challenge-your-business 

6 Online Services Every Business Owner Should Know About

Small business owners are often the busiest people around. Answering customer calls, sending faxes, typing up reports, doing tax returns, launching new products and coming up with new business ideas – these are all part of the business owner’s remit. But there are ways these tasks can be made easier. Here are six online services that every business owner should know about.

Tax, storage and project management

1. Tax is the most complicated challenge for business owners, but fortunately it’s also one of the most widely catered for with services online. The Australian Taxation Office not only has a free app for taking care of business tax, there is also a superannuation-clearing house for those businesses with 19 or fewer staff. There’s a function that allows you to keep track of your services and it updates regularly to keep track of changes to tax.

2. Dropbox is one of the handiest services online, a very easy to use storage facility based in the cloud. It’s like a warehouse where videos, images, reports and spreadsheets can be stored and accessed by everyone in the business. No longer is it necessary to keep large servers in the office, it’s all waiting for you in the cloud.

3. Project management software tracks the progress of individual tasks performed by individuals that relate to a single project. Tasks are broken down and represented on a single project interface. Through this interface, business owners assign tasks and establish deadlines. Staff upload their completed tasks and communicate with each other through the interface. Check out examples like Trello, Basecamp and ClockingIT.

Creative mapping, virtual faxes and accounting

4. Growing your business by adding new products or services, and coming up with new business ideas, is essential to keep your enterprise thriving. MindMeister is a mind-mapping process that allows you to think through a new business idea, or plan the best way to branch out into new areas of business. MindMeister is stored in the cloud, and collaborators can input ideas in real time into a project page. Ready-made templates start you off, including one with marketing, support, sales and PR nodes for launching a new product.

5. Even the best-laid plans of businesses can come to nothing unless there is effective communication in place. The humble fax machine has now become a virtual service that allows you to send and receive a fax online.

With an mBox fax number you can attach a document to an email, enter the recipient’s fax number and send it. You can even send faxes from your smartphone with the mBox app.

6. Online accounting services save you time by taking care of invoicing, paying bills, time management and expenses. FreshBooks does all of these, emphasising the professional look of its automatic invoice generating software. Zoho also takes care of your invoices, and adds marketing and sales tools while integrating with PayPal, Stripe and Authorize.net for quicker payment.

Business owners can use online services to plan and carry out projects, bring staff together and even send out invoices. Online services are a great tool for business owners to save time and run their enterprises more effectively.