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14 Tools to Run Your Business Wherever You Are

14 Tools to Run Your Business Wherever You Are

Intuit, the makers of software like Quicken, estimates that by 2020, 40% of the American workforce will be freelancers or independent contractors, and with that freedom comes the flexibility of being location independent. More and more business owners are taking advantage of that flexibility and using the internet to travel the world while still running a business. Here’s a list of tools that you can use to run your business wherever you are:

IFTTT: Automate online tools

    Stay organized & productive

    When you’re constantly changing your location, one of the hardest things you’ll deal with is keeping all of your information straight. Evernote lets you take notes and bookmark websites, organize them by notebook, and syncs across mobile and desktop apps (including an offline sync), so that your information is always at your fingertips.

    Asana and Trello are two very popular project/task management tools, both with free options, mobile apps, and easy-to-use layouts, and will grow with you as your add team members to your business (if you decide to go that route).

    IFTTT will let you hook up different apps and sites to automate your internet usage. For example, if you’re a freelance graphic designer, you can set it up to send you an email every time the RSS feed of a job board is updated with a new post. That means you spend less time refreshing job boards, more time working, and get more work done (which means – you guessed it – you make more money!).

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    Streak: A CRM that lives inside Gmail

      Keep up with leads

      If you’re going to run a profitable business, you need to keep track of potential clients & customers and follow up with them regularly.

      Streak is a wonderful free app that works inside Gmail and can be used to handle sales/CRM purposes, and it has an iOS app that’s just as easy to use. It’s a great way to keep track of people as they move through your sales funnel, from being a lead to being a client. It also can track how many times an email was viewed and lets you schedule emails to be sent later.

      Insightly and Contactually are two other CRM apps that are more full-fledged than Streak. Both have mobile apps available for iOS and Android. I personally use Streak to keep track of potential clients, and then after they become a client, put them into Contactually so that I get reminders to keep in touch after we’re done with our work together – did you know that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profitability by 75%? (Source: Bain & Co.)

      Have an office on the go

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      Offices for location independent business owners

        Running a location independent business has its many upsides, but one of the downsides is that there’s no dedicated office. It can be distracting working at coffee shops. And if you need to meet a prospective client, coffee shops can be crowded and noisy, which is not the best meeting environment. This is where coworking spaces, which are spaces entirely dedicated to business owners and freelancers who don’t need full time dedicated office space, come in.

        The Desktime directory will also let you search by location and duration (day, week, or month) to find coworking spaces wherever you’re at. ShareDesk is similar and has an option for searching for meeting rooms, too.

        The one downside of coworking is that it can be more casual than some business owners need, and the experience is going to vary from place to place. If you’re looking for a more uniform experience, Premier Business Centers offers executive suites and office centers in multiple locations.

        Share multimedia

        Sharing multimedia can be useful in a location independent business in two scenarios: when you’re trying to explain something to a team member or your assistant and an email just isn’t cutting it, or when you’re engaging with your followers. Videos, audio, and photos/images tend to do much better on social media than just text updates. And the time used to be that you needed a powerful computer and expensive software to create and send multimedia files – but that’s not the case any more with apps like these:

        Jing - screen recording software by TechSmith

          Video: Jing and Screencast-O-Matic

          If you need to record a quick video to send to a client or team member explaining something, Jing is a great way to go. It’s a free download for both Mac and Windows which lets you record a video of up to five minutes in length, upload it to screencast.com, and then gives you a link to share, all from inside the app.

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          Screencast-O-Matic is a great option if you’re recording videos for your blog or company website. You can record a video of up to fifteen minutes on the free version and the paid version is only $15/year. Both versions include easy in-app sharing to Google Drive, Vimeo, and Youtube, among other sites, and the pro version includes editing tools built in.

          Clyp.it: Free and simple audio sharing

            Audio: Clyp

            Clyp is to audio as Jing is to video – it’s a super simple setup that lets you click one button, record audio, and then automatically uploads it and gives you a link to share. Best of all, there’s mobile apps for both iOS and Android, so you can do this on the go. There’s multiple ways a business owner could use Clyp, including sending a short audio to a team member or client to explain something (easier than juggling a smartphone or tablet keyboard while, say, your hands are full at the airport and you don’t have time for a full-on conversation, but an issue needs to be addressed).

            You could also do an interactive Q&A on your Facebook page or Twitter account using audio responses – much more personal and fun than text. It’s especially suited for people who deal in a lot of audio like musicians or speakers – audio sneak peeks posted to fans are a great way to give a “backstage pass” and grow online engagement.

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            Canva - free tool to create images for sharing

              Photos/Images: Canva

              Even if you aren’t a designer, you want to have nice looking business cards, social media icons, and website graphics – and Canva can help you do just that. It’s free, easy to get the hang of, and most of the graphical elements are free, with select stock photos starting at $1/photo. There’s also several templates (include business cards, posters, social media graphic, Pinterest graphic, and so on) that make it quick to whip something up without it looking totally amateur.

              If you’re looking for more useful tools for entrepreneurs, check out these seven seriously hardcore project management apps, or these productivity tools for visual thinkers

              Featured photo credit: Bobbi Newman via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on November 5, 2018

              20 Best Places to Work for a Great Career in 2018

              20 Best Places to Work for a Great Career in 2018

              Looking for a job? There’s no doubt to the fact you will want to work with a company that appreciates you for who you are.

              Well, good news. The labor market today is one that has peened up with more opportunities for advancement and personal employee improvement. This is partly due to the fact that a lot of companies have been made to understand the value of their biggest assets: the employees.

              To wit, here’s a list of companies- across a wide array of industries- that have been able to develop working environments that are healthy and accommodating to workers.

