Growing A Business Staff Through Unconventional Means: Three Tools Every Small Business Needs

Posted on Sep 25 2013 - 12:10am by Bill Bradley


When you are just starting out as a company, you do not have the money to hire all of the different staffers that you might need, and so you wind up doing a lot of the work on your own.  This creates strain on you and your family, and the business seems like a nightmare, rather than a dream and you may want to get out before you get crushed.  A generation ago there was not much that you could do when you felt overwhelmed, but now there are software and online options that can help you run your business and make it feel like you have a staff much larger than you actually have.


Customer relationship management, or CRM, is a set of tools that help you coordinate all of the information that you have about a customer in one place.  This decreases the amount of time that you spend inputting data into your system and increases the amount of time that you spend with the customer.  SugarCRM is one of the most reputable CRM firms on the market, with several awards and an innovative software design.  With SugarCRM you will feel like you have a staff of customer service representatives and a large sales team to generate sales, even if you are doing all the work on your own.


In the modern business world, more and more business is being done online and through email, and the problem with that is there is no paper trail.  On those occasions when you do need a signature or a legally binding document, you are usually faced with having to stop what you are doing, track down the customer in person and have the documents signed.  Now with Adobe EchoSign, that is no longer a problem.  Customers can sign legally binding contracts electronically and you will not have to spend precious time waiting for signed documents before you can make a move with the company.  EchoSign helps your company continue to move at the speed of business.


Finally, there will come a time when you really do need an extra set of eyes or some help getting work done, and oDesk is the marketplace for that kind of work.  At oDesk, thousands of freelancers in all kinds of fields come together to find work with companies who need the assistance.  You can find a virtual assistant, a ghost writer or even a web developer on oDesk, without having to do much searching and once the project is complete, you do not have to continue paying a staffer.  This is the perfect way for businesses to get the help that they need, even if they do not hire anyone full-time and it gives you flexibility when you make decisions about the kind of staff that you need for any one job.

There are a lot software and online tools that will make it seem like your staff is bigger than it actually is, and that will enable you to make more sales and grow your business faster.  Be careful that you do not sign up for too many services at once, otherwise you may not be able to pay for the services, but with the right collection of software and online services, you will be able to get what you need for your company.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Infusionsoft

About the Author

I am Bill Bradley, and I wrote this article to talk about some of the ways I have addressed staffing issues in the past. I am particularly pleased with the CRM. I get from SugarCRM because of the prices and the level of service.