Trade & Industry Advisory
24 June 2020 • 18 min read
6 Digital Tools to Make Your Business Smarter
A curated list of 6 digital tools that every Export/ Import business must have to make their day to day business life easier and smarter.
With small and medium enterprises on the rise, more and more tools are being created to help them do business. This article is aimed at introducing some of the best tools available. Running a business comes with its own set of problems like limited time, manpower shortage, or multiple bills and tasks. Among all these challenges, one goal should be static, to work smarter rather than harder. In order to allow yourself to focus on the tasks which are of higher priority, you need to be aware of certain tools that can aid you in your day to day activities. Saving you the trouble of searching for endless lists of tools we bring to you a curated list of 6 tools that are going to make doing business a lot easier.
In this blog, we will list six digital tools to make the daily business smarter
1. Evernote - A one-stop solution for all your business task organisation needs
Have you ever come across a business news article or some news on the TV that you intend to remember for some future references but you end up forgetting? Or, let’s say you had visited an exhibition or a trade fair where you penned down important information on a post-it note or some piece of paper and now you cannot find it. It happens all the time and with most of us. With the advent of technology, we can now save these bite-sized useful pieces of information over our devices and we can access them anywhere anytime and on any of the devices we have.
Evernote is a cloud-based application that saves all your notes or articles and allows you to view it across all your devices. It helps you collect these notes, helps you organise it in a structural manner, and lets you access them anytime, any day, and on any device. If you like some information that has been shared in the form of an image, on Evernote you can save it as an image too. It even allows you to save a voice recording!
Moreover, when doing business you have multiple timelines running in your head. Our brains are constantly filled with information such as delivery dates and stock arrival dates. There are always a million tasks to be tracked and completed and some of them in a proper series. It also happens that some of these tasks skip our mind because of such clutter.
Evernote could also be used as a ‘Get Things Done’ system. It could support projects, priorities, contexts, and event agendas. The best part about this tool is that you can use Evernote’s Email plugin with your Mail service and move all your emails over to Evernote so you can act on them from one place. Evernote turns your chaos into an orderly structure so that you never miss out on anything.
Here are some useful benefits of using Evernote:
- Write and share your notebooks with colleagues, employees, etc.
- Take and attach pictures to note right from within the app
- Take and attach voice memos and audio to note right from within the app
- Scan text in a photo using Optical Character Recognition technology
- Make a project schedule to track and complete each of your tasks
Get started: Download the Evernote app and create an account to get started. All you have to do is sign up and you’re good to go. Create different notebooks according to your needs. You just have to click on the “+” button at the bottom of your phone’s screen and start typing or add pictures or clips. You can also set reminders and checklists that assist you in remembering your tasks or activities.
2. DocuSign - Signing documents made easy and fast
You schedule your tasks according to the needs of your client. Next, you start arranging loads of documents to be signed by you and your client. There’s a long wait period till you get your documents signed and back. Besides a lot of time, signing documents gets delayed because the documents are always stored at your workplace. This means you cannot sign them on time if you are at home or some other place. With DocuSign, you can sign multiple documents virtually. You can access, sign, and send documents from anywhere you are. This might end up saving a lot of time and paper, it will also increase the pace of your business. DocuSign works with the services, applications, and devices you already use: Microsoft, Salesforce, Google, Apple, and many more. DocuSign is the most reliable and globally trusted service for electronic signatures and approvals, it caters to more than 85 Million users worldwide.
It also provides a 30 day free Trial period. Here are some useful benefits of using DocuSign:
- See who opened your document and when they sign it
- It uses Public Key Infrastructure to ensure all your e-signatures are safe and secure
- You can use DocuSign with Dropbox, Google Drive, and One Drive.
- Online Signatures are legally accepted and hold value in the court.
- Send reminders to recipients and view audit trails
- Simply upload your documents and create a reusable template so that your employees can easily create, distribute, and update agreements.
Get started: Send, sign, and manage your documents. Here’s a step by step guide How does DocuSign work?
