Using the right web apps can make you drastically more efficient as an Entrepreneur. Personally, some apps have been life altering, especially for my businesses. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re not taking advantage of the free web apps that are available out there, you’re behind. Bottom line – you’re spending a lot more time on things that other people are not. This not only costs you valuable time and money, but puts you at a disadvantage in the competitive landscape of your industry.
I use a ton of web apps – some free, some paid. Many are specific to my business/industry (depending on which business I am referring to). Instead of listing them all here, I thought I’d put together a list of 5 free web apps that are indispensible to the Guerrillaneur (i.e. guerrilla-entrepreneur) and useful for any entrepreneur . More importantly, I explain precisely how I use them.
If you’re not using these 5 apps, don’t wait another minute. Sign up today and start using them. Then, invite your employees/colleagues and get them to start using them too. If you follow my advice, you’ll increase efficiencies and productivity immediately. And rather than being at a disadvantage, you’ll be the one with the advantage.
Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. For a business, DropBox is indispensible and here’s why: Without needing a server or an administrator to administrate the server, you can store all the company files that you need to share, in the Dropbox cloud. Furthermore, each employee can have their own free Dropbox account under their own management.
With Dropbox, You can make your own folders, and share those folders with anyone you want. So if you have graphic design files that you need to share with a graphic designer (or you need him to share with you) , you can share that specific folder with him. Or if you have sales documents such as price lists, marketing material, etc. you can share that folder with your sales team. Or my personal fav, if you have large reports that your accounting team sends you on a monthly basis (such as sales reports, inventory, financial statements, etc.) you can share a specific folder with them, and they just upload the files each month when they are ready. All your files are organized, and they’re not bogging down your email.
LogMeIn allows you to access, support, and manage your computers from anywhere. All you need is an internet connection and you can literally log into any computer. You just go to their website, log in, and see the list of computers you have set up for remote control.
Let me tell you a couple ways that I use LogMeIn. First, when I travel or go on vacation, I no longer need to bring my laptop. I keep my computer on at home or in the office, and using LogMeIn I can log into it securely from my phone, tablet (i.e. iPad), or in the business center of the hotel I am staying at. So if I need to access certain files that are only on my laptop, I can login and literally use my computer as if I was sitting at it. Second, every computer in my separate offices is setup with logmein. That way if anyone has a computer problem of any sort, we can log into their computer and fix it. Even better, if we need to setup their email client or install any other programs, we can do that too. Not to mention that this can be done from a phone, tablet, and from anywhere in the world. Third, if you have software where you only have one license, you can install it on a dedicated computer that anyone can access and use. Of course, they can only use it one at a time, but its extremely useful when you buy a license to an obscure software that you don’t use that often but need multiple people to have access to it. I’ve saved thousands by doing just that.
3. Google Docs
Google Docs is collaboration at its best. Here, you can make files that resemble Microsoft Word and Excel, and share them with anyone you want so that you can collaborate on them together. I probably have 25 Google Docs right now – some that I made on my own, and some that others made that have been shared with me. For example, we have a document that tracks all of the bugs/misspellings/issues we see on our small business website. Anyone in our company can add to it when they find one. This keeps the information organized for the person responsible and saves us all from long email strings. We also have a list for blog topics that we would like to add to the online business website at some point in the future. Likewise, as soon as anyone has an idea they just add it to the list.
You know what’s the best about Google docs? It’s a feature that most don’t notice when they first use it. DISCUSSIONS. Think of having a private chat wall just for a specific google doc, and the only people who can see it or post on it are the people invited to the Google doc. This allows anyone to add comments or thoughts to any document in one organized place, without having to send emails back and forth. Pretty efficient if you ask me.
4. Google Alerts
Google Alerts will alert you on anything that has been published to the internet about a specific topic of your choice. For example, if you want to get updates about your competitors, just type in their name and Google will send you alerts any time they launch a new web page, blog post, or anything else. Furthermore, if any 3rd party publishes a news article, blog post, or anything else about your competitor then Google Alerts will also alert you. Another example is if you’re wondering when the next iphone will be released, you can simply type in “iphone” and you’ll get updates of everything related to the iphone. You just type in whatever keyword you want, and Google will alert you. This will save you tons of time by letting Google do the researching for you. And, it will keep you up to date on everything you need to stay on top of. So instead of spending your own time to go and get, with Google Alerts you can just sit back and receive.
5. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is an app you need to utilize asap. I know you may love your personal organizer with its written calendar. Or maybe you have an iphone and use the native calendar. I’m telling you that you need to switch over to Google Calendar today. On my Google Calendar, I have 3 Calendars aggregated into one Calendar. For example, I have a personal calendar that my wife and I can collaborate on, meaning that if either of us updates it, it immediately updates for both of us. I also have a personal business calendar (shared with nobody) and a marketing calendar (shared with my sales and marketing staff). All of them are color coordinated so its easy to tell them apart. But the best part is that with one click, I can see one calendar at a time, or two at a time, or all three.
Furthermore, you can set up Google Calendar with your iphone or android phone and have all of your calendars in your pocket. If you update the calendar from your phone, it updates the whole calendar automatically. Furthemore, if you set reminder notifications on Google Calendar, they will display on your phone. In other words, if you have an important meeting and you want to leave your office at 10:00am to get there in time, you can set a reminder for it. Your phone will beep/vibrate just like a text message. It’s an extremely useful tool to stay organized and prompt.
Have any free apps that you feel are indispensible to any entrepreneur? Let me know in the comments section below.