SaaS is having a moment. It seems everyone is touting their favorite time-saving software.
For those who are still wrapping their head around SaaS, it stands for “Software as a Service”. These programs are cloud-based, and don’t require a server or internally owned software to use. You don’t have to go through an installation process. The software is accessible anywhere, and with it, you can really streamline your processes and ramp up productivity.
So what technologies does every business owner need? Well, the answer isn’t a simple one-size-fits-all product (obviously), but that’s the great thing about SaaS! You don’t have to commit to a full infrastructure build out, IT support and internal operating system to try SaaS products. Most are pay-to-play, and you can use with a monthly fee that won’t break the bank. Find the products to fit your needs, and then ditch the things that don’t.
Here are a few of the favorites right now--great options that seem to answer universal questions that every business owner and startups face.
1. Weebly (of course)
Weebly’s drag-and-drop website builder allows everyone from novice to expert to build their website. You can use Weebly to make an online store, promote your company through a blog, or create a landing site for your customers and potential customers. It is simple, easy to use, and yet offers customization and adapts to your business needs as you grow.
Every business needs a great CRM. Insightly offers customer relationship management accessible anywhere and everywhere. You can keep in contact with your customers easily, manage your pipeline and track your leads. Customers can be grouped together by similarities and you can create tags to help you better tailor your message to each audience.
Slack is the darling of the employee and office communication world. Contrary to the name, it actually allows employees to get MORE done and be more efficient, to the point where some offices have done away with internal emails and use slack as their primary communication tool. A streamlined, instant messaging program, Slack allows employees to get answers fast, share data and just generally open up lines of communication.
ServiceNow offers everything-as-a-service cloud computing, including enterprise service management software. ServiceNow is focused in fields such as law, facilities management, finance, and human resources, providing forms-based workflow application development. Basically, ServiceNow helps your HR, IT and operations departments better assist your employees and automate your operations.
Need help managing your social media? Scheduling posts for later, making sure you reach your audience during peak times and post cross-platform? Buffer has totally got your back. This simple social media manager helps you engage your audience with video, articles, photos and more. You can find a way to reach each customer and “like” and figure out what makes people perk up their ears and pay attention to YOU.
Workday is a suite of products to help you run your company more efficiency and keep everyone on the same page. Workday offers financial software, people and task management and software to help you manage your entire enterprise. Manage your human capital and make sure everyone is successful and getting things done!
Zenefits also helps you manage your Human Resources, with a focus on health insurance, benefits and payroll. Basically, your HR/Office Manager’s dream, Zenefits makes employee benefits and management easy to navigate, clear and user-friendly, especially the notoriously hard-to-navigate health insurance area. You can make sure your payroll is going smoothly with the proper withholding, correct tax forms, and tracking that you need to get your employees compensation they deserve.
Trello is the answer for visual thinkers. If you like to see your tasks laid out before you in an easy-to-move, visually appealing way, Trello is just the ticket. Basically, a task-management dashboard, you can move individual “cards” or tasks around and shift them into different list formats, group them together in new ways, and get everything done more efficiently and timely.
Do you have a zillion passwords? Are most of them stored in your key, and then you’re lost when you move to a different computer or try to access something on your phone? Dashlane is a secure password manager and digital wallet, that keeps you from having to scramble through old emails, look for lists and just generally get frantic whenever you have to find a password for something. It also saves you from choosing less secure options for storing your passwords (like that post-it note stuck to your monitor).
Would you like a look at the competition? Have you ever wondered if your keywords and website content is really driving traffic to your site? More than just simple analytics, SEMRush allows you to search for the perfect keyword, phrase, and optimize your site so your visitors can find you! As SEO gets trickier and smarter, you need a clear picture of the landscape you’re working in. SEMRush gives you the full insight into your best choices for optimization.
FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software that helps you send invoices, track time and keep customers and employees happy with efficient A/R. FreshBooks allows you to send customer invoices easily, monitor employees work on various projects, and have a clear picture of how your business’s billing is done. Employees and customers can offer feedback through the program at any time, and any billing concerns can be quickly addressed.
So what SaaS product are your go-to lifesavers when it comes to running your business? Is there something you can’t do without?