Five Software Tools Every Business Needs
VP of Integro Software
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.
Get free daily videos.
Learn more about our perspective on businesses and how we can scale the impact of your company.
Five Software Tools Every Business Needs
Are your teams complaining about inefficient processes? Do you have security concerns? Are your consumers leaving great product reviews, but eventually turning to another service?
Be encouraged! These problems—as well as many similar setbacks—can be solved by integrating business management software into your operations. It’s much easier than it sounds! Better yet, several of these powerful business management tools are available completely free!
What is business management software?
Think of business software as invisible office staff who work for free. Let’s use a mass email as an example. When you send a mass email, do you need to print 119 individual messages? Must you address, stamp, and stuff 119 individual envelopes? Do you need drive to the post office, deliver your mail, and pay an extra fee to ensure safe and expedient delivery? Of course not!
To send a mass email, you simply type one message, choose the mailing list of your 119 recipients, and press send. The message is delivered to every recipient in seconds. You did very little work, yet every step of the task—writing, addressing, security, and delivery—was accomplished in no time at all.
This is a prime example of business software at work!
Business management software trades hands-on processes (like mass postal mailings) for automated processes (like mass emails), saving you from setbacks caused by human error, conflicting priorities, or faulty external operations.
Why is business software essential for every company?
You have heard that it has been said, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” But I say unto you, why identify yourself as an old dog?
Consumers are looking for fast, accessible service, reliable product delivery and secure storage of their information. If you fail to impress in these key areas, consumers will never learn how awesome your product is. They’ll have moved on.
Similarly, employees want to join companies that know how to maximize their time and skills. When top talents scan opportunities, they immediately rate options based on ease and clarity of communication and a company’s implementation of efficient task flows. If your email address is still listed on Indeed as email@example.com, you’ll never get a chance to onboard the top IT guy. Unless he is very compassionate.
Don’t resist change. Many companies refuse business software implementations simply because they have never needed it before. Often the work of change looks too tiring. This doesn’t need to be you!
You get to choose between “old dog” mentality and “adaptive” mentality. If you choose an “old dog” mentality, your company will remain very niche. You’ll probably lose members of your taskforce as key talents realize other companies are offering a more excellent way.
When you choose an “adaptive” mentality, you’ll empower yourself and others to operate efficiently. Best business practices will always continue to evolve! Your business world is continually changing—and you can change too!
Here are five software tools your company needs, no matter the scale of your operations.
CONSUMER COMMUNICATION SOFTWARE
Communication is a two-way street. Relationships need two-way communication. Your consumers need an easy-access method by which they can reach you, learn about your service, access products, leave feedback, and read feedback others are leaving for you.
On your part, communication software empowers you to build trust with consumers by offering them added value for free, notifying them of new services, and inviting them to understand your brand.
Communication tools such as MailChimp and HubSpot allow you to build consumer relationships, send mass emails and measure consumer interactions, among many other features.
Consumer communication software can solve the following problems:
· Lack of trust in your brand.
How do consumers choose a service? Reviews. Familiarity. Comprehension of how to access the service. Communication software provides all of this, and more.
· “Who was that person?”
Communication software tracks relationships with consumers. Did you receive an extra-rave (or an extra-negative) review? Your software will reveal your relationship with the consumer and which products (if any) they received from you.
· Inefficient campaign targets.
Communication software contains built-in analytics. Your analytics will reveal—among many other things—what topics consumers are interested in, what is selling and where, and which consumers interact with your content most often. Analytics are easy to comprehend and will empower you to immediately tailor your next campaign to be more effective.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Tools like ClickUp, Trello and Asana allow you to assign tasks to individuals or groups of individuals, then track the progress of completion. Viewing real-time information on project progress and completion gives you power to keep clients informed, and to hold teammates accountable to meet deadlines.
Project management tools can solve the following problems:
· Having to explain last-minute to clients why their work is delayed.
Instead of saying, “I’m sorry, I expected to receive your ____ today, but I did not receive it,” you’ll know in advance when work will be delayed. This will empower you to keep clients informed, or, if need be, to outsource the work to meet a deadline and please the client.
