Communication is the key to successfully running any business, but it has become more of a challenge now that businesses are operating remotely. And with limited resources, small businesses have less to work with… or so you think. Luckily, there are plenty of affordable tools that can facilitate conversations and meetings within your team—from screencasting software, to online messaging channels. Here are five online communication tools every small business needs.
Since you no longer have the luxury to meet in your office every day, it helps to get your business on one messaging platform so everybody can communicate in one place. Fits Small Business’ guide to the best online messaging tools recommends Chanty, as it’s affordable but doesn’t compromise on any of its features. You can still upload files, separate your conversations into channels, and search chat history all the way back to when your virtual workspace was created. Chanty is free for up to ten people, but will charge an additional $3 (₹228)/month for every user after.
Just because your team works at home, this doesn’t mean that you can’t offer employee training as you can use screen casting software to provide lessons. As opposed to screensharing, screencasting software, like ScreenRec and OBS Studio, allows you to play recorded videos for participants to view at the same time. It’s an invaluable tool for instructors with HP’s article on screencasting software highlighting the key features, including dedicated chat boxes and on screen annotations. This ensures that your team won’t just be listening to lectures, as they will be able to participate as well. It’s a cost-effective and efficient way to conduct seminars and workshops, as plenty of video resources are available online to share with your team.
Every business, big or small, needs a reliable video conferencing tool. Whether it’s to host meetings or initiate a conversation that’s inefficient to convey via chat, a video conferencing tool can help you conduct activities that need to be held face-to-face. A popular option today is Zoom because it’s both free and easy to use. The software has also upgraded its encryption to AES 256-bit GCM, which ensures that your meetings remain confidential and secure. Other video conferencing options you can look into are BlueJeans, Google Hangouts, and Skype.
Sharing screens is how remote businesses do their presentations. And since any participant can take the role of presenter, it’s the top pick for meetings where multiple people need to make presentations. Plenty of video conferencing tools like Zoom and Skype have screen sharing available in-call. If you need to share out of call, you only need to look to free screen sharing tools like Screenleap and Join.me. They generate a link, which you can then send to the people you want to share your screen with.
If your team needs a quick brainstorming session, an online whiteboard will serve you well. This tool has two advantages: an unlimited canvas and real-time collaboration. Sketchboard and Limnu are remote business favourites due to their multiple whiteboards, each with different permission levels to limit access. This means that you can separate your active whiteboards by project or department. They’re affordable as well—around $5 to $8 (₹380 to ₹608)/month—which makes them the perfect option for small businesses.
Communication may be difficult during this time, but the right tools can make the experience more pleasant and efficient. Determine which software your small business can benefit from, how many will be using it, and if it is within your budget.