Five Collaboration Tools for Small Businesses

Small Business Tips


If you run an online business with remote employees all around the world, you already know the importance of effective collaboration. Collaboration at work is not only about bridging distances anymore but can increase productivity at work, foster employee retention as well as satisfaction, and achieve desired project outcomes more easily. They are also highly efficient when it comes to the remote onboarding of new employees.


No wonder more and more companies are relying on collaboration tools to enhance teamwork. According to the statistics, 83% of employees use technology for collaboration. And the stats also reveal that improving the internal collaboration using social tools could increase the productivity of interaction by 20 to 25%.


Now, with so many collaboration tools out there, it can be quite confusing for business owners to find the right tools to scale their business. But don’t worry, as this article has the ultimate list of the best collaboration tools for small businesses, along with their features and pricing.


Let’s dig into them one by one:


Microsoft 365: sharing, editing documents, and messaging

Microsoft 365 for business is designed to enable secure remote work and reduce costs, making it an excellent tool for small businesses.


You will be able to host online meetings, make calls, chat, share files, and collaborate in real-time, get 1TB of OneDrive storage space for your files and manage them from anywhere, and use, share, and collaborate on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files within your teams.


Further, you can connect with customers and coworkers via Outlook and Exchange and secure your business data with a cloud platform that comes with built-in security features for remote work.


Features that make it stand out from its competitors:

Microsoft 365 is more than just an app. It provides a competitive edge by bringing together the best productivity apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel with powerful cloud services, device management, and advanced security on the platform.


You will also get extra online storage and cloud-connected features that you can use to collaborate on files in real-time. If you are a subscribed member, the latest features, fixes, and security updates are always available for you, together with ongoing tech support. You don’t have to pay any extra cost.


Plus, with the Microsoft 365 Family subscription, you will be able to share the subscription with up to five members of your household. Each household member can install the software on all their devices and sign in to five devices all at once.


Pricing

Microsoft 365 for business offers three pricing plans.

  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic costs $5/user/month (annual commitment).

  • The Business Standard plan costs $12.50/user/month (annual commitment).

  • And the Business Premium will cost $20.00/user/month (annual commitment).

It is best for businesses to go for the Business Premium plan as it offers advanced security and device management features. All the plans offer a one-month free trial period.


Flock: streamline decision-making and problem-solving

Flock is another great tool that is popularly used by small businesses. Flock Channels will help streamline decision-making and problem-solving. You can create a channel to discuss important things with your team and organize your conversations as well.



Flock also features a built-in video and voice calling system that increases employees’ engagement and connects them across all your devices.

Also, with Flock, you can onboard your whole company in just 10 days with personalized onboarding. You will be able to break silos, bridge gaps, and build stronger working relationships.

By connecting your CRM, you can get notified when a new lead gets qualified. Further, you can convert leads quicker with sales in the loop, share campaign insights in channels, and close deals.

But that’s not all! Flock allows you to build the perfect product planning workflow via channel integrations with Asana, Trello, or Jira.

You can also consider integrating Shopify and monday.com to get a high-level view of your store on one platform. You will also be able to track your products, inventory, and orders automatically. Just don’t forget to optimize the Shopify platform for SEO.


Features that make it stand out from its competitors:

So what makes Flock software stand out from the rest of its competitors? When you begin to use the workplace collaboration tool, your team members will be able to exchange texts, share files, host video conferences, manage to-dos, and set up calendar events from one easy-to-use app.


Plus, Flock integrates with business tools including Google Calendar, Google Drive, MailChimp, Asana, and Twitter, which increases productivity. Your team will not have to move back and forth between multiple apps.


It is also super easy to use, offers great productivity features, and gives you your money’s worth.


Pricing

Flock offers a starter pack for free. Their pro plan, which is ideal for teams with 20-100 members, may cost you about $3 /user/month.


