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15-Feb-2015

Enhance your business with online services

The internet gives us access to unlimited resources. This is good news for business professionals. But with the availability of numerous tools, we still tend to overstretch ourselves when it comes to productivity. We have more tasks, less time, and at the end of the day, we want to feel like we accomplished something.

Here are some online resources to help you be your best self in business.


Mentorship

It would be great if we could all meet personally with a business coach on a daily or weekly basis, but this isn’t always possible. There are several online resources to help. Micromentor® is a website created by Mercy Corps who has a mission of alleviating suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. At micromentor.org, people can be matched up with an online mentor. The goal of this program is to help entrepreneurs thrive, strive and grow in their businesses. According to their website, from July 2012 to July 2013, they matched 710 business people with an expert mentor. These businesses increased revenue by 83 percent.


Customer Contacts

Keeping customer and client contact information in place can certainly improve productivity. There are several services that allow mass e-mails and notification. Below are two FREE options to consider.


MailChimp.com is free to use for small businesses—up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers. Mail Chimp also allows users to craft professional looking e-mails that catch the eye of the readers.


Insightly.com is another service that is free for up to 2,500 records. This service offers online schedules, a calendar and some project management options. There is also the opportunity to manage events and integrate with other online tools such as Evernote and Dropbox.


Project Management

Schedules, task assignments and resources can be hard to track, along with the cost and time associated with each element of a project. There are an abundance of platforms designed to help professionals with this challenge. We have researched and shared three FREE software options available online.


Trello.com allows users to lay out the project in a board fashion where they can pin important parts all in one visual space. Users can collaborate and share time, costs and ideas. With a comprehensive to-do list and area for team comments, this platform is very user friendly.


Other similar programs include OpenProject.org. This is an open source tool that enables users to assign tasks and categorize projects and duties.


A more comprehensive tool is Wrike.com. There are different levels of hierarchy that can be assigned, as well as cross-collaboration. Wrike is offered for FREE for up to five users. All three platforms offer mobile-friendly programs, cloud storage and play nicely with social media.
About the Author

Staff
Open for Business, Central Nebraska
The Open for Business Staff strives to create the most useful content possible for businesses. Whether it's tips and tools available for owners to work smarter, not harder, a feature story highlighting amazing things happening with a Central Nebraska business or a fun tip here and there, you will find something that helps your business thrive at openforbusinessmagazine.com      

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