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Getting your business off the ground and taking it online is filled with technical problems and knowledge gaps that are difficult to bridge when you are starting small. Luckily there are tons of inexpensive and highly rated online tools that can help you efficiently manage your growing business without adding much cost and will save you your most important asset: time. TechBargains has assembled some of the best services that will help you run your small business.
1. Zoho CRM
If you wanted see a complete view of your sales cycle, identify trends, increase efficiency, spot opportunities and reduce costs, then consider Zoho CRM. It features the capabilities of the top tier Salesforce CRM without the hefty price tag. Zoho received the PCMag Editor's Choice for its great features and tools at a low price. You can pay as you go. Start, cancel, upgrade or downgrade at any time so you can adjust to the plan that suits your growing business. There is a limited functionality free version to try and it is easy to integrate especially if you use Google Apps like email or calendar. All the best functionalities are in their paid standard, professional or enterprise with plenty of customization, comprehensive reporting, and email marketing tools. Prices start at low $15 per user per month and you can save 20% off if you sign-up for an annual plan. The professional version costs only $20/month with an annual plan where Salesforce starts at $25 with their professional tier at $65/month.
2. Bamboo HR
For only $7 per month for each employee, Bamboo HR will give you a clean and well organized interface to manage your workforce. The UI simply presents all you need: personnel data, time-off tracking and a built-in performance reviews. What puts Bamboo HR above the rest is its optional applicant tracking system to manage and track job listings. At $7 is less expensive than the leading competitor and it is simple to set up and run thanks to its open API.
3. Total VPN
If you find yourself using local public WiFi or travel frequently, then you must consider getting a VPN service to keep your data and transactions secure. It is a must if you are accessing sensitive company data and want to keep it safe. Total VPN works by first encrypting the data you send so anyone who intercepts it would be unable to access it. Total VPN then sends your secured data through their VPN services which strips any IP information before directing it to their intended destination. If you want to keep your digital transactions secure while you are on a unsecured connection Total VPN is the way to go.
4. Xero Account Software
Xero's accounting software is a serious challenger to the market leader QuickBooks Online. It is an excellent choice if you deal in multiple currencies or need software based on a true double-entry accounting system. You can easily isolate data you need with the tracking tool and it offers many features that QuickBooks does not: an approval level for transactions and online quotes. The Find & Recode tool lets power users modify multiple transaction lines simultaneously, real time communication & data sharing with customers, and fixed asset tracking.
5. WIX Website Builder
Wix is an easy to use and intuitive website builder with many powerful functions. It ranks higher than more well known builders like Squarespace or Weebly and received PCMag's Editors Choice. Building a website is quick with their hundreds of template choices and tools for different business from restaurants, e-commerce, professional photography or videography and more. Best of all Wix produces a mobile version of your site that will follow Google's guidelines for mobile-friendliness so that you don't lose out on any mobile traffic. If you plan to make webstore or sell apps, their e-commerce plan for only $8.08/month gives you features like coupons, product pages, shopping cart and everything you'll need to get started. Wix puts a lot of thought behind your work flow which makes this a top choice to start your own website.
6. FreshBooks Cloud Accounting
FreshBooks is cloud-based accounting made for very small businesses and sole proprietors. It makes accounting easy to understand without getting entrenched in technical accounting jargon or forcing you into an old-school system (although they do support this as well). It has a great interface and navigational tools, lets staff or contractors track time and create invoices. FreshBooks has tons of reports available (moreso than their competitors) which are aimed at very small businesses that will help you gain insights on the financials of your business. At only $20 per month with a free trial available, FreshBooks will help you save time so you can spend more of it getting your business off the ground rather than figuring out how to use an accounting program.
7. HostGator Web Hosting
If your business needs a website then you certainly need a web host. Hostgator offers robust shared hosting plans that allow you to affordably get your website online starting at only $3.33 per month. You get a lot of bang for your buck with an included private SSL certificate and toll-free number with these packages and there are tons of different options based on your needs: Wordpress hosting, e-commerce tools, and more. Most importantly HostGator has excellent uptime and is very stable hosting service which won PCMag's Editor Choice.
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