11 FREE Tools Your Business Should Be Using During COVID-19
Due to the increasing precautions and gathering restrictions throughout the United States because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are experiencing digital growing pains. Ideally, expanding an in-office position to a remote position would involve a gradual process for businesses and employees. This transition from office to remote work might include planning for necessary resources and employee training. However, over the last two weeks many companies have been scrambling to get their businesses running smoothly online within a short time frame in an effort to flatten the curve of the coronavirus. As a result, business owners are looking for new solutions and ways to run their businesses online.
In order to help guide our small businesses, we’ve compiled a list of 11 FREE tools to help your business during COVID-19:
The silver lining to quarantining is the expanding usage of video conferencing tools. Using one of the popular platforms listed below, you can gather multiple employees on one meeting call. Simply set your meeting and share the URL in your calendar event. And for the best part? They’re FREE. Attendee and time limits exist for each platform and vary for each. Here’s a brief breakdown of the two most popular platforms:
Zoom provides HD Video and audio to its users across a platform that is friendly on any device. Zoom can also be accessed from desktop or mobile. A free account with Zoom.us includes the following:
- Up to 100 guests
- Up to 40 minutes
- Multiple screen sharing
- View all guests in grid view
Hangouts is a free tool for US and Canada that can be accessed within any existing Google account. Don't have a Google account? Create a free gmail.com account to get started using both.
- Up to 25 guests on video / 150 in Google Hangouts chat
- Unlimited minutes
- Individual screen sharing (one at a time)
- View 10 active participants in the bottom of the screen
Slack is an instant messaging tool that brings your company together and helps you to stay productive, regardless of location. Your business can save time with Slack by decreasing the need for back and forth emails and meetings to discuss and approve small tasks. Additionally, Slack creates a more casual workplace that can be categorized with different channels to keep conversations organized. Get started using Slack remotely with these tips. With the free version of Slack, you can:
- 10k searchable messages
- 10 apps and integrations
- Two-factor authentication
- No channel limits
VIDEO INSTRUCTION (COMMUNICATION):
VidYard.com is an online video platform for users to create, house, and share video content. This resource is useful for marketing, instruction, and internal communication purposes. During the coronavirus pandemic, it more important than ever to stay connected not only via video conferencing, but also with on-demand videos and video messages. VidYard for Internal Communications is available for free through 6/30/20and includes the following features:
- Centralized administration of security policies, user provisioning, and content management
- End users can capture,share, and store unlimited videos via web-based extensions to Google Chrome, Outlook, and Gmail - no desktop software required
- Access control to video content via Single Sign-On authentication
- Password Protected or IP whitelisting for videos
Included in the Forbes.com 10 Essential Productivity Tools, Trello is a color-coded organization tool that is also user-friendly. Manage projects from the board view, create to-do lists and editorial calendars, and plan SEO campaigns with many other options to explore. This visually appealing organization tool is a favorite!
DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT & SHARING:
6. Google Drive
If you’re not already using Google Drive, add this to the top of your to-do list for today! It is easy and free to begin - simply use your free Gmail.com email address to get started. Google Drive allows you to share + create documents to share with anyone. For instance, when you have access to working documents, multiple team members can work in the document at one time. This article provides some in-depth examples of how to integrate Google Drive into your business.
THE POST AND COURIER RESOURCES:
7. The Post and Courier’s COVID-19 Coverage
With daily news updates and an updated South Carolina coverage map of the virus, The Post and Courier has you covered. We are working hard behind the scenes in Charleston, SC to keep you informed and to provide our readers with community updates in an effort to support our state and its businesses as we navigate this unprecedented time together. Therefore, we are currently offering this COVID-19 News for free without subscription as a public service.
8. The Post and Courier COVID-19 Business Guide
We are here to help our businesses and community connect! The Post and Courier has launched a new COVID-19 Business Guide as a free service! This guide provides a place for businesses to provide their updated hours, location, current deals, or send a kind message to the community. Follow this link and submit your information for free!
9. The Post and Courier Dining Guide
Looking for some curb-side dinner options? In addition to the COVID-19 landing page, we are gathering and providing an active list of local Charleston food & beverage businesses that are open and providing take-out options. We’re here to help you support our local restaurant industry! Send us your restaurant's info here!
10. Marketing Your Business in a Time of Crisis: A Free Webinar with The Post and Courier + Evening Post Newspapers
The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the marketing landscape for businesses. As a result, The Post and Courier wants to provide useful marketing resources for our clients. Join us for a live webinar as we host renowned marketing experts to discuss how to manage your marketing in a time of crisis. Reserve your free seat here!
11. The Post and Courier Marketing Blog
As the coronavirus crisis extends further into 2020, The Post and Courier Advertising division is dedicated to providing your businesses with useful blogs full of information and virtual events as an additional free resource. We're discussing important topics like social media trends, email marketing strategies, sponsored events updates, and more.