Small business competition can be fierce, especially when reduced spending and aggressive competitors are the norms. Although competition prompts you to innovate and stay ahead of the curve, the rivalry can be intimidating.
A Goldman Sachs survey revealed that 71% of small business owners experienced adverse effects on their revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the industry becomes more cutthroat, business leaders like you have to find innovative ways to stay more competitive.
That is where business software solutions come into play. With powerful business tools at your disposal, you can make day-to-day tasks simpler and convert that potential client quicker while managing customer relationships better.
But with so many software tools available in the market, finding what you actually need can be quite overwhelming. Outlined in this article are essential software programs your small business may need to work smarter so that you can concentrate on what you do best.
1. Communication Software
Crises like the coronavirus pandemic highlight the importance of business communication. As the nature of the modern workplace rapidly changes, business leaders have to keep everyone on the same page to minimize workplace conflicts and address urgent issues.
Using a powerful communication software, you can make direct contact with employees down the hierarchy and eliminate barriers that make it more challenging for your teams to work as a cohesive unit.
As a small business owner, it is more than likely that your decisions will depend on timely communication and the availability of the right information at the right time.
With a communication tool, your employees can communicate and work together in real-time to share data about the progress of projects and ensure business continuity.
2. Accounting Software
In theory, preliminary budgeting and planning can be completed entirely on spreadsheets. But as your business grows, spreadsheets can nearly be impossible to navigate.
Add to that the evolving IRS laws and you could find yourself dealing with hefty fines or worse – permanent business closure.
Especially if paying international contractors is something you need to do regularly while making sure you're complying with the latest regulations.
Thankfully, with a small business accounting software tool, you can put various to-dos (i.e., bookkeeping, expense tracking, etc.) on autopilot.
In doing so, you can simplify activities such as payments to employees, healthcare, life or pet insurance like Pumpkin, and tax filings.
More than anything else, a powerful accounting tool can also sync all your accounting information. This makes it easier for you to get a clear picture of your financial health and make effective decisions based on facts and figures.
3. CRM Software
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is one of the best software for small business management.
With customer expectations increasing, the need to manage relationships and organize large volumes of data becomes more important in maximizing revenue.
What makes a CRM tool one of the best software for small business management is it can capture and monitor leads throughout the entire sales funnel.
Through this process, you can determine the activities required to move a prospect on the stage of the sales pipeline until the deal is done.
Being able to define the exact touchpoints in the sales pipeline where your lead becomes a sale enables you to get a more rounded view of your sales.
On top of that, a CRM tool allows you to assess multiple sales strategies and allocate your team members to the right place to close or service upcoming sales.
4. HR Software
When you are putting so much of yourself into the business, it can be easy to think of human resource management as an added cost.
And you may be right. The reality is a full-stack HR department is costly, especially if you are operating on a limited budget. But that does not mean, you should completely ignore HR.
Without proper HR processes in place, you increase the risk of subpar employee development and fines for noncompliance. The last thing you would want is to find yourself in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Luckily, you live in a digital age wherein you have various technologies such as an HR software that can help you simplify and speed up recruit campaigns, address employee development, and manage daily workflow.
Usually, HR solutions are geared with dynamic features that let you monitor performance reviews and appraisals to improve employee retention and achieve greater business efficiency.
It's simply a case of finding an employee management system that suits your needs.
5. Website Builder Software
Credibility and trust are the glue that links your business to customers, investors, and stakeholders.
Unfortunately, establishing trust and credibility can feel like a losing battle for a small business owner like you who may at one point have to convince potential investors to pursue a concept without a proven result.
By using a website builder solution, you can build a professional and attractive website that can provide potential customers and investors with an idea about working with you.
Website builder software are usually geared with drag-and-drop functionalities that make it easier to get your website up faster while ensuring that you have complete control over the look and feel.
6. Social Media Management Software
Gaining visibility has always been a battle for small businesses. Luckily, with the advent of social networks, small business owners have another weapon in their toolbox.
Despite its popularity, social media can be rendered useless for small businesses if you do not know how to take advantage of it.
By using a social media management tool, you can build and manage customer interactions on different platforms. This way, you can build an online responsive online community while preventing negative reviews as a result of late customer response time.
Plus, it allows you to track and assess the social buzz around your brand, competitors, and industry by searching for trends in consumer moods and behaviors and looking for opportunities to promote your product.
7. Enterprise Resource Planning Software
An enterprise resource planning (ERP) software platform is another good addition to your suite of small business software tools.
With an ERP software system, you can oversee all aspects of your business from planning and production to sales and distribution. And not only will you have visibility into your organization but you will also be able to share data between divisions to streamline operations.
A dynamic ERP system also lets you convert real-time organization-wide data into actionable insights for a more educated and quicker decision-making process.
8. Online Payment Software
Providing customers with multiple ways to pay you is no longer optional. In fact, McKinsey reveals that 82% of Americans are now using digital payments. Thus, having an online payment tool is critical in avoiding reduced revenues and missed business opportunities.
With a dynamic online payment software platform, you can provide more convenience not only to local customers but also to your international patrons who are making cross-border payments.
Usually, an online payment solution is packed with interoperability features that let your customers make purchases in their domestic currencies. This speeds up payment processing and eliminates errors related to currency conversions.
9. Productivity Software
Any small business understands the value of productivity in the workplace. When your business is productive, you can increase the likelihood of generating profitable opportunities and improving customer relationships.
That is why having a robust productivity solution is essential in centralizing processes, improving communication, and ensuring effective collaboration between multiple teams and departments.
The advantage of productivity solutions is that they are usually packed with features that make it easier for you to automate repetitive processes and time-consuming administrative tasks.
Moreover, productivity tools also ensure that everyone is clear about what exactly they need to be working on. This way, you can create a more collaborative work environment and execute critical business functions in real-time.
10. ECommerce Software
ECommerce is no longer for the big guns. With consumers continuing their steady march online, small businesses have to be quick enough in taking advantage of multiple sales channels to maximize their revenue potential.
One way of doing that is using an eCommerce tool. With an eCommerce solution, you can ensure that your business is open 24/7 for customers who start and end their days at peculiar times.
Moreover, an eCommerce software program does not even require you to stay and manage the app or website while users add to their cart and checkout.
All you need is a reliable server, an easy-to-use eCommerce platform, and plugin software tools to optimize your eCommerce to reach a wider audience.
Bonus: Proprofs Training Software
ProProfs LMS Software is a comprehensive solution that enables users to create, design, and sell online courses. As one of the best course creation platforms, you can develop delightful courses, lessons, and assessments using the authoring tools. The best part of this platform is that you need no coding or technical knowledge to build courses and tests.
Staying Competitive with Software Solutions
Competitive advantage is a phrase that gets thrown around loosely in small business circles. Yet, only a few actually embody it. By having these 10 dynamic software platforms under your belt, you can set your business apart from the competition and stay on top of your game regardless of market conditions.
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