5 Essential Software Solutions That Boost Growth for Small Businesses
Business owners and their key executives spend more than 30% of their work week in time-wasting, low-value, and no-value activities” said David Finkel, CEO of a business coaching company, Maui Masterminds, in an Inc.com article.
If you’re running a small business, you probably know what Finkle is talking about. One of the main roadblocks for further growth of your business is the cumbersome administrative, financial, and other management tasks that consume a lot of your time and resources.
Fortunately, today you can choose among various technology solutions that can help small businesses to increase efficiency, optimize workflows, and automate processes, which allow you to focus more on your work and your projects. Ultimately, the profits will increase, and the waste decrease, especially in terms of time savings.
Here are the five small business areas where you can easily substitute your spreadsheets and manual processes with technology and take your company to the next level.
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM is becoming increasingly important in running a successful small business in the Digital Era, where a personalized approach often means the difference between you and your competitors, and where small teams with limited budgets need an efficient tool to keep track of customer details.
Compiling customer and prospect databases with the ability to update them in real-time and conduct personalized marketing campaigns can dramatically improve your sales results. Efficient CRM enables you to track your customer communications and make the most of your contact base, while being budget-friendly, easy-to-use and adopt, customizable, scalable, and flexible at the same time.
Some of the popular CRM solutions for SMBs are Agile CRM, Batchbook, Capsule CRM, and HubSpot CRM.
2. Financial Software (Invoicing & Quoting)
Attaching quotes and invoices to relevant contacts will save you a lot of time and frustration in your financial tasks. In addition, when your invoices are integrated with your business platform, everything gets captured in real-time and you can have a better view of your popular services or products, organize offerings more efficiently, and, ultimately, increase profits. There is a variety of options here, where some even fall under free invoicing software (without trials).
Among them are QuickBooks, InvoiceBerry, OnlineInvoices, Zoho Invoice, Invoice2go, and many more.
3. Lead Generation/Sales
Every person or company that you’ve contacted through your business, or who has reached out to you at some point, is your potential lead. To organize that database more efficiently, or to follow-up with old contacts that have sometimes requested an offer but have never made a purchase, you can use one of the available sales management tools. After all, sales software can give you operable intelligence that helps you identify customer sentiments and buying patterns, while enabling – again – more personalized interaction with your consumers and/or clients.
You can try out some of the following: Pipedrive, Brightpearl, Unomy, Freshsales, or HubSpot Sales.
4. Project Management Tools
Crucial software solutions for anyone who wants to run efficient projects that stay on track with the deliverables and respect the agreed milestones and timescales. Software for project management allows you to track your project development at every stage and link it the to the customer and costs, as opposed to working across many different systems that are disconnected and cannot provide a “single source of truth”.
SMBs typically use Basecamp, Avaza, Asana, Trello, or Paymo as the project management software of their choice.
5. Human Resources Management
Taking care of your employees is essential if you want to thrive in business, and software solutions can offer tremendous help in simplifying administrative tasks in your team management. They enable you to schedule employee shifts, work tasks, training, and keep track of recruitment, onboarding, engagement, responsibilities, or employee progress. The can also assist you in streamlining payroll calculations or human resources required for a specific project.
Some of the most used HR tools among SMs are BambooHR, Zoho People, Namely, Gusto, and Cezanne.
There is a wide range of software choices that can simplify your business operations and the biggest issue is to choose the ones that best fit your business – and your budget. Comparison of prices and functionalities can help you narrow down your choices and, even though it sounds like a tiresome process, it’s worth the effort. Because, in the long run, these technology tools can save you a lot of time, help you hit your sales numbers – and grow your profits.