The Tools Your Small Business Needs For Remote Work

Thanks to the rise of on-demand software and high-speed internet, small businesses now have easy access to the tools they need to work remotely without interruption. Here are the must-haves every small business should have in place to ensure maximum flexibility.

Video conferencing

Video conferencing refers to an online meeting among several people using both audio and video; it’s a way to communicate face-to-face without having to be in the same physical location. Savvy businesses have been using video conferencing to cut back on travel and enhance communication among distributed employees, but it’s also a great way for any small business to hold remote meetings with customers, vendors, and employees.

  • Hold meetings per usual With video conferencing you can speak with colleagues, share screens, use whiteboards, and demonstrate products.
  • Stay connected Video conferencing lets teams maintain the social feeling and face-to-face interactions of an office.
  • Save money With video conferencing, your team may consider cutting back on travel or even physical office space.

Some of our favorite video conferencing tools: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Go to Meeting.

Team collaboration

Cohesive teamwork is vital in any kind of work environment, so it’s important for small businesses to modernize their practices to help co-workers collaborate from wherever they are. Thanks to the rise of collaboration tools, co-workers in different locations can easily work together and contribute to projects as if they were in an office.

  • Improve efficiency Follow the evolution of a project or document online. An online collaboration tool removes the need for meetings to review documents.
  • Automate review cycles Upload your projects and set a workflow; then reviewers are notified when there’s something to review and everyone can annotate online.
  • Eliminate the need for email With shared interfaces and dialogues, online collaboration tools remove the reliance on email.

Some of our favorite collaboration tools: Slack, Mavenlink, Quip (available for free).

Cloud storage

Cloud-based storage solutions are a must for small businesses. Why waste valuable storage space on your hard drive or phone when you can store your files securely in the cloud and share across devices? Cloud storage also provides backup, meaning your documents and files are safe even if your computer crashes or you can’t get to the office.

  • Protect against disaster Cloud storage gives small businesses the peace of mind to know their files are safe from server failures, natural disasters, and more.
  • Improve flexibility and agility Cloud storage lets you access documents, files, and data from anywhere — from your home or hotel to an airplane or coffee shop.
  • Save money Cloud storage lets you shave dollars off annual maintenance and utility bills by replacing physical storage servers with cloud-based alternatives.

Some of our favorite cloud storage tools: Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Of all the things that go into running a small business, building strong customer relationships is the most important. CRM software helps you manage your sales, marketing, and customer service, and you’ll want a cloud-based solution you can use anytime, anyplace. This means remote workers won’t miss information communicated around the water cooler, captured on sticky notes, or mentioned in a brainstorm. CRM ensures all customer information is captured in one place.

  • Maintain continuity Since small businesses can’t afford closures, CRM allows them to keep things running without interruption.
  • Access from anywhere CRM is designed to be used remotely, whether it's on desktop, mobile, or tablets.
  • Personalize customer experiences Accurate customer data and insights help you tailor your outreach, improve your products, and develop deeper connections.

Our favorite CRM for small businesses: Salesforce Essentials.

Run your small business without interruption

Thanks to high-speed internet, any team can work remotely from anywhere in the world and still stay efficient, organized, and productive. If your small business is considering remote work, dispersed teams, or satellite offices, consider putting these tools in place to keep everyone connected and on task, no matter what.

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