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Content Management System: WordPress
All small businesses need a website. WordPress has become the go-to system even for web designers whose clients want to update their site. If need be, find some training in WordPress to get you started or find a web designer who develops in WordPress. In the long run, WordPress gives you the most flexibility and options as you grow your business.
Email List Management: Aweber
There a number of options available to handle email lists. Aweber offers a robust set of options for handling any type of email newsletter or campaign. I used to use MailChimp. Due to recent changes in their pricing structure, I recently moved to Aweber. However, I still consider MailChimp a strong contender in this category.
Runner Up: MailChimp
If you ever need to remotely share design ideas or project ideas, troubleshoot hardware or software issues, collaborate on a project, Join.me lets you easily share desktops from remote locations.It’s free. It allows for multiple viewers. It even lets you take control of someone else’s desktop. It’s a great online option for troubleshooting hardware/software issues, sharing design/project ideas, collaborating on a project, etc.
Project Management: TeamLab
A very functional, intuitive, online option for Project Management is TeamLab. After months of looking for a Project Management Tool that meets our needs, I was pleasantly surprised just a couple of weeks ago when I ran across this option. It not only handles project management, but it also has document management (create, edit, and share documents online), client relations management (see next section), and chat rooms. The Project Management functionality gives team members from around the world a central location to preview tasks, update status of projects, and communicate with other team members.
Client Relations Management: TeamLab
A Client (or customer) Relations Management tool tracks and documents client interactions. TeamLab has a very robust and easy-to-use CRM tool. Contact information, types of interaction, notes, files, and correspondence can can all be tracked for each client. It provides an easily accessible central location for team members to preview all interactions with a client.
Data Backup: Amazon S3
I waited too long to implement this for my company. After a couple of near-disasters, I now am using Amazon S3 to store my back ups. I use the S3 Backup free utility that automatically runs daily to backup my all data to an Amazon S3 Server. The costs for storing the data is under $1/month. Costs are determined by the amount of storage needed.
What am I missing? What are your essential small business tools?
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