Running a small or medium sized business in East Africa is a constant hustle – that’s why so many entrepreneurs and business owners are using online applications to streamline collaboration and take the pain out of paperwork. According to research from World Wide Worx, 98% of Kenyan companies are increasing their spending on cloud computing this year.
Using the right digital tools can boost your productivity, help you expand your market and save money for your business. One survey commissioned by Google and conducted by Deloitte found that connected small businesses in the US that have adopted advanced digital tools earn twice as much per employee, and were three times as likely to be creating jobs than businesses with basic digital engagement.
Here are some digital tools you can use to streamline your business—most of them available for a modest monthly subscription.
G Suite for file-sharing
G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work) is a set of tools which allows businesses to communicate with teams, store files and collaborate with colleagues. Combining domain management, user management, email, calendar, instant messaging, and shared documents, G Suite is a one-stop solution for office productivity.
Google Analytics for web analytics
Google Analytics is the gold standard for web analytics. It allows you to track and measure your marketing and SEO efforts. Google Analytics provides detailed metrics including how you acquired visitors, their path throughout your site, site loading speed and which devices are being used to view it. The free version is more than adequate for most small/medium sized businesses.
Evernote to organise notes
Declutter your desk by using Evernote to store your notes in one place. You can capture, organise, and share notes from anywhere, rather than jotting them on sticky notes or scrap paper.
Slack for collaboration
Slack is a communications tool available on web, iPhone, and Android designed to streamline internal communications and help your team to collaborate efficiently. Conversations are organised in ‘channels’ by project, client or team, and private channels can be set up for sensitive information.
Buffer for social media
Buffer is a web and mobile-based social media automation app which allows you to schedule posts across the six main social networks. It takes the pain out of managing your social media marketing.
Trello for project management
Trello is a project management tool that gives an overview of all ongoing projects within your business. It’s a simple and visual way to show the status of various projects from initial interactions to writing proposals and launching a project.
MailChimp for email marketing
MailChimp makes it simple to automate your email marketing. It even includes email analytics tools that can help you track your success in engaging with and converting customers via email marketing.
By Nikki Summers,
Regional Director for Sage in East Africa.