Software Options for Business
A business program, by definition, is an application or system of tools to help enterprises maintain, improve, and automate their processes. In 2020, there are many software vendors, from single-function tools to complete enterprise solutions.
It’s important to remember that any business management software solution should make your work more efficient rather than creating additional tasks. Unfortunately, 74% of employees mentioned that they spend up to one hour a day entering data and searching for information. Therefore, when choosing the best software to support your business, you need to be extremely attentive and conduct relevant research.
Ideally, business management software should help you manage all major business processes in one system. Based on your needs and preferences, you can integrate some additional applications into this core system.
What Is Business Management Software?
Business management software is, by definition, an application or set of software that helps businesses maintain, improve, and automate their processes. Such software helps eliminate errors, complete business tasks, report on activities, and improve overall efficiency and effectiveness.
In general, a business management tool or enterprise management system is designed to meet the requirements of business processes most effectively.
Defining project management software for your business or company is not always an easy task, as there are various types of business software used for various purposes.
Below are some of the programs widely used in business:
● Business invoicing programs
● Asset management software
● Customer relationship management (CRM) software
● Database software
● Word processing programs
● Billing software
● Payroll software
How to choose the right software and platform to manage your enterprise or business.
There are so many factors that are taken into account when choosing software to manage your business.
It depends on factors such as size, needs, tasks, and processes that need to be automated in the industry.
Also, make sure that your business management software and enterprise management system have the following features:
● Project and task management
● Time tracking capabilities
● File storage and document sharing
● Invoice and budget management
● Resource management
1. Accounting Software
QuickBooks is comprehensive accounting software with all the modules needed to perform accounting functions for your small business. It is familiar and essential in many small businesses. The trick is that QuickBooks must be purchased and installed on your office network.
It is an accounting program based on block diagrams and is as close to the standard in financial management as the small business world.
It is perhaps the easiest way for non-professionals to move their files from the filing cabinet to the computer where they should belong. Most actions, from cutting a check to invoicing a client, are just one or two clicks from the start screen.
Xero is also a complete and reliable software package for all your accounting needs. The main difference from QuickBooks is that everything is placed in the cloud, which means that you will not need to install or download anything on office computers. You can also access it from anywhere with an internet connection. Plus, you can always upgrade your Xero skills through online remote courses.
A range of programs are Windows compatible. However, Mac users sometimes stay in the dark. Xero is an excellent cloud software that’s compatible with both Mac and Windows.
What makes Xero so unique is that Mac users don’t lack features like other programs sometimes do.
It focuses on accounting, and the program can integrate with more than 500 third-party applications. The support for Xero is rather strong. You can get help via live chat or email, or ask someone to call you, although incoming calls are not accepted. There are no additional costs for phone calls.
Subscribing to Xero depends on your chosen calling plan. Xero will process five bills for you, pay five bills, and check up to 20 transactions per month with the startup version.
You get unlimited reconciliations, bills, and invoices with the Standard and Premium plans, and the Premium plan will also help you with paying salaries. You are also not tied to your chosen plan – you can change it at any time.
2. Website Building Software
WordPress supports more than half of the world’s websites, so this is a proven option for those who want to create a reliable and adaptable website that can be improved over time.
You can choose from thousands of topics, both free and premium, that gives your site a unique and professional look.
Automatic WP is the beast of the Web Publishing platform due to its ever-growing ecosystem of templates, plugins, very flexible, SEO friendly, and easy to customize.
The official WordPress app for iOS, Android, and Windows allows you to add audio and video, photos, and text to your blog – whether it’s hosting on WP.com or third-party web hosting (no PC required). WP for Android is an amazing versioning tool that lets you be on the move. Some minor annoyances prevent it from being full of WordPress.
Shopify is designed specifically for e-commerce companies that want to build a complete online store. With this service, you create your entire store on the Shopify platform and process everything from marketing and payment options to delivery on the platform.
Shopify Product Reviews allow you to add customer reviews to your products. It provides a way for your customers to interact with you as well as with each other to encourage sales:
● Theme-friendly design Reviews automatically match your store’s look and feel
● Easy customization – Edit layout options, text, and colors without needing to code
● Bulk actions – Publish, hide, filter, and manage reviews quickly and easily
● CSV import and Export- Import and export your reviews as a spreadsheet
● SEO-friendly review scores – Add review scores to your Google search results.
