General Business

Check Out the Best Team Communication Tools of 2017

The business world requires a certain amount of synergy between departments, colleagues, and teams. Reaching this synergy can be simple. Effective communication in the workplace enables your whole organization to stay on the same page. In the modern world, companies are using the best team communication tools to get every employee unified in one central dialogue. These tools take the form of powerful and dynamic apps that allow for productive collaboration. Productive collaboration can mean the difference between foreseeing trends, controlling your business, or plummeting from a lack of foresight.

The best team communication tools help make time-tracking, project management, and communication & collaboration seamless. General operational aspects of your business are optimized with communication software and tools. Scaling companies can use communication software to help make changes succinct and increase productivity with cooperative workflow. There are dozens of team communication tools available. Most options are relatively inexpensive and will be worth the subscription.

The pet franchise company, Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique, has developed its own proprietary software that performs all the functions of the best team communication tools. The terminal software is an individualized and perfected tool for Splash and Dash franchise owners. Functions like employee scheduling, time-clock, time-off, POS, and communication are all features handled within the dashboard. The most advantageous component of the software is that company developers can tweak the functions—meeting the needs of each franchise owner.

For small business owners, or those just looking for the best team communication tools, Splash and Dash has compiled a list of the 8 best team communication tools available for your company.

Evernote Business

Evernote Business is an extension of the note-taking app named simply, Evernote. The difference is the app allows users to share ideas with a large number of people with a team collaboration tool. This tool resembles a giant digital whiteboard. Colleagues can jot down notes as contributions of their ideas and work-production within the whiteboard. This allows teams to work in real-time across the globe with all ideas centralized.


  • Collaboration in a Single Workspace
  • Systemizes Team Projects
  • Search Documents Without Opening Them
  • Presentation Mode
  • Idea Boards

Price: $12 per user/month


Trello is a multifunctional app that arranges notes and projects in logical order. This app’s navigation is simple but elegant, offering information at a glance. Trello is used by Fortune 500 companies like Adobe, Google, and Pixar. Operating Trello is a fun and intuitive process with drag-and-drop tasks appearing under different statuses. Each status indicates a tasks’ priority level.


  • Prioritizes/Organizes Tasks List by Date & Concern
  • Management Board Displays Tasks & Ideas
  • Collaboration Commenting
  • Create Multiple Task Boards
  • File Attachment

Price: Standard–Free/ $5/month for Trello Gold

Liquid Planner

Liquid Planner uses smart technology to set realistic goals for project management. The software uses a combination of best-case and worst-case scenarios to prioritize. As one of the best team communication tools, the software handles project management, time-tracking, and communication. The dashboard is responsive and adapts to your team’s workflow.


  • Estimates Realistic & Practical Range of Time for Task Completion
  • Commenting on Schedule & Tasks
  • Collaboration Boards
  • Resource Management
  • Scheduling Screen

Price: Standard Plan (50 projects) $29 user/month–Professional (300 projects) $39 user/month


Slack software is one of the best team communication tools for companies that need to be in constant communication. Users can create a Slack channel—set up notifications–to create a constant dialogue feed that all relevant employees on the channel can see in real-time. This boosts productivity and helps managers get insight into the timeline of each project. The software is packed with shortcuts and timesavers that makes it easier on your team.


  • Team Chat Communication
  • Integration with Apps like Google Drive/Box/Dropbox
  • Set Reminders
  • Highlight Words for Notifications
  • Team Correspondence
  • Slackbots

Price: Basic Plan is free—Standard Plan $8 user/month—Plus Plan $15 user/month

Concept Inbox

Concept Inbox is the ideal communication tools for teams that collaborate on creative tasks like graphic design, app design, and annotation on video design. This software helps clients work with teams within the creative process. Planning, prototyping, and templated approved designs can streamline your team’s task list.


  • Prototyping Web/Mobile/Tablet Apps
  • Commenting/Annotating On Designs & Notes
  • File Sharing of Videos/ Design Image Files/ PDFs
  • Real-Time Collaboration
  • Discuss Work with Clients & Stakeholders
  • Version Control
  • Project History

Price: Starter Plan (3 projects) $14/month—Unlimited Plan (unlimited projects) $25/month—Small Team Plan (5 users) $49/month


Airtable is great for teams that are looking to expand the limitations of Excel and Google Sheets. The interactive spreadsheets allow multiple users to work on documents in real-time while allowing organized ideas, admins, and attachment of documents & images for specified rows and cells. The app’s collection of editable templates helps automate a tedious workload. Templates cover everything from film production to wedding planning.


