Sat, 21 May 2022

10 Must-Have Tools for Managing Your Small Business

27 Apr 2022, 20:42 GMT+10

Summary: Running a business is no easy feat. As part of your comprehensive management strategy, make sure you account for the tools you need to organize, track, and enable your operations. It will make your life — and the lives of your team members — much easier.

Eighty-one percent of business owners say they work overtime, during weekends and well into the night, according to Fundera.

While being your own boss is never easy, working around the clock can be excruciating, even causing skilled leaders to fail. Fortunately, management software and other tools can help you run a small business and assist your team members with doing their jobs more efficiently.

1. Project Management

Your project management process is vital to keeping your organization running smoothly. But your project managers can't do it alone. They need the support of skilled team members, as well as software to assist them with overseeing your initiatives.

A project management tool can be anything from a kanban board to a document management system. In fact, you don't even have to have project management skills to use one — any professional participating in the assignment can tap into it.

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Your relationships with your customers and clients are paramount to building and nurturing a successful business. Through CRM software, you can manage and organize the connections and contacts you have gained. This acts as a centralized system for tracking interactions, classifying your clients according to the strength of their relationship with your brand, and creating new opportunities.

CRMs are also equipped with reporting features that allow you to assess your consumer data and measure the impact of various initiatives.

3. Content Management System (CMS)

What's your no. 1 marketing tool? It's almost certainly your website. A CMS allows you to store content, including texts, pictures, videos, and additional media, and build your website. You can also manage your pages and create a blog through this multi-faceted system. Today, many CMSs are low-code, meaning you don't need technology professionals or software developers to create and manage a beautiful, functional website.

4. Bookkeeping

Many smaller businesses don't have a dedicated bookkeeper or accountant to help them manage their cash flow and finances. Even those that do can always use the support of bookkeeping software. This type of system enables small, medium-sized, and large businesses alike to perform actions like invoicing, payroll, expenses tracking, claims tracking, general accounting, and reporting.

Many bookkeeping solutions are tailored to specific types of businesses, such as those in particular sectors or those that are of different sizes.

5. Videoconferencing

The onset of the pandemic more than two years ago caused videoconferencing platforms — Zoom in particular — to skyrocket in popularity. Already, many organizations were using this type of software to meet with remote employees and freelancers, conduct interviews, and connect with clients.

So, you probably know how important it is to have a videoconferencing platform for meetings, check-ins, and more — whether your company is largely remote, hybrid, or in-person. Even if you have long been using Zoom, explore your options to consider how different solutions can benefit your organization.

6. Chat

Chat apps have become a vital system for quickly connecting with team members, no matter where they are in the world. Like videoconferencing tools, they are an important platform to have in your communication arsenal.

Not only do chat apps give you a way to connect and check-in with your colleagues, but they also provide a means for sending documents, storing files, and more. Platforms like Slack also allow you to establish channels with specific departments, interests, or themes, enabling you to better organize your conversations and involve various team members as needed.

7. Email Marketing

Digital marketing represents a large part of your overall sales and marketing strategy. Within that, email comprises a substantial segment. Newsletters, announcements, and messages — these are all excellent ways to reach out to your consumer base and attract new customers.

How do you more easily manage and automate email marketing? There are plenty of platforms that enable you to organize your subscriber list, segment your audience, optimize your messages, perform A/B testing, and generate reports full of useful metrics and analytics. Many will give you helpful tips on how to improve your campaigns, too.

8. Social Media Management

Once upon a time, perhaps, it may have seemed like any millennial could handle social media. But this digital marketing sphere has grown substantially, encompassing new platforms and media every day, and with that expansion, it has become more intricate and difficult to manage and handle.

Many organizations employ full-time or freelance social media managers, but even with these skilled professionals at the helm, it's still helpful to leverage tools that make your process even more efficient. That's why platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer have become so popular. Using the tools, businesses can see an overview of all their channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, in one place, schedule posts, view analytics, and monitor activity, enabling them to keep track of comments, mentions, reactions, and more.

9. Human Resources

Human resources (HR) systems are multi-varied and multi-faceted. They encompass a wide range of solutions to help your HR and recruiting teams do their jobs more efficiently, freeing up time from tedious, repetitive tasks.

Common features of HR software include:

  • Applicant tracking
  • Candidate organization
  • Collaboration
  • Employee insights
  • Onboarding
  • Payroll
  • Performance management
  • Resource management
  • Time scheduling
  • Time tracking

10. File Sharing and Storage

Where would we be without file and document sharing and storing platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox? These cloud-based tools have become integral to our daily lives, and no business should be without them. Not only do they allow you to keep your files safely secured, but they also allow you to access them from practically any location with an internet connection and collaborate with colleagues in real-time, so everyone is viewing the most recent version.

Running a business is no easy feat. As part of your comprehensive management strategy, make sure you account for the tools you need to organize, track, and enable your operations. It will make your life — and the lives of your team members — much easier.

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