve common targets.
  5. Social Identification: It talks about members’ need to feel part of team. It is important for each member to understand each other’s point of views, should have good communication with each other, standing in crisis for each others, taking unfinished jobs of other in need to achieve common objectives which are set for the team and not for individual. These things help member to come closer with other member of team and to feel being part of Team which enhances effective teamwork. Each team member should have self esteem and respect for each other to have effective co ordination in team. Some common platforms, interests, knowledge sharing platforms can help members to stand for others in need so that team can reach common targets.

Every individual has always been considered as asset of company. So it is important for any organization to take all such individuals together as a team to become a successful organization and team building techniques definitely make it possible.