3. Payment Transaction Software
When it comes to online payments, PayPal is the largest platform in the world. With it, you accept payments made through PayPal and credit card payments for your online store.
The payment platform handles everything from security and processing to compatibility issues.
Paypal is a long time online payment gateway merchant and has since moved to actual retail and pay-as-you-go mobile card readers.
Therefore, if you need a payment provider, Paypal can cover you no matter what business you have. There is no monthly fee in the basic plan that will cover your online orders, which helps reduce your prepayment.
And if you’ve done well with good sales and turnover, then if you prefer to reduce your transaction fee, you can switch to a trading account where you will pay at the exchange rate for each transaction for the monthly repayments.
Install the ordering plugin in your online store with Stripe so that you can use various payment forms supported by the platform.
The Stripe Payments platform is often considered one of the best solutions for online business, mainly because any business owner can register for a free online account in just a few minutes.
In general, the benefits of using Stripe to process payments can be summarized as such:
● Flat rates, competitive with the best alternatives.
● No extra fees for installation, cancellation, account maintenance, etc.
● You can quickly and easily register your account online
● Highly customizable with many integration options
● Perfect for international payments
4. Backup And Recovery
Carbonite (former Mozy)
You can (and should) back up your files regularly to an external hard drive or NAS (network-attached storage) in your office. However, what if the whole place smokes?
Consider an online backup service like Carbonite, which automatically archives everything you want over the Internet intact.
Just choose what you want to archive, and Carbonite will do the rest, either in bulk while you sleep or in real-time as the files change.
5. Email Marketing Software
MailChimp is a service for creating and automating email marketing campaigns that you use to customize campaigns and integrate them with Shopify and other e-commerce platforms.
MailChimp is a free platform for a growing business that allows you to send emails, invitations, and reminders to all consumers.
MailChimp also enables effective digital marketing campaigns:
● Set up email campaigns to determine which ones work for the target demographic and which do not
● Keeps a running list of all people who subscribe to your company
● Keeps track of all activities in the form of statistics and analyzing data
● It allows you to integrate with trendy applications that include: Google Drive, DropBox, Wix, and Bluehost.
6. Social Media Marketing Software
Hootsuite is a universal social media marketing tool for listening to what is “hot” and what is “not” on social networks, as well as for creating and planning content for posting on all social networking sites. It includes reporting functionality to analyze your social presence on the fly.
It is another tremendous corporate communications management software, because almost everyone is on social networking sites nowadays. HootSuite allows your business to grow by sharing content, meeting new consumers, and building a brand.
It acts as a collaboration software that offers a lot of benefits:
● It allows you to plan your content and analyze what content works on all social networking platforms.
● It is an example of an enterprise communications application that allows you to integrate with popular tools such as Google Drive, Mailchimp, Dropbox, and many others.
● Get more perspectives by tracking conversations about your brand on social media and increasing messages to a wider audience.
7. Advertising Campaign Software
Create search engine marketing campaigns for text searches with AdWords. You have full control over your advertising costs because the marketing campaign depends on your budget. You can select the keywords you want and decide on the exact targeting options for your ads.
Many businesses use Google Analytics over and over again as a critical application. With this app, the sales and marketing of your business can be greatly improved with features such as:
● Progress reports
● The general business management scheme
● Website analysis
● Goal setting
● Tracking sales and marketing analytics campaigns
8. Customer Service Software
SalesForce has many features, including automation and performance capabilities, to help your customer service team feel valued.
Customer relationship management isn’t just designed for the Fortune 500. Even one-person stores can take a more streamlined approach to manage the sales process, tracking potential customers, and ensuring timely follow-up.
Salesforce.com requires some patience and training due to its length. However, its comprehensive feature set and affordable prices make it a must-have for business.
Zendesk is a comprehensive tool that gives you a powerful customer service solution that not only improves customer service but also provides customer engagement data that you can use to improve customer service.
Zendesk offers modular service and support software designed to enable you to interact with your customers. The most basic plans are set per user. Therefore even the smallest businesses have dedicated customer interaction software.
You can track customer service tickets with an email-like interface where support teams can collaborate.
You can also choose specialized tools that centralize interactions across the Internet, making it easy to manage customer interactions.
