The 5 best collaboration tools for small businesses

4/10/2018 in

Technology, business growth

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Collaboration within a small business isn’t always as simple as you would think. While your employees may be fewer and your office smaller, collaboration tools are still an essential investment.

With seven out of ten IT professionals citing collaboration as a major priority, it’s no wonder the collaboration tool market is expected to be worth £6.4 billion by 2020. These tools are revolutionising the modern workplace.

In this short blog, we outline the five best tools for making your small business more collaborative.

1. Office Online

Office Online has a host of collaboration features that are perfect for small businesses. Using lightweight Microsoft office apps, such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint, teams can collaborate on the same document in real time. This means the days of emailing proposals back and forth are over, now whole teams can edit and collaborate at the same time.

Office Online is part of the popular cloud-based productivity suite Office 365. Thirty-six percent of respondents said that they were currently using Microsoft Office Online, with a further 23 percent planning to switch to Office Online within the next 12 months.

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2. Slack

Slack is a collaboration tool that has taken the professional world by storm. With 65 companies from the Fortune 100 using the internal communication platform, it has proven itself to be an essential tool for any business.

Slack aids collaboration by making communication quick and easy. The user interface is so simple you could teach your grandma to use it in minutes. What’s more, it's been proven to improve productivity and transparency within companies:

32 percent of respondents said Slack has improved their productivity

● 80 percent state Slack has improved business transparency

● 79 percent say Slack has improved the overall business culture

3. Skype for business

Video conferencing is the perfect way to aid collaboration in remote working environments - and Skype for Business is by far the most popular. With a 36 percent share of the global video conferencing market, Skype has proven itself as an integral communication feature for businesses of all sizes.

With effortless integration with other Microsoft tools, such as Outlook and Office Online, it’s no wonder there are 1.4 billion registered Skype users. Not only does Skype for Business cut the cost of your calls, but the instant messaging features makes fast internal communication simple.

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4. Basecamp

Basecamp is the essential project management tool for small businesses. With a highly accessible user interface and clear as day scheduling features, Basecamp makes collaboration simple.

Furthermore, the collaboration tool has been proven to improve productivity and business processes:

89 percent of customers have a better handle on their business now.

● 84 percent have more self-sufficient teams since switching.

● 59 percent have fewer weekly meetings since they switched.

5. Power BI

While Power BI may be a data visualisation tool, the Microsoft app improves collaboration by simplifying data discoveries into digestible charts and graphs.

With Power BI, you can view critical business information with your entire team, no matter what department they’re in. This gives every one of your employee’s insight into the numerical side of your business, championing cross-department collaboration.

Collaborate and listen

So, there you have it. Five brilliant tools sure to boost collaboration within your small business. Whether you’re looking for better ways to manage projects, communicate on the go or simplify key findings for your whole team, these tools are the perfect place to start building a collaborative workplace.

Curious to discover new ways to improve your business processes? Get in touch and find out what Evolve could do for you.

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About The Author

David Watson

David Watson

David is managing director at Evolve and a keen runner.