To succeed in business, you need to always be in control of your affairs. You need to understand exactly how well your company is faring and have the means to be informed of any issues as soon as they occur. The more efficiently you can manage your work flow, the less chance you have of making mistakes that will see your company joining the sad small business failure statistics. And technology today allows you to establish this control with relative ease and a little investment. All you need is to apply the right kind of solutions to manage every step of the business process.
The most basic solutions every small business should be using today include:
1. Cloud Accounting Solutions to Keep Track of Your Money
Your first priority should be to obtain cloud accounting and payroll software, as this will enable you to manage and track your business’ finances. Be mindful that cash flow problems are the main cause of small business failure. These solutions will allow you to monitor your cash flow, making it easier for you to spot trends and to make the necessary changes based on them.
In addition, this software will take care of automating the billing and invoices, as well as provide all the necessary financial reports which you’ll need to file with the tax office.
You should look for comprehensive solutions that can manage all your business finances, and which will integrate easily with other software that you are using. QuickBooks by Intuit is the benchmark for such solutions.
2. GPS and Asset-Tracking Software to Keep an Eye on Your Assets
Surprisingly, many small businesses are still using spreadsheets to track their assets. While spreadsheets are a reliable and time-tested method for creating and keeping records, they are not the most efficient means in the modern digital world. It is therefore imperative that you switch to effective tracking software solutions at the first opportunity, which will allow you to monitor your assets in real-time, reducing the risk of human error.
Use GPS tracking as well as barcode or RFID tracking to monitor your assets. The best solutions have cloud apps which will enable your employees to track the items from any location. This software will also provide data showing the product lifecycle. Use the data to make changes for more efficient product management.
3. Inventory Management Solutions for Tracking Inventory in Real-Time
Inventory management software tracks your inventory in real-time, helping you avoid problems if you run out of stock. These solutions automate information updates, freeing your time and reducing the risk of mistakes.
In order to be of use, this software needs to track inventory in real time and immediately upload data to the cloud. This allows you to monitor quickly and make executive decisions. Look for solutions which will integrate with your POS systems.
4. Project Management Apps to Track Every Project’s Progress
Project management software helps you stay on-track with projects. You’ll be able to determine where you team might be falling behind so you can avoid delays or other problems.
Important project management software features include effective task management with an integrated calendar, the ability to enable team collaboration via the cloud, and multiple integration possibilities to keep the solution “in tune” with your business. You should also focus on software which has a mobile app version, especially if you have a remote team or if your employees travel.
5. CRM Solutions for Managing Customer Relations
If your customer relationship management needs work, using CRM software is a must. You’ll be able monitor your company’s customers to understand how to improve your service and marketing. Data collected through this software can be used in many ways, from identifying the weaknesses in your marketing strategy to devising future special offers based upon what your customers’ preferences.
The CRM solutions industry is huge, and so there are plenty of options to choose from. You should look for software which has a variety of tracking features and will integrate with your other solutions. Workflow automation, visual reports, mobile functionality, and effective sales and activity management are must-have features.
Technology can do wonders for efficiency, regardless of business size. Do keep in mind that implementing solutions without a proper plan can lead to mistakes. It’s essential to research all available software and to consider how you might use it before adopting and integrating it into your business process.
About the Author
Kate Bregovic is a business organization and management expert. She has been producing top-quality content for years and has been featured as a guest author for many popular business blogs. Follow her on Facebook.