Regardless of the type of business you are starting, investing in the right equipment and technology is essential. Doing so will save you a lot of time, money, and stress. It will also make it far more likely that your business will succeed.
According to the Dell Global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI), organizations and companies that use the cloud, mobile apps, and big data solutions have 53% higher revenue growth rates than those that do not use those business tools.
Below is a summary of the most essential software packages. Along with a few that may not be essential but will enable you to structure your business in a way that improves its chances of success.
Accounts and finance
The first category is accounts and finance. Right from the start, you need to track your costs and sales data. If you do not do so properly, you will not be able to fill out your first tax return accurately.
It will also be impossible to tell which products or services are making you the most profit. Nor will you be able to secure finance to grow your business as fast as you want.
At the very least you need:
· An accounts package – FreshBooks is worth investigating. It is easy to set up, intuitive to use, and has good integration with other finance-related tools.
· A payroll package – Not paying your staff on time or failing to make social security contributions will both get you into trouble fast. Using a payroll package, from the start, is the best way to make sure that neither of these things happens. Gusto is a good option for most businesses. It integrates seamlessly with FreshBooks and also handles international employees. As each business requires different features it is advisable to do some research and find the best payroll software for your particular needs.
· The ability to send out invoices – Most business accounts packages include an invoicing feature. But not all of them. If you have bought one that does not, you will need a separate invoicing package.
Customer Relationship Management – CRM
For any startup, capturing leads and following through on them is essential. No business can afford not to ring someone back or respond to a WhatsApp or Email inquiry.
A decent CRM package will make it easy for you to do this. As well as track when they were spoken to, what was said, and what the outcome was. This invaluable information enables you to decide when to contact them again and determine which sales pitch to use next. A decent CRM package will also allocate tasks to team members and manage support. Later, the data held in the system can be analyzed to work out which sales approaches are the most effective.
Advertising and marketing software
Regardless of how good your product or service is, you must market it properly. If you do not, you will lose market share to your competitors and not be able to grow as fast as you want to. In the past, you would have had no choice but to pay a marketing firm to do that work, which is expensive.
Fortunately, times have changed. Now, it is surprisingly easy for a business to take complete control of its marketing and advertising efforts. HubSpot is a great example of a package that will enable you to manage most advertising and marketing tasks. It includes several marketing tools, sales software (including a CRM), and customer service solutions. Most of what the majority of businesses need. But if you run a physical store, it is worth investigating digital signage software for businesses. This will enable you to create your own in-store adverts and display them on screens around your retail outlet. Potentially, those images, ads, gifs, and videos can also be used on your website.
A project management tool
With a startup, keeping everything on track is complicated. There are a lot of moving parts. It is all too easy for important tasks to get forgotten or remembered but not done because nobody is tracking everything. Using a simple project management tool, like Trello, will help to ensure that nothing important gets missed.
View buying the right software as an investment in your business
If you are still not sure about investing in software and other technology for your startup, take a look at this article. It contains some startling and convincing statistics that demonstrate why it is important to do so. For example, the fact that the use of mobile apps is saving small businesses more than 725 million work hours per year.
You could continue to do things manually, streamlining your processes to make your organization run more efficiently. Or you can tap into the expertise, the experience of business software developers, and start saving money right away.