7 Tools That Will Help You Start a Home-Based Business

The traditional method used to start a business was to rent an office space and get down to work. However, the overhead associated with supporting an office right from the start was challenging and even detrimental in many cases.

The good news is that technology has evolved over the years to make it much more functional and practical to run a home-based business and even to grow your business substantially in a cost-effective way. As wonderful as running a home-based business can be, keep in mind that there are still obstacles that you will need to face and overcome.

Here are several effective tools that can help you better manage and grow your home-based business.

Basecamp

Whether you want to keep yourself focused on relevant tasks for practical efficiency or you are trying to manage a remote team in the most time-efficient way possible, Basecamp can help.

This app is an excellent resource for planning and scheduling, organization, accountability and more. You may never have to worry about meetings taking too much time or missing deadlines when you and your team maximize the benefits that Basecamp can provide.

Google Hangouts

As soon as you add your first remote employee to your team, you need to find an effective way to communicate. Google Hangouts gives you text and voice communications in one platform. There is even a video communication feature.

You can use it on your desktop and mobile devices seamlessly so that you never miss important communications with your remote team. Logs of conversations are also maintained to help everyone remain accountable. Because this is a free tool that you can start using immediately, it is ideal for small businesses that have two or more workers.

Freshbooks

Small business owners can spend an incredible amount of time on financial management and accounting tasks. However, this is an area that you need to excel at if you want to properly manage your money, budget for growth and more.

Freshbooks is a user-friendly application that has robust capabilities. It’s a perfect choice for managing your home-based business’ finances. It has easy functions for invoicing, tracking payments, creating reports and more. Because it is designed for small business operations, you may find that it has more applicable features that are relevant to your specific situation.

Wagepoint

Processing payroll each week can be time-consuming and stressful. This is a task that needs to be completed within a specified amount of time, and you can’t afford to make costly mistakes.

Wagepoint is designed to help small business owners simplify this task in an affordable way. It also ensures compliance with all relevant government agencies and can help you to process tax forms and more. Employees can even access their own compensation information to save you additional time when questions arise.

Close.io

Sales is a critical component to most small businesses. You understandably need to track leads and follow up with all potential customers in a timely manner, but you also need to close deals.

Close.io is a CRM tool that is designed specifically for small businesses like yours. You can manage conversations and email messages so that you never drop the ball. You can also set reminders, create reports and more in one convenient and streamlined platform. With applications available for multiple users, you can easily track the efforts of your growing sales team as well.

CoSchedule

Effective marketing for your small business requires you to create and execute a detailed, robust marketing plan in a timely manner. With CoSchedule all aspects of communications about your marketing plan can be stored in one convenient location. You can create marketing materials within this platform, manage your marketing team and create an on-going marketing calendar so that you never miss a beat.

Remember that timely delivery of marketing content is critical to generating superior results. Because this is a collaborate solution, your entire team will stay organized and aligned.

Groove

Customer service is essential for your customer satisfaction rating, loyalty, future sales, brand reputation and more. Groove helps you to streamline many aspects of your customer service activities.

For example, through this platform, your agents can create tickets based on phone calls, social media posts, email and more. You can track the tickets, analyze them and ensure that everything is tended to in a timely manner. This is an excellent tool that can help you and your team to stay on track so that nothing slips through the cracks.

Final Thoughts

Handling all aspects of your business operations properly and efficiently requires considerable effort, but you do not need to handle tasks manually. Technology is now available that can streamline and simplify many aspects of your operations from day one. Regardless of whether you have a one-man shop or a growing small business with several employees, these exceptional tools are wonderful resources that you can begin implementing right away.

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4 Tips on Using Social Media for Recruiting

4 Tips on Using Social Media for Recruiting

Social Network

Trying to find the right new individuals to add to your team can be challenging and time-consuming, but it is nonetheless critical for the success of your company. After all, skilled, experienced and motivated individuals can be a truly beneficial addition to your company and can help you to reach new heights in growth and profits, customer satisfaction and more.

One idea to improve your efforts in this area is to consider using social media sites to bolster your recruiting efforts. In some cases, you may be able to connect with great candidates through these outlets who you would never have been able to reach otherwise. Your efforts can also be used to make candidates more interested in and excited about a job opening you have or about the possibility for working for your company.

Many successful companies of all sizes are already using social media to recruit candidates, but some are not enjoying the level of success they could be through their efforts. If you’re not sure how to do it, the following tips can help you to maximize the benefits of social media sources for recruiting activities.

Create a Social Media Recruiting Strategy

Some companies use social media for recruiting efforts haphazardly, but the best results are generated when you make strategic use of these platforms. Your social media recruiting strategy should fit in with your company’s general recruiting system and it should be well-suited for the types of positions you are hiring for.

Ideally, social media outlets will be used in conjunction with your current recruiting efforts rather than in place of them. Remember that each social media platform is unique, and this means that they offer different benefits to your company.

For example, through LinkedIn, you may be able to connect with professionals in your field. Through Facebook, however, you may be able to reach out to a much broader audience. In different situations, both of these options can be uniquely beneficial. For example, the use of LinkedIn may make better sense when advertising a managerial or executive position, but Facebook and other options may be better used when you are actively recruiting for administrative-level job openings.

Use Recruiting Hashtags

The use of hashtags is more than just trendy. Hashtag serve the important purpose of making your content more easily viewed through relevant searches. By using hashtags with your recruiting efforts through social media, you can make your content more easily located by those who may be searching for a job on social networks.

To make full use of hashtags, they should be relevant to the company, the position or something else. Think about hashtags that others may be using when looking for an opening that is similar to use. For example, some may use a generic search for #jobopenings, and others may use something more specific, such as #researchassistant.

With the right hashtags attached to your online recruitment posts and tweets, you can potentially reach a much larger audience that extends beyond those who actively follow your social media accounts.

Promote Your Company Culture

Part of a successful recruitment strategy involves selling your company and the position to a potential candidate. This means that you need to use social media effectively to showcase how amazing your corporate culture is rather than to simply post a link to the job description.

Social media recruiting efforts that simply announce an opening are often less effective than they could be because even when potential candidates see the listing, they may not be enticed to act on it without motivation to do so.

Remember that social media is not only text-based, and you can use images and video to promote your company culture online. Instead of just stating that your company is a great place to work, use photos or even videos of regular events at your office. For example, you can show your employees working as a team tackling a project, being dressed up for Halloween in the office or participating in a monthly pot luck lunch.

Involve Your Employees

Another important step to take if you want to maximize your social media recruiting efforts is to involve your employees in the effort. Ideally, all of your employees will share content about your company to their own contacts on social media, and they may even make use of branded hashtags as well.

This effort can help you to expand your reach to a much larger audience than you otherwise would have been able to reach. Asking your employees to retweet or share a post is great, but you can also ask them to promote the company culture. For example, they can be an advocate for you by talking about their work experiences.

However, you should have established rules in the office regarding the use of social media. Furthermore, you should attempt to control the message that your employees are sending out about your office by offering structured comments and guidelines to them.

Final Thoughts

The first hurdle to jump over in your recruitment efforts is to find a great pool of qualified and interested candidates to interview. Social media is a great option for extending your reach and to let a greater number of qualified candidates know about your job opening. When you are using social media networks for recruiting purposes, follow these helpful tips to more strategically and comprehensively make use of these platforms.

About the Author:

Lisa Michaels

Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in the business world. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter.


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