We all know how difficult and demanding it can be to run a small business. As the owner, you need to stay on top of almost every activity, from procurement to employees to sales to accounting. Having the right software tools will make running your business seamless and more efficient.
Software is especially vital for small businesses, where there is less specialization and more exposure to job functions. You and your team will most likely need to wear more than one hat.
Small business software tools will empower you and your team to manage almost any task in your business, regardless of whether you have the expertise.
Small Business Software Categories to Consider
This post highlights over 10 software classifications to consider for your small business. Each category will provide an overview of what the software is for and ideas on how to use it to run your business. In addition, you’ll have links to search results allowing you to explore the software available for the category. It is a good idea to seek reviews for any software you are considering to find out what others have said about it.
Here are some software categories that are relevant to many small businesses.
Accounting and Bookkeeping
Accounting and bookkeeping are essential functions in any business. They not only allow the smooth running of the entity but also enable you to create budgets and forecasts and make decisions based on the financial information you collect through accounting and bookkeeping activities.
Accounting and bookkeeping tools are essential to have in your business. Use this software to monitor your revenue, expenses, profits, cash flow, and other financial data. You can also record and track financial transactions to ensure your books are always accurate and updated.
Accounting software also assists with the following functions
- Payroll processing
- Accounting reporting
- Tax form generation
- Receipt capture and tracking
There are many accounting tools perfect for small businesses. Some require no expertise, while others have a learning curve. Here is a link to search results highlighting the various accounting and bookkeeping software available for small businesses.
Tax software provides the tools and features for navigating the tax filing and reporting processes. This software assists taxpayers with little to no knowledge of tax filing.
Tax software often comes in two interfaces. The first is interview-based tax software that contains a question-and-answer format to ease the filing process. You answer questions regarding your tax status, and the software creates the tax report for you. There is also form-based software that mimics the look of tax forms. All you need to do is enter information into the required boxes.
Explore these search results for tax software for small businesses.
Website-building software empowers you to build and design attractive and professional-looking business websites. Some software, such as website-builder platforms, require very little know-how in web design and coding. Others, like WordPress, may require coding if you have customizations not found in plugins.
Most website-building software applications contain templates and themes you can duplicate and edit to build your web pages. They come with SEO tools, plugins, analytics dashboards, e-commerce tools, and more.
Website-building software empowers you to not only create rich websites but also manage and maintain them. For those interested in these tools, check out the search results for website-building software.
As the name suggests, employee management software helps you manage your staff throughout their day-to-day operations and employment lifecycle. This software contains features such as timekeeping, absence and leave, performance reviews, onboarding and recruitment, and organizational charts.
Employment management software facilitates the hiring, monitoring, supervising, and tracking of employees, thus improving your internal processes. Check out the top search results for employee management software.
HR software is used for managing daily human resource tasks and activities. This software automates manual HR-related tasks, organizes and stores employee information, and creates and tracks employee training and coaching activities. The software also has features for managing the recruitment process, from interviewing to pre-boarding and onboarding.
The most resounding benefit of using HR software is you spend less time performing repetitive and manual HR-administrative tasks. The software streamlines your HR processes, thus allowing you to manage your workforce better. Here are the search results for HR software.
The success of any business relies on its ability to attract leads, sell, and retain existing customers. Doing so starts with promoting your business and your products and services. In other words, its starts with marketing. Marketing software allows you to create, execute, track, and optimize marketing campaigns.
There are different types of marketing software, depending on the channel. There is SMS marketing software, social media marketing software, email marketing software, etc.
When selecting software, determine first which marketing channels you want for your business. Afterward, pick the marketing tools geared to that channel. Find your preferred marketing software from these search results.
Customer service software is a digital tool for improving customer support and experience. This software contains a centralized system for managing all customer service functions. Customer service software empowers you and your team to track, prioritize, analyze, and respond to client queries and complaints.
