One of the challenging parts of being a VA is keeping up with all of the tools and technologies of the field. Each type of client has different needs and tools that they will need you to know to assist them with them business.
Below are a list of common basic software that you should consider when starting you VA business.
File sharing software-
- Drop Box– 2 GB of space 1 user- Dropbox is a free cloud file storage. They also have a few paid versions depending on the amount of storage you need. The alternative is Box.net.
- Box.Net Free for up to 50 GB of Storage 1 user only- This is a great alternative to dropbox and works the same way.
Online backup software
Cabonite 59 USD per year unlimited storage- One of the most important pieces of software you can own is backup software. Caronite allows you to backup automatically or via a scheduled time. We hae been using them for over 4 years and cannot image not having them- they have been a life saver more than once.
SugarSync Free for up to 5 GB- 5 USD per month for up to 30 GB- Also a great alternative if you do not have a lot to back up. Most small VA companies or individuals can work with the 5 GB restraints and back up all they need.
Calendar Spots– Free this has a contact management page built in. This is new cool one we found. There is a Free and paod versions. Great for an alternative to Google Calendar. It also automatically sends a reminder to your clients when they book and appointment.
Google Calendar– Free- Another great online calendar. As far as I know there is not an option for clients to make their own appointments, but the calendar can shared among you clients or your team.
ZoHo – Free for up to 3 users- Zoho actually has a package of A La Carte products from CRM, Calendars, Project Management, and document storage. The CRM Program will track Leads, Accounts, Contacts – Sales Opportunities – Social CRM- Reports & Dashboards – Web Forms -Developer AP. It is very simple and easy to use.
Contact Me– Very Basic is Free- Paid version starts at 3.95 a month or Pro for 7.50 a month. If you only need names and a little bit of information, the free version will work fine. For most companies, the pro will be needed to adequately have a CRM. This is also a very easy to use program.
ContactMe Form – Unlimited Groups- Unlimited Contacts- Very easy to use and nice layouts. Should be useful to most VAs.
Free CRM– This is a very good Free Contact Management System. For Free you can not beat this. This program will track Contact and Lead Tracking- Sales and Pipeline Management -Support Ticket & Service Management, Advanced Campaigns & Marketing – Call Automation & Reporting. It is very easy to use and since it is free- why not take advantage of it.
Brainkeeper- Starter Pack: 4 Users $ 17 per month- Sooner or later you are going to grow and need a way to share in house documents. Brainkeeper is a great place to start. It is not complicated and there is a free 30 day trial version you can use to see for yourself. It offers Unlimited Pages / Workspaces- 1 Terabyte of Storage Space, Powerful Search Engine – Calendars – Forums
Central Desktop- 99 a month- Easy collaboration with third parties – Robust document management – Ability to assign tasks and track projects- One-click web meetings. This is the “advanced version” of document sharing. It can be on the pricey side so most firms will need to grow into this program. It is, however, commonly used by many companies and small businesses.
These are just a few of the many tools out there. Please check out our radio show for more information and also next week we will be covering more tools for the trade!