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Running a business in the COVID era means adjusting to new norms. More work is being done remotely, and more meetings are being held virtually. Consider adopting these six free and low-cost tools to help smooth your operations and adjust to new ways of working.
Backing up your business hard drives has always been critical, but with more people working from home and access to your physical location potentially limited, a reliable and easily recoverable backup is all the more important. Backblaze is a cloud backup and secure storage service provider that consistently gets top ratings. At a low per-computer price, small businesses can get the peace of mind of knowing their critical files are safe and easy to restore.
With a dispersed workforce, you may have a new, and urgent, need for a reliable way to exchange financial documents, company presentations, customer contracts, or the many other files that keep your business flowing each day. Box has your back. With secure cloud storage, you and your employees can upload, share, and access files from anywhere.
Box goes beyond storage and file sharing to facilitate collaboration. It enables colleagues to assign tasks, comment on shared files, receive notifications when someone edits a file, or even work together in real time.
A range of low-cost business plans with tiered levels of features and services are available.
Calendly removes the burden and hassle of back-and-forth emails and phone tag when it comes to scheduling meetings. Based on the parameters you set, employees and suppliers can book meetings directly to your business calendar. Job candidates can schedule their own interviews. Your sales reps who have been taken off the road can invite prospective customers to easily reserve time for a consultation.
Calendly is integrated with Google, Outlook, Office 365 and iCloud calendars for automatic notifications and no double-bookings.
4. Microsoft Teams
Until recently, Microsoft Teams was a small player in the video conferencing and team communications arena. Newly added features for meetings and collaboration are attracting attention, and more businesses are adopting this multifeatured tool.
The free version allows video meetings—with no limit on length—for large multiparticipant groups. Teams is integrated with other Microsoft office tools, like Outlook, and features chat, calendar integrations, and more, depending on your license.
Connect your project team, organize and track tasks, and get at-a-glance status snapshots with Trello. This collaboration and project management tool uses a highly visual system that is designed to improve efficiency. You can color-code and label Trello “cards” to quickly see where every task is in the process and ensure that you’re covering all angles of a project.
A Trello implementation can boost your team’s project communication while making it easy for all members of the team to track the status of every document, task, or deliverable. The free plan offers plenty of options, and paid add-ons and upgrades are available.
Our very own CareerTime memberships offer coaching and guidance for owners of small businesses, as well as their employees. Content includes critical professional skills—like leadership, communication, and team building—as well as practical guidance on project management and human resource. Boost your own—and your employees’—skills with these low-cost professional development resources.