At Small Business Web Designs, we get a lot of questions about what the best Cloud Tools are to help your business grow. We can take care of your website, but what about your other needs? Accounting - it goes without saying that if you need an accounting package, and you live in Australia or New Zealand, someone has already told you to look at Xero. And if you haven't heard that yet, we're honored to be the first! Xero provides a clean and simple web interface, a nifty iPhone / Android app, and has all the features you need but none of the dead weight.
Your accountant will provide the best advice on this, but we think they already know and like Xero.CRMSelecting a CRM is much harder than an accounting package, and there are a lot of excellent cloud CRM's out there. Zoho is highly regarded, and we've heard good things about it. But we use and love Salesforce.
The challenge of CRM's is that they are a bit like a puppy. When you first get it, your eyes are wide with excitement and possibilities. What they don't tell you at the pet store is that the first six months involve chewed furniture, a few sleepless nights, and a soiled rug. Like a puppy, getting your CRM setup and working properly takes a while, but is well worth the time and investment. IntegrationSadly, Salesforce and Xero don't talk to each other on their own, so you'll need another nifty little tool for that. We use and love Breadwinner, which let's us see our finances in Salesforce. Breadwinner also helps Salesforce and Quickbooks talk with each other.
We hope your email isn't being hosted on a dusty server in the back of your office with last year's backup tape still stuck in the tape drive. Or warming your office admin's coffee mug. (We've seen both of these). You have two great options, and the choice is really down to what email program you work best in. If you love Outlook, consider Office 365. If you like Gmail's interface, look at Google Apps.BackupWant to see an adult cry? Tell them that three years of their child's baby photos are on the crashed hard drive and there's no backup. Like fire insurance, you can think about backup now, or think about it a day too late. We obviously recommend worrying about this earlier rather than later! iDrive offers both personal and business versions, though Mozy has a good paid version as well, and Google Drive and DropBox offer freemium services with some backup-like features.