Thanks to Peter Durand, of Alphachimp Studio, and the participation of other members, the first E|SPACES roundtable discussion was a huge success.
“What is the bane of your existence?” Peter asked members and after a lapse of silence, then laughter, he translated the phrase into business terms: “What are the most crucial aspects hindering your business?” Members discussed taxes, new business, lack of time, and trying to be all things to all people. The most pertinent killer, however, was the non-core admin tasks, the things that had to get done but no one was getting paid to do. These tasks included legal issues, proposals, handling receipts, sending emails, tracking leads, and social networking. “Only do what only you can do,” Peter said and then suggested either automating those tasks or delegating them to someone else.
In order to automate or delegate, Peter emphasized the usefulness of apps, associates, and virtual assistants. To avoid traveling so much for their business, he and his wife poured their efforts into local networking and hired about 15 associates around the country to help them with projects. They use sites such as Basecamp to help with project management, Twitter to promote their business online, and Mail Chimp to update clients on their latest news. Alphachimp Studio recommends EverNote and Flickr for your photo and organizational needs. For all you art and photography gurus out there, PhotoShop and Sketch Book Pro are excellent sources to upload, share, and sync your work.
Members shared and brainstormed about which apps helped their businesses run the best. Check them out below and see how they compare to your own favorites:
Yammer is a great source for chatting and communicating internally among employees.
Verisign allows access to favorite websites by using just one set of sign-in information.
MobileMe syncs emails, contacts, and calendar updates to phones, laptops, and other devices.
GoToMeeting helps the flow of online meetings by screen sharing and video conferencing.
So, there you have it. The roundtable offered members an opportunity to hear Peter’s unique, personal perspective on which tools best help run his business, all while getting to offer their own insider information into the world of apps and virtual assistants. We all walked away with more wisdom, knowledge, and food (thanks to Panera bagels and muffins). E|SPACES plans to hold another roundtable discussion soon, so stay tuned!