Monday.com: project management

Monday.com makes it easy to plan, track, and deliver your team’s best work. It offers hundreds of visual and customization templates so that you can get started fast. You can also automate the repetitive work in seconds while avoiding human error and saving time.



The tool allows you to manage everything from projects to marketing, CRM and sales or HR and recruitment. Plus, you can connect monday.com with the tools you already use and manage all your team’s work in one place.


Features that make it stand out from its competitors:

Monday.com is one of the most versatile tools out there. Apart from managing all your projects, you can use it as a CRM to manage ad campaigns, track bugs, manage video production, and more.


The tool makes it extremely easy to convey info about a project in a structured way that can be imitated for future processes, thus improving management and communication.

Moreover, monday.com is entirely visual. The colored statuses let you know where things stand at a glance. You don’t have to squint to read anything.


Another feature that makes this tool stand out from its competitors is its grid system. It aligns with the intuitive, straightforward way in which people organize info.


On the other hand, most project management tools depend on hierarchy. But hierarchies can be challenging to navigate, and there are only a few different ways to construct them.


Pricing

The basic plan starts at $8/seat /month. Their most popular plan is the standard plan at $10/seat /month. It is great for teams that need to visualize their work in different ways and collaborate externally. They also have a freemium plan.


Wrike: accelerating and managing projects

Wrike is a customizable and versatile tool that offers everything from custom dashboards and workflows to team-specific automation to streamline processes.



You can get real-time performance insights without needing to use BI tools or spreadsheets. Since you get real-time updates, you will be able to perceive potential roadblocks before they happen.


Wrike also allows you to connect your essential business tools such as Google, Microsoft, Adobe® Creative Cloud®, Box, GitHub, and JIRA.


Features that make it stand out from its competitors:

Wrike’s custom dashboards are what make the project management app stand out among other similar tools. Plus, it is also versatile.


The tool allows you to view your workflow in multiple ways rather than only in one window. Thus enabling you to check on how your project is progressing in a way that’s most meaningful to you.


The work views include Gantt Chart View, Table View, Timelog View, Files View, Board View, and Analytics View.


Pricing

Wrike offers a free plan. The Professional plan costs $9.80/user/month and will allow full project planning and collaboration. Their most popular plan is the Business plan at $24.80/user/month. It allows robust work management with customization and exec reporting.


Hive: task management, file sharing, and chat

Hive is a great tool for task management, file sharing, and chat – and is popularly used by many small businesses. You can create and organize tasks for any project team member. The tasks can then be customized to make attachments and showcase labels and deadlines.


The tool allows you to track the progress of your project. The deadlines and workloads can be changed as per requirements. You can also use Gantt charts to plan individual tasks.

It integrates with other tools, including Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox, making it easy to access files from one dashboard. You can share the files by attaching them to actions. There is also a convenient drag and drop option.


Features that make it stand out from its competitors:

Hive is not only a collaboration tool but a task tracking app. Thus, apart from managing all project communication on Hive, you can schedule a timeline in Gantt view, use Hive’s risk tracker to manage risks, and assign individual tasks to members.


Its additional features such as the resourcing feature, internal chat, time-tracking, and summary view, make Hive stand out from its competitors.


Pricing

Hive offers a free trial for its users. Their paid plans start at $12/user/month. You will gain access to flexible project layouts, summary views, chat, hive mail, meeting notes, automated workflows, and more.


Wrap Up

There you have it! Five best collaboration tools that you can choose now to scale your business.

Remember, effective communication and collaboration are essential when it comes to reaching your business goals.


The collaboration tools you choose to use are going to have a significant impact on your productivity. Plus, it can foster employee retention as well as satisfaction while enhancing teamwork. Choose your tools carefully.


#smallbusinesstips #smallbusinesstips


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Tim Ferguson - Guest Writer

Tim Ferguson is a writer and editor of Marketing Digest. He enjoys writing about SEO, content marketing, online reputation management, social media, AI, and Big Data.

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