The process of setting up a small business is a complicated one, involving a lot of different people, permits and setting up the office the way that you want. While you are getting started, there are several software services that you will find useful for running your business and staying on top of the things that you need to do. With the right software, your company will run more smoothly and you will be able to spend less time micro-managing and more time growing the business.
The first thing that you will need is accounting software. When your business was just you, there really was not much need for an accounting program, and you could probably keep track of all of your numbers on a spreadsheet. As your company grows, and you hire employees, you will need accounting software to make sure that you have taken care of all the things that need to be done, especially as far as taxes go. Quickbooks is the most intuitive program on the market, with the easiest learning curve, and you will find that you can get a better handle on your finances with Quickbooks than other programs. This will also allow you to create an in-house accounting team, so that you will not have to pay the high prices of an outside accountant.
The second thing that you will need is some kind of CRM or customer relationship management service. This is a fully integrated system where you store all of your customer’s contact information, sales data and customer service interactions. You will be able to automatically generate leads and send those to your sales staff, and you will be able to accurately forecast what sales are going to be for any given month, quarter or year. Some CRM programs also integrate project management tools so that you can see the progress of a project and be up to date about what your employees are doing, without having to ask for documents or information. CRM is a necessary tool for giving you the big picture of the company, rather than the small window of information that you normally have.
Finally, you need a way to protect your data, and that is best accomplished off-site in a cloud storage backup. Carbonite and the other online backup sites can automatically back up your data so that you have it in case of an emergency. The longer it takes to get your data back up and your information to your staff, the more sales leads will slip through your company and the more money you will lose. The last thing that you want is to lose data, because lost data means lost sales. Even if you have some on-site backup, backing it up on the cloud means that you do not have to worry about physical damage to your building or data storage destroying all that you have worked so hard to gather.
Software is the cornerstone of modern business, and when you have the right software, your company will run more smoothly. Software should help you make money, and with these pieces of software, your company will be more customer focused and you will see more profits.
I am Audrey Maple and I wrote this article as a small business owner who has spent years trying to find the right software setup for my company. For my management I use SugarCRM project management, because of their stellar service and innovative features. I highly recommend Sugar to anyone who is in the market for CRM software.