12 Tools Every Remote Business Owners Needs
Having the right tools is one way to ensure your remote team stays productive and informed. Below, we’ve listed 12 tools that we think every remote business owner should consider.
The Top Tools for Remote Business Owners:
Team Collaboration Tools:
Slack is a collaboration hub where you can organize conversations by topic, project, team, or any other category that makes sense for your business. Using this tool, you can make sure the right people aren’t left out of projects and important information is kept organized.
One of the most notable benefits of this tool is that it’s searchable, so you can sift through discussions quickly and efficiently. Small teams can create a free workspace, while paid plans are available to larger teams at reasonable rates.
InVision is the world’s most powerful screen design tool, allowing remote businesses to collaborate, experiment, and test new ideas.
The digital whiteboard makes it possible to get instant feedback from teammates on in-progress designs, and you can seamlessly take projects from the design stage to development. There’s also a host of educational resources available if you get stuck.
If you’re interested in InVision, you can sign up for free or upgrade to InVision Enterprise to gain access to additional features.
Cloud Storage Tools:
Box is a cloud-based file sharing service that provides secure content management, workflow, and collaboration tools. It starts with a 14-day free trail, which gives you unlimited cloud storage, seamless collaboration with teams within and outside your company, enterprise-grade security, and integrations with over 1,400 business apps. Then, you can upgrade to full membership for as little as $5/user/month.
Businesses use Dropbox to create, store, and share cloud content in one location from multiple sources, including Microsoft Office and Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
The admin dashboard lets you monitor your team’s activity, view connected devices, and audit sharing activity. And, since Dropbox integrates with over 300,000 apps, you can likely view all your management tools in one place. Team plans start at $12.50/user/month.
Video Conferencing and Meeting Tools:
5. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is a communication software product. It allows you to connect with your team no matter your location by making video chats available through a simple link. If you use G Suite, your Google Calendar information is available directly within the meeting so you can easily view agenda and meeting details.
The Basic plan starts at just $6/month, while Business and Enterprise plans are $12 and $25/month, respectively.
Zoom allows businesses to combine video conferencing, online meeting, chat, and mobile collaboration via its centralized administration portal.
The globally distributed Zoom cloud platform delivers secure HD Voice with enterprise-class reliability and quality of service to ensure every call is perfect. And, you can easily switch between voice calls and video chats without having to hang up and dial in.
It’s free to sign up, and paid plans range from $14.99 to $19.99/month/host.
Project Management Tools:
Trello is an easy, free, and visual way to manage your team’s projects and content calendar. Its Kanban-style design visually depicts work at various stages of a process using cards and columns. In addition, Trello’s Power-Up tools instantly turn your project boards into living applications.
To use Trello, you can sign up for free or upgrade to Business Class or Enterprise to access more team features and Power-Ups.
Asana is a cloud-based project management tool that helps your team collaborate and stay on track with multiple tasks and projects. Its Timeline feature allows you to create a plan that shows how the pieces of your project fit together. You can also attach emails, files, and tickets to view all relevant information in one place. The Basic plan is free for all users, or Premium, Business, and Enterprise plans are available for a monthly fee.
Other Helpful Remote Business Tools:
CoSchedule is a marketing calendar and social, content, asset, and work organizer in one. Its suite of tools makes it possible for businesses to publish more content, deliver work on time, and prove your team’s value.
CoSchedule’s vast offerings mean it’s on the more expensive side, with monthly plans starting at $150/month.
Wagepoint is online payroll software that lets you pay your employees and independent contractors while staying compliant with federal, state, and local payroll regulations.
Using Wagepoint, you can conveniently pay your employees at the same time or add multiple Paygroups for payrolls on different frequencies. And, if your payroll doesn’t change much, you can set Wagepoint up to run itself with its set-it-and-forget-it features.
Wagepoint offers a simple pricing formula of $20 base fee plus $2 per employee per payroll.
Close is the only all-in-one CRM to offer lead management, calling, email automation, predictive dialers, and more. Sales activities are automatically organized to help you reach your goals. You can also boost productivity by connecting to Close’s integrations.
With pricing starting at $35/user/month, it’s also one of the most reasonably priced CRMs available.
Doodle takes all the guesswork and hassle out of trying to coordinate calendars with your team members by giving a clear visual snapshot of each person’s availability. With the ability to check availability across time zones, you can easily schedule your next remote team meeting and get back to work in minutes.
Pricing starts at $4/month for one user and increases as you add users.
Conclusion: Evaluate All Your Business Tool Options
The right tools can help you boost your team’s productivity while facilitating much-needed conversation and collaboration. Of course, these solutions are just a sampling of what’s available. If you don’t see anything you like in this list, there are a multitude of other options likely to meet your business’s unique needs.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.