Free Tools You Need to Support Your Business| April 29, 2020
Technology and online services are at the forefront for communications and other business-related tools, regardless of the sector. From healthcare to agencies and nonprofits to companies, large and small, we are all adjusting to a new dynamic and a new awareness with how technology can make the difference in how and where we work.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many online applications and services can support your newly-remote business during this unprecedented time.
Free during the COVID-19 crisis – Microsoft Teams is top-of-the-line for video conferencing, messaging, and team collaboration. Currently, it is free to businesses during this pandemic and includes state-of-the-art security. Keep in mind that once the crisis is over, products and services such as Microsoft Teams will go back to being paid services. When that happens, businesses will need to either begin paying or move their employees to other communication tools.
Free Business Applications – Free video conferencing applications and communication tools have moved to center stage. Apps such as ZOOM, JoinMe, and FreeConferenceCall.com are leading the way in video conferencing. ZOOM has dramatically taken the lead in video conference connectivity with the usability and high-quality bandwidth that has been scalable to the increase in demand for its service.
All have limitations, such as security, recording quality, or the number of attendees, which should be measured against the benefits. Video conferencing tools can also be augmented with a free messaging app such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, or WhatsApp. All of these free services enable one-to-one chats as well as group chats. Together, this combination of features can drive successful business communications.
Free, with Tiers of Service – Many online tools have a free tier or level that consists of a specific subset of features. Then, they charge for more comprehensive versions of the tool that contain more features or enable higher monthly usage capacity. For example, MailChimp, the email marketing tool, has a Forever Free tier if your company sends less than 12,000 messages to less than 2,000 subscribers. Likewise, the basic level of the accounting tool known as Wave is full of accounting and reporting features–should you need more advanced bookkeeping features, they charge a monthly fee.
The services and products listed above represent only a few of the available tools to help your business. Every business needs to consider the pros and cons of each solution, and we’re here to help you sort through what makes the most sense for your business.