5 Must-Have Tools for Your Online Business

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It is become easier than ever to get started with your own online business, or to take your existing online business to the next level. The wealth of tools and utilities available on the internet is truly astounding, and you can easily leverage these solutions to help you better manage and grow your business, regardless of its size.

Zoho Social

It goes without saying that social media has become a positively integral part of running any online business. It can also be a remarkably confusing, overwhelming, and time-consuming endeavor, because it can feel impossible to keep up with timely updates and strategic engagement. This is especially true when you’ve got multiple accounts across multiple platforms.

With Zoho Social, you get an incredibly powerful social media management tool that can handle every aspect of what your business (or businesses!) is doing on the social web. This includes the ability to manage multiple social networks—conveniently bundling up the accounts that correspond to each brand. This approach makes more sense than just having a long list of accounts stretched across multiple platforms.

Controlled from a single dashboard, you gain the ability to schedule unlimited posts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and beyond. You can also monitor keywords, utilize the prediction engine for smart scheduling, collaborate with team members, measure and improve performance, and generate reports on just about every metric and stat imaginable.

Monthly pricing ranges from free to $125, depending on the number of team members and brands you manage. Of course, higher plans also unlock a number of features that the less expensive plans lack, like a publishing calendar and custom analytics reports.


You’ve got freelance writers in New York, Vancouver, and Melbourne. You’ve got app and web developers in London, Singapore, and Moscow. You’ve got a support team, a sales and marketing team, a social media team . . . the list goes on and on. Everyone is working remotely from locations all around the world in different time zones and on different platforms. And yet you all need to find an effective way to work together, somehow.

Perhaps one of the best team collaboration tools on the internet today is Slack. Relying on email threads is a recipe for disaster, and while sharing Google Docs can be useful, it’s an incomplete way to communicate. Slack does a tremendous job of allowing you to segment conversations based on “channels,” as well as direct messages with specific individuals.

Let’s say Sally is part of the North America team, and also a part of the content creation team, so she can follow those two channels. And freelance writer Jeff is based in Vienna, and is interested in content creation, but not in North America (for the purposes of the company). Slack makes that easy. The goal, according to Slack, is to create “alignment and shared understanding across your team, making you more productive, less stressed, and just a little bit happier.” It’s communication made simple.

The cost of Slack for Teams ranges from free to $12.50 per user per month. If you need to administer multiple interconnected Slack work spaces across your company, you will need to contact Slack directly to inquire about Slack Enterprise Grid,

OneDrive for Business

Google Drive, Dropbox, and other similar cloud storage solutions certainly have their merits and benefits. They oftentimes also have a business-oriented solution that comes with additional features. But if you’re looking for a de facto standard that will work with companies and organizations around the world, OneDrive for Business from Microsoft is a solid choice.

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