When it comes to improving efficiency and productivity, there are so many business-oriented software platforms, services, and technologies on the market that it’s hard to know where to begin. Many small business owners choose tech tools based on price or popularity. Others opt for solutions that colleagues or employees rave about.
In the end, the choice comes down to what works best for you and your team in terms of supporting operations and promoting business growth. To help you narrow the field, we’ve compiled a list of useful tech tools that can benefit just about any small business, whether you need to ramp up lead generation or better manage employee expenses.
Organization Management: Trello
Google Drive and Evernote may be household names, but Trello has been making waves with its simple, visual, and fluid team and task management platform. It allows you to structure and track to-dos by setting up boards, lists, and cards. Tasks are easily moved around, tagged with other users’ names for delegation purposes, and checked off when completed. Trello can be synced to all of your devices and set-up is free for individuals and small teams. Pricing grows with the size of your team.
File Storage and Sharing: Dropbox Business
Whether you have two employees or two hundred, chances are your team needs to be able to share, sync, and collaborate on files. Dropbox Business is a file sharing and cloud storage solution that makes collaboration easy and secure, whether your team works under one roof or remotely. A central administrative console keeps team management simple, and the platform boasts enterprise-grade security features to protect sensitive company files. Plans and features can be adjusted according to the number of users and amount of storage space you need.
Social Media Management: Hootsuite
With more than 10 million users worldwide, Hootsuite is the most widely used social media management platform. It is ideal for companies of all shapes and sizes who are looking for a way to manage multiple social networks in one place. With Hootsuite, you can monitor all of your social profiles as well as find and schedule impactful social content. The analytics feature helps users compile visual reports and real-time insights. Plans range from a free basic version to an advanced Enterprise platform for super users.
Productivity Management: Office 365
Microsoft Office 365 offers flexible and familiar tools for collaboration across teams, devices, and platforms. The cloud-based software has an array of features that provide simple solutions for email management, file sharing, and online meetings. OneDrive has ample cloud storage, SharePoint promotes collaboration, and Skype makes web communication easy. Packages range from basic Business Essentials to Premium, which includes the complete Microsoft Office suite and HD video conferencing.
Financial Management: Xero
Accounting software programs can minimize the amount of time spent on administrative functions so you can focus on other aspects of your business. Xero is a solid, web-based accounting solution tailored to small businesses. It allows you to grant access to an unlimited number of users, both within and outside of your company, and adjust settings to customize each user’s level of access. The software also integrates with hundreds of other applications that help facilitate business operations ranging from inventory management to CRM.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Salesforce
Business News Daily recommends Salesforce Small Business Solutions as the best overall CRM software for small businesses. This all-in-one, cloud-based software is easy to use, customizable, and offers everything you need to find and keep customers, close sales, and grow your business. Features include contact management, lead generation, sales forecasting, workflow automation, and collaboration tools, and you can access your data anytime, anywhere.
Expense Management: Concur
Concur’s software digitizes expense reporting and integrates it into a platform that allows for transparency and analytics. It eliminates the need to save, organize, and tally paper receipts, allowing each employee to create “an expense report that writes itself.” Benefits to your business include the ability to manage expenses as they happen, rather than after the money has been spent.
Employee Screening Management: Goodhire
Hiring staff is often complicated and time-consuming, especially for small business owners who double as HR managers. Goodhire helps employers hire quickly and safely by automating the employee screening process. You can handle everything from reference, credit, and background checks to drug screenings and education verifications using your smartphone. The platform features a U.S.-based support team and delivers results in less than 24 hours.
Working Capital Financing is a few clicks away.
Summit Financial Resources specializes in working capital financing for small to medium-sized businesses that need increased cash flow. We provide working capital financing through invoice factoring, asset-based lending, inventory lending, and equipment financing.