To compete in today’s competitive economy, small businesses—especially fledgling businesses that have yet to establish a foothold in their market—need to seize every opportunity they can to get a leg up. More than ever before, this process of turning over every stone looking for business advantages involves utilizing business software. There are several reasons why business software is more important to businesses in a diverse set of industries than ever before. For one, more businesses than ever before are taking advantage of software; thus, businesses who neglect to invest the resources in making software work for them risk falling behind their competitors. Also, the software itself is much more advanced (and easy to use) than ever before. Along with being more advanced, today’s business software is also more specialized in many ways than ever before. It may not benefit small businesses to take a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to selecting software. Instead, businesses should carefully consider the areas of their business that would most benefit from the efficiency afforded by the latest software. Here is a look at some areas of a business that can be improved through software.
There are several different quality accounting software programs that can help your accounting department operate more efficiently. QuickBooks is perhaps the most reputable, and it is available in both desktop and online versions. Which version is right for your business depends largely on your individual needs; both options are increasingly affordable for businesses of all sizes. An even simpler, more affordable, cloud-based accounting program option is FreshBooks. FreshBooks might be the best option for a business with minor accounting needs and a lack of experience with accounting software. Another increasingly popular alternative for businesses with minor accounting needs is Wave Accounting, which is free to use (though it offers certain types of support packages for a monthly fee).
As new small businesses grow, human resources is an area that can be neglected. One way to help avoid this is by implementing software that can make the job easier. One popular human resources program called Zenefits allows users to complete all the different aspects of human resources, including benefits management, payroll processing and more. The program is relatively simple to use and can be set to run on an automatic basis. There are also alternatives to Zenefits out there that can help your small business.
Scheduling can mean different things to different businesses. For some it may mean scheduling the shifts of employees, while for other it may primarily mean scheduling appointments with clients. Many scheduling software programs are versatile enough to deal with all the various kinds of scheduling needs a business may have. Many of these programs, like When I Work for scheduling staff hours and Booker for booking appointments, allow your employees and clients to access the software as well, increasing the connectivity between businesses and their customers.
Many businesses still keep track of their inventory the old-fashioned way; with the rise of new inventory management software programs, even entering inventory manually into an Excel sheet is considered the old fashioned way. Businesses, even those with small inventories, should consider investigating a quality inventory/data tracking program like ScanCount Pro or Redbeam Inventory Tracking. The software is usually designed to work in conjunction with inventory tracking hardware like barcode scanners. Many companies offer both the hardware and software on a trial basis, so business owners should stop and think if barcode inventory rentals might improve the efficiency of their inventory process.