1. Capture Your Customers with Insightly
One of the most valuable things you can do is capture all of your customer emails into a customer database. But most people don't do it because it takes time or it's difficult. Insightly excels at collecting and organizing everything about your customers. Whenever you get an email from a customer, forward it to Insightly. Whenever you send an email to customers, CC it to Insightly. It creates a cloud-based searchable database of your customers and all your contact with them. It also has great tools for managing tasks and projects -- sort of a multi-person to-do list for your company.
Insightly.com, free for 3 users, $29/month for 6 users
2. Tracking your Cash with Kashoo
Accounting used to be complicated and expensive. Kashoo is different - it's cloud based accounting that imports transactions directly from your company checking account and creates simple graphs and reports on your iPad.
Kashoo.com, free for up to 20 transactions/month, $15/month for unlimited transactions and auto import
3. Tell the World with PRWeb and PRMac
You need to tell the world about your company and products. The old way, using services like PRNewswire and BusinessWire, was created for print media and is expensive for startups. Luckily, there are new options. PRWeb is an inexpensive and easy way to issue a press release and get the word out. For news specific to iPhone, iPad, or Mac, we like PRMac even more because it's targeted at Apple related news. Both include online tools for tracking people viewing and linking to your releases.
PrWeb.com, starting at $99 per press release
PrMac.com, starting at $23 per press release
4. Old Dog, New Tricks - Microsoft SkyDrive and Office 365
Whether you like it or not, you'll need Microsoft Office. Your customers, advisors, and investors expect it for Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and Powerpoint presentations. The good news is that Microsoft got it right with their new subscription service called Office 365 and the companion cloud service called SkyDrive. For a low monthly subscription, you can install Office on multiple computers and save all your documents in SkyDrive. Just click to share and edit with people inside and outside your company -- no more emailing attachments or keeping track of changes or who has the latest version.
Office.microsoft.com, $12.50 per user per month
5. One Step Web and Email from Yahoo Small Business
No matter what kind of business you have, you'll need to setup a web site and email accounts. There are thousands of choices, but one simple choice is Yahoo Small Business. With just a few clicks, you get a domain name, a web site, and email. It includes site building tools with analytic reports and for advanced users supports Perl and PHP scripting. We like Yahoo mail because it works with a wide range of devices and mail clients.
Bonus: Bling it up with Zazzle
As a bonus, let's have some fun. Go to Zazzle and put your company name and logo on hundreds of items. Point-and-click design on their web site and you can order just one or a bunch. Share gifts with your advisors and early customers. And it's a great way to boost morale for your employees and their families.
Zazzle.com, $1-$40 per item for buttons, stickers, t-shirts, mugs, cases, etc.
Monkey in the Middle Apps is excited to be a MassChallenge finalist. Over 400,000 students have played and learned using our math, science, and vocabulary apps for middle school students. If you have a favorite cloud service, or are curious about mobile apps, stop by our desk, or send us an email at info@MonkeyInTheMiddleApps.com
Play. Learn. Repeat.