· Inefficient use of time.
With project tracking, you will hold the power to track individual and team performance. Like viewing grades posted to an online report card, you’ll see each teammate’s project contributions at a glance. You’ll know which teammates have been working diligently, and who has contributed little.
· Incorrect project time allotment.
Ongoing use of project tracking software will boost your understanding of attainable targets. You’ll easily review a variety of similar projects, compare the time it took to complete them, factor in additional influencers (number of people, location, season) and create increasingly realistic deadlines for future projects.
PAYMENT TRANSACTION SOFTWARE
Flawless payment processing is a must in business. Payment transaction tools like Square, Stripe, and Chargebee allow you to process non-cash payments rapidly and securely. These services can be implemented both in-store and online.
Payment transaction software empowers you to automate subscription payments, invoices, and refunds. It will automatically update consumers of upcoming bills and alert you when a payment is late.
You can plug your payment software directly into your accounting software! This is a huge efficiency win—you’ll trade the delays and human error of manual entry for real-time profit and loss data integration.
Payment transaction software solves the following problems:
· Distrust of payment method.
Complicated, outdated, or unrecognized pay-by-card methods leave consumers feeling uneasy. Conscientious buyers will drop the sale altogether. You’ll dramatically boost sales when you choose to use a recognizable payment transaction platform.
· Customer isn’t carrying cash.
Because credit purchases are so common, consumers view lack of a pay-by-card option as a blatant lack of customer service.
· Dropped sales.
If your consumer cannot complete an initial purchase the first time they attempt it, there’s a 96% chance they will not return for a second attempt—they will turn to your competitors. People value their time! It’s vital that your payment options work efficiently and are built to serve your consumers.
Accounting software minimizes error and gives you your time back. It allows you to monitor cash flow, taxes, profit and loss, track past trends, and prepare for future trends. Software like QuickBooks, Wave Apps and Xero will automate payroll, shift incentives, and employee bonus payouts.
Problems accounting software can solve include:
· Inaccurate tax filing.
Because accounting software is integrated with your overall company system, investments, expenses, sales, profits and losses are filed and stored on a daily basis. This minimizes year-end setbacks and allows you to consider tax options throughout the year.
· Office burnout.
Like trading postal mailings for a mass email, many office tasks can be automated. Hundreds of case-specific software optimizations are available to you!
· Lost files.
Whether you are uber-organized or a bit too artistic for your office’s organizational health, accidents happen to everyone. Trading paper files for cloud storage will improve your peace of mind. You won’t need to worry that human error or a natural disaster will destroy your data.
TIME TRACKING SOFTWARE
It may seem like this final item is a small detail, but when you switch to a hassle-free time tracking software, your HR manager will kiss your feet. If you are the HR manager, you’ll kiss your own feet!
Employees want to get paid correctly. When overtime and shift incentives come into play, communications about time tracking multiply. Using a fail-proof time tracking system like Clockify or ClockShark will keep staff informed and HR unbothered.
If your staff serve multiple departments, choose a software with efficient department transfer options.
Time tracking software can solve the following problems:
· Incorrect pay stubs.
Time tracking software immediately applies rate and incentive changes to all applicable accounts.
· Employee error.
No more late time card submissions. Many time tracking tools negate the option for employees to check other persons into or out of work. Additionally, you can opt in for location tracking, allowing you to visualize the whereabouts of off-site staff.
· Bookkeeping discrepancies.
If you fix miscalculated time cards but overlook correcting your bookkeeping reports, the error will become increasingly difficult to reconcile. Time tracking software can immediately integrate changes into the overall company system.
Ready to build your company’s software toolbox? Don’t be afraid to take it slow! Take your time to fully understand what your new software tool does and does not offer. Give it a trial run! Does it integrate smoothly into your broader software umbrella? Does it serve your long-term plans?
Use the free trial version when that’s an option! You can upgrade later, and this will help you experience the customer support and comprehensiveness of a software before making a financial investment and/or integrating your entire system.
You’ll never regret investing time to build the reputation and efficiency of your brand. When you choose an “adaptive” mentality for your company, you’ll empower yourself, your team, and your consumers to thrive!