Top 10 Must-Have Business Tools for 2016

November 5, 2015

In today’s highly interconnected business world, it’s easy to get lost in paperwork, emails, data analytics, and everything in between. In order to make our work lives easier and more productive, we’ve taken on tools that synthesize and improve daily tasks. Here we’ve compiled a list of the best comprehensive business tools to enhance cooperation, expedite daily tasks, and keep your business running smoothly.


Personal E-Mail Management


Boomerang is a tool for Gmail that keeps emails to co-workers and customers on a defined schedule. You can set specific times to send emails, track responses, and even send reminder notes if someone hasn’t gotten back to you yet. If someone doesn’t reply to you within a set number of days, then the email you sent will be returned to you (like a boomerang) to remind you. It’s a great way to keep track of emails and ensure that your message is being heard.


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Customer Support


Happyfox is a customer support platform that synthesizes all of your support channels into one easy-to-use ticketing system. If you have trouble managing phone requests, emails, contact forms, social media inquiries, and other forms of customer support, then Happyfox can alleviate your headaches. Everything is boiled down into one system that can be organized by category, importance, or a wide range of other features that you can define.


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Data Visualization and Dashboarding


Datapine is one of the most innovative ways to mine, monitor, and visualize data. It puts all relevant information into easy-to-read dashboards from various data sources so that you get a broad analytical picture. The best part, of course, is that this requires no technical or coding knowledge to use. Real-time, up-to-the-minute data that can be accessed from any internet connection allows you to make well-informed, insightful business decisions on the fly. Data can be visualized in numerous ways including number charts, pie charts, area charts, spider webs, scatter plots, stacked column/bar charts, and others.


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Generating Leads


Salesloft is a platform that promises to “increase qualified demos and appointments by 300%.” The Salesloft platform essentially allows you to create a sales “cadence” that integrates both phone and email interaction. Coupled with real-time analytics and click tracking, you can see just how effective your system is at customer retention. You can also schedule specific amounts of phone calls and emails to send customers in a given period of time. You can even send personal, one-on-one emails to prospects to improve your chances of a positive response.


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Creating Surveys


SurveyMonkey is one of the leading survey platforms on the internet. It has a wide range of potential uses including gauging customer interest or satisfaction and recruiting and retaining employees. One thing that businesses always want to know is how they’re doing, and the best way to find out is through a direct survey. All you have to do is design a survey, pick a custom target audience, and watch the results pile in.


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Task Management


Asana is a platform for task management, team collaboration, and simply getting the job done. If collaboration between departments or task groups often gets bogged down by a lack of real communication options, then Asana may be exactly what you’re looking for. It keeps tasks, projects, conversations, due dates, and everything else associated with the plan all in one simple platform. You can even monitor your progress with graphs and charts to ensure that you’re getting the job done on time.


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Content Management


ClearVoice is a platform that connects your business with the content creators that can make your brand shine. The entire process allows you to plan a content strategy, find a freelancer who’s been thoroughly vetted and understands your vision, create content in an intuitive workflow environment, post it on site, and measure the results. It’s a sort of all-in-one content management platform that allows you to control each aspect of the content creation process.


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Project Management


Basecamp keeps projects from ranging into chaos. It links up everyone working on a given project and quite easily divides up tasks, tracks completion rates, and facilitates communication. It’s an all-in-one platform that allows freelancers to connect with your project manager all of whom can be guided by the CEO. Basecamp uses the tried and true method of a “to-do” list to keep workflows organized and moving in the right direction.


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Social Media


Buffer is essentially a method for posting social media content at distinct points throughout the day. Instead of haphazardly posting something on your company’s twitter feed, you can ensure that all your posts are “buffered” to appear at scheduled times in any given period. This means that you can pick the times where engagement opportunities are most prevalent to make your most important social media posts without inundating your followers.


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Finance


FreshBooks is cloud-based accounting software that is designed with non-accountants in mind. It covers all accounting facets including invoicing, payments, time tracking, expenses, and reporting. If you find that you spend a lot of time dealing with accounting issues and less time dealing with the core business tasks, then you may want to give FreshBooks a look. It’s a system that’s set up specifically to help you save time and get back to the projects that matter most.


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