What are some useful SaaS (software as a service) tools for small businesses?

markadwardmarkadward Posts: 4subscriber Member
5 Awesome Tools for Small Businesses to help you run your business better.

Along my journey over the past 4 years working with remote teams based in my offshore office, I have tried and explored various tools, some of which have been instrumental in helping me build MyVirtualPeople.com to the position it is today.

I run a small outsourcing operation, where we provide Virtual Employees to our clients for only £2.99 p/hr ($4.49 USD /hr), thus enabling my clients to reduce staffing costs by up to 80% realistically. Currently we have around 100 virtual employees working for various small and medium sized businesses around UK, US & EU.

So here are a few tools I use at MyVirtualPeople.com to help manage things – you may find these tools work well for you too.

Small Business Tool 1: Lucky orange
This is an amazing tool. Adding a short piece of code to your website pages, allows your website visitors to chat to a live agent, which is great for going an extra mile in providing customer service. (seemore about hiring virtual help desk/chat agents here).

Nowadays I think it’s really important to have an online chat and email support service due to the way consumers prefer to communicate. Not everyone likes to leave their number for a call back, and nowadays people just prefer to email or chat rather than pick up the phone and call you.

What I really like about LuckyOrange is tha it lets you watch your user browse your website real time, and offer to chat to them.

If you missed a user, their browsing session is recorded so that you can watch it to see how they interacted. This helps you find weak spots on your website, or pages where people just exit.

@bradley_Friedman heads the accounts at LuckyOrange, feel free to ping him.

Check out the rest of this article on my blog

Small Business Tool 2: Vcita
I love this tool. Implementation is easy, you simply just add a small piece of code to your website.

This tool allows your users to make payment directly on your website and send files amongst a few other things. But the feature I like most is the ability to allow my potential customers to schedule a call with me. When my visitors click the “Contact Us” button on bottom of each page – they will be presented with a view of my actual diary and the available slots they can book.

This tool has really helped me organised my time more efficiently, as well as give my potential clients a clearer idea of when they can expect some communication from me.

You could contact @Itzik_Levy who is the founder of vCita to get started.

Check out the remaining tips on my blog

Small Business Tool 3: Voip server
Using a conventional telephone line in my opinion is a very expensive way to setup a telephony system for a small to medium size business. VOIP has been around for many years, infact we use it everyday now on tools like skype & watsapp voice calls.

To handle all your office internal phone calls, as well as inbound and outbound calls you could have your own VOIP setup. This can be done through a third part provider, or by literally having a server in your own office.

Setting up your own VOIP server is not as expensive as it once used to be – especially with a linux platform.

You simply:

a. Buy a sufficiently powerful computer

b. Hire a Remote IT virtual employee for £3.99 per hour who will set it up

c. Buy some SIP phones

d. Get your same remote IT guy to configure the phones and get the telephone system working.

Small Business Tool 4: ScreenshotMonitor
Continue reading this on my blog...

This is a really neat tool if you are working with remote workers a lot – and you are feeling dubious about working with them. How do you know they are actually working and not just sitting at their desk watching youtube?

This tool takes periodic screenshots of your remote workers (which we call virtual employee) desktop so you can get a clear view of how they are spending their time.

Small Business Tool 5: Virtual staffing
Naturally my favourite way of growing a business! I’m not being biased here, but I truly believing outsourcing work to virtual employees is the way forward. Not because I run my own agency – I started believing in this model back in the days when I was working for Accenture as an IT Consultant – and they had an army of virtual employees based in India!

Although most of my virtual employees work for my clients directly and exclusively, I have a subset of virtual employees who work directly with me as my assistants on various activities, such as accounting, marketing, various back office work, IT support and others.

I really don’t need to hire people at £15-£25 per hour, which would make it difficult to run my company, as a result I can pass on the savings to my clients by charging them a small hourly rate of only £2.99 per hour.

That's all for today! I hope you found this useful.

Please do feel free to share some of your own tips for others to learn from. And if you have any questions go ahead and drop me a message. Thanks again.


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