6 Cloud Solutions to Streamline & Organize Small Business Operations

Cloud-based business solutions make it easier for small business owners to manage daily operations and provide an excellent customer experience.

Accounting, marketing, scheduling, sales, relationship management and more -- small business owners are responsible for every aspect of daily operations. With limited time and budget, it can feel impossible to get everything done, it’s no wonder 72% of small business owners feel overwhelmed.

Fortunately, there are now hundreds of cloud-based business solutions available to help small business owners reduce stress, manage their workload and increase productivity. The challenge is determining which solutions are best for your business, a decision that should be based on your specific needs and growth strategy. Regardless of whether you’re just opening your doors or if you’ve been operating for years, these six tried-and-true cloud-based tools can help streamline operations.

1. Accounting: QuickBooks

If you’re looking for a straightforward way to manage and pay bills, track expenses and mileage, and handle payroll functions, QuickBooks is a great entry-level option for small business owners. You’ll save time with features like Receipt Capture, which automatically matches receipt images with existing expenses. Plans range from $12 to $75 monthly, and all include QuickBooks support.

2. Project Management: Basecamp

When projects involve multiple staff members and a lot of moving pieces, figuring out what’s been done and what’s next on the list can be a job in itself. Basecamp keeps track of who is supposed to do what, and when they are supposed to do it. It saves time by making progress visible to everyone and eliminating the need for so many meetings. You can have an unlimited number of users, and plans start at $24 per month for 15 projects and go up to $150 a month for unlimited projects.

3. Time Tracking: Toggl

When it comes to tracking employee time, you need something simple enough for everyone to use but robust enough to give you an accurate snapshot of productivity and profitability. With Toggl, it’s easy to track hours in real-time or use manual entry on a range of devices. And with more than 100 software integrations that allow you to track from within online apps like Basecamp and Google Drive, users will cut down on the time it takes to navigate between pages. Also, if you’re a small business offering professional services, like accounting or legal work, you can create more transparency for your clients by easily sharing hours through public report links. Monthly plans start at just $9 per user.

4. File Storage & Synchronization: Google Drive

One of the many advantages to owning or working for a small business is the flexibility it can provide in terms of scheduling and work location. Not all of your employees will be working the same hours and many may telecommute at least part of the time. Whether you’re at the office , working from home or connecting via in-flight WiFi, Google Drive allows you to access, edit and share your files from anywhere. Google Drive also integrates with Microsoft Office products like Word and Excel, meaning you can easily make it part of your workflow if you’re already using those products. You can use a personal version (with up to 15G of storage) for free, and monthly pricing for Drive Enterprise (where you only pay for the storage you use) starts at $8 per user.

5. Employee Communication: Slack

Slack’s instant messaging platform and mobile app make it easy for managers and employees to communicate regardless of whether they are in the store helping a customer, staffing a reception desk or out running errands. The platform also makes it easy to organize your team’s conversations into separate private or public channels or send a direct message. You can drag and drop to share files within chat and it’s easy to filter and search when looking for information from past conversations. You can use the most basic offering for free with unlimited users, or more premium plans range from $8 to $15 per active user, billed monthly.

6. Employee Training & Staffing: CallJoy

Employees have varying levels of comfort when handling customer questions on the phone or knowing what information is important to relay when taking a message. Call transcripts and recording features are two ways CallJoy can be used as a reference for new employee training, or when addressing any customer service issues. Insight reports provide increased visibility and help understand call volume patterns, allowing owners to staff up at peak call times. The advanced phone technology was created specifically for small businesses and is available for $39 per month.

Ready to see how cloud-based solutions can make your business more efficient? Start by letting CallJoy help you train your employees and better prepare for your business’ busiest times of the day. Click here to get started with a 14-day free trial.