9. Communication And Messaging Software
Skype is a video, audio, and messaging platform. With it, your team can communicate with each other and with your customers over many channels, including VoIP, landline, and mobile calls.
Skype enables professionals to collaborate through screen sharing, instant messaging, audio conferencing, file sharing, and video conferencing. Up to 25 people can join group video and audio calls with a free plan.
Skype works with many computer and mobile platforms. Price factors are when you want to use the service for calls abroad or to landlines and mobiles.
Slack focuses on team communication and collaboration, forming specific channels that serve particular departments and projects.
Slack may not have killed email yet, and it can become a temporary shell if you are not disciplined in how it is used. Still, it is also fair to say that this communication platform has helped transform the way many small business teams communicate.
Like many of the best software tools, the basic idea is straightforward: to communicate in real-time in web browsers, mobile applications, and desktop clients.
Team members can communicate one-on-one or in groups or channels based on topics (sales, finance, products, etc.).
Slack is good at bringing this simple idea to life in a very intuitive way, with a slim and responsive interface and a lot of integrations, plugins, and shortcuts to support real-time conversation. All the features you think you might need, from file transfer to video calls, are always at hand.
You won’t get much from Slack for free – with 5 GB of shared memory, 10,000 recent ones, searchable and no group calls. However, it gives you a sense of the app and should be great for small teams.
At the highest price, you get 24/7 support and a guaranteed response time of four hours, as well as unlimited message archives.
10. Project Management Software
Basecamp is a powerful performance application that allows the entire team to work on a project with additional features such as file and document sharing, to-do lists, and messaging.
It can also create complex project schedules, to-do lists, and whiteboards, share files between team members – all with one easy-to-use web-based tool.
Basecamp can keep all your employees informed while letting others know what other team members are doing.
It can even track project time per team member to create detailed accounts and reports when the work is done. ($24 to $149 per month, depending on the number of projects managed).
Trello is another productive application that goes beyond expectations. With this tool, you can create boards with lists and cards based on team projects or individual projects, specify a deadline for each of them, and cross them off as they are completed.
This alternative to Microsoft Project looks like a dashboard filled with stickers. Organize and share your projects, just add notes and drag and drop them. The Trello dashboard provides an instant snapshot of your current projects.
It also shows who is working on what and who is checking the progress. Although Trello is a web-based application, it is available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire HD. (Free of charge).
11. Document Management Software
Document management software is one of the most common computer programs used in offices. You can do it all at once with Google Drive. Create and store all types of documents – including slide presentations, spreadsheets, and Word documents, which are on the cloud, where you can access them from virtually anywhere.
If everyone on your team has Google Accounts (and why not?), sharing and collaborating on files at the same time and in real-time is like instantly using Google Docs.
The word processor and spreadsheet are your only choices, there’s no free whiteboard. However, the service is free and easy to use.
The Premier Edition upgrade provides extra space (25 GB vs. 7 GB in the free option) and a conference room planning system.
Complete Microsoft Office suite allows you to create, edit, and store in the cloud any Microsoft document format, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
You can then easily access it from any of the five devices. If you still don’t feel comfortable with the applications in Office 365, you can take an online remote course in Microsoft Office applications.
Any business, big or small, will probably need at least one copy of Microsoft Office somewhere in the building. All of the package’s applications are just too close to industry standards to ignore.
It can be expensive, but you probably don’t have to worry about upgrading to the latest version. Everything that has been done since the beginning of the century has to be done.
DropBox gives you the ability to work with, share, store, and backup files in the cloud. All your files will be automatically synchronized on all your devices.
Dropbox has improved file synchronization across the cloud and across multiple devices long before Google, Apple, and Microsoft combined their activities, and this synchronization feature remains the foundation of what Dropbox does.
If you need to do something about files, Dropbox is the best way to do it. You are able to share large files over the Internet, get documents from home, give certain team members access to a specific folder, stream videos from your computer to your web browser, collaborate on the same file with more people, and the list goes on.
If you need to protect your folders with a password or set an expiration date for the folders and files you share, then Dropbox can do all that too.
To Sum Up
Any business management software solution should make your work more efficient rather than creating additional tasks. Therefore, when choosing the best software to support your business, you need to be extremely attentive and conduct relevant research.
Ideally, business management software should help you manage all major business processes in one system. Based on your needs and preferences, you can integrate some of the additional applications discussed.
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