Five Cloud-Based Apps and Services for Start-ups and SMEs

February 18, 2014 prolog Comments Off on Five Cloud-Based Apps and Services for Start-ups and SMEs

The New Year motivates us to build momentum in our sales and profits and it also pushes us to set SMART goals for the company to utilise the available computing resources and improve customer service.

Thanks to technology, with all the available cloud-based apps, we have tons of valuable products and services to make our business efficient and automated. We don’t have to download them to our PCs because they only require our usernames and passwords to access them on the Internet.

The list of vendors and services are innumerable and they never run out of innovative ideas to improve the current apps and develop new ones.

To kick-start the year, we thought of giving you a list of five apps and services. All of them are available and accessible on the web and comes with app platforms for smartphone and tablet users.

  1. Freshbooks – Give your clients professional and automated invoices with this popular professional invoicing platform. It currently serves more than five million users and comes with rich features of bookkeeping and time and expense tracking. The eWAY integration allows clients to pay the recurring invoices quickly using credit cards. It supports PayPal, too. Pricing plans start from $0 (up to three clients), or get the Basic plan for $19.95.

  2. Microsoft SharePoint – In dire need of seamless project collaboration? Connect and communicate with the team across this service, which allows you to engage, share and manage all the projects, ideas and people. Working in a SharePoint environment improves team collaboration and productivity. You may also use SharePoint hosting from a trusted third-party vendor if you want a more customised experience than Microsoft’s standard offerings.

  3. Zendesk – Always prioritise the customer experience, invest on a cloud-based ticketing system to handle inquiries and requests that the support team (or agents) can easily manage. With a powerhouse cloud-based app, you can listen to your customers’ rants and feedback. It also provides insights and analytics for improvements. Increase your response time to solve issues, as the opposite (slow response time) indicates poor customer service. The pricing packages start from $1 per agent, billed annually.

  1. Evernote – If you’re always on mobile, this note taking and archiving app is useful for you and the staff. Everyone can take down notes whether using an iOS, Android or PC. It’ll keep you posted and updated as it syncs automatically across devices. Its core features unify the team’s ideas and knowledge and improve productivity.

You can download the Evernote app for free or avail the business package for $10/month per user. It also comes with premium features in the app platform, allowing you to access offline notes, smarter search features and many more for $45/year or $5/month.

  1. HubSpot – You can’t manage what you can’t measure, but with this SaaS suite, you’ll be provided with tools and resources to improve your online marketing strategies and analytics—whether it’s on content marketing, email marketing or building web traffic and generating valuable leads and sales for your company. The popular inbound marketing software has garnered praises and recommendations from various industries and businesses in all sizes. The marketing platform offers packages starting from $250/month.

In addition, you may subscribe to all of their services or try each one to discover which of them would be useful to your business. After all, compared with the legacy software that requires us to install and pay for expensive licences, SaaS apps are great alternatives, providing us flexibility and business agility.

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