By Rachelle Wilber

Start-ups must successfully compete against well-established businesses while also building up a customer base and maintaining profitability. Having the right software programs will improve the efficiency and productivity of your small business.


Trello is a cloud-based project management program that allows users to create customized tasks. To illustrate, Trello uses visually-rich digital cards that start-up owners can use to easily create discussions, notifications, to-do-lists, and checklists. In reality, the notification system is advanced and stays synchronized across all devices. This includes every type of mobile and tablet device. As a result, the start-up owner can choose from email, browser, and mobile push notifications. There is also a calendar function that allows for transparent scheduling. Files can be easily uploaded with a few mouse clicks from a variety of sources.

HR Software

HR software programs are a must for any business with employees. Even a basic HR software program for businesses will offer impressive and efficient administrative functions for things such as vacation tracking, payroll processing and performance reviews. Human Resource Information Systems, or HRIS are useful for many different things.  They can reduce costs because start-up owners do not need to spend excessive amounts of time performing menial HR related tasks, such as calculating insurance costs or tracking workers’ compensation payments. Like other business software suites, HR software programs for businesses provide secure and centralized access to important information and employee data.

Antivirus Program

No start up can afford to do business without an industry-standard antivirus program such as McAfee, Kaspersky or Norton Antivirus. There are also popular free programs, such as Avira, AVG Antivirus, SpyBot, and Super Anti-Spyware . These programs will prevent invasive bots, worms, viruses, and spyware from infecting computers and networks. They also help to minimize the risks of data breaches and downtime from crashed systems. Although name-brand antivirus packages offer comprehensive services, they are expensive and may slow computers down.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is the undisputed champion among document creation suites. It is a universally-popular program that is the industry standard for word processing and spreadsheets. In fact, most small businesses use Excel spreadsheets to track data, expenses, and inventory. Keep in mind that almost all basic business documentation is created through Microsoft Office. However, Office also comes with database, power point, and desktop publishing programs. As a result, every type of business can find a use for Office. As an added advantage, there are excellent online tutorials available to learn how to perform practically any task.

Financial Software

Most large businesses use Intuit’s QuickBooks as their primary accounting software program. However, Quicken has the basic bookkeeping functionality that start-up owners need to do things such as track business expenses and prepare taxes. A simple bookkeeping program like Quicken will allow the user to track income, expenses and investments. It can also track overdue accounts and transfer money between accounts. Quicken does come with limited invoice and payroll functionality. Other popular programs include Sage’s Peachtree and Microsoft Money.


LinkedIn isn’t a software program, but it is a powerful technology for businesses. Social media isn’t just about online friends and entertainment because startups can use social media for marketing and advertising open jobs. That is, social media platforms with a business twist, such as LinkedIn, are an excellent way to find employees, vendors, and even outsourcing partners. Many businesses find that social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, provide excellent opportunities for providing customer service and raising product awareness.

Clearly, there are certain software programs that offer excellent benefits to start-up owners. For example, users can create customized reports with financial software programs that succinctly summarize expenses, use Microsoft Publisher to create fliers and handouts, and financial software to provide estimates, cash reports, and inventory levels.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on twitter:@RachelleWilber.