The success of business hinges on, among other things, the productivity of its employees. But productivity is no longer only dependent on human skills. Because of technological advances, productivity in business also now hinges on the efficiency and effectiveness of the tools you have available.In short, to stay in the game, a business should pick the right tools, too. And when I say tools, I don’t mean the printer for printing or scissors for cutting. Well, maybe those, too, but more that wide range of software solutions that help solve a particular problem.
In this article, I will share with you four software solutions you need as a business owner. But first, let’s look at the types of software solutions you need for your business.
Depending on your source, software solutions can have different classifications. Klipfolio, for instance, says software solutions fall in at least one of four categories:
Communications software solutions: Enable better communication among members of a team.
Customer service software solutions: Provide support to customers of a business
Sales and marketing software solutions: Help ensure a business’ profitability
Human resource software solutions: Help manage employees.
“Word Tracker, on the other hand, mentions three areas where you can leverage tools to improve business efficiency:
Business intelligence and analytics: “help you see the big picture.”
Team collaboration: allow for better cooperation among employees. For instance, a tool that allows you to store files in one place.
Project planning and management: allow you to document your strategies in planning a product launch or an event, or putting together a marketing or advertising strategy, among others.
The point is, a software solution helps in different aspects of a business. And it’s not actually always a one to one correspondence, or one software solution is to one business aspect kind of thing. Sometimes, a tool can help you in multiple areas because of the number of features it offers. The key, therefore, is to make a list of the areas you need help in and to do your research on each tool’s features. You don’t want to end up spending for two or three tools that have overlapping functions, after all. That being said, based on my experience, though, these are the “non-negotiables” in any business:
A business does not exist in a vacuum. In short, it has to build and nurture relationships, whether with already-existing customers, leads, fellow businesses or other people in order to reach their goals.
But before you send out your content for marketing to loyal customers and leads, or your emails to propose guest post ideas to website editors, or your PR to media practitioners, you need to make sure you send them to valid email addresses.
This is because the more frequently emails bounce, the lower your sender score drops. This can lead to you being trapped by spam filters. Worse, you could get blacklisted. This is where an email verification tools crucial. The tool literally cleanses your email list so you can build those positive relationships.
Let’s face it. When you run a business nowadays, you should run it both online and offline. Consider these statistics:
According to Small Business Web, 8 out of 10 customers are likely to engage with your business if it has a website. The Local Search Association’s “The Digital Consumer Study” says this is because a whopping 63 percent of consumers primarily use a company’s site to find and make the engagement.
And then there’s the increasing popularity of online shopping. According to statista the number of people buying goods and services online will only increase. In 2021, over 2.14 billion digital buyers are expected, up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016.
In short, you need to create that website. You have several options for this. Hire a website developer to do the job, study website development yourself, or purchase a tool that will create the website. The first option, however, is costly, while the second takes time.
The third option is perhaps the most practical one to take. For one, you can navigate your way around a page builder yourself in a matter of minutes. More often than not, you don’t even need to know code to use the tool. The instructions are fairly easy to understand.
For another, page builders don’t cost as much. For the output you get and the time that you save, those few extra bucks you pay for the tool are definitely worth every penny.
ClickFunnels, for instance, is good for creating professional pages. Its templates are easy to use so even people who don’t know how to code can create a website. They also incorporate funnels so you don’t have to create them separately. For more details, you can check out this clickfunnel review.
The goal of every business is to make a profit. Every business is also made up of employees who need to be paid. And then there are the necessary business expenditures for expansion. In short, every business involves the use of money.
If the business is small, monitoring the money coming in and going out can be quite easy. Business owners who are starting out usually do the accounting themselves for several reasons: One because they can’t afford to hire anyone else to do it, and two, because they can. The numbers, after all, are not so big they can compute easily even if they’re not good at math.
But what happens when the business expands? Then it becomes a challenge to do the accounting yourself. Sure, you can continue doing this, but you can be prone to more mistakes because of the huge numbers involved. And then there’s the time you’d have to spend doing the accounting, which is time you could spend being productive for the business elsewhere.
Hiring an accountant is an option, but that, again, is costly. According to Small Business, in the United States, accountants charge $100 to $400 per hour, depending on the type of work, the size of the firm and its location. That is a lot, especially since the time the accountant would take to make a full accounting of your financial status is not within your control.
Thankfully, with the advent of technology, you now have a third option: to get the best accounting software. Accounting solutions are not as expensive as real accountants. Some, mind you, are even free (but without all the other useful features, of course).
And then there’s the fact that accounting solutions are basically automated. In short, you just put in the numbers, and the program does everything for you in a much shorter span of time. You don’t even need to worry about how much space the program would occupy on your computer. Most accounting software, after all, is now cloud-based.
Businesses are comprised of people. Now if you’re only two people in a company, managing tasks and ensuring you’re both on schedule can be quite easy. You’d probably only need to talk about what tasks need to be done by tomorrow and remind each other about what needs to be done later.
But when you’re a lot more in a company, that’s a different story. Keeping track of who’s in charge of what and of deadlines can be impossible. You can write down all the necessary details on paper so you can issue reminders every now and then. But between the writing and the making follow-ups to each member, that would take up too much of your time. This is where management software comes in. With this type of tool, you can keep track of all your projects and the dates they’re supposed to have been completed. And the good thing is, it’s not just you. All the members of your team also have a visual way of keeping track of the tasks assigned to them. In short, the “I forgot to do this” excuse can no longer apply.
In short, management software allows you to do more things together as a team. It ensures productivity.
In this article, I discussed the importance of tools in any business. If a company wants to get ahead or even just stay in the game, it needs to acquire tools that will help it be more efficient and productive. In short, business tools are no longer a luxury. They’re a necessity. Although there are many business tools you can use, for example, a branded link shortener, I listed four that I think are the non-negotiable ones. The email verification tool, page builder, accounting software and management software will address practically every relevant aspect of your business in order for it to survive.
This is not to say, however, that you should limit your options to these four. As I mentioned earlier, there are different tools being offered to businesses nowadays that can address other business areas.
Just list down the areas you would really like some help in. From there, you do your research on the pertinent business tools, and on what they have to offer. When you make your decision, pick the tools that have no overlapping functions. If you do this, your company can be as productive as a well-oiled machine—without you having to waste the big bucks.
Bio: Owen Baker is a content marketer for Right Inbox, an email scheduling tool , and Voila Norbert. He has spent most of the last decade working online for a range of marketing companies. When he’s not busy writing, you can find him in the kitchen mastering new dishes.