The thing about technology.

There are literally thousands of options when it comes to technology and your business. Believe us, we have probably tried many of them either for ourselves or trying to find a solution to a client’s business problem. Technology works best when it doesn’t add or take away.  Good tech won’t add to another step in a process nor will it take away value to your customer, or important data for your decision making.  When we are recommending technology, we look to answer a few critical questions.

Is there a free version to test that easily converts to a paid version without starting over.

Who owns the data? Somethings we just won’t allow a cloud service to  own, so we look for features that allow us to download data and migrate data to another platform.

What is the actual savings to the business in time or attention by adopting the platform and how will this impact other processes?

Here are a few tools we use, recommended that has created value for us and our clients.

My Hours

When you are looking to track time (not micro-manage people) this is a great tool. It’s free for one user, but you can manage unlimited projects with unlimited tasks.  You can modify billing rate for each task and customize each project.  We used this as a tool to estimate our time on tasks so we could create accurate quotes. Prior to this, our team grossly underestimated the time it took to perform tasks and therefore, sent quotes that lost us money.

My Hours has been online since 2001 – long before the term “cloud computing” was even invented – so we’re one of the oldest cloud services on the planet. To streamline the product and improve our customers’ experience, we carried out a major rebuild of My Hours in 2014. The original feature set, however, is still there and is still praised by our users for being “just right”, efficient and easy to use. Our team is based in Slovenia, the beautiful heart of Europe, where fresh air leads to fresh thinking. Your time is precious, so why not let us take care of it?

WAVE Accounting is a perfect alternative to Quickbooks and it's FREE!

Quickbooks is should not be the defacto accounting solution.

WAVE is for start ups and mature businesses alike. It has all the features of Quickbooks and it’s free for one user.  The system allows you to create reoccuring invoices that can be auto generated and sent to clients. Clients can pay by credit card, but you incur transaction fees.  The fees are no more than PayPal or any other merchant services.

Many of our clients are service professionals who are in the field all day, they don’t want to get home and plug in expenses. WAVE has a receipt app for smart phones and you can take a picture of the receipt and the software will log the expense automatically.  You can log your expenses while waiting in line for coffee. Very easy and convenient.

ZOHO

While ZOHO is no secret, it’s CRM is FREE for up to 10 users.   ZOHO offers productivity and data management tools that tightly integrate with G-Suite. It’s easy to use, web based, data can be uploaded or downloaded.

We’ve implemented about 17 ZOHO projects thus far with an amazing success rate.

All three of these platforms are web based to run on any device and have mobile apps for use on smart phones. The best part of all of them is they are all FREE.  Don’t get too excited, while some may restrict features and add ons, but we consider most of this “nice to haves.”

The important thing to remember is the technology should solve a problem, but never take away value or add another step in the process.

"It's not about the tool, it's about the problem it's solving."

— Mark Heinz