              Take a look at these 20 best place to work for a great career:

              1. Salesforce, San Francisco, California,

                Salesforce is in the information technology business and the company ranks highest due to their commitment to learning and innovation. They are ready to try new things and everyone with a new idea is always welcome to share it at the company. The company has also been known to exhibit an exceptional approach to alignment.

                Find out more about careers in Salesforce

                2. Wegmans Food Markets Inc.,Rochester, New York

                  Based in Rochester, New York, employees have been known to enjoy a sense of purpose from working here. The company has been able to achieve an optimal level of engagement across all working tiers and they’ve been able to achieve great things together. They even do deliveries.

                  Find out more about careers in Wegmans

                  3. Ultimate Software, Weston, Florida

                    Employees get amazing benefits here but that’s not the only reason why this place is so awesome to work. Whenever there is a need or a death of an Ultipeep or any of other family members, the company shows love and support like no other.

                    Find out more about careers in Ultimate Software

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                    4.The Boston Consulting Group, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

                      Development is at the center of anything that goes on here. The business is about people and employees are the company’s biggest asset. Employees are able to challenge the status and also leave impacts on clients.

                      Find out more about careers in The Boston Consulting Group

                      5. Edward Jones, St. Louis, Missouri

                        Edward Jones is admired for their ability to acknowledge history without being mired down by it. The company builds on a solid foundation but there is also a level of flexibility that allows for innovation.

                        Find out more about careers in Edward Jones

                        6. Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, San Francisco, California

                          Kimpton is a trendsetter in the hospitality industry. The company always strives to try something different and that perspective is welcomed there at all times. Enjoy the weekends with luxury rooms, conformable mattress, furnished and well dressed service staff. A great opportunity for job seekers.

                          Find out more about careers in Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants

                          7. Workday, Pleasanton, California

                            Newbies will find no issues with feeling welcome and at home here as this has always been a core culture component of the IT giant. Everyone is treated like family and this fosters a sense of oneness.

                            Find out more about careers in Workday

                            8. Genentech, South San Francisco, California

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                              Here, employees are encouraged to be themselves. There is a feeling of care, safety, and acceptance that you get here that you can’t get at many firms. The development of an all-inclusive environment has always been foundational.

                              Find out more about careers in Genetech

                              9. Deloitte, New York, New York

                                Deloitte is one of the biggest professional service providers in the world, noted for their focus on constant learning, development and improvement. They invest in their employees and are concerned about their well being.

                                Find out more about careers in Deloitte

                                10. Baird, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

                                  Baird is a financial services provide that is known for adopting a “no asshole policy’ which guides the way people relate with and respect each other, regardless of their position on the company’s hierarchy.

                                  Find out more about careers in Baird

                                  11. Quicken Loans, Detroit, Michigan

                                    At Quicken Loans, the views and opinions of everyone are respected and heard. The organization is revered for the amount of investment they put in their team members and everyone looks for ways to grow and be better.

                                    Find out more about careers in Quicken Loans

                                    12. Capital One, Mclean, Florida

                                      Capital One has adopted a culture that encourages employees to take risks and try new things. They foster a healthy work-life balance and associates are challenged to live better lives.

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                                      Find out more about careers in Capital One

                                      13. Cooley LLP, Palo Alto, California

                                        Cooley LLP is a law firm known for their ability to care about the company culture and being able to develop a working environment that is empowering and fun. Cooley is known to go for the best when it comes to their employees, regardless of the occasion.

                                        Find out more about careers in Cooley LLP

                                        14. Southern Ohio Medical Center, Portsmouth, Ohio

                                          The medical center has been known for their propensity to delegate so much to their employees, thereby providing them with the ability to grow and learn on the job. In the end, you get a workplace that is all-engaging and super fun.

                                          Find out more about careers in Southern Ohio Medical Center

                                          15. American Express, New York, New York

                                            American Express is a firm that celebrates wins, no matter how small. Everyone is made to share the same attitude towards service and the people they are to serve, thereby making people care about what they do.

                                            Find out more about careers in American Express

                                            16. Adobe Systems Inc., San Jose, California

                                              The culture at Adobe Systems is one that encourages employees to develop their own ideas and get a strong viewpoint. As opposed to encouraging competition, work-life balance is fostered everywhere here.

                                              Find out more about careers in Adobe Systems Inc.

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                                              17. The Cheesecake Factory Inc., Calabasas, California

                                                The Cheesecake Factory rewards dedication and hard work. Promotions come pretty easy, and there is always space for guidance to develop your experience and skills.

                                                Find out more about careers in The Cheesecake Factory Inc.

                                                18. Sap America, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

                                                  If you’re looking for a new career path, SAP might be the best bet for you. The company is adept at recognizing value and transferable skills. And you can always look for a new path while maintaining your employment.

                                                  Find out more about careers in Sap America

                                                  19. NVIDIA Corporation, Santa Clara, California

                                                    NVIDIA is known for looking after even the smallest of things. With even a “pets allowed” policy this company accepts you for who you are, and helps you to work within your personality. Advancement is also fostered, and you are able to collaborate effectively.

                                                    Find out more about careers in NVIDIA

                                                    20. KPMG LLP, New York, New York

                                                      Communication and progressive collaboration are the foundation of this company’s workforce treatment. Regardless of the level you are, someone is always at the ready to help and the company rewards extra effort with gratitude.

                                                      Find out more about careers in KPMG LLP

                                                      All in all, it’s safe to say that you will be able to find somewhere to apply your skills (whatever they are) that is all inclusive and highly accommodative. Companies today are being made to understand how much they can get when they treat their employees right and this has opened the door to an encouraging work environment for all.

                                                      Happy job hunting!

                                                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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