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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Is Your Business Growing? It Might be Time to Offer Health Insurance

The small business administration outlines 600,000 plus franchised small businesses accounting for 40% of U.S retail sales. This number is steadily growing. The proliferation of franchised small business is continuing to report strong numbers in the global economy. 28 million small businesses provide for 54% of all U.S. sales. This means that 52.6 million hardworking Americans make up the work force behind these figures. As part of the affordable care act, organizations with under 50 employees are not mandated to provide health insurance for a small business.

Still, many employers choose to provide health insurance to attract and retain talented employees. There are various options to choose from. An organization’s business model will affect which option in health insurance plans will be the most financially viable. If your once small start-up or franchise is growing in sales and employees it might be time to start reviewing your options.

There are shifting tectonic plates in the healthcare world right now and it’s likely nothing will be resolved anytime soon. This article provides the most up-to-date information on the options for health insurance for a small business and will explore five available options.

Individual Health Insurance

Many argue that the most straightforward approach is individual health insurance. Since individual subsidies are commonly available for families with annual household incomes of approximately $95K, and there is flexibility for each employee to choose from thousands of plans for the exact coverage they need, the appeal of taking advantage of the individual market for health insurance for a small business is apparent.

A small business owner can allow their employees to purchase individual health care coverage through the market or broker. If employers would like to contribute to their employees’ premium or other medical expenses they can set up a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA).  Individual plans are arguably the most cost-effective. Small groups can contribute any amount up to federal limits. Many small businesses are offering their employees a “raise” to purchase health insurance. This one time raise paired with government subsidies is more cost-efficient than paying for group insurance.

Many employers state the individual route as the best pathway to provide health insurance for a small business who is a first-time buyer or does not have the administration to arrange for a group health plan.

Small Business Health Care Programs (SHOP) Marketplace

SHOP is an extension of the affordable care act. This option rolls out through a public-state or federally run program exchanges that sell small group health policies. Many consider this good coverage for small businesses with less than 50 employees. Organizations with under 25 employees may qualify for a small business health care tax credit which can be worth up to 50% of your premium costs.

Employers’ Options:

  • Offer employees single plan, or let them choose from many plans
  • Offer only health coverage, health and dental coverage, or only dental coverage
  • Choose how much you pay toward your employees’ premiums, and whether to offer coverage to their dependents
  • Decide how long your employees’ initial enrollment period is, and how long new employees must wait before joining the plan

SHOP has come under some heat after first being implemented. A series of technical glitches delayed initial enrollment in some state exchanges.Also, the requirement that employers must offer a series of options wasn’t mandated until 2016 allowing 16 of 32 states with SHOP exchanges to only offer only one coverage option.

Private Health Exchange

The term private health exchange has been circulating the radar for the past few years and is gaining traction in the options of health insurance for a small business. This style of exchange is defined as a type of contribution strategy. With a private health exchange, a group of employees can set up a contribution that will be used toward either individual or group-based plans.

A brokered private exchange can be offered to a small group through a broker with a defined contribution or a private exchange provider. Small businesses like startups and new divisions of leading insurance companies have been created to adopt this approach.

Private Small Group Health Plan

Employers can still offer a private small health group plan. Small groups can find options and carriers to select from the private market with more options than SHOP in some states.


Many small groups join a co-op to purchase health care. Using a co-op expands buying power and mitigates risk to a larger group. Depending on the group’s needs, will detail how the co-op is structured. Regional insurance underwriting laws and the structure of the co-op determine whether going with a co-op will be more cost-effective than the insurance marketplace or SHOP.


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