Pulling together a collaborative and productive team with all the right skills to grow your business could be the hard part. This challenge happens far more often than you would think.But the good news is that you can overcome your team’s productivity issues with the right tools
There is a sea of tools out there for every facet of team productivity. In this article, we will narrow down the choice and take a look at the top tools that every member of your team can use to boost their effectiveness.
From your business analyst to your account executive, here are the top 20 tools for maximizing the productivity of all your team members.
Chanty is an AI-powered business messenger and a single notification center focused on refining business processes for small and medium teams. It helps businesses become more productive by featuring instant messages with an unlimited searchable history, plenty of storage space, robust file sharing and uniting notifications from multiple software services in a single place.
Pricing: Free (the product is at beta stage).
Slack is a well-known team communication tool from Silicon Valley. This feature-rich messaging
The app operates in private and public channels and also has voice and video calling. In addition to advanced chatting features, Slack has many shortcuts, hacks and integrations with third-party platforms that help to increase team productivity.
Pricing: Free basics, Standard plan: $6.67 per user per month, Plus plan: $15 per user per month.
Fleep is a team messenger attempting to link up project collaboration and team communication. Here you can schedule lightweight tasks chatting with team members and invited business partners. A bonus is that Fleep features an unlimited message history as well as unlimited integrations in its free package.
Pricing: Free; Premium plan starts from €5 per user per month (advanced file-sharing and premium support).
4. Microsoft Teams
If you decide to build a communication hub around already used Office 365, the simplest choice is Microsoft Teams — a chat that combines conversations and teamwork tools with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, and much more.
Pricing: Starting at $5 per user per month.
HipChat is a conservative-looking instant messenger with fast one-to-one and group video calls and handy screen sharing feature. It should be mentioned that HipChat offers self-hosting which makes IT departments happy.
Pricing: Free; Plus plan starts from $2 per user per month.
Video Conferencing Tools
To be honest, Zoom is pretty cool with its HD video conferencing, screen sharing from desktop or mobile and recording features. Following this, Zoom allows you to create the collaborative whiteboard and send group texts, images and audio files during meetings.
Pricing: Free; Pro plan starts from $14.99 per month per host (the person who schedules, starts and controls the settings in a meeting).
GoToMeeting is a popular choice due to its HD-quality video, screen sharing, personalized meeting URLs, a whiteboard feature, and the ability to connect to meetings via desktop or mobile. Additional bonus: options to translate control settings — perfect for global teams.
Pricing: from $19 per month.
8. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is both fun and easy to use and looks great. You can choose which groups of people you want to invite to your Google Hangouts session, making it easy to start a video conference in seconds.
Pricing: Free, Business Plan starts at €4 per user per month.
9. Skype for Business
And then, of course, there is the old faithful Skype which has been around forever. It is a proven solution for instant messaging, voice, and video calls. Skype for Business has all the primary features of the other tools here except toll-free numbers, which GoToMeeting has.
Pricing: Starting from $2 per user per month.
Similar to Skype, appear.in lets you create online meeting rooms for video calls. It is a great tool for teams that already use a chat, but also need a tool for online video calls. Top features include:
-Claiming your own personal video room,
-Setting a custom background image of the room,
-Locking the room for private conversations,
-Sending messages and links in text chat during meetings,
-Sharing your screen.
Pricing: Free up to 8 people, Premium coming soon.
Document Collaboration Tools (File Storage and File Sharing)
In short, Dropbox is a cloud-based platform that allows users to store and share files. It is scalable so Dropbox is good for both teams and individuals. Files synchronize seamlessly across all devices. Account owners can grant others access to storage folders as well as single files. Distributed workers can have shared access to digital assets (files, spreadsheets, documents, photos) regardless of their physical location.
Pricing: Free, Business Plans start from $8.25 per user per month.
12. Google Drive
Google Drive is a handy hub for creating, sharing, collaborating, and storing documents and presentations. For distributed workers, pulling together a presentation from three different content creators is simple and fast thanks to user access controls and link sharing.
Pricing: The first 15 GB of storage is free; the price for additional storage starts from $1.99 per user per month.