  • Instantly Synced Changes Via Cloud-Computing
  • Multiple Dashboard Views
  • Link Related Content
  • Integration with Most Major Apps

Price: Standard is Free—Plus $10/month—Pro $20/month—Enterprise, Individualized Pricing


Fleep is one top best team communication tools for the next generation of chatting. The software was developed with project collaboration in mind with channels able to integrate between email apps or Google Hangouts. No matter what messenger tool your team uses, Fleep can sync every conversation. This cuts out hours of redundancy from back-and-forth emailing.


  • Team Member/Partner Chatting
  • Email Compatibility & Integration
  • Pin Important Messages to Side of Any Conversation
  • File Sharing

Price: Standard is Free—Business $5 users/month—More plans available on request


Notion takes the team management experience and flips all obsolete modes on their heads. This tool makes planning & discussing projects, sharing, and project management effortless tasks. The notion can be altered for a tailored experience that meets your company’s specific needs. Alongside this individualization, the software is easily integrated into other chat apps for more streamlined communication.


  • To-Do Lists
  • Weekly Planner
  • Note Taking
  • File Sharing
  • Commenting
  • Project Planning
  • Weekly Checklist
  • Shared Whiteboard Navigation

Price: Free (5 users)—Pro Plan $5 user/month

How to Find the Best Software for Your Team

With countless multifunctioning apps out there, it’s hard to discern which is the best team communication tool for your team’s specific needs. Figuring out which one to go with is as simple as asking yourself a few questions.

What is the problem?

What issues are you trying to eliminate, solve, or automate? Consider what your team needs. What tools can better equip them to do their jobs? If too much time is spent on creative brainstorm meetings, finding a simple communication tool like Slack can help to stop excessive meetings. With Slack allowing more room for real-time collaboration, your team is in constant dialogue.

Map the Current Workflow

Before considering automating apps, single out the logistics that your team spends on tedious activities. This is the first step in eliminating redundancy (your employees will appreciate it). If a specific type of software can help facilitate the daily workload for employees, begin your search there.

Find the Solution

Business software providers typically design their products around an arising issue that’s common in the workplace. If your company’s issue is feeling inhibited by the limitations of standard emailing. It is time to find a more comprehensive communication app for your team to boost productivity. The perfect app offers a solution to your problem. Fortunately, many communication software applications offer free trials. This way, you can trial-and-error experiment to find the best one for your team. However, remember that too much change can often lead to dissent, so do your research first before implementing software changes.


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There is a New Generation of Pet Owners But How are Millennials Different?

Exploring the Hype Behind New Primary Pet Owners: How to Market & Sell to Millennials

A recent tectonic shift has roused curiosity as Millennials supersede the baby boomers as the primary pet owners in the U.S., according to an annual report published by the APPA (American Pet Products Association). The Millennial pet owners are 43 million strong and now comprise 35% of total pet ownership. The exciting announcement was made at the 2017 Global Pet Expo. The statement was an incendiary for questions as the industry prepares itself for the trajectory of millennial pet spending.

A millennial is classified as anyone born between the years 1982 and 2000—currently in the 18 to 34-year-old age group. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 83.1 million individuals make up this generation, again exceeding boomers by 7.7 million.

Most boomers are headed for retirement. The Golden Generation is spending even more frugally as their 60th birthday approaches or the candles have already been blown out. Millennials contrast the previous generations spending and lifestyle habits in some capitalizing ways. Student loan repayment programs, technology, and societal changes have made the Millennial a different breed of consumer.

What Should Retailers Expect from the New Pet Owners?

Millennials—armed with smartphones—prefer the comfort of swiping and browsing to make their purchases on mobile with 60% of the Millennial population owning a smartphone. Because of this, they are also more likely to do consumer research on products and companies before making purchases. Technology also puts convenience at the forefront of Millennial shopping. Instead of using company websites, the new pet owners prefer crowd-sourced review sites like Yelp and other social media platforms to gain insights on new products. This means a retailer’s internet clout is vital to attract and retain customers. Using CRM software and inbound marketing techniques can save small businesses time and money by using digital advertising and marketing—go to your customers instead of having them come to you.

