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To say that there is a huge variety of business applications available out there would be the understatement of the year.

In this article, I wanted to focus on our favorite SaaS (Software as a Service) applications that we brought aboard when I started the business a little over a year ago, and that have now become essential to our day-to-day.  Hopefully this can help other start-ups when evaluating what’s out there.

CRM

Salesforce.com

Not that we’re bias in any way (since we’re a Salesforce.com Implementation Partner), but there are so many reasons why Salesforce.com should be the platform of choice to run your business. For more information, please visit our blog on this subject on our website at www.appsolve.com here.

Email/Business Apps

Google Apps/Gmail

I’m certainly not alone on this, but in my opinion, it’s by far the best email interface for business. Not only is Gmail our preferred email client but you also get the benefit of a full suite of business apps as well as access to Google Chat/Hangouts, which we use as a preference over all other chat services. As a company that is still building, they make it incredibly easy to scale and there are a variety of options to integrate with Salesforce.com to keep track of all prospect and customer interactions.

Accounting

Freshbooks

We love using Freshbooks, it’s so user friendly and intuitive! We create invoices, take payments and track our time on internal and external projects with this tool. It’s incredibly easy to use while also being configurable enough to suit your company specifically. You can also take credit card payments using PayPal or Stripe and there are excellent integration options with Salesforce.com.

Payment Processing

Stripe

We love Swipe for our payment processing. They handle multiple currencies with ease, they have fair rates and their desktop and mobile interfaces and improved immensely over the past year. Swipe has seen extremely strong growth landing some massive clients themselves.

Project Management

Basecamp

Following the trend of being easy to use and scalable, Basecamp is no different. We manage all of our projects using this platform, and since project delivery is what we do for a living, we take this part of our business system incredibly seriously. Basecamp also has a great mobile app and a seamless integration with Salesforce.com.

Contract Execution

Docusign 

What has become the gold standard for electronic signature – this was a game changer for our business once we added Docusign to our platform. As with the majority of the other applications mentioned here, there is amazing depth to the integration capabilities with Salesforce.com to seamlessly mesh signed quotes and contracts into your sales processes with your CRM.

 Document Creation

Microsoft Office 365

The old classic, tried tested and true. We use Word, Excel and Powerpoint daily. The SaaS options with 365 are incredibly flexible and allow for the ability to avoid up front costs, so you only pay for what you need, when you need it.

Document Storage

Dropbox

Seamless integration with your laptop and phone, excellent user-interface, Dropbox is our choice for cloud storage.

Remote Meetings

GoToMeeting

There are certainly free options out there, but for reliability and the enterprise level that I feel is required for customer communication, I don’t think you can beat GTM. GoToMeeting also has a super easy-to-use integration with Google Calendar, which allows you to create one-click GTM/GCal meeting invites.

Website / Marketing

WordPress – the gold standard CSS these days. Easy to update and scale.

Dollar Photo Club – an excellent way to access constant fresh photos with the copyrighting already taken care of.

Salesforce.com – whether you’re using the marketing capability within the core Sales Cloud product where you can manage campaigns and keep Sales and Marketing working together, or using the full Marketing Automation platform called Pardot, Salesforce can help you identify those ‘top of the funnel’ leads to help grow your business.