Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy Taylor

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy.

In North Carolina, there are 913,398 small businesses accounting for 99.6 percent of North Carolina businesses employing more than 1.7 million North Carolinians, according to statistics from a 2019 report by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Small businesses like those here in Rocky Mount create new jobs, lead the way in technology and product innovation and often reflect the diversity of our communities. There are many apps, software, devices like the latest iPhone 11 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, and powerful wireless networks to help entrepreneurs manage their business operations.

And in today’s environment, working remotely using mobile tools has helped businesses stay moving.

Whether you’re a business owner with a brick and mortar office, an entrepreneur who runs a business from a smartphone or are working from a home office due to the coronavirus pandemic, the following tools can be considered to help support your business needs.

Cloud-based Communications Tools: Cloud communications blend multiple communication functions/features together, like desk phones, smartphones, email, chat, video, and text. There are a number of solutions to choose from including, Telnyx, Bandwidth and Twilio.

Project Management Tools: Keep track of projects from start to finish and who is working on what with project management tools, like Trello that allow users to collaborate with a project team, stay on top of tasks, track progress and see who is delivering what. Trello also allows you to link with other tools like Google Drive and DropBox. Another option like allows for team collaboration and a 360-degree view of the project process.

Accounting Tools: A number of apps are available to help small businesses keep on top of finances. Xero is an accounting app that lets users make employee payments, review billing details and manage tasks like purchase orders and other details in an effective manner. It also offers cloud functionality to easily save data and important files and folders in a safe location and also view cash flows with real-time updates. Expensify helps businesses track receipts and manage expenses on the go. Expensify can categorize and code each receipt, and can automatically submit business expenses for approval and reimbursement.

Document Sharing Tools: With nationwide networks like U.S. Cellular’s, businesses today can operate from many different locations using file sharing and collaboration tools like Google’s G Suite. G Suite offers a number of productivity enhancing features, including document sharing, calendar, launching an online ad campaign or tracking traffic stats for websites. doForms is a mobile forms and workflow solution for companies to easily capture information in the field on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. The information is sent back to the office via the cloud and seamlessly integrates into existing operating systems.

Marketing Tools: MailChimp is an all-in-one marketing platform for small business. Users can create an email list and send visually engaging emails, newsletters, postcards and more to customers. MailChimp provides advance analytics reports showing click rate and allows users to learn from past campaigns. Other tools like Hootsuite allow users to post to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all from one post, saving time. Google Analytics helps users track everything from website performance, content and marketing campaigns.

Jeremy Taylor is director of sales for U.S. Cellular in eastern North Carolina.