One of the great things happening in the digital world these days is the steady parade of helpful applications (apps), web-based tools and online services for small business. Here’s our shortlist of some of the newest, most interesting or under-the-radar tools, services and apps you should know about:
- Appbistro (www.appbistro.com) is an app for finding apps. It’s an easy-to-use marketplace (just search or browse) of Facebook business applications – some free; some fee – that can help you create a more engaging Facebook page for your local business.
- The ASBDC Loan Center is a new service that aims to connect small business owners with willing lenders. It’s a partnership between the Association of Small Business Development Centers and BoeFly. Visit: www.boefly.com.
- JitterJam (www.jitterjam.com) is a web-based social marketing app that combines social media, email and mobile engagement with a contact database and tools to turn social interaction into new revenue opportunities. It helps your business realize measurable return on your social engagement by providing you with a social marketing and customer development system.
- Sign Up is a simple (yet flexible) app from North Social (www.northsocial.com) that lets you create contact forms and online surveys directly on your Facebook page so you can easily collect helpful marketing data. You can customize the appearance of the app by uploading a header image and choose whether people must “like” the page in order to view it.
- Work for Us (www.work4labs.com) lets you post job openings and even take applications right from your Facebook Page, for free. If your business isn’t yet posting jobs online, this is a great way to get into the game. It also lets you leverage the power of social networking to create awareness of your job openings.
- Vimeo PRO (www.vimeo.com/pro) is a new service that makes it easy and affordable for small businesses to host their own high quality videos. This can help restaurants better showcase their food and atmosphere. Real estate agents will find it helpful to show higher quality home previews.
- BetterWorks (www.betterworks.com) is a new kind of web-based employee perks program and management system that helps small businesses provide a range of benefits and product or service discounts to employees.
- Nefsis (www.nefsis.com) offers business-grade video conferencing, including Nefsis Basic, a free, cloud-based video service for small business.
- Buckaroo (www.buckaroo.com) has a new web-based tool that lets small businesses run custom email and social media promotions. Merchants can upload an email list and company logo, and send sharable promotions to customers.
- Schedulicity (www.schedulicity.com) has a new app called Deal Manager that helps appointment-dependant businesses control the flow of discounted services generated from a daily deal promotion.
- Batchbook (www.batchbook.com) is a handy contact management app lets you easily keep track of your business, personal, and social networking contacts and share them with others. Create a flexible contact database from scratch, or import contacts from another system.
- Picnik (www.picnik.com) is a terrific – and free – online tool for any small business that needs to edit, crop, resize and share photos and other images, but can’t afford the time and money buy and learn Photoshop software. Offers an easy to use yet powerful editing tool. Get creative with choices of effects, fonts, shapes and frames.
- Dlvr.it (www.dlvr.it) is a nifty social syndication tool that can help you manage and distribute content to your blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and other social networking locations.
- Updater (www.updater.com) is a helpful online tool to manage your offline mail. This tool arms you with the ability to control who can access and use your postal mailing address, and gives you a way to stop unwanted paper mail. Also simplifies change of address.
- Carbonite (www.carbonite.com), a leader in online backup solutions, launched a Carbonite Business solution specially made to get small business into online backup, with anywhere-anytime access to stored files.
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About the Author: Daniel Kehrer, Founder and Chief Content Officer of BizBest Media, is a senior-level leader in digital media, content development and online marketing with special expertise in startups, SMB, social media and generating traffic, engagement and leads. He holds an MBA from UCLA/Anderson and is a passionate entrepreneur (started 4 businesses), syndicated columnist, blogger, thought leader and author of 7 business and financial books.