For managing Projects, Tasks, Calendars, Document Collaboration, Timesheets, Sales Leads (CRM plus opportunity workflow), Support, Proposals, Invoicing, and Billing for my small business I use WORKetc. It’s a great low cost online tool for managing many parts of your business seamlessly. Over a period of several weeks I reviewed and experimented with demos of various online tools for managing CRM, Project Management, Tasks, Sales, and Billing (these were the core areas of business that I needed a tool to manage). I admit I did not do a full review like so many magazines do, but I read enough, watched enough demos videos, and played around with enough online demos to feel very strongly that I made the best decision for an online tool for managing my small business for the money. In this tough economy it only makes sense to me to use a single integrated tool with a low monthly cost like WORKetc that doesn’t require a lot of upfront money or other investment such as training costs or steep learning curve.
The primary products I reviewed included:
- Salesforce.com – CRM and collaboration (expensive for small businesses, many add-ons cost extra)
- BaseCamp – project management (more expensive; not as many features)
- Toodledo – task management (great for personal use, but not a project management tool)
- DeskAway – project management and collaboration (not as many features)
- Freshbooks – bookkeeping (not as many features)
- FengOffice – collaboration (not as many features)
- Zoho – project management (more expensive)
- Huddle.net – collaboration (not reviewed lately, but wanted to mention it)
- OnStage – collaboration (not reviewed, but wanted to mention it)
I’m convinced WORKetc is one of the best buys available today for managing your small business while managing costs. WORKetc Project Management section. Each of these offerings have their strengths, and in fact might even be ‘Best-of-Breed’ within their specific category (such as Salesforce.com for CRM). But for a single sign-on solution that covers most of what you need to run your small business, and that won’t cost you as much as many others on the market, WORKetc cames out way on top of all of the others. I even have subscriptions to some of these other tools that I mentioned, but may decide over time find that I’m covered by WORKetc and be able to trim down to just WORKetc for my needs. WORKetc Sales Lead Management section.
WORKetc Billing section. WORKetc is a great online tool offering a very comprehensive set of functionality for one low monthly price of $29.95 (2 users are $44.95/month, each additional user is then only $10/month, so as you add users it gets even cheaper). So WORKetc is very affordable for all that it does (especially as compared to Salesforce.com which has a higher cost per month plus many add-on modules are extra monthly cost via their App Exchange). WORKetc is really well designed with a great user-interface (UI) that uses a lot of drag-and-drop Web 2.0, and works great for my small business. WORKetc user-interface. One nice unexpected feature that WORKetc offers is the ability to create a Product and Service Catalog along with an associated image. This enables you to quickly create professional looking Proposals and Invoices based on your standardized product and service offerings that you have uploaded and assigned costs, mark-ups, and selling prices, including hourly rates (e.g. Graphic Design @ $40/hr). WORKetc has dozens of units of measure so you can break down your proposals to just about anything on a line item basis. Of course you can customize your line items suit your particular needs.
WORKetc Product and Service Catalog section.
WORKetc acts as your company intranet for managing your business, and even offers a secure portal as an extranet where you can post password protected documents or design proofs for your customers. Customers can also log in to see their invoicing and billing status.WORKetc seems to do it all!
WORKetc Document Collaboration section.
WORKetc Customer Service Helpdesk section.
I researched a lot of online tools for project management and CRM, and WORKetc seems to have the most functionality, and does the job better than most others all for a very low cost, so I highly recommend WORKetc as the primary tool for running your business.
WORKetc comes with a 7 day free trial.
As always, I’d like to hear your comments.