13. Evernote Business
Evernote is the tried-and-true titan in note taking and note sharing. The business plan allows you to take and manage notes and then share them with your team. Its primary and most powerful features are the Notebook Stacks and the tagging system that let you find anything in seconds. It also features a Web Clipper browser extension for capturing ideas while surfing the net, and mobile apps for taking down notes, even voice ones, from wherever you are.
Pricing: Evernote Business is priced at $10 per person per month.
Project Management Tools
Wrike combines simple design with efficient project management tools. And it is also known as the best project management software. It is a powerful tool for managing and collaborating on projects. You can manage and customize the entire flow of work — from incoming requests, to delegating tasks, reviewing initial drafts, providing feedback and approving revisions. Plus: custom workflows and statuses, Gantt charts, customizable reports, time tracking, board view.
Pricing: Free up to five users; Professional plan with five users: $49/month, ten users: $99 per month, 15 users: $149 per month.
15. Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is a part of the Zoho software bundle. Features include task lists with multiple tasks and milestones, document and file management, time tracking and timesheets, team intranet and shared calendar.
Pricing: Express plan (up to 20 projects) $25/month, Premium plan (up to 50 projects) $50/month, Enterprise plan (unlimited projects) $99/month. CRM and other additional features come with an extra price tag.
Trello is a multifunctional kanban-style dashboard for organizing teammates ideas and keeping track of project progress. It is a good project management tool for small teams with simple projects. Trello lets you create multiple task boards, organize task lists by dates or priority, comment and collaborate, attach pictures and files.
Pricing: Free with extra cost of $5 per month for Trello Gold.
Basecamp is used by thousands of teams all around the world. Basecamp makes it easy to manage the project clients for quick feedback on small changes and updates. It takes only 10 minutes to set up this easy-to-use tool. It provides the minimal amount of features needed for efficient project management.
Pricing: $29 per month for unlimited users.
One of the most well-known project management tools, Asana allows users to assign tasks to other members, add followers to projects, manage tasks and monitor deadlines. It can be very useful also as a to-do list or calendar for strategic planning.
Pricing: Free plan for up to 15 team members; Paid plan starts from $9.99 per user per month.
Time Tracking Tools
Toggl is a hassle – free and best time tracking software that integrates with tens of different project management tools. It is perfect for companies with many different departments. Additional features: offline time tracking and mobile functionalities.
Pricing: $10 per user per month; Paid plans start at $20 per user per month.
TimeBoy helps you manage as many workers, projects and workspaces as you need in order to run your business seamlessly. It enables you to have a complete overview of your team productivity, generate and export reports, and get insights on how the work hours are actually spent. The company also offers in-depth integrations with project management software.
Pricing: Free (the product is at beta stage).
The 20 productivity tools listed above just scratch the surface when it comes to applications that you can use to boost effectiveness among your teammates and throughout your business. Are there any other products that deserve a place here? Leave a comment mentioning the productivity tool you can’t live without.
Is it Good to Dive into a Business of Selling and Trading Second Hand AC?
Consider yourself living in a hot and humid climate without an air conditioner; isn’t it unbearable? As far as the history of humanity is concerned, air conditioners are among the best inventions of the twentieth century. It is a well-known fact that necessity is the mother of all inventions. However, if someone wants to create a small business selling used air conditioners, it is not that difficult.
Selling or even trading used air conditioning units is all about supply and demand. The sale of used air conditioners is an art form. You are probably looking for a clever way to turn them into earnings on your deals. You could collect your air conditioners from garage sales and clearance sales and buy them in months when they are on sale, new or used, and pile them up at a low cost.
Most people will not consider purchasing an air conditioner until they really need it, so simply wait until the weather warms up. As soon as your supply is in demand, you will be prepared to go. At the same time, keep an eye on what your competitors are up to. When the weather starts to heat up, you’ll be ready to sell and trade your AC units.
