You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Web 2.0 Productivity Tools Find out which web tools can give your business' productivity the biggest boost.

entrepreneur daily

The web continues to grow, and Web 2.0 tools are emerging constantly. One of the most difficult challenges for an entrepreneur is choosing which tools are the best for getting the job done. Here are some of the more mainstream Web 2.0 tools you can use to improve your business operations and team productivity.

Project coordination and collaboration
In the past, people typically created project plans in Microsoft Project or another standalone or semi-collaborative project management tool. Most small and medium-sized businesses managed projects using a limited document tool like Excel or from within Outlook. Collaboration on projects was very limited. As an entrepreneur, you can now use web-based software service project management tools such as eProject or Basecamp.

What makes these tools efficient is that as long as you already have a browser installed you don't have to install any additional software. Just sign up and start managing your projects. You also only typically pay on a monthly basis so the initial investment is small. For larger teams or more complex security, you have to spend more time setting up the online tools, but you still can be up and running very quickly. Both of the vendors I mentioned have all the major project management features you need, so you can manage multiple projects, plan and assign team tasks, set up to-do lists and schedule milestones. You can also use the tools to track time and manage and approve timesheets.

Sales force automation and CRM software services
Contact management, sales force automation and customer relationship management have been around for quite awhile. Large enterprises have been using expensive systems for years, and entrepreneurs typically used tools like ACT! and GoldMine for smaller sales forces. For the past few years, though, many businesses have moved to the software-as-a-service model and used companies like for traditional sales force automation.

Again, the best advantage of using software as a service for entrepreneurs is the time-to-market aspect. If you can live with doing only basic configurations and changes, you can be selling in one day if you're the only employee, or in one to two weeks if you have a small sales force, depending on your team's skill sets. Software as a service helps the business users rely less on internal IT staff.

If you have an environment where collaborative teams will thrive, then you can use wikis to your advantage. Wikis are web systems that allow multiple users to collaborate on the same web document. They can become an incredible productivity tool by allowing your employees, suppliers and customers to exchange knowledge and information. Wikis can become your company's digital knowledge base. One thing to take into account, though, is that you need internal monitoring, especially if you have a larger organization.

Project collaboration is one of the most effective uses of Wikis. They don't have the resource management features that project management tools have, but they're great for sharing information on a project.

Besides using a blog as a marketing and sales tool, it also can be used as a productivity tool for recording and sharing information. Here are a few examples:

  • Shift changes--Employees can record what happened on the previous shift and what to look out for.
  • Product knowledge--Product experts can benefit the rest of the company and external partners by sharing product information via a blog.
  • Customer service--Blogs can be simple mechanisms for customer service personnel to share ideas or advice.
  • Research--Companies with subject matter experts benefit when these experts share their knowledge via blogs both internally and externally.

Other tools
While online meeting tools and instant messenger applications are somewhat separate from browser technologies, they're still essential during these Web 2.0 times. Being able to effectively communicate via instant messenger with multiple users in collaborative ways across the globe can improve employee productivity and save on communications and travel cost. Troubleshooting issues by having a customer support person view a remote user's desktop can help resolve problems in minutes vs. days.

I've only scratched the surface by mentioning some of the more extensively used Web 2.0 productivity tools. For someone starting a business, these services and tools are excellent options for getting your operations up and running quickly. If you want to make your business more productive, determine which of these tools and services you could benefit from most.

Frank Bell is's "Web 2.0" columnist and a principal at IT Strategists, a leading business and technology consulting firm in Southern California. He has consulted with many internet startups, as well as companies such as Yahoo!, Vivendi Universal, Disney, Toyota, Nissan, Deluxe Digital Studios, AEG, Sony and Ticketmaster.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Side Hustle

Getting Laid Off Allowed Him to Focus on His Sentimental Side Hustle. Now He's on Track to Earn Over $700,000 in 2024.

Alaa El Ghatit wasn't fulfilled at his day job. So he started LifeOnRecord to help people record memories and well wishes.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.


You Need a Community With Shared Values to Find Long-Term Success — Here's How to Cultivate It.

Entrepreneurs need to remember this growth strategy: nurturing a purpose-driven community of like-minded entrepreneurs around them.

Business Solutions

Scale Your Content Output with Write Bot — Now Just $40

This AI content writer can save you time and money, especially now that it's just $39.99 for a lifetime subscription.

Business News

Who Owns The Rights to Your AI-Generated Content? Not, It's Not You. Uncover The Scary Truth That Puts AI Users At Risk.

The realization that copyright laws do not protect AI-generated material might come as a shock to many.

Life Hacks

Get Ahead of the Weather with This Intuitive App — Now More Than $100 Off

This weather app goes well beyond the normal forecast and it's just $39.99 for life now.