The Millennial shoppers have also been labeled irrational and experimental by trend analysts. Impulse buying is a standard for the age bracket. Younger consumers have a diverging definition on what is essential with a tendency to view what past generations have deemed as ‘non-essential’ or ‘luxury items’ as non-discretionary products. This reasoning is why coffee retailers have revolutionized the standard price for a cup of coffee.The same is true in the pet industry. Millennial pet owners value pet products and services that enhance their pet’s life and are willing to splurge on things that aren’t necessarily essential.

The generation spends three times more on apparel than any other generation and 64% eat out once a week or more. They are also 52% more likely to make impulsive or pampering purchases. The generation wants uniqueness. They want an experience that can be ‘shared’ over social media. Product purchasing is more about the experience than the actual act of shopping. The implications of this give smaller retail chains an advantage over big-box operations. This means upscale segments of the industry are superior to the MNC counterparts. Boutiques and specialty stores in walkable urban locations are ideal for this younger consumer crowd. A retailer that provides unique products, only sold at that location, has a higher chance of winning over the Millennial consumers that are willing to buy things to spoil their dogs.

Influence on the Pet Industry

Most Millennials view their four-legged pets no differently than they would view two-legged children. Pets are cheaper than human children and this sentiment is reflected in a Suntrust Mortgage Report stated that 42% of Millennials are climbing the property ladder to make room for their pets—over more typical incentives to sign a mortgage like children and marriage.

A Packaged Facts report showed that 82% of Millennials agree that being a pet owner is preparing for a family with 61% stating a ‘portable pet’ was ideal. This makes toy breeds like the French Bulldog, Maltese, and Miniature Poodle the optimal pet for a millennial. This is two-fold from the response of baby boomers. The actual growth in pet ownership is a result of more Millennials too. Consumer Survey data identify 1 in 3 of U.S. pet owners as Millennials, responsible for 43% of pet owner growth between 2007 and 2015.

Not only do Millennials have more pets but they want to give their pets lavish treatment. The same report showed that 76% will binge on products like expensive treats, BPA-free toys, organic food, hypoallergenic food American made & eco-friendly products, and custom beds for their pets. In general, Millennials are more health-conscious. They have higher standards when it comes to making purchases for their pets and are willing to pay more for higher quality products and services.

Diverging Demographics

Also seen in the U.S. Census, Millennials consist of a larger number of non-white individuals with reports of 44.2% comprised of a minority race or other ethnic groups. This number is projected to cumulatively increase between the years 2015 and 2020, compared with a 2% projected increase in non-Hispanics.

The number of pet owners aligns with the spike in population. Growth in pet ownership statistics is mostly coming from Latinos, Asians, and other minority racial groups. Although the majority of dog owners are currently non-Hispanic white, if trends continue as they have in the past five years, this is subject to change.

Men are also more likely to seek out companionship from pets. Surveys found that 71% of men, between the ages of 18 and 34, own dogs compared with the 62% of women.

Marketing to the Millennials

Next year, nation-wide spending power for the Millennials will reach $3.39 trillion. In 2016, over $66.75 billion was spent on pets—an almost 40% increase in spending since 2000, the cutoff point for the generation. This industry growth makes marketing to Millennials a valuable marketing approach.

What do these new pet owners want?

Millennials want to pamper their pets. Meaning high-quality foods with pronounceable ingredients, American-made & eco-friendly products, and services that are mimetic of human services have the highest demand.

The grooming sector has the most room for growth. The expansion of pet grooming salons equipped with spa treatments accounts for this market gap. Since Millennials are viewing their pets as humans, retailers and grooming salons need to design their marketing campaigns with this in mind. Showing customers that you will treat their pets like family—with love and professionalism—is a strong route.

Also, cater to the experience side of your brick-and-mortar features. (Having WiFi is essential!) The majority of Millennial engagement is through mobile, and one in ten pets have their own social media accounts. This means retailers need to find ways for customers to share their shopping experience in your shop. Encourage customers to take pictures of their recently groomed pets and give instructions on how to tag your shop. Set up a selfie-board for customers with a communal hashtag centered around your business.

The more involvement the better.

Trend analysts also suggest thinking outside of the box. Throw events, like dog birthday parties, adoption days, or posing with seasonal figures like Santa Claus to promote your small business. Shop owners also need to look outward into the community to see what their customers are interested in. Having bi-lingual signage, or getting feedback by surveying customers on the types of products they would like to see in stores, can help welcome customers who would otherwise be uninterested. This individualized method does what big-box operations cannot. Being attuned to the community surrounding your pet shop give small businesses an advantage.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique is leading the pack to provide pet owners with the healthiest and most sought-after options available for all generations’ pets to live long and happy lives.


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