Saving on business expenses is something we all like to do. Today we’re going to show you how you can save money and increase office productivity using free and low cost online tools and services.
We will show you how to:-
- save money on phone calls
- increase productivity within your office and save money by not having to implement a server in your business
- create deeper relationships with your customers for free; and
- automate your social media to save time and money.
1. Save money on phone calls
Most of us use the phone every day. But did you know you can utilise VOIP technology to save money on phone calls within Australia and abroad? Many of you will be familiar with Skype and will be aware that you can make free phone calls to other people using Skype… but not everyone has Skype installed on their computer right?
Did you know you can use Skype to make phone calls to normal land-line numbers?
Did you know that for roughly $80* per year you can make unlimited calls to any land-line in Australia?
Unlimited calls to any land-line phone in Australia for $80*!
Don’t want to be tied to your computer to use Skype? No problems!
Skype is also available as an iPhone and android app, so if you have Wi-Fi set up in your office you can make calls on your mobile using Skype.
Here’s how I’ve saved $760 on phone calls this year:-
I’ve looked at my call log for October last year and I made 111 calls totalling roughly 9 hours. With a 30c flagfall, to make all of those calls on a land-line would have cost me $33 plus a monthly connection fee. This works out at roughly $70 per month.
By using Skype I’m saving myself over $760 per year on phone calls.
2. Be more productive with cloud-based email and documents
If you’re a customer of Marketeam you will already know about the power of Google Apps and how it can change your business. Cloud-based computing is starting to become mainstream and many businesses are utilising the amazing capabilities of web-based email and documents.
Here’s a few ways in which Google Apps can help you be more productive:-
- Web-based email – Access your email from anywhere in the world.
- Sync with mobile devices – If you reply on your smartphone, see that reply when you get back to the office (works for calendar entries also).
- Online documents – Access important documents and spreadsheets when out of the office or on your mobile device.
- Eliminates the need for a server – Save money by not having to install expensive servers and networked computers with associated update and upgrade costs.
Here’s what one of our clients, Larry from www.solas.com.au, has to say about Google Apps:-
“Even for us ‘dinosaurs’ we found once we adopted cloud computing (Google Apps), it helped us become more efficient, particularly in an office environment with many staff. Also traveling around the globe allowed us to keep in close constant touch with our emails and online tools etc. This way we are up to date with the business and clearer communications with the staff when we are away. Looking forward to utilizing the tools further.”
If you’re interested in having Google Apps set up for your business, please call us on (07) 3882 3375 and we would be happy to assist you.
3. Stay in contact with your customers using free email marketing tools
Email is still the most widely used communication tool on the planet. Last year, 1.9 billion emailers sent 107 TRILLION emails#. Your business can leverage email as an effective communication platform by using Mailchimp – free-to-use email marketing software.
Mailchimp is a fantastic email marketing service that gives you a wide range of tools at your disposal – and best of all it’s free! Here’s what you get in the free version:-
- 2000 contacts
- 12,000 email sends per month
- Customise your newsletters with your own branding
- Analytics and social stats
- Merge tags for customised content (add people’s names into your emails)
There’s a multitude of different ways you can use email to leverage your business and create better relationships with your customers. If you would like some assistance in setting up a Mailchimp account, customising your newsletter or creating an email marketing strategy, call us today on (07) 3882 3375.
4. Automate your social media with Seesmic
Finding the time to post on multiple social media platforms can be a real pain. Wouldn’t it be much easier if you could post to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media platforms using the one tool? Now you can with www.seesmic.com.
Here’s a rundown of what you can do with Seesmic:-
- Schedule your posts – add bulk posts and schedule them to be sent over the coming hours and days
- Post to multiple platforms at once
- Read all your social media streams in the one place
Personally the most useful aspect of Seesmic is the scheduled post facility. This allows me to sit down, write a series of tweets and posts and schedule them for the next few days and then my social media strategy is on autopilot!
These are four great tools to help your business save time and money – I hope you find them useful for your business.
*The pricing for Skype subscriptions is in Euros, so pricing will change with market fluctuations.