As a small business owner, productivity and efficiency should be two of your top priorities. Incorporating various types of software tools into your company can enable you to make the best use of your time as you serve your customers and expand your operation. Whether you have a traditional storefront or sell exclusively online, these tools can become indispensable components to your success.
If you’re taking care of getting your staff’s checks out using antiquated processes, here’s a piece of good news: Once you invest in payroll software, many of the tasks that now take you hours to complete and probably raise your blood pressure into the stratosphere can be automated. That includes dispatching paychecks, authorizing direct deposits and withholding the proper amount for every employee – and doing so in a timely and precise fashion. Software removes much of the chances for human error found in manually completing this task and can be a real life-saver when tax time rolls around.
Customer Relationship Management Software
Known in the industry as CRM, Customer Relationship Management software gives you numerous ways to keep track of, and communicate with, your customers. In an era when competition in almost every sector is fierce, you cannot afford to lose customers to your rivals. CRM helps you stay in touch and enables you to customize your communications. Best of all, even companies on a tight budget can afford it since there are many excellent free packages.
Keeping track of your income and expenses and paying your bills on time are perhaps even more important in your work life than they are in your personal habits. That’s because you never know when you might need a business loan, and the first thing financial institutions look at when you apply is your record of making timely payments. Not so long ago, ledger books and spreadsheets were the only way to notate income and out-flow, but today’s budgeting software has quickly left these antiquated tools in the dust. Once you set it up and as long as you keep inputting the data, your budgeting software will take much of the angst out of your financial planning and management.
Credit Card Processing Software
If your business is like most, you accept credit card payments from your customers and have a merchant account that is the link between your bank and theirs. Whether you have a stationary terminal or accept payments via a credit card reader, you have processing software that has a wide range of capabilities that go far beyond just accepting customer payments. Good point of sale software often combines many of the tools we have already discussed that can streamline all of your business operations. From inventory management to employee management to payroll to CRM, your point-of-sale system is a powerhouse that can benefit your company in numerous ways.
Backup and Recovery Software
Many small business owners have the mistaken belief that their company is too small to be a victim of data breaches or hacking. In reality, small companies are the most common victims of these crimes because many have not made security a priority. Investing in good backup and recovery software allows you to protect yourself and your customers’ sensitive data from hacking. In addition, it will save you countless hours of reconstructing your records should you have a fatal system crash.
These days, software enables you to put away the handwritten records and the spreadsheets and save untold hours of time and aggravation. Of course, you still need to be careful and watchful at the helm of the company you have worked so hard to build. But having a robust, powerful and useful set of tools at your side can help you every step of the way.