8 Great Small Business Collaboration ToolsClaude Harrington 04.14.2016
Technology has changed the way that small businesses collaborate. Both internally, amongst employees, and externally, with clients and customers. As a result, there’s an ever-growing list of software solutions that can help improve efficiency and productivity.
Which solutions are right for your business? That depends entirely on what you do and how you like to do it. But with all that’s out there, there are probably a handful of tools that can be of assistance to you in some form or fashion. So today we’ll take a quick look at 8 great small business collaboration tools.
1. Slack: Slack is a cloud-based, chat-driven collaboration tool. Or, according to a splashy headline in the New York Times, Slack is the “Office Messaging App That May Finally Sink E-mail.” While that moniker may be a bit hyperbolic, the following that Slack has attracted in a short time is quite compelling: last December, Slack surpassed 2 million users per day. Which warrants the obvious question: how come? On the surface, Slack looks like other chat apps/services that we’ve all used over the years (i.e. AOL, IRC), but what separates it from the crowd (and those predecessors) is a series of features that make it a great tool for the workplace. Things like automatic archiving, great distribution options and–perhaps most importantly in this app-heavy digital era–the ability to seamlessly work across multiple devices, platforms and operating systems.
- Website: https://slack.com/
- Price: “Plus Service” costs $15.00 per active user per month.
2. Asana: Asana is a software-as-a-service tool that enables employees to manage projects and track their work (and, like Slack, doesn’t rely on e-mail). What does this mean, exactly? Well instead of, say, scheduling a meeting for team members to share status updates, that “status” becomes something fluid and transparent that can be viewed (and managed) at any time.
- Website: https://asana.com/
- Price: “Premium” level service costs $8.33 per member per month
3. Dropbox: Dropbox is a cloud-based storage and file-sharing service. It’s a place to dock files of any kind (docs, photos, videos, etc.) and access them again from anywhere. This all-in-one storage destination is also designed to be incredibly easy to share with clients, co-workers and yourself (if you operate on multiple devices).
- Website: https://www.dropbox.com/
- Price: “Dropbox for Business” costs $15 per user per month
4. Egnyte: Unlike other cloud-based file-sharing services, Egnyte differentiates itself by providing Adaptive Enterprise File Services that make it possible for company’s to store files on existing hardware as well as on the cloud. Or, more simply put, with so many different, disparate storage and sharing solutions, Egnyte aims to act as the “glue” that connects them all and, importantly, gives users the autonomy to easily move files back and forth.
- Website: https://www.egnyte.com/
- Price: “Office” plan costs $8 per employee per month
5. Cisco WebEx: Cisco WebEx aims to makes meetings possible anywhere at any time by creating and facilitating online meetings. In addition to connecting users through audio and video, Cisco WebEx also makes it easy to share content and see things at the same time (i.e. Word files, PowerPoint presentations).
- Website: https://www.webex.com/
- Price: “Premium 8” plan (accommodates up to 8 people per meeting) costs $24 per month
6. Tangelo: Tangelo provides a long-needed solution to every-man-for-himself nature of financial reporting. By connecting personnel through cloud-based software, Tangelo makes it easy for companies to create, manage and publish professional documents (annual reports, in particular).
7. Bidsketch: Bidsketch is a software solution that helps companies create and manage client proposals. For a more comprehensive look at this product, check out this recent post of ours: What is Bidsketch (And Can It Help Your Business)?
- Website: https://www.bidsketch.com/
- Price: “Studio” level plan costs $79/month
8. Bill.com: Bill.com is a cash flow management tool that integrates with both accounting and banking systems to create an all-in-one control center for all your cash flow needs.
- Website: https://www.bill.com
- Price: “Team” level plan costs $29 per user per month