Collaboration is at the heart of every successful business and startup. Lean teams work best when every team member works seamlessly with each other to achieve team objectives. Of course, collaboration is something you build; it doesn’t always come naturally, especially when you have team members with different backgrounds.
Fortunately, small businesses can count on many collaborative tools available today to improve operational effectiveness and efficiency. If you want to improve your team’s ability to collaborate on many things, here are the collaborative tools you don’t want to miss.
The first collaborative tool on our list is Kanbanize, a project management tool designed on Kanban boards using the principles of the Kanban method. What is a Kanban board exactly? A Kanban board is a way to visualize tasks and divide them into three stages (Request, In Progress, and Done). Projects are then displayed on the board as cards and the progress of each project can be tracked in great detail. Kanban boards used to be something that teams did manually – using an actual board and Post-It notes. With Kanbanize, however, you can enjoy the benefits of the Kanban method and have a Kanban board for your projects without the hassle. Kanbanize is also cloud-based, so team members can check and update the Kanban board from anywhere and at any time. When collaborating on complex projects, using the Kanban board provided by Kanbanize helps make a large number of tasks more manageable, even for a small business with a lean team that multitasks.
Google’s suite of apps is one of the best collaborative platforms available today. With Gmail at its core, Google offers a wide range of tools for every type of team. Google Docs, Spreadsheets, and Slides are cloud-based tools that can be used to create, edit, and share documents of different kinds. Changes made using these tools can be seen by other people working on the same document in real-time. There is also Google Drive, where you can store and share even more file types. You can upload drafts, images, videos, and audio files to Google Drive and have other team members review them immediately. Sharing with external parties is also easy thanks to the built-in link sharing feature. Google doesn’t stop there with Google Apps. You still have Gmail for emails. Google Keep now makes taking notes and sharing them with the rest of the team easy. Meetings and schedules can be streamed to all team members with the help of Google Calendar. It is even possible to share contacts and other details through the suite.
Box started life as a cloud storage service, but it now offers more features for teams and those who want to collaborate. For starters, Box is now compatible with Apple’s own document editing apps, allowing team members who use macOS to collaborate using native apps like Keynote. In many ways, Box is similar to Google Drive, but with a more openness to it. Box can be made compatible with mobile apps and other solutions, making it easy to integrate with business solutions and turning this simple cloud storage option into a powerful collaborative platform.
Xpenditure is unique compared to other collaborative tools for small business. As you may have guessed from its name, Xpenditure allows you to collaborate on business expenses. It is a cloud-based app designed to keep track of expenses. There are mobile apps for Xpenditure users. With Xpenditure, team members can keep track of their expenses in a detailed way. At the same time, all expenses are sent to the team administrator or the finance department in real-time. This allows for better cost control. The solution also matches receipts with credit card bills. The whole process is done automatically, with minimum input from users. Input is only needed when corrections are required. Xpenditure’s reporting tools are also very comprehensive. This suite is designed to allow small businesses and startups better control over their expenses and financial reports.
SalesForce is another collaborative platform designed for a specific business function. This time, the tool focuses on sales and customer relationship management or CRM. With SalesForce, sales executives and managers can work together without having to be at the office all the time. SalesForce automates most parts of the sales and CRM workflows. Since sales executives no longer have to deal with the tedious task of documenting everything manually or writing sales reports, they can focus their energy on actually chasing leads and closing sales. Decisions can be made quickly thanks to SalesForce’s extensive resources. Sales executives handling a client of another executive can also deliver the same customer experience seamlessly with the customer’s details just a couple of clicks away. With the market being as competitive as it is today, SalesForce offers small businesses an essential competitive advantage.
All of these tools are essential for modern businesses. Ignore them and you risk being left behind.