The turn of the last decade saw many small and medium-sized businesses seeing the light. Almost every country eased the tourniquet over international and domestic business policies. The result: ease of doing business has caused SMBs to flourish. But these potential biggies need organization and a systematic approach as well. Software with a license, free, and freemium software have managed to make inroads into the functioning of SMBs. We look at 12 such le creme de la creme software tools that every small and medium-sized business should have.
Business accounting and budgeting software tools
Yes, we know accounting can be as challenging as cracking a hieroglyph for small businesses. Some intuitive, next-generation software tools have been potent in streamlining the budgets and keeping clear and legible accounts. A few examples are:
Scoro is a one-of-its-kind software consisting of various sets of tools for project management, CRM, and budgeting. Scoro enjoys a lofty perch in the budgeting and finance department in almost all key offices globally. This software will give you an interface which makes accessing all the financial data seem like a cakewalk. Included in the licensed version are stellar features such as: financial KPI dashboard, financial reports and analyses, and budget planning and financing.
Accounting by Wave
Not every small business wants to shed money on software, and we respect that. But if you keep things down to basics, your needs for bookkeeping are solved with this software. The licensed version of Accounting by Wave is pocket-friendly and is moderately priced at $19 a month.
The reason why Maxiplan has been catapulted into the forefront of business accounting tools is its budgeting solutions that are highly cost-effective. It provides a unique profit and loss and cash flow forecast that sets it apart from other similar tools. We understand that a spreadsheet-based process can often be nothing but chaos and is full of complexity. Maxiplan has enabled management to look beyond this problem by offering effective planning and allowing you to better gauge your company’s financial performance.
Online cloud storage, web page, and survey software tools
Cloud-powered software tools provide affordable problem solving for small businesses, at least in the spheres of website creation, web page building, and digital marketing. These are worth a look for your SMB:
Google Drive is not a stranger to many small or big businesses for that instance. It’s linked to Gmail accounts and every user can access a maximum of 15GB of cloud storage space. All this, under a free Gmail account, and it still lets you have quick access to all your slideshows, Word files and spreadsheets. In fact, its feature to auto-update in real-time is an added bonus for small business teams to collaborate on documents on the move.
Canva is a freemium tool for graphic-designing that is hailed by freelancers and small business owners worldwide. Available with a free account, Canva also offers premium subscriptions with an allowance of 10 users, and provides 1GB of storage as well. Creating quick graphs or graphics using the in-built templates is a breezy affair. Canva can also also be utilized for websites and promotional materials.
SurveyMonkey is tried, tested, and proven effective for market surveys. The survey-creation tool is widely used for quintessential short surveys for SMBs. The tools allows a maximum of 100 responses to a short survey of about 10 questions. Generally for long surveys, it’s natural to opt for Google Forms, but the aesthetically pleasing outlook of SurveyMonkey claws an inch above in the competition.
Sales and marketing software tools
Sales and marketing tasks, being tedious, can be managed better using software tools. Here we look at a few that bring the power of automation:
InfusionSoft by Keap
In spite of being wee-bit expensive for small businesses, InfusionSoft is creating ripples in automated online-marketing. With its stunning features like customer-relation management and marketing-automation, you can join the herd of 200,000 small businesses that are saving around 47 hours every month by custom-automating their sales and marketing.
There is no doubt that small businesses rely on social media and social campaigns. Though, unfortunately the free version of Buffer doesn’t provide valuable analytics-data, it sufficiently showcases its capabilities as a social media management automation tool. Small businesses that don’t rest their laurels on a stockpile of social media posts can manage up to three social media accounts with Buffer.
Email marketing by MailChimp
Economically priced at $10 a month, this tool will ease your work when it comes to designing emails and gathering subscribers from around the web. One reason to love MailChimp is the availability of flexible plans which depends on how many emails you send in a month. For businesses with fewer than 2000 subscribers and up to 12,000 mails, MailChimp is absolutely free.
Human resources and operations software tools
Finding the right candidate is just the beginning. It is followed by tracking his or her progress and managing the ever-important human resource in the workspace. These software tools help:
Human resource management by Deputy
Although, it is not free, human resource management by Deputy starter pack costing a dollar for each employee every month can still be regarded as a solid investment. Employee-shift scheduling, managing tasks and making company announcements is simplified by this all-in-one HR tool. For a premium pack, you can integrate payroll and add time sheets to the interface.
QuickBooks by Intuit
Payroll and accounting have been integrated together in QuickBooks by Intuit, at a decent price of less than $2 per day.
Even for a basic pack, pivotal features needed by small businesses are provided by QuickBooks. Tracking income and expenses, capturing and organizing receipts, maximizing tax deductions, managing bills, and tracking profitability are just the tip of the iceberg.
Zoho has been a dark horse in providing exceptional business software. But, its version of an all-in-one suite with more than 40 tools is a godsend for a small business that wants to optimize its outputs and operations. The software combines custom-made tools that automate your business from scratch. Now, you can build a business, make your presence felt, manage the operations, get paid for the order, manage orders and do accounting from Zoho One.
Which software tools do I choose?
Well, truth be told, nobody can answer this question better than you. You are obviously looking to improve the functioning of your small business but the costs of some of these software must be forcing you to take a rain-check. We would recommend you to gauge the paid software that you absolutely can’t do without.