While the COVID-19 crisis was devastating, there were some pockets of positive outcomes too. The unavailability of in-person services widened the niche for app-based and self-help kind of solutions. Small businesses are saving a ton of money while getting better results from these free and pay-as-you-go services. Here is a look.
In 2003 founder Tom Gonser created DocuSign to transform how businesses make transactions. Before COVID-19, businesses hired document drafters to create contracts. These were signed by all parties in person. With social distancing this approach became difficult. DocuSign allows firms to prepare, sign, execute, and manage contracts and agreements safely without meeting physically. It is available in 180 countries. Businesses can send agreements in 14 languages and sign them in 44 languages. DocuSign is available from GBP 26.6 ($36). Compare that to the cost of hiring an attorney (GBP 148 / $200 per hour), and you have a clear winner.
Absolute No-Nonsense Admin or ANNA is a UK fintech startup that offers mobile-first banking, financial service assistance, and tax accounting to small businesses and freelancers. ANNA enables small enterprises to run business accounts for incoming and outgoing payments. Users can generate and track invoices, manage taxes, and get guidance to help with taxes. ANNA is free for small businesses with incomes less than GBP 453.5 monthly. It costs merely GBP 18.14 for firms with a turnover of up to GBP 453,554.
Wave is a Canadian award-winning software company owned by Kirk Simpson. Its 100% free app helps small businesses manage accounting tasks for both income and expenses. Businesses can easily design invoices with professional templates. Wave also provides advanced features that allow users to make automatic payments and manage recurring bills with ease. Many small business owners in the UK are immigrant entrepreneurs. Their priority is to send international money transfers as remittances to their families back home. Being able to save on recurring and operating costs is a welcome relief for these enterprising individuals.
H5P is ideal for small businesses which are getting started in the content authoring industry. It’s an open-source eLearning course creation tool that provides authoring architectures. Content creators can insert data in the form of texts, images, and videos. The H5P platform is easy to navigate with simple and clear guides. Users can create more content types including quiz formats, timelines, interactive media, and image hotspots. H5P is conveniently priced with multiple options based on volume of use.
This is a powerful open-source tool for generating tickets and managing processes. The advanced ticketing system of OTRS handles the ticketing needs of all business types. It generates tickets, creates email alerts, and keeps records of transactions. It also allows a plug-in system for ticket barcodes and quick ticket options. OTRS solutions come in Business and Free versions. The price for OTRS Business starts at GBP 3,694.5 ($4,995) yearly for 10 agents. There are also initial consulting and implementation costs. However, users save big on costs in the long run by having their IT helpdesks run OTRS. It improves communication efficiency, offers a platform for strategic management, and integrates seamlessly with other solutions in the work environment. Since the start of social distancing firms are having to connecting with customers online primarily via online helpdesks. Automating administrative tasks using OTRS can reduce the number of employees required to run your day-to-day business operation, cutting recurring expenditure.
Equity Net is a crowdfunding platform for designing and funding business plans. It helps small businesses meet investors. Equity Net has helped small businesses raise over $500 million worth of capital across America since its creation. Business owners can design and publish business plans, then pitch their published plans to those potential investors who are most likely to show interest.
Support.com is a team of tech professionals that provide 24/7 support to businesses via a remote IT helpdesk. Organizations can immediately connect with experts via virtual house calls, phone, and chat. They help with issues such as computer malfunction, connections to Amazon Echo, removing viruses, recovering lost files, and much more. Pricing starts from GBP 36 ($49) per month for up to 5 staff. It goes up to GBP 258 ($349) per month for up to 50 employees. The service is ideal for small teams working from home. It is helping small businesses save the time and cost of having tech help come and assist on location. Support.com also offers a free searchable database on its website, which provides solutions to common tech problems.
About the author:
Hemant G is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When he’s not writing, he loves to travel, scuba dive, and watch documentaries.