Business owners now have access to powerful tools that entrepreneurs only dream of. But there is a difference between having access to a tool and actually using that tool. If you don’t know what you need, you’re missing out on an opportunity to thrive.
Here are five categories of tools to get you started:
1. CRM Software
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. “As its name suggests, CRM software was originally designed to help businesses build and maintain relationships with new and existing customers,” explains Sara Angeles of Business News Daily. “Today, however, CRM software has evolved from a simple contact management system to a powerful tool that lets you manage sales, marketing, point-of-sale (POS), accounting, vendors, and other operational data types, all easily in one accessible solution. “
From an effective perspective, CRM software is one of the best investments you can make. Most platforms are all-encompassing tools that can streamline a number of complex tasks and help businesses better attract customers at each stage of the conversion funnel.
2. Social Media Automation Tools
You know social media is important, but you don’t want to spend hours of time on it every day. This is why adopting the right suite of social media automation tools can help you in a very practical way. Tools like Hootsuit help users to do automation easily.
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The great thing about social media automation tools is that many are free. The problem also has a lot of fragmentation. It is often necessary to combine three or four different tools to automate all the pressing tasks you face. Choose wisely and you should come up with a good solution.
3. Inventory Tracking Software
Do you have inefficient business operations and a general lack of productivity? For businesses that move multiple products and possess hundreds of thousands of unique SKUs (stock units maintained) in their warehouses, inventory tracking software can be a game-changer.
“Items that collect dust on a shelf or are out of stock are really good for your business,” industry expert Paul Trujillo reminds businesses. “Excess inventory is a waste of money and too little is a missed opportunity. Inventory tracking software helps gather as much information as possible so you can track your inventory needs and can meet customer demand in a timely manner. “
4. Payroll Software and Invoices
In the early stages of a business, payroll may not be a complicated thing. But as your company grows, things get a bit complicated. Instead of hiring a full-time payroll manager, opting for payroll software can be an effective option.
With payroll software, you can streamline payroll processing, file and pay payroll taxes, report new acquisitions to the government, manage paid-off time, simplify taxes, generate reports, and more. It’s really a no-brainer. There are some useful free online payroll tools that users can use including payrollforfree, and Zoho. Users can also generate free invoice online using invoicedoor.com for their clients and customers.
5. Accounting Software
No one likes to think about accounting. The idea of crunching numbers and making sure all the lines are large enough to ignite anxiety in the purest business owner. Fortunately, the right accounting software can resolve this point of contention.
According to Angeles, choosing the right small business accounting software comes down to three questions: How much do you want to pay? Why do you need accounting software? Which features does your business need? Answer these questions and you should narrow your choices to a few reputable vendors. Users can also make use of akaunting software which is an online free application to manage accounts if the business is small or just started its operations.
Equip Your Business for Success
A hunter is only as good as his weapons, an artist as good as his brushes, and a business owner as successful as his software. In 2017, every modern business needs to be equipped with timely tools that make it easier to stay productive in a competitive marketplace. Start with these five and see where they take you.