A lot of planning and preparation goes into kickstarting your remote business. Getting the necessary paperwork in order, hiring the right employees, and establishing your business plan are some of the most pivotal steps to take for getting your remote startup going. But there is a huge, often times underestimated, part of setting up your business: finding the right software to integrate within your company’s functions and procedures. Regardless of your needs, whether they be simplified communication across your organization, project management, and collaboration tools, or anything you might think of jot down on your laundry list of business needs, you can count on the fact that there will be software out there to fill that need.
There are plenty of software solutions available that will work with you to accomplish the day-to-day business functions of a company run completely online. As you work to establish and further develop your remote business, make sure to consider these five software solutions that have helped us and made our jobs easier when running our remote cleaning company HappyCleans on a daily basis.
1. Loom (For Recording Video Walkthroughs)
Communicating step-by-step instructions with your employees can be made simple with the help of a video recording platform. Whether you are recording employee training, walking your team through updates to procedures, or simply sharing a performance report, the video makes it easy for recipients to review your communications thoroughly and play them back whenever they need.
Loom is a video walkthrough platform that helps you capture these important updates. Using Loom, you and your team will be able to record yourselves easily on a desktop or mobile device for your varied video needs. During the video, you can opt for their “cam bubble”, which features a bubble pop-up of your face as you’re speaking through the content for a more personal feel. Once you’ve finished recording, Loom allows you to instantly edit your video and share it for immediate distribution. From here, you can save your video for later to reference and edit whenever you need.
If your business could use a video recording platform, Loom has a free plan available.
2. HelloSign (For Managing E-Signatures)
Gone are the days of printing out contracts and signing them, only to have to scan them back into your computer to send over. Today, you can instantly sign contracts completely online, without ever having to touch your printer!
HelloSign is an eSignature platform owned by Dropbox. With HelloSign, users can sign various documents online with their signature to streamline the signing process. The platform allows you to personalize your digital contracts with logos and custom messaging, as well as establish templates for contracts or documents you use frequently. Using HelloSign, you can easily access your document’s signing history, and distribute contracts to multiple recipients as needed.
HelloSign has a base plan for free that enables one user to manage their contract signing online, available here.
3. Slack (For Real-Time Communication)
Fast-paced work environments require a communication application that can keep up. Slack is one of the most popular communication platforms available today for online businesses. Using Slack, team members can communicate instantly via chat or video, as well as share their screen for various needs.
Slack allows users to create channels, which can function as designated “business areas”, which can be used for project-specific communications amongst team members. This helps to keep all relevant information organized for a particular project and the relevant people updated and informed, getting rid of unnecessary messaging for team members to who the updates may not apply. What’s more, with Slack, users can even work across organizations, utilizing Slack Connect to communicate with other businesses through the same platform.
Slack has a free plan available for users that allows for multiple app integrations along with their regular functions.
4. Google Drive (For Cloud Storage & Document Collaboration)
Collaborating online is an invaluable asset to remote startups with employees across the country – or even around the world. Using Google Drive, you can consistently maintain access to the most up-to-date documents and content. Sending updated copies of documents through email can get messy: employees in different time zones may miss critical updates, or work off the wrong document altogether. Google Drive eliminates these issues, providing real-time updates, as they occur. Team members can review and edit files on their phone, laptop or tablet.
Google Drive allows users to upload all these documents into the cloud, for easy access and organization. Users with shared access are able to download and modify anything they need, ensuring the most updated file is readily and easily available. Google Drive makes it simple to host everything you’d normally store on your computer’s hard drive in a safe, encrypted cloud. Google Drive is available for free, with up to 15GB of storage for new users using their basic plan.
5. Hubstaff Tasks (For Organizational Tasks & Moving Projects Forward)
Project management software is key to remotely managing your various organization projects and ensuring all team members are consistently on-task. Hubstaff Task is based on Agile Methodology, developed in 2001 by software developers to streamline team workflow. Hubstaff helps you to organize your projects in a succinct, easily digestible way to keep everyone updated efficiently.
Hubstaff Task offers different ways to view your project progress, including Kanban Boards, Sprint Planning, Time Tracking, and more. These views are created to easily review timing, deliverables needed, and who is working on what projects, as well as any other variables you want to share with your team members related to projects. Each view is highly customizable and gives you the total picture of how your team is performing across all tasks.
Hubstaff Task has a free plan available for users that includes different views and workflows, as well as customization opportunities for your project management needs.
As you continue to build upon and develop your company into a larger, increasingly complex organization, keep these five software options in mind to help you stay organized and productive. Each of these software choices will ensure that your company has the necessary communication, project management functions, and organizational tools every business needs to succeed.