Remote work is impossible without the right tools. Whether you need to work on a document simultaneously with other colleagues, or need to keep better track of your accounting records, the right apps are essential. However, unfortunately, the emergence of COVID-19 has put a strain on valued resources like time and money, both of which are necessary to get the tools you need.
In this article, the goal is to help you save on both. Many companies are either offering extended free trials of their tools, waiving fees, or adding new features to help small businesses seamlessly transfer to remote work and better serve their customers. Below is a look at the companies that are offering extended benefits and helpful features for small business owners.
Adobe and Cisco
Both Adobe and Cisco are providing video conferencing services at no cost to business owners for a limited amount of time. Until July 1, 2020, Adobe is opening up Adobe Connect for a free 90-day trial to new customers with teams of up to 25 people. Cisco is also offering a free 90-day license to its video conferencing services. The features included are unlimited usage, support for up to 100 participants, and toll dial-in.
For teams of up to 10 people, Atlassian is providing their primary productivity and collaboration products for free. From project and issue tracking to document collaboration, the Atlassian suite of products is available for use. Unlike most of the other offerings, this one is not time-bound. So, for those who need an all-in-one collaboration and project management tool, this one is worth a look.
Box is a file sharing and storage application. For three months—or until July 22, 2020—businesses can take advantage of Box’s Business tier. The features include unlimited storage, 50,000 API calls per month, 5 GB file upload limit, data loss prevention, and a few other options. This offering can make the safe transfer of documents more manageable for those transitioning from being in the office to working from home.
For organizations in industries impacted by COVID-19 (event venues, hotels, performing arts, restaurants, and others), Hootsuite is offering access to their Professional tier for free until July 1, 2020. This tier includes ten social profiles, unlimited RSS integrations, the ability to spend $500 a month to boost social media presence, app integrations, and a few other helpful features for those who want to improve their social media presence during this time.
If you are a brick-and-mortar business moving online, MailChimp has made it easier and more affordable to get up-and-running. Until May 31, small businesses can sign up to receive free five-year custom domains. Once small business owners claim a free domain, they can take advantage of a discount that allows them to save $25 per year for the next five years if the site is published within the next 11 months. In addition to the website domain, MailChimp also has a variety of CRM, automation, and landing page features to help businesses attract audiences.
Moving your business operations online can open you up to cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Fortunately, password management and storage company, 1Password has stepped up to offer a six-month trial of the business plan offering of their password manager tool. In addition to securely storing passwords, you can enable multi-factor authentication, set advanced security policies, monitor sign-in attempts, create firewall rules, and take advantage of other critical security features.
E-commerce giant, Shopify is also extending trials and offering benefits to business owners interested in selling products online. They have extended their 14-day free trial to 90 days for new customers who want to open an online store. The company is also providing free access to its email marketing tool, Shopify email, to new and existing stores until October 1. Additionally, Shopify will also offer weekly virtual programming and community meetups to allow business owners to network online.
Wave already offers a free tier for accounting. Nevertheless, they are making some of their paid and fee-based services free for customers. Until May 31, Wave is waiving the one percent fee attached with instant payouts, and they are also doing away with the one percent bank payment fee for up to $5,000 worth of invoices. In addition to waiving fees, Wave is also allowing users to take advantage of social security tax deferrals during payroll approvals.
It’s All About Finding the Right Tools
This is one of the best times to find the remote tool or suite of tools that are best for your company. Whether you are looking to work remotely permanently or need temporary support, many companies are stepping up to the plate to make it easier to transition to online operations and take advantage of cost savings.
So, check out the offerings above, and if there is a tool you are interested in that is not included, keep an eye on their features and blog page as they will likely have some offerings.
Each of the features offered above is accurate as of this writing, so be sure to check their websites to confirm if they are still available.
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