5 Collaboration Tools Suited For Small Businesses & Startups

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collaborationCollaboration is more than just a standard business practice. It is a conglomerate of skills, foresight, ideas, tools, and people working together towards a set of goals. But collaboration is a huge effort and in a conventional business landscape, can take up a lot of personnel and resources.

The good news is that with the advent of web-based collaboration software and on-premise collaboration tools for small businesses, working in unison with other team members and third party professionals is now a tad easier and more cost effective. Especially for small businesses and expanding enterprises with less resources and funds to spare.

That said, not all collaboration solutions are created equal, as some are designed to do particular stuffs while other are developed to suit specific industries. Some are even bare down to the core and provide only the basic elements for businesses on tight budget. However, in the right hands, even the simplest collaboration tools can easily become a powerful platform.

Listed are 5 of the most popular collaboration tools for small businesses. Again, they are not all entirely similar, as each are designed to suit a specific need. These are:

  • Xpenditure
  • Quickbooks Enterprise
  • Base CRM
  • Zoho Projects
  • Hightail

1. Xpenditure


As its name suggests, Xpenditure is a mobile and cloud-based application that delves on your business expenses. It is built with an intelligent scanning feature that views receipts and stores all the information into the cloud. The application can be employed with a smartphone, a tablet, or even a webcam.

Xpenditure saves and stores critical information such as total amount, date, and location into the cloud. Once the information are processed and stored, Xpenditure automatically sends it to your accounting and administrative departments.

Xpenditure can also help in matching expense receipts with credit card statements. The software also acts as a receipt manager for small businesses and even freelancers who do not have the time and the personnel to organize their receipts. A reporting tool is integrated with Xpenditure, allowing users to create accurate and reliable expense reports on the fly.

Who is it for?

Many small businesses have few resources and manpower to do expense management and accounting. Xpenditure is created to fill that particular need for an application that helps business owners and freelancing professionals keep a close eye on their finances and track every expense they made. Xpenditure comes with an intuitive dashboard that provides users with a real time overview of their expenditures in real time and categorizes expenses per project, branch, etc.

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The platform is also of great use to businesses with dealings in other countries as it features a currency converter that operates based on real time rates. More than that, Xpenditure can also book flights, hotel accommodations, and cars.

2. Quickbooks Enterprise


While Quickbooks Enterprise is not totally developed for a small business setup, it is an on-premise software ideal for small enterprises that are looking to graduate to a more advanced accounting platform after outgrowing entry-level accounting systems like the basic Quickbooks. This proprietary software is developed to streamline accounting-related processes and other functions. Quickbooks Enterprise also comes with an easy to use interface and a simplified language that even those with no accounting background can quickly adapt.

Quickbooks Enterprise is a complete package that helps businesses perform better in the following areas: Reporting & Finances; Inventory; Sales & Customers; Purchasing & Vendors; and Payroll & Employees. For those who love to take their work on the field, a cloud-hosted option is also available.

Who is it for?

Primarily built for medium businesses with complex accounting requirements, Quickbooks Enterprise can also be put into good effect by small business with growing accounting needs. This platform is also industry specific, catering to the following sectors: contractors, manufacturing and wholesale, nonprofits, and retailers.

3. Base CRM


Base CRM is an application set with tools and features designed to boost sales and team productivity as well as enhance customer relationships. This particular platform is not just loaded with sales tools , but also comes with a functionalities that determine and unify corporate goals.

Base CRM helps businesses implement excellent customer management practices, which include storing and syncing all customer emails, call recordings, documents, and notes. Base CRM also enables users to sales stages and collaborate on opportunities, activities, and notes.  The application can also determine strong points and flaws within the business structure, helping users assess their performance, improve areas that require enhancement, and abandon strategies that are simply not working.

Who is it for?

Small business and developing startups in need of a sales and customer-oriented platform will simply love what Base CRM brings to the table, like a complete set of core sales tool, reliable and actionable business insights, efficient customer management functionality, customer details synchronization and more.

4. Zoho Projects


Zoho Projects is a great application for small businesses as well as medium and large enterprises that are in need of a platform that allows them to manage projects as well as monitor tasks from concepts to completion. Zoho Projects promote team collaboration and comes with a set of tools that significantly improves productivity and team output.

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Who is it for?

Zoho Projects is a perfect fit for businesses of various sizes and types. The system is built with a very user-friendly interface that greatly allows ease of use for just about everyone. That means it is perfect for companies that need a software that does not require significant amount of training time and a specific set of personnel to operate. Zoho Projects implements top class security measures to safeguard all data entered and processed into the system.

With Zoho Projects being a free platform, it is also a perfect collaboration and project management system for enterprises with little to no budget for a more advanced and premium application.

5. Hightail


Hightail is designed for the ultra heavy purpose of securely sending large files of up 10 GB without the annoying bounceback. Formerly branded as YouSendIt, this platform jolts up the collaboration process between colleagues, departments, and even simple individuals.

Apart from the fact that you can send 10GB worth of files, Hightail also flaunts other useful features including password protection, identity verification, file tracking, and other security options. Users can also configure and assign roles as to who can have total access to the files, as well as the permission to edit and update them.  The mobile version of the software, which is available for Android and iOS devices, provides users system access when they are mobile, as well as the edit and update functions via their smartphones and tablets.

Who is it for?

Companies and independent professionals who belong in graphic intensive industries like architecture, media and entertainment, legal, advertising and marketing, and creative services will definitely love Hightail. Sharing a whole lot of files is a breeze and users need not worry about security as the system has great security measures in place, not to mention the configurable access to the files.

With its mobile applications, users can share, edit, and update files even on the fly.

Category: B2B News

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