If you are an air conditioner dealer, you might want to consider selling used air conditioners for a profit. Of course, set your price higher than your paid price and lower than the listed prices of your local stores or other air conditioner dealers in the area. When you install a new unit in someone’s home, you have the opportunity to purchase used air-conditioning units, whether split, portable, or cassette type. If you’re lucky, they might let you keep the old one for free. Depending on the age of the appliances, use their components as a trade for special spare parts before scrapping the remaining pieces.
Here are some pointers on how to quickly sell and trade your old or used air conditioner unit.
- The second-hand air conditioner you purchased may have arrived after you purchased a new air conditioner unit and needed to get rid of the old one, so you decided to sell it as a second-hand unit. This will free up some space for the new unit while also allowing you to spend more money on a better air conditioner afterwards.
- AC units, like everything else in life, eventually wear out and stop working. If your air conditioner is broken and unfixable, you can recycle it — but only after removing the refrigerant. Don’t really try to do this yourself; only a trained expert can help to remove the materials safely and in accordance with specific regulations.
- Make documentation (take some photos) of your second-hand AC unit.
- List down all the details of your second-hand air conditioning units.
- Selling your old air conditioner is another option. Creating an online listing is probably the simplest way to go about this, as there are numerous sites to choose from, each of which will allow you to reach out to hundreds of possible buyers. There will always be individuals on a tight budget looking to buy used units, and there are even some small, specialized companies interested in purchasing and fixing up used ACs to resell to hotel chains and other similar businesses.
- Promote it. Though these listing sites will promote it, it is insufficient. You must promote it on your own by sharing it on your social media accounts. You could even ask your friends to share it. Make sure to post links to your AC unit in Facebook groups and other social media platforms that allow this. Then wait for the progress.
- Aside from that, you can try to contact suppliers who are always looking for used air conditioners to repair and resell, and they may be very interested in purchasing or even trading yours.
So when you plan to jive in a sell and trade of second-hand air conditioning units, just try to follow the following pointers above and you will experience how to run a sell and trade of second-hand air conditioning units. It might be hard in the first place to do these things, but in the latter part, you will probably enjoy a great profit from this kind of business. It just takes passion and commitment to run this kind of business venture.
Debt Consolidation: A Smart Move To Manage Your Finances
In this fast-moving world, managing your finances can be tricky. It might be tough to keep track of payments and balances on existing bills when you have credit cards, school loans and vehicle loans. To be on top of this issue and find a way to achieve your financial goals, all you need to have is a solid debt consolidation strategy. Consolidating these loans into a single loan may help you to simplify your budget.
This article covers the topic of Debt Consolidation in a nutshell.
What is Debt Consolidation?
Debt consolidation is a rational financial approach that combines various bills into a single debt that can be paid off each month through a debt management plan.
By following the debt consolidation strategy, you can reduce the interest rate and lower monthly payments on the debt, thus making your debt more affordable and easier to manage.
Types of Debt Consolidation
It is important to have choices when it comes to Debt consolidation, as the right option can improve your financial situation significantly. Debt consolidation is the process of repaying various debts with a new Personal Loan or Balance Transfer Credit Card, which usually has a reduced interest rate. Let us look at the two options in more detail.
I. Personal Loan
A Personal Loan is a type of consolidation strategy with the source being from either the bank, a credit union or from a friend or family member. You can use this plan to clear credit card debt or any other type of debt that may have a higher interest rate. The advantage of a Personal Loan is that even though this type of loan comes with higher interest rates when compared to that of a Car loan or Home Loan, there is no need to show any collateral.
Furthermore, approval of a Personal Loan will depend on your credit score. Once approved, you will receive a lump sum of money fortnightly, which you will be agreeing to pay a certain amount of money back for a specified period with an agreed interest rate, thus making it an Installment loan. Plus, interest rates may be reduced depending on your credit score.
By making payments for the personal loan each month, you can have your monthly budget planned accordingly and at the end of the loan term you will have fully paid off your consolidated debt.
It is advised to consider not just the interest rates but also the total cost of the loan in the long run. This will give you an idea of whether opting for a Personal Loan is the best way to go.
