Top 8 services that can minimize operational costs for small-business owners

People who have recently opened a new business are often faced with a range of financial concerns that may prevent them from moving forward with their great ideas. Thankfully, there are many ways small-business owners can invest their funds wisely to ensure neither time nor money are wasted in the short term.

These inviduals should search for online companies that offer professional services tailored to one business operation. From services that streamline social media posts to those that generate and file budget reports, these investments are critical for minimizing operational costs. as they keep small-business owners from having to waste time, energy and money trying to coordinate efforts on their own.

"Online services keep small-business owners from wasting time, energy and money trying to coordinate efforts on their own."

Consider how your brand can leverage the top eight online services that can propel your brand through the new year.

1. Accurate translation: VerbalizeIt
If your brand markets to an international audience, investing in professional translation services is imperative for ensuring that your website copy is accurate. According to a report from Common Sense Advisory, nearly 75 percent of online buyers are more compelled to purchase when services are offered in their languages. VerbalizeIt provides a simple platform on which small-business owners can upload content, then connect to a human translator who will ensure the copy is both localized and accurate. 

2. Gathering e-signatures: DocuSign 
When interacting with consumers or business partners who live far away from your company's physical site, finding ways to collect signatures can seem daunting. Fax and mail are both effective, but often time and quality are prohibitive. DocuSign allows people to electronically send signatures on important documents that have been scanned into the system. This method is entirely secure, and it can save small-business owners money they would spend on shipping, travel and supplies. 

Digital signatures are ideal for international consumers.

3. Digital storage and management: CloudOps
Security concerns regarding storing and managing data remain at the forefront of small-business owners' minds. Instead of attempting to secure digital data on your own, search for a service that can ensure your information is easily accessible for you, but safe from those who should not have access. CloudOps can help your business build a private cloud to store important information, providing you with the tools needed to interpret and manage data.

4. Budget reports: Expensify
Developing, analyzing and interpreting expense reports can be a pain, especially for new small-business owners who have recently begun accounting and financial services. Born from the desire to create and comprehend budget reports that aren't headache-inducing, Expensify has helped thousands of businesses since its creation in 2008. The easy-to-use platform is ideal for executives who are not well-versed with formulas or those looking to reduce operational costs by investing in simpler software. The company currently assists more than 200,000 businesses in 169 countries, making it an ideal resource for brands that have placed an emphasis on business globalization

5. Condensing marketing efforts: Act-On 
Email is one of the most effective marketing tools at your disposal. But executives who don't know how to develop the most effective campaigns tailored to specific demographics may struggle with reaching their desired consumer bases. Act-On is an online service that analyzes your target demographics and assists your brand in developing a comprehensive marketing strategy, including generating email newsletter templates and creating landing pages. This type of service is ideal for small-business owners who have little knowledge concerning SEO or marketing, as it prevents the need to hire an expert or seek additional education that may cost a great deal of money. 

6. Live chat for site visitors: Zopim
Providing helpful and efficient customer service shows any current or potential consumers that your brand places emphasis on the overall consumer experience. While your company likely already has a phone line set up for those seeking assistance, a rising number of consumers prefer live chat to address their concerns. According to a survey conducted by eDigitalResearch, consumers report the highest level of satisfaction when chatting with representatives over the Internet. Nearly 73 percent of people were satisfied with live chats, while 61 percent were satisfied with email responses and 44 percent were satisfied when speaking with someone on the phone.

"Nearly 73 percent of people are satisfied with customer service delivered via live chat."

Zopim is an invaluable resource for companies with a global reach. The business develops chat boxes that can easily be integrated on your website, providing your staff members an easy way to quickly connect to consumers from around the world. The widget is helpful for brands that have already invested in website translation, as the software can be used by international consumers as well. The service can slash operational costs for ineffective customer service ventures, including reduced phone bills and lower equipment costs.

7. Getting job applicants: ZipRecruiter
Looking to hire more employees but unsure where to start? ZipRecruiter allows small-business owners to post their job description on more than 50 job boards on the Internet. For smaller companies, this service is a great way to not only reach a wider pool of job applicants, but also get more people aware of your business, its operations and its hiring tendencies. According to the service, it has assisted more than 250,000 companies reach over 15 million applicants through job boards, social media and search engines. Investing in this type of service prevents your business from having to spend more money actively recruiting individuals with poor job descriptions. 

Find more job applicants by investing in online services.

8. Finding the best SMB resources: ExpertCircle
If your brand is searching for more specialized resources to help minimize costs, look to ExpertCircle for guidance. The service breaks down operational areas in which business owners frequently spend time and money, then offers recommendations based on your use and needs. From accounting to sales, the site has a database of hundreds of tools tailored to specific industries and business sizes. It also updates frequently, meaning visitors have access to the newest and most innovative resources on the market. 

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