Collaboration is becoming ever more important for businesses

Gone are the days of top-down management. Instead, they have been replaced by increasingly horizontal relationships in which networks of employees cooperate and delegate in order to complete tasks more efficiently.

Podio’s collaboration software can help businesses collaborate better. It is an online platform that encourages more effective working practices in businesses of every size. Think of it as a simple, intuitive framework on which to develop efficient workflows.

Podio has implications and uses for organisations of every size. So how can it help your small business? Here are some of its benefits based off our own experience of using Podio here at Simply Business.

It is easy to use

Many of the collaborative work tools currently available rely on users being able to learn a completely new interface. All too frequently, users are expected to adapt to a rigid, unfamiliar system or workflow – and this can put people off using the software at all.

Podio, on the other hand, is instantly familiar. If you have used a social networking service like Facebook in the past, you and your colleagues will be able to find your way around pretty quickly. The interface is intuitive – and, most importantly, it is both easily adaptable and highly scalable. In addition to the ‘out of the box’ configuration, the App Store provides you with a simple way to add new features to suit your business - from timesheets to extra lead management tools.

It facilitates better collaboration

Podio helps small businesses work together better. The world of business is increasingly moving online, and this has had major implications for small firms. But all too frequently, small businesses rely on technology that is either not up to scratch or that is not fit for purpose. For example, do you suffer from email overload? Are you communicating with colleagues and employees through an endless stream of emails or IM messages?

Podio provides a simple way of collaborating with your colleagues, enabling you to discuss, assign and complete tasks in a slick, streamlined way. The software is designed for business use. This might sound obvious, but it’s important. Shoehorning your workflow into unsuitable technology can seriously limit your productivity. But the intelligent use of software like Podio can help to ensure that you work as smartly and as efficiently as possible.

It's good for sales

In addition to its collaboration tools, Podio offers a range of features that can help you boost sales.

The software provides you and your colleagues with a simple but powerful way to manage leads and keep on top of relationships. Using a combination of out of the box’features and add-ons from the App Store, it is perfectly possible to adapt Podio into a fully-fledged CRM. This means that you and your employees can collaborate at every stage of the sales process, without leaving the software.

Podio also gives you the opportunity to set up automated alerts, sent to relevant individuals at specific points during the sales process. This can help to ensure that you do not waste leads, and that your conversion rate is as high as it possibly could be.

It helps to build teams

Podio takes social media as its foundation. We have already talked about the usability benefits of this approach. But it is also worth understanding the team-building aspect of Podio.

Centring your workflow on a social, collaborative tool cannot help but make your team more cohesive and more socially minded. Think about how much you rely on tools like Facebook to maintain relationships. Podio provides you with the same benefits – but in a work environment.

In addition, Podio provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ for recruitment. The software enables you to write job descriptions, circulate and review CVs, and organise interviews, all in one place and while involving every stakeholder. This encourages a more collaborative recruitment process – and, ultimately, should help you hire better.

It is available everywhere

Podio is hosted ‘in the cloud’ – meaning that you and your employees can access it from anywhere in the world. iPhone and Android apps mean that the tools Podio offers are available even when you are away from a computer.

Additionally, this arrangement means you don’t need to worry about hosting. The technical side of Podio is all looked after for you – meaning that you and your IT department can concentrate on running your business.

Podio is available from free. Click here to try it

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