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Most small businesses don’t have the luxury of an in-house IT support team – so how do you easily access and maintain up to date business software? This is where SaaS (Software as a Service) can be a small business savior. It is essentially a one stop shop for the latest business tools to get you up and running –  with minimal time, cost or technical knowledge required!

We’ve been working with small and medium sized businesses for over a decade, so understand the limitations they have for both budget and time. With the monthly subscriptions of cloud based software (as opposed to expensive one-off licenses) you can try out new technologies without needing to upgrade devices or reinstall software.

To help you get started fast, here is our selection of must-have SaaS (Software as a Solution) products:
 

Capsule CRM

This CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool has a great free option if you only need 1-2 users. Capsule CRM helps you manage your sales pipeline visually, from lead through the various stages to conversion to a customer.

  • Tags allow you to filter leads/prospects/customers
  • Customizable Sales Pipeline tracks potential value of leads through to won jobs
  • Mobile App available so you can check and update customers’ details while out and about
  • Easily integrates with a range of popular business and marketing applications e.g. Zendesk Chat, Xero and Mailchimp to bring customer contacts into one place
  • Email support five days a week and detailed support portal
  • Pro Tip: Set up Xero integration so you can see the value of your customers

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Xero

Founded in Wellington, in 2006, Xero is cloud based accounting software. It’s a good user-friendly option for those with limited business knowledge.

  • No free version but 30 day free trial available (watch out for a price increase on 18 March 2020)
  • Pricey but excellent at what it does particularly contact and supplier management, bank reconciliation, accounts payable
  • From 18 March 2020 Hubdoc included for free (Hubdoc consolidates statements and bills in one online location)
  • Integrates with your preferred payment provider so people can pay your invoices directly
  • Pro Tip: Add a Thank you note to the bottom of your invoices to make your customers feel appreciated.

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Mailchimp

This popular email marketing service also includes some useful CRM features. Intuitive and easy to use, it makes building email marketing campaigns simple, regardless of your technical skill level.

  • Free version available (but there are limitations such as you need to use their logo in the footer)
  • Real time analytics and reporting show you how your marketing campaigns are performing (it’s very satisfying to see open and click stats the moment after you hit send!)
  • Drag and Drop layout builder including pre-made templates to make your emails responsive
  • Integrates with many website platforms, but unfortunately, no longer directly syncs with Shopify
  • Pro Tip: Add an Optin form to your website with a valuable freebie giveaway to encourage new sign ups.

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Kajabi

Kajabi is a marketing and sales platform for providers of online courses. It’s a bit pricey but the streamlined, off the shelf functionality is perfect for less technically savvy business owners.

  • Easy to use, all in one solution that includes website hosting, ecommerce, site builder, email marketing and contact management
  • Simple drag and drop page builder
  • Student login area so students can view the courses that they are enrolled in
  • Build customer communities
  • Integrates with Stripe and Paypal
  • Allows for one-off or recurring subscriptions
  • Integrates with Zoom for webinar and conferencing
  • New mobile app
  • Pro Tip: Take the time to create valuable give away content to leverage Kajabi’s built in ‘Pipelines’ and nurture new leads.

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Rev

This time saving platform adds closed captions to your video content to appeal to a wider audience. 80% of videos are viewed with sound off (because they are being viewed in public environments or in bed!) – so transcripts and subtitles are crucial to improve viewer experience.

  • Large pool of in-house and freelance workers to provide quick turnaround usually within 24 hours
  • Simple pricing – $1 per video minute and foreign subtitles available too.

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