II. Credit Card Balance Transfer
Some companies like Coles or Virgin Money, offer a balance transfer onto your credit card, but the stipulation in this case is that you have a good credit score. You can use this to apply for a new credit card and then channel the loan debt to the card. The advantage is that there will likely be a promotional 0% interest rate for a certain period (generally 12-18 months). After this period is completed normal interest (generally above 20% p.a.) will be applied.
The cons that come with credit card balance transfer are –
· Credit score might take a serious blow
· You may not save money after the balance transfer fee is added
· There is a risk of ending up with more debt
· After the promotion period concludes you could end up with a higher interest rate.
From the above two options, you can easily understand why there is a need to have a debt consolidation plan in place. In the next section, we highlight the importance of debt consolidation.
Significance of Debt Consolidation
1. Pay off your debt faster
What’s more stress-free than clearing off debt quicker than you initially thought? With debt consolidation this can be achieved. If your Debt Consolidation Loan has a lower interest than individual debts, try to make extra payments with the money that’s saved each month. With a long run of interest, you can save money as well as consolidate your debt.
2. Can lower your interest rates
If you combine loans like credit cards and Personal Loans, which have high-interest rates, in the long run you pay lower interest rates, especially if your debt consolidation loan is at low interest.
3. Improve credit score
Payment history is the deciding factor that can boost your overall credit score if you make on-time payments on the loan.
4. Life, stress-free
Fewer debts, less stress. It is wise to have a single debt that has the advantages of easy managing, easy repayment, and more importantly, can consolidate all the loans into a single, consistent payment.
Act now. Do your own research. Live a debt-free life.
6 Ways On How It Boosts Sales And Business Growth
The retail industry is ever-growing and ever-changing. To remain in the game, one must constantly assess their strengths, weaknesses, ups and downs, consumer behaviour, etc.
Some of you might be aware of what mystery shopping is all about. But for those who don’t know about this term, you’ll find this article very helpful. Before you get into the details of this topic, you should know that more customers do not affect business growth. It is more challenging to retain your current customer and not allow them to get diverted to a cheaper competitor. Now scroll down to learn how you can retain them.
Businesses appoint agencies that offer mystery shopping services. It is amongst the most cost-effective solutions to find out about customer experiences. The agency you appoint will appoint mysterious shoppers. The agency then asks the mystery shopper to visit different stores and locations and gather the information that the client needs. All the collected data reaches the agency, where it is analysed and provided to the client to understand customer loyalty, progress, customer satisfaction, and much more.
How does a mystery shopper help in growing your business?
As you appoint an agency to give you an insight through their mystery services, you can attain many benefits from the outputs it generates. Below is a list of benefits you can attain with mystery shopper service.
- You get honest feedback from your customers.
The most valuable information is the customer review to boost sales for a company. Unless you know where your product or service lacks to satisfy the customer, you won’t have any scope for improvement. Knowing what the customer thinks about you is essential, and through mystery shopper ideas, you can get real answers from your current customers.
- You can direct and manage your sales team.
Knowing what your customer thinks about you makes it much easier to direct your sales and marketing team to plan a strategy that’ll work best to please the customers. You can review your techniques and give feedback to your staff on what works and does not work for your business.
- Spreads awareness and motivates employees to perform better
If the feedback from mystery shoppers is positive, it will encourage the staff to perform better and maintain the company’s graph. But if the response is negative, it will make the staff aware of their flaws so they can plan on improving them and move forward.
- It gives you a reality check about your competitor.
In a fluctuating market environment, it is always better that you constantly know what your competitors are doing. A mystery shopper can visit your competitor’s store and get you information about how they are placing and marketing their products. Or how the customer is responding to their campaigns and more. Keeping an eye on the competition and levelling up your game should be your priority.
- Helps in customer retention
Retaining customers is the biggest challenge, and you can overcome it with mystery shopper service. Once you know what your customers think about you, you can start working on aspects that require improvement. You can plan a marketing strategy that gives additional benefits to unique customers to keep them happy.
Look for a mystery shopping agency that has an edge in the market. Ensure you thoroughly research the agency and read reviews to learn more about their service quality. Discuss what type of information you expect to get from them. Also, you can seek a free trial before you sign a contract with the agency.
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