We’re living in a world that is getting more connected with every day that passes. Telecommuting is no longer a trend, with 37 percent of employees reporting they have worked remotely at some point in their career. For businesses that hire remotely—and even those who don’t—leveraging the right technologies will help boost productivity significantly.
Since there are so many applications out there designed to do one particular job, it’s hard to tell precisely what you need to get off the ground. The most valuable apps are those that combine efficiency at any scale to fit your needs rather than forcing you to adapt to their way of doing things. They integrate into the tools you’re already using to enhance their functionality in ways that would surprise you.
With the proper technologies, you can streamline a slew of processes that you would otherwise have to manage manually. They also allow you to better organize internal communication in your business, eliminating or reducing misalignment between different areas such as sales and marketing (which can eat up more than 10 percent of your potential revenue). Using these three apps can come a long way in getting you started regardless of the industry you are in:
WorkflowMax is an end-to-end project management system. From quoting to invoicing, to lead management, to timesheets, everything is packaged neatly for businesses in a wide variety of niches to make use of.
For example, you can grab the leads from your marketing team, put them into the lead manager, turn them quickly into jobs for your sales team, and nurture them all in one single platform. They won’t even have to leave to send an invoice or a quote once the lead becomes a paying client.
Consolidating all of these features gives you an inordinate amount of flexibility without having to reach out in a hundred different directions. In addition to this, WorkflowMax has partnered with several other platforms to offer add-ons such as Xero—which assists you with accounting—and Box—for storing files and organizing them.
This is the platform that saved aspiring companies like Steelcraft $50,000 per year in administrative costs due to its smooth streamlining of “daily grind” processes and getting their clients to pay their invoices on time.
What’s great about this:
When you’re able to integrate almost every single administrative function your company requires (CRM, payroll, accounting, scheduling, storage, etc.) into one single platform, you benefit from very high potential savings and increases in productivity.
WorkflowMax is one of those platforms that will undoubtedly pay for itself many times over within the first year. Its smooth integration and implementation process guarantees that you get something that will help you rather than stand in your way.
Trello is basically the digital era’s answer to a lack of bulletin boards with sticky notes. If you’re hiring both in-house and remotely, you probably understand the value of having a unified way to organize the smaller tasks into something that anyone can access from any device.
Trello will not only let you do this, but it also integrates with Google, making the process of creating accounts much simpler.
But it’s not just a glorified bulletin board… By enabling its “power ups”, you can integrate a large number of other applications like Slack, Google Drive, Hangouts, Mailchimp, Salesforce, Surveymonkey, and many other services that teams commonly use to coordinate themselves and get work done.
Its potential as an energizer for teamwork led to its acquisition by Atlassian for $425 million and a user base of over 19 million people.
What’s great about this:
In the machinery of your team, there are plenty of moving parts that need greasing. You need something that’s easy to learn to use out of the box and allows for a large amount of flexibility and detail.
Trello fits the bill. It provides a solution so simple that it requires no learning curve yet so feature-rich that it makes room for all your creativity.
Canva is the kind of platform you use when you need to design something fast and sleek without a lot of hassle and make it look professional. It has a massive library of templates and a philosophy centered around giving the world the tools to design whatever they want easily.
The sharing feature lets creative teams send revisions back and forth, fostering an environment of harmonious collaboration. But perhaps the most important features of Canva are its broad color palette and enormous font library, making the process of branding your design extraordinarily simple.
What’s great about this:
Canva provides even the most cash-strapped teams with the means to get their creative juices flowing and design anything under the sun, sometimes without spending a single penny in the process.
The paid features—especially the things that allow you to brand your designs—give you genuine value for the money you part with. Although it lacks integration with notable platforms, it plays beautifully in the hands of a sufficiently consummate marketing team that takes pride in its creative content.
What makes these platforms capable of delivering you more efficiency is their ability to stay out of the way of your process. You can still do things your own way, but now you have the tools you need to amp up that engine.
Your marketing efforts will be more targeted and less disjointed, your productivity has room to spread, and in due time the world shall witness your magnificence!
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.