Customer service software also unifies communications across all channels, from email to chat to calls and social media. Here are the various types of customer service software:
- Self-service software: Empowers customers to look for a solution on their own rather than wait to talk to a customer service agent.
- Automated customer service: Assist customers with their problems without involving a human.
- Phone support software: Enables you to manage phone-based customer service functions (e.g., call center software.)
Here is a search results link to customer service software.
Communication software facilitates communication within your business. It allows you to talk to your team in real-time, regardless of location. This software works best for staff that works fully or partially remotely.
When selecting team communication software, consider how you want to communicate with your team. You can pick meeting-based software like Zoom or chat-based communication software such as Google Chat and Microsoft Kaizala. For more options, check out these search results for communication software.
Project management software provides tools and features for tracking ongoing projects and tasks. This software enables you to manage tasks as simple as day-to-day activities to complex projects such as constructing an apartment building.
When using project management software, your first function will be to note down the task or project. You’ll also indicate the team members, deliverables, and timelines for completing the task. This software has open visibility, meaning your team members can view the project dashboard as you edit. Explore these search results that highlight project management software.
Productivity software is a suite of programs that enable you to produce information such as documents, charts, graphs, spreadsheets, databases, etc. This software facilitates productivity by providing the tools and applications needed to perform job functions. Microsoft Office is a classic example of productivity software.
Some productivity applications combine business software like communication and collaboration tools into one central place. Other tools you may find in productivity software are database management and time-tracking software. Productivity software empowers you to perform your job functions. Here are the search results for productivity software.
Document management software helps you store, organize, track, share and access electronic and digital documents. This software provides a central location for managing your documents, thus allowing easy access and retrieval of information for you and your team.
Some document management software tools, such as Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive, are cloud-based, meaning your documents get stored in a remote storage system. With cloud storage, you and your staff can access documents anywhere and at any time. Check out these document management software tools.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer relationship management software, also known as CRM software, helps you manage your relationships with clients and prospects. This software empowers you to manage customer relationships throughout their entire lifecycle, from lead generation to after-sale services and support.
CRM software brings all your customer relationship tasks into one place. It consolidates your proposals, lead quotes, orders and purchases, and customer communication into one system, thus facilitating easy management. Another essential function of this software is contact management, where the tool stores your customers’ contact information. Explore customer relationship management software from the latest search results.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. This system is a digital tool for managing the essential processes of a business. ERP software links all your business processes, from accounting to supply chain, to logistics and marketing, into one place.
By bringing these functions together, information flows quickly and freely across all departments. Anyone authorized to access data can log in to the ERP system and find the information for performing their function. For example, the sales department can find information on which products are available and which are out of stock. The same applies to the finance and supply chain departments.
Find suitable ERP systems for your small business.
Which Tools Are Best for Your Small Business?
It’s important to note that some of the functions of these tools will overlap. Therefore, if you procure a top-of-the-line CRM, you might not require customer service software. Some solutions will cost more than others but bring better functionality. So set aside a budget, do your research, and figure out what’s best for your needs.
Below are a few resources you may be interested in to further expand your knowledge of business software. In addition, many links lead to search results to give you the latest and most popular resources related to small business software.
More Software Reviews
In addition to the tips and insights offered in this article, you can further your knowledge by clicking on the link below to give you the top reviews for business software you may be considering.
How to Choose Software
The link below offers tips to ensure you choose the right software that’ll work for your small business.
Choosing the right software takes a bit of time because you want to ensure you’re not using an inferior software package. Also, switching software is a complicated process that can cause downtime, especially with a lot of data.
Choose a Computer to Run Your Software
Most software will run on today’s computers, especially small business software, but it doesn’t hurt to ensure you’re using a computer with enough memory and CPU power to run the software you select.
The news is another way to pick up tips and insights into the world of business software.
For news about your particular software, just type it in the search bar, and get a list of relevant media coverage.
YouTube is an excellent source to learn more about the software you choose. Just type in the software name in the search bar, and you get a list of videos for which people have created tutorials.