The Best Online Tools for Making Your Business More Efficient

According to a survey conducted by North Bridge Venture Partners and GigaOM Research, 75% of the 855 companies surveyed reported the use of at least one kind of cloud platform. That was an 8% increase from 2012. Of the cloud platforms most commonly used by businesses, Software-as-a-Service leads the way with a 63% usage rate, while Platform-as-a-Service options follow with a 49% rate of usage.Ball Gown Prom Dresses sale

So, why are businesses from so many different sectors utilizing online tools? Although not every business has the same reason for doing so, some of the most common are agility, scalability, cost, convenience and efficiency. As you may have guessed from the title of this post, the last reason on that list is the one we find to be the most compelling. Whether your business is already utilizing some online applications and is looking for even more to use or you haven't made the transition yet but are ready to dive in, let's go over five online tools that can do a lot for your business:

Cloud Sync

in the cloud photo in_the_coud_zps1a97d735.jpg

What can your business gain from using a cloud syncing service like Dropbox? One of the biggest benefits is being able to share anything instantly and securely. Instead of settling for a workaround like sending large attachments by email, you can literally drop what you want to share in a folder and it will be accessible to exactly who you want to receive it (but no one else). Another nice thing about this approach is even if someone is on their phone or a tablet, they'll still be able to access what you share with them.

CRM

If your business is currently using a spreadsheet instead of a CRM, you shouldn't feel embarrassed. It's actually quite common for businesses to start out with a lower tech solution. While that's completely fine if it's what allows you to get your business up and running, there comes a point when a lower tech solution will actually hold you back. Once you hit that level, you don't want to simply transition to a CRM.

Instead, you want to opt for a CRM that's based in the cloud. The reason there's simply no comparison between an offline and online CRM is the latter will ensure that whenever a member of your team adds something new to the system, everyone else will instantly have access to that information as well.

Backup

Since we've already covered a few online services, you've probably noticed that even though they can offer very different functionality, the fact that they're based online means they offer a lot of the same benefits. One of those common benefits that's especially relevant for backups is convenience.

If you've ever tried to back up files to a physical medium like a DVD or even an external hard drive, you know that it can be quite a hassle. The great thing about choosing an online backup service is instead of trying to piece together a solution, you'll have a a reliable backup system that literally works with the push of a button.

Online Payroll

People who are just starting a business or may not even have their own business yet often assume that growth is something that will magically solve any problem that a business is facing. In reality, although growth is a good thing for businesses, it comes with its own set of challenges. One of those challenges is managing a larger team of employees. Fortunately, an online payroll tool can help with that issue. Opting to do your payroll online means it will be easy to pay employees, take care of payroll taxes and have access to support whenever it's needed.

Project Manager

email word processing photo email_word_processing_zpse261cbdc.jpg

When it comes to using an online project management solution, saving time is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what this type of offering brings to the table. Using an online version of this tool means you'll be able to fully customize it to your specific needs. It will also give you a great overview of exactly what's happening within your business, which means you'll always be able to make fully informed decisions about projects.

Because it can take a little time to get your entire business transitioned to a new cloud service, it's generally easiest to do one at a time. Taking this slower approach will ensure you reap all the benefits online services have to offer without creating any unnecessary stress for yourself.Ball Gown Wedding Dresses