Want your business to be successful? Heck, who doesn’t? But, success doesn’t come from luck. And, it certainly doesn’t happen overnight. Success comes from hard work, perseverance, and a little help along the way from essential business tools.
Tools for business success
Technology has not only taken over the world, it has also changed the way businesses operate and achieve success. With so many tools out there, it can be difficult to narrow down which ones your business actually needs to help achieve success. That’s why I’ve put together this handy list of tools. Take a look at seven must-have tools your business should consider investing in ASAP.
1. Project management
Projects, projects, projects. They’re all part of growing and improving your business. If you find your team constantly juggling projects and struggling to keep things organized, project management software may be a good route for you.
Project management tools (e.g., Trello) make it easy to:
- Plan projects
- Track and manage tasks
- Share documents
- Keep projects organized
Project and task management tools can also make it easier to communicate and collaborate as a team. Not to mention, they can streamline the project management process and help you crank out projects more efficiently.
2. Email automation
People might say “email is dead.” But when it comes to using it for marketing, this is far from true. According to one study, there were four billion email users in 2020. And, that number is projected to grow to a whopping 4.6 billion users by 2025.
So, it’s safe to say that email is not dead. In fact, it’s very much alive—which is why you should be taking advantage of email marketing and automation tools.
Email automation makes it a breeze for you to market to both potential and current customers. And, you can keep your customers in the loop about what’s going on at your business. You can use emails to send reminders about sales and events, upsell and cross-sell products and services, and guide customers toward making a purchase.
Depending on the email software you utilize, you may also be able to take advantage of additional features, like A/B testing, to maximize conversions.
3. Social media management
As the youngins would say, “Social media is all the rage.” OK—maybe they don’t say that anymore. But, you get the gist: social media is where it’s at nowadays.
Chances are, your business probably uses some type of social media platform to advertise, connect with customers, and attract potential customers. Why not streamline the way you manage your social media with a tool or software?
Managing and maintaining social media can frankly be exhausting, especially if you’re managing multiple platforms. Having a social media management tool can help you strengthen your social media presence and get the word out there about your business without having to spend a ton of time doing it.
With social media management tools, you can:
- Schedule posts for the future
- See all of your social media posts in one place
- Optimize posts for different platforms
- Manage social media ads
Using a social media management tool can also help you ensure your brand is consistent across all social accounts.
4. Accounting software
While everyone should have an accountant overseeing their accounting, when you run a business, you still need to account day to day transactions to ensure your books are accurate and up-to-date. But let’s be honest—this can be a pretty stressful and time-consuming task if you’re a business owner wearing a million and one hats. And, keeping up with accounting can be a lot of work if you’re manually recording transactions. To streamline your books, you may consider using accounting software.
Accounting software can make it easier to record transactions and help you automate certain processes, like sending invoices to customers. Plus, you can easily access accounting reports and pass them over to your accountant. Or, you can have your accountant completely manage your accounting software to ensure everything is accurate.
Depending on certain factors, like features, cost, reliability, and accessibility, you can determine whether desktop or cloud accounting software is best for your business. With cloud accounting software, you can access your books all online, and your information is securely stored in the cloud. You can also access information while on the go. On the other hand, desktop accounting software requires you to download and store it on your computer, so you can only access it on the device you install it on.
Before making a decision on accounting software, do your research and weigh the pros and cons of each option.
5. Payroll software
If you’re an employer, you can’t escape payroll. It’s a must-do task you cannot afford to ignore. To ensure your payroll is accurate and that your employees get paid on time, look into getting payroll software for your business.
Payroll software can help ensure that your employees’ payroll, including withholding and deductions, are correct. And, it can help you save plenty of time by not having to do the many payroll calculations by hand. Instead, the software handles all of the calculations for you (phew!).
Depending on the payroll software you go with, you may be able to integrate your accounting software and take advantage of other top-notch features, like free direct deposit.
If you really want to streamline your payroll process, you might also consider using a full-service payroll software that files and deposits your payroll taxes and handles year-end tax filings for you.
Thanks to COVID-19, 33% of workers are still remote. Love it or hate it, remote work is here to stay. Well, at least for some businesses.
If your business is still riding the remote train (or using a hybrid work method of both in-person and remote work), using a plethora of communication tools is more important now than ever.
Some communication tools you want want to take advantage of (if you aren’t already) include:
- Chat (e.g., Slack)
- Video conferencing
- Employee recognition software
- Cloud storage service (e.g., Google Drive)
Even if your business isn’t remote, it’s still oh-so-important to make sure your team has a variety of ways to communicate with one another each day. So, don’t be afraid to look into new communication tools for your business.
Regardless of if your business is remote, in-person, or a hybrid of both, you absolutely must take security seriously in your business. To strengthen your business’s security and avoid falling for cyber threats, look into getting security tools.
To beef up security, you can use the following:
- Anti-virus products
- Security training modules for employees
The more security measures and tools you have, the better. Especially if your team is remote and more susceptible to cyberattacks.
Mike Kappel is a serial entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of Patriot Software Company, and its subsidiaries. Patriot Software, LLC is a developer of online accounting software and payroll for U.S. business owners and their accountants.