Once upon a time, small businesses could operate through brick-and-mortar storefronts without having to worry about software. But today, even the smallest vendors require some level of software in order to function. And if you’re trying to get your small business to beat the competition, software is definitely going to be part of that process.
Gaining the tools you need to be competitive, however, doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Here are a few great software tools every small business needs.
Most smaller businesses don’t have a department for every aspect of their operations, and more often than not, it’s the business owner handling most day-to-day work. Accounting often falls into that category.
However, professional accounting isn’t something many people can do without a degree of education and expertise in the area. That’s where software tools like Quickbooks come in. These tools can monitor cash flow and give reports on financial performance, provide balance sheets, track KPIs, and make businesses compatible with various forms of online payment.
The software can also provide invoices and send payment notifications for things like distributed tracing – and many software tools can be accessed via mobile apps, making them incredibly convenient to use.
Once you have a good business plan set up, you’ll have several projects to juggle at once, from marketing campaigns to data entry. It can be difficult even for big, experienced businesses to handle project management, and many businesses find themselves playing a constant game of catch-up.
However, intuitive and useful tools like Trello and Slack make it easy to see exactly what you have coming up and deal with tasks as they arise. If you’re working with a team, everyone can use the management software to see their own tasks and due dates, share files with one another, and communicate about ongoing projects.
Any good project management software should also be able to help your teams to collaborate on projects, especially if you work remotely or have employees who do. Tools like Slack will allow for in-app video calls and chats to quickly discuss various aspects of projects, share files quickly, and keep track of long-term discussions.
For small shops that want the ability to sell goods online, it can feel overwhelming to find a good e-commerce software program that can support what customers want without being too complicated to manage. Thankfully, e-commerce tools like Shopify make it incredibly simple to get your online store to work. You’ll even be able to sell in different countries and deal with different currencies, do social media promotions, and use a variety of marketing tools all with that one software tool. In addition, you’ll have access to 24/7 customer support, which is an incredible load off for most small business owners.
For payment solutions, most small businesses look no further than tools like PayPal. Because of its low processing fees, PayPal is a popular choice but offers very little customization. On the other hand, a tool like Stripe offers more flexibility but is a lot more difficult for the average Joe to set up and use. It’s important to decide what you want out of payment software before settling with one and to take into account what your customers will prefer.
Small business owners almost universally struggle with time management. It’s easy to get caught up in one aspect of operations and spend a whole day on that, while other areas of your business require your attention, too.
Thankfully, there are tons of inexpensive and simple time tracking software tools that can help you see how you’re spending your time and help you to prioritize. A tool like Toggl can help you plan, track, and deliver projects on time, without stressing yourself out.
If you struggle with any aspect of running your business, trying out some new software could end up being a life-changing and life-saving decision!