You need your business to run flawlessly. There’s no room to waste time in any part of your business, whether that’s sending out invoices or trying to locate contracts.
There’s an app or productivity tool for just about any purpose. Which ones are the most essential ones that you can’t live without?
Keep reading to discover the essential software programs that you should use in your business.
Do you have trouble remembering to follow up with leads and customers? That’s the key to closing sales and retaining customers.
A customer relationship management tool is an essential tool. It’s a database of your leads and customers. You can note your interactions with your customers and schedule follow-ups with them.
2. Communications Tools
Many small businesses have virtual assistants or remote workers all over the world. The challenge can be communicating with your team.
You can keep projects on track and hold your team accountable with a tool like Slack. It’s a project management and messaging tool.
It’s a good place for team members to ask quick questions and give status updates on projects.
3. Accounting Software
You absolutely need to have a tool to help you manage your books. There’s nothing worse than being unorganized when it’s tax time.
QuickBooks is the gold-standard when it comes to accounting software. There are options that are for any sized business.
You can also run payroll out of QuickBooks and integrate the software with a variety of tools like Shopify.
If you want a simple and free solution, Wave Accounting is a solid option. It doesn’t have the features that QuickBooks offers, but for simple accounting and reconciliation tasks, it will do the job. Free doesn’t hurt, either.
4. Billing Software
Cash flow is the heart and soul of your business. Without it, you would have trouble staying afloat. One way to keep a consistent flow of cash is to have software that automatically bills and collects payments from customers.
Depending on your business model, you could greatly benefit from subscription billing software. It’s perfect if you have a membership-based business or recurring monthly payments from your clients.
When you start to research tools, you’re going to come across a company called MoonClerk. While it’s a good tool, you want to check out MoonClerk alternatives before making a decision.
5. Cloud-Based Document Storage
Have you ever worked from home and realized you forgot important files on your office computer? Cloud-based document storage tools let your files be accessible from anywhere on any device.
Tools like Dropbox and Google Drive are some of the top tools used by small businesses.
Since your files are stored on servers outside of your location, cloud storage also gives you a backup of your most important files and documents. That can save you from serious issues if you had a computer failure or catastrophic event at your office.
6. Mileage Tracker
Do you drive to customer sites or drive to meetings? Remember, any mileage that occurred for business purposes is tax-deductible.
You could be missing out on lowering your tax bill because you’re not properly tracking your business mileage. You have to document the mileage of your car at the start of the year and at the end of the year.
In between, you have to log the mileage for each trip – what the odometer read when you left, what it was when you returned, the total miles, and the business purpose.
That can be difficult to track and remember to do every time you’re in the car. Pens go missing, and there are moments when you’re too distracted to remember.
One way around that is to download an app like MileIQ or TripLog.
7. Video Meetings
The great thing about technology is that your business is no longer confined to a small geographic area. Personal trainers in New Jersey use video to correct lifting form for clients across the country.
Bloggers use video to interview other bloggers or influencers in their niche.
You can use tools like Zoom or Skype, both of which are free to use to connect with people all over the world.
8. Marketing Tools
People won’t know that your business exists unless you tell them about it. One way to boost your business is to market your business online.
Social media is one of the most effective ways to promote your business and build your brand. The challenge with that is posting content on a consistent basis.
There are a number of outstanding tools that will allow you to schedule your posts well in advance. You just need to check in to interact with your audience.
Tailwind is a good tool to use for Pinterest and Instagram. Hootsuite and Buffer are other tools that cover a broad range of social networks.
You’ll also want to have an email marketing tool to keep your customers and potential customers up to date on your business.
9. Tools for Focus
One of the challenges that you face as a small business owner is a lack of focus. A lack of focus by you and your employees can cost your business dearly. Distractions cost businesses about $650 billion a year.
What can you do to improve focus and productivity? Get focus tools.
One such tool is a Pomodoro Timer, where you work for 25 minutes and take a break for 5. After several rounds of that, you’re rewarded with a 10-minute break.
Another tool is Focus at Will, which is perfect for writing long emails or putting together presentations. This tool consists of scientifically crafted music that is geared towards getting your focus levels high.
10. Contract Management
The Essential Software for Your Small Business
It doesn’t matter how much time you spend at your desk, you can always be more organized and more productive.
The most essential software helps you connect with your clients, have consistent cash flow, and make the most of the resources at your disposal. That means you have a more productive and effective business.
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