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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Web Apps for your New Business


Whether you’re a high-tech start-up or a small business, the right technology can make running your business a lot easier. The only problem is, where do you start? Below we explore seven of the most helpful free online applications for starting your new business.

HiTask

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One of the hardest skills first-time entrepreneurs need to learn is effective task management. Without a system in place to record outstanding tasks, track progress, and hold people accountable, your projects don’t stand a chance. HiTask can best be looked at as a far superior alternative to the pen and paper to-do list, allowing you to create and share detailed task lists between your team. By assigning tasks to specific people and monitoring the completion of deadlines, HiTask plugs you in to the heartbeat of your company and ensures you never miss a beat.


HootSuite

HootSuite is one of the most useful clients for effectively utilizing Twitter for business. Aside from merely posting your tweets from any web-ready device, HootSuite contains a powerful analytics engine that breaks down all the activity on your account. By learning who clicked your links, where they were referred from, and if any of them converted into sales, you can gauge the progress and effectiveness of your social campaign. Best of all, one HootSuite account is all you need to manage and analyze multiple Twitter accounts, allowing you to assign teams of employees to work on each one.

One of the most useful features about HootSuite is that it allows you to schedule future tweets. If you have an upcoming product launch or event you want to make sure people know about, you no longer have to remember to send out a tweet multiple times per day for several days. Instead HootSuite lets you type the message in advance, set the times and dates for the tweet to go out, and set it on auto pilot.

Google Docs And Spreadsheets

If there is one suite of online applications every new businessman should be using, it’s Google Docs and Spreadsheets. This software allows founders or employees to create and store all the popular Microsoft Office documents (spreadsheets, text documents, presentations, etc) in one place, and access them all at any time. Sharers can even edit the same documents at the same time, which can turn phone meetings or online chat sessions into collaborative work efforts. Supported documents can even be created in Microsoft Office, uploaded to Google Docs, and shared between collaborators, which eliminates the need to email the same document back and forth for editing.


FreeCRM

Do you have a sales team that is already in motion, producing leads and emails that need tracking and automation? FreeCRM is an online tool that allows you to manage your pipeline of incoming leads and make sure the right prospects get the right emails. As leads come in, FreeCRM enables you to delegate them to the appropriate parties and track the completion of all sales related tasks. Beyond actually streamlining your sales process, FreeCRM can produce reports to measure the success and incremental progress of your sales campaigns, which shows you precisely what areas need improvement, and which ones are producing at optimal capacity.


Mint

In the early days of a company, your operating capital is a precious resource to be jealously managed. Mint.com offers a world-renowned online financial management system that empowers businesses to track every expense, set budget limits, and stay on top of monthly bills. In addition, the net worth measurement gauges your monthly debt against your revenue and tells you whether or not the company is in the black. Mint also offers a beautifully designed mobile application for iPhone and Android phones, empowering you to view all company accounts on the go, before you make any new charges.

Clicky
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Without insight into where your sales are coming from, you are flying blind through your marketing campaign. Clicky is a powerful online tool that analyzes all of your traffic and breaks it down into several helpful views, including geographic locations, time spent on page, conversion to sales, and much more. One of the most important features is Clicky’s referring URL tracking, which shows you which websites send traffic to your webpage. This capability allows you to determine which of your marketing channels is actually producing sales.

Clicky reports are colorful and easy to read, and their mobile app gives you access to all of this data on the go. Armed with your statistics, you are better able to pinpoint hiccups in your campaign, and learn exactly where your efforts should be focused.


Ping.FM

Remembering to repost your content and offers to all of the social networks your business belongs to can be a serious hassle. Ping.FM solves this problem by synchronizing all of your accounts, and linking them to your blog. In this way, you can publish a piece of content, and instantly blast it out to all of your social accounts with the click of a button. Ping.FM also provides you with a single place to log in and review all of the activity on your accounts, saving you the time and effort involved in logging in to a multitude of sites. Ping.FM is also compatible with HootSuite, so you don’t have to sacrifice functionality for convenience.

About the Author
: Bryan Cochand is a freelance writer for Adobe.Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium Student & Teacher Edition Adobe software and services revolutionize how the world engages with ideas and information; anytime, anywhere, and through any medium. On their website you can find a presentation software as well as many other tools such as elearning tools.Programming Amazon Web Services: S3, EC2, SQS, FPS, and SimpleDB