3. Dropbox - Get access to all your files, documents, and media anytime and on any device
Do you have different files on different gadgets? Everybody knows that it can be a pain to carry all the gadgets in every place you go to. Dropbox makes the job easier for you. Just create an account on Dropbox and upload all your files and documents so you can have access to them anywhere, anytime. Dropbox works on all the devices and it allows you to organise your documents, images, and videos. You can just structure and place the documents any way you want and exit the app. The next time you use the app, it will be exactly how you left it.
Here are some useful benefits of using Dropbox:
- Keep all of your important documents in one easy to find location.
- Makes file easily portable without the use of any external devices
- With its encryption security, all your files are safe and secure
- Send documents directly from dropbox
Get started: Download the Dropbox app, register for free from any of your devices, and finally start uploading to Dropbox. You can also go to settings and turn the auto-sync feature on. With this feature turned on, all your images and docs would automatically be uploaded to Dropbox. You can organize it in an effective manner.
4. Fiverr - A marketplace for paid services
When you are running a small business there are various tasks that need technical expertise, various projects that might be outside of your domain knowledge. A simple example could be building a website. On the other hand, various other projects for which you might need assistance could be, market and, product research; business, legal, and financial consulting; lead generation, etc. Usually, to obtain these services you will ask a couple of people who would then ask their business friends and it would turn out to be a long and tiresome process.
This is where Fiverr makes life easier for you. Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for services. Fiverr enables you to browse the selection of freelancers offering services, and to place orders in just one click. A service offered on Fiverr is called a Gig.
Here are some useful benefits of using Fiverr:
- Browse & Book from multiple freelance experts available.
- Manage your time by delegating tasks to these freelancers
- Be absolutely sure by talking with the service providers before proceeding to the payment
Get started: Sign up on Fiverr for free on its website or download the app from AppStore. Start searching for services that you need by browsing the Fiverr catalog or by using Fiverr’s search engine. After you have shortlisted the service and the freelancer, click on it for more information such as a description of services or previous/sample works. You can also connect to the service provider in case you have any doubts. When you have made up your mind, simply proceed by placing the order.
5. MailChimp - Makes Email marketing easier, more efficient, and more user friendly
When you have a small business, it is necessary to get your voice out and to reach your customers and potential leads. For retaining your customers or retargeting, MailChimp becomes your best solution. It is an extremely useful tool for people who are not familiar with email newsletter design. You can make a visually pleasing Email letter with the help of this software to grab your reader’s attention. Regularising the email newsletter would also help in increasing traction to your website which could then be converted into a sale.
Here are some useful benefits of using MailChimp:
- Automate Routine Tasks
- Customize sign up forms
- Send blast as well as targeted mails
- Utilize insightful reporting and analysis
Get started: Create an account on MailChimp and you will land upon a dashboard with an option of ‘Explore MailChimp’ which allows you to understand the tool’s capabilities. You can also run campaigns by creating audiences and check campaign engagement along with other helpful activities.
6. Grammarly - Communicate clean, mistake-free, and professionally
With Emails that you will be writing to your clients overseas, communication cannot be compromised with. There has to be absolute clarity in what is being communicated and in a way that is easy to understand. This means there is zero room for mistakes, however silly the mistake be. On the other hand, most of these conversations on Email or over phone happens in English. There might be slight trouble if it is not your native language or if you do not use it in day to day life. But you don’t worry, Grammarly helps you in making your written communication look flawless. Grammarly makes sure that everything you write is easy to read, effective, and without any mistakes. It automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and styling mistakes in your writing.
Here are some useful benefits of using Grammarly:
- Grammar and spelling checks
- Enhances your vocabulary
- It is highly accurate
- Easy to understand explanations, it has full explanations to the corrections it makes
- Customization - Add any word you use in your dictionary and Grammarly will never mark it wrong/ correct it again
Get started: All you have to do is add Grammarly’s extension to your browser and it will work like a charm on all your online endeavors.
There is an unending list of day to day challenges for an SME business. With these smart tools, you will have an edge in doing your business in a smoother and more efficient way. As mentioned earlier, one goal needs to be static, to work smarter.