In business, your tools matter.
The methodology and hardware with which you promote and build your business is what really sets you apart from your competitors.
It’s not that mentality does not matter, but that your mentality is best described in the ensemble of tools and methods with which you define your company, and carve out a piece of your own within your industry.
If you feel that you’re not doing enough to help your employees push themselves to the very limits of productivity and achieve true efficiency, then you’re missing something – and that something may be on the list below.
1. Simple and Portable Chat
Step number one should be the simplest, most-often used form of communication – and the onus here should be on the word “simplest”.
We’ve all come a very long way in the timeline of the Internet from the first iteration of the IRC and the infamous chat room.
Since then, we’ve seen the rise of instant messaging as both a personal and business tool, and now, chat rooms and managed text-based real-time communication has returned to allow businesses to easily communicate with one another.
Implementing a chat like that, whether through a web-based software or a dedicated application on your computer and smartphone, can keep members in-touch with one another.
It also gives them the flexibility to easily and without complication begin private instances of communication – such as for a specific project, or a question unrelated to the ongoing general discussion.
2. Effective Video Conferencing
Right after the place for a great communications tool in the form of a text-based chatting platform, you’ll want something much more concrete and substantial for when dropping someone a line simply isn’t going to slice it.
That’s where video conferencing comes into play.
Through a truly sophisticated, top-of-the-line video conference tool, you won’t just be able to start and join quality face-to-face online meetings.
You’ll be able to utilize platforms like BlueJeans as collaboration suites, starting entire conferences, webcasts and much more.
Even without a premium service, having a quality and reliable alternative to meeting clients halfway (or entirely) across the globe can save you quite a few bucks.
And still continue to strength the client-business relationship with a proper face-to-face conversation.
3. Audio Conferencing Alternatives
Sometimes, a video call just isn’t in the cards.
Either due to broadband issues or time constraints or something else.
And chatting with someone over a text-based format isn’t enough either.
That’s where the classic telephone comes into play, with one caveat: expense.
Not with an audio conferencing setup.
By getting a third-party internet telephony provider to hook all of your telephones up to the Internet via VOIP, you get the option to bypass the expense of making an international call through the regular telephone network
4. Collaborative Dashboard
Moving away from communication, another important aspect to creating a company that puts cohesion ahead, is a focus on collaboration.
And collaborative tools are plentiful in the age of the Internet and the cloud.
The cloud is an online network wherein files are stored in an off-site data center to be accessed from anywhere on any device, with the only thing required being a proper form of authorization.
It can also store and run applications – allowing the servers in a data center to be accessed through other computers to do things like open and edit documents on Google Docs or access the Adobe Creative Suite, as per Mashable.
Through the cloud, web-based applications and software alike have sprung up to allow people to work on projects simultaneously, viewing real-time changes and collaborating on a sort of digital whiteboard for the whole company or project team to view.
This can make the process of starting, working on, finishing and double-checking a digital project that much easier.
5. Private Social Network
Seeing the success in social networks, some companies offer template social networks to implement strictly for a single business
A sort of intranet social network in which collaboration can be expressed in the form of status updates, likes, comments, and blog posts.
While it can turn into a personal outlet to help employees connect more emotionally with their work and their coworkers, it can also be a tool to help facilitate collaboration and encouragement, as well as improvement across the board.
6. Lots of Clocks
The final tool should be one all about time management.
Any business owner knows that the most valuable commodity is time
And if they day had even an hour or two more than it already does, it would make life quite a bit simpler.
Aid your employees in their constant struggle to eliminate time wasting by helping them track what they’re doing with their time, and how best to set their schedule.
With these six tools, you’ll easily put your company ahead of its competitors.
Adrian Tan is CEO of The Resource Group, a boutique HR Consultancy that focuses on helping SMEs. Before this, he was the MD of RecruitPlus which he co-founded in 2004 and led to two HR Vendor of the Year award. He was named the HR Entrepreneur of the Year by SHRI in 2013. He blogs regularly on #Entrepreneurship and #HRTech on adriantan.com.sg.