Great tools for business support

To drive a nail, a hammer is needed; to turn a bolt, a spanner is essential; cutting wood requires a saw. Having high-quality, effective tools is as critical to business as it is to joinery. IT consulting can help get companies started with the tech and software applications that best meet their needs. Choosing the right tools for managing data, supporting efficient communication and accessing files remotely is not always easy, due to the enormous volume of programs available. However, finding the right application or software can make a business owner’s life much simpler.

The tools

Nothing is more frustrating or disastrous to a business than the loss of data. A computer crash can cause costly loss of essential data and files. Backing up files and essential data is critical to a company’s well being. Crash Plan is a networking solution that allows files to be backed up to multiple locations. The main attraction of Crash Plan is that it works with multiple operating systems, so if a company owner uses a PC at work and a Mac at home, Crash Plan is able to back up files to both locations seamlessly. Files can then be restored, even if the operating systems are not compatible. The premium version also allows for on-line backup.

In today’s business world, globalisation means that virtual meetings are becoming the norm. With AnyMeeting, business owners can stream a presentation to up to 200 audience members and create person-to-person meetings with up to six sources of streaming video. This enables management to stay in contact with customers, staff and clients, easily and conveniently.

Marketing is a critical component of any business and choosing the right marketing tools can mean the difference between a clunky, expensive drain on resources and a clean, precise advertising budget that increases revenue. Printing companies such as PsPrint, which offer graphic design templates and services, are an important resource for effective marketing.

Answering telephones can take up too much of a business owner’s valuable time. Advances in VOIP (Voice Over IP) technology have made it possible for small businesses to automate their phone systems for a very affordable cost. My1voice, from Protus IP Solutions, is one such option. This flexible program allows calls to be forwarded without delay, ensuring that important messages are dealt with promptly.

Attracting and retaining customers is not always easy, especially for the small-business owner. Maintaining an e-mail list and sending out newsletters and other information on a regular basis can become a time-management nightmare. Tools designed to manage data do not necessarily allow business owners to send out mass e-mails or personalize contacts. Fortunately, Constant Contact is a solution that enables companies to not only keep in touch with their customers, creating a personalised user experience, but also helps the business owner track the results of e-mail marketing campaigns and manage RSVPs for meetings, seminars and other functions. It also sorts contact lists by location, interests or demographics, thus creating carefully targeted campaigns.

Building a business is a challenging enterprise, but by choosing the right tools owners can create a successful company, one block at a time.

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