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Written by
Katy Ratican
27 Sep 2021
4 minutes
8 excellent chat apps for small business communication
Collaborate better with your team using any of these chat apps for small businesses
Small business communication apps

More than the number of people or specialisations in your business, what matters is how well you collaborate. While this has always been the case, remote work has made it more significant. With employees working from home, it’s important for managers to use small business communication apps to enhance teamwork and collaboration.

Among mobile-friendly apps for small businesses, chat apps have taken the limelight over the past 18 months. Business owners can use these apps to communicate with their team members and get status reports among other functionalities.

What are chat apps?

Chat apps are platforms that allow individuals to communicate in real-time. Instead of sending long emails and waiting for the recipient to read and get back, these foster instant communication. More than messages, they also enable users to share documents, make audio and video calls and use other productivity tools.

Why are chat apps good for small businesses?

Traditionally, business communication used to be disjointed. Managers would communicate project details and responsibilities to employees who would report after the task was done. This meant that business owners couldn’t give much, if any, input at the right time. This was also true for collaboration between employees.

With chat apps, everyone can communicate in real-time. Employees can get information from their colleagues or managers along with the necessary documents. Business owners can track employee performance and monitor their communication to offer suggestions. These apps also allow for video calls that are vital for a remotely placed workforce.

Since they increase productivity, these apps also empower employees to optimise their work hours and find greater work-life balance. That’s why these have become some of the most popular among small business communication apps.

8 excellent chat apps for small businesses

1. Slack

Whether it’s group chat, one-on-one chat, video conferencing or audio calls, Slack has it all. You can organise several projects and use hashtags for tasks and teams. You can also share files from Dropbox, Google Drive and other services and use channels to improve collaboration.

2. Microsoft Teams

Collaboration means something else when it’s tied to a whole suite of products. Microsoft Teams is integrated with its Office 365 services and is designed to make communication easy. From chat history and photos to video and audio calls, everything is possible on this app.

3. Zoom

If there’s one tech name that has become globally known during the pandemic, it would be Zoom. Synonymous with video conferences, the app offers Zoom rooms, webinars, events and everything else you need to connect with your remotely placed team. Exceptionally easy to use, Zoom has been consistently rated as the number one by consumers.

4. Mattermost

If you run a tech startup, choose a chat app that’s built for developers. Mattermost is the only open-source collaboration software for developers designed to enhance collaboration and increase productivity. The app is also known for its privacy and security features.

5. Google Hangouts

Google isn’t far behind on chat platforms. Google Hangouts is known for its exceedingly simple user interface. So simple that you can even use it to make video or audio calls with your family. If you’re just starting out with a small team, this might be your solution.

6. Ryver

Slack has channels while Ryver has posts to foster communication between team members. Where it excels is in task management that helps you convert your conversations into actions.

7. Cisco Webex Team

The tech giant’s specialised platform for small businesses, Cisco Webex Team comes with a whiteboard collaboration tool, meeting and chat software. With a calendar app, it also allows you to organise polls and events.

8. Zoho Cliq

What differentiates Zoho Cliq from others on this list is its interface. It’s designed to be simple, allowing you to start a video call with just a click. You can also centralise workflows and set reminders for meetings in sync with your calendar.

In short

Mobile-friendly chat platforms are a must-have among small business communication apps. They can improve collaboration and productivity, especially in an age where employees are remotely placed.

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