We had three main goals that all our applications were required to fulfil:
We wanted no paper whatsoever within the company. Everything was to be electronic and automated.
Every document that is sent to us should be scanned onto a file repository. Every contract signature would be electronic. Every payment would be automated. Every receipt instantly snapped into our accounting app via smartphone.
Searching for a document should take 30 seconds, not 30 minutes.
The ‘old ways’ of profiteering from upfront costs and long contracts are dead. All of our candidates had to follow a more modern customer-focused model of low-cost monthly subscription payments with no contract and no other costs.
It rolls inexpensively until we cancel it, scales as and when we need it.
In a world of iPads, Android phones and Windows devices, we want to run our business anywhere and everywhere. All of our candidates therefore had to support all platforms. Where many products offer a stripped down functionality via an app, we wanted full feature parity on all platforms.
If I’m in the middle of a city centre, I want to be able to create and send a complex customer invoice for payment on my phone.
Many of the products in this list we ended up using as a company. Others we explored, liked but decided they did not suit our business model, but could be perfectly tailored for others.
While all of these products are offered by us, we also offer it as a bit of free knowledge to those who wish to do it themselves and just need to know where to look.
If you want to discuss any of these options with us, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0141 343 8373. Our free consultation is available for everything on this page and more.
Microsoft OneDrive can be quite messy. There is OneDrive Personal, which is free. OneDrive Personal Premium, which is not. OneDrive for Business, which is not. All are based on SharePoint technology, which is also available as a separate product, also not free.
SharePoint is overkill for most small businesses. It can get complicated easily. OneDrive and Dropbox however keep it very simple.
With just a bit of configuration the free OneDrive and Dropbox account can be an effective central file repository that will fill the needs of most small and medium offices. Access and edit your documents on the fly via any device this way as well.
Both of these are free of charge to business customers. Windows Defender is built into Windows 10 and is automatically enabled if you do not have an antivirus installed.
Software whitelisting is always our prefered method of preventing virus and malware infections, however a good antivirus is the next best thing.
Despite being free, both of these are very technically capable solutions.
If you store documents on free OneDrive or Dropbox, you automatically gain access to the free, web-based Word and Excel apps that give you most of the common functionality of their costed counterparts.
If you open a Word or Excel file within either storage service, it will automatically open the Word or Excel web app to edit and save changes.
Office Online apps are available free of charge and work through any web browser.
A free enterprise-grade email suite that supports up to 5 users.
Accessible via a webapp and comes with Android and iOS apps for full email, calendar and task management on the move. The free version allows a single custom domain to host your email (such as @ethos.ltd).
If using a webapp doesn’t appeal to you, then make it fully Outlook compatible for £1.00 per user per month. Email sent from Zoho looks indistinguishable to a recipient from more expensive alternatives.
A fully featured CRM that looks a lot like Salesforce and runs across all your devices. Get 3 users free of charge and apps to access and edit customers across all your devices.
The paid version integrates with RingCentral and other phone systems for no extra charge.
If you use Zoho Mail, your customer list, calendar and tasks will also integrate.
A streamlined bookkeeping and invoicing package that can automate account reconciliation and enable electronic direct debit and card payments. The basic package is £6.00 per month, which will be adequete for most small businesses.
Comes with an app to check your sales activity, invoice status and be able to send invoices on the move. Zoho Books is modeled on Quickbooks and is HMRC accredited.
Integration with Zoho Mail and CRM allows full visibility of customer details from within their CRM record.
An electronic document signing solution that gives you 5 free signatures per month and integrates with Dropbox and OneDrive.
Author your contract document using Word Online and easily import it to Zoho Sign to have fields dropped onto it for the customer to sign. Signed documents with date and time are held securely on the server.
Get all the benefits of an Enterprise level phone system without any of the costs or commitments.
RingCentral will give you a landline number, call recording, auto-attendant greetings, AVR menu, 100 minutes of outbound calls per month and a softphone app that makes and receies calls via either a deskphone or your Android or Apple smartphone.
Their Glip app also gives instant messaging and video conferencing functionality.
Of course, our own IT support service is on the list. We offer a fixed cost service for individual traders at £25 per month for a single device. This gives you unlimited support during business hours with options of out of hours cover.
We carry out a full healthcheck for new support customers no matter how large or small you are. From annoying glitches to more serious concerns, we resolve them as soon as you are onboard.
Our pricing for businesses with up to 5 devices is £20 per device.
Another excellent freebie for those with the time to invest: Mobile Device Management.
This allows you to remotely track and configure Android, Apple and Windows devices that are on the move. Remotely and silently install apps, login to it and press buttons to assist users, track their location on a map. You can also wipe and lock the device, displaying a “Stolen” message if the device and its data is at risk.
ManageEngine MDM allows 25 devices free of charge.
It’s almost an automatic expectation these days that a business should have at least one Windows server. Equally automatic is the expectation that it will cost thousands of pounds.
A Windows Server allows central document storage with very granular permissions, strict control and configuration of Windows devices joined to it, whitelisting and blocking of unknown applications, user hot desking and accessing their files from any workstation.
What if you could have a this for £50 per month all inclusive with a 99.99% uptime guarantee? We have customers paying this right now. Their data is held in a GDPR compliant UK data centre.