Thanks to the wave of new and innovative entrepreneurs daring to take the steps necessary to achieve their career goals, small businesses are growing in numbers. If one thinks small businesses are more straight forward to manage than medium or large scale organizations, they’re wrong. Operating a small business is not free from its challenges due to its constraints regarding budgets, scope, and reach. So when the subject of automation in business operations arises, small businesses are often left off the table. However, if anyone could immensely benefit from this procedure, small companies top the list.
A small business must possess the foresight to understand that growth is inevitable if they aim to succeed in the industry. Automation adopted early on will serve small businesses as they grow at their respective pace. This blog will address all a small business owner who needs to know about picking the right small business software to help them operate more efficiently while maximizing their strengths.
What Is Automation Through Small Business Software?
Automation seems like an incredibly fancy word, which is what intimidates several small business owners and entrepreneurs from exploring the benefit it can bring into their operations and processes. Automation refers to streamlining the various processes involved while running a business to simplify and streamline the day to day functions. This could be as simple as integrating into accounting software that handles the top to bottom business transactions that involve finances or software that runs all your ongoing, incoming, and completed projects with multiple teams. Investing in “Small Business Software” replaces the need to hire various professionals to do the same job or spend an unnecessary amount of capital on extensive communications when a simple installation could do the job.
How To Choose A Small Business Software That Grows With Your Business?
One can employ several parameters to gauge whether a small business software will serve your organizational requirements well.
1. Find Aspects That Require Automation In Your Small Business
Which areas of your business could you streamline to save time, workforce, and money? Some organizations are labor and production intensive, which require inventory management, while the others are intellect and service-oriented that need project management. It is up to the business owner to understand the kind of software to simplify the operations, depending on the type of business.
2. Create A Small Business Software Suite
Choosing to automate your small business using software packages will save you complications and capital. Once you have a rundown of the aspects that require streamlining, you can club these processes into categories, so you reduce the number of small business software you are required to purchase. There are several excellent software companies that provide a complete suite of services clubbed into packages for the same purpose. For example, you can find one that caters to complete accounting solutions or creates, hosts, and maintains your website under one package.
3. Cost to Value
You will find several affordable small business software packages that cater to your current business demands; some are even free to use with an incredible array of services to offer as long as you sign up to their platform. To choose one that works for you, weigh in the comparison of its subscription or installation cost with the value it provides to you. Don’t be rushed to pick the first one you find; instead, choose the top three from each category of small business software and make a parallel assessment regarding which one covers all your business requirement bases and provides the highest cost to benefit ratio.
4. One-time Installation Vs. Subscription
At face value, some of the best small business software may seem expensive as a one time purchase for unlimited access compared to the monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription. However, if you compare your subscription charges’ costs over the years, you will realize that a one-time software installation is favorable, even with timely updates involved. In our opinion, choosing one that has a flexible scope of expanding with the growth of a small business has more benefits than changing subscription plans often.
What Types of Small Business Software Can A Small Business Need?
If you’re wondering what kinds of small business software your business could use, listed below are a few used to automate the fundamental business processes. While browsing for options, you will come across software for small businesses that serve many functions for different requirements. If you require a more customized approach to your business, you can build your model using these platforms as they also make packages tailored for industry and scale-specific requirements.
1. Accounting Software
An accounting software handles all the organization’s transactions and is a must-have for small businesses to keep track of all the expenditures, incomes, sales, inventory, salaries, and other aspects of accounting compliances. Such ERP software also creates the necessary statement of accounts and compliance reports, making them easy to file well before the due dates.
2. Project Management Software
If you have multiple teams working on different projects, in-house or remotely, a project management software will help streamline all the tasks by bringing them all under one system. Here, they will be able to view the progress of the entire project, aspects completed or pending, while keeping track of their progress. The software also allows teams to prioritize tasks and projects depending on their importance, difficulty, and impending deadlines. This brings in a more significant amount of personal accountability and transparency in operations while avoiding confusion, mix-ups, and setbacks between teams with overlapping projects and employees working on multiple projects.
3. Marketing Software
A marketing software will help a small business maximize its strengths to reach a significant audience through analytics, customized filters for audience pools, SEO, and creating the appropriate funnels. Marketing software makes the implementation of strategies more efficient by operating like clockwork with the parameters set.
4. Team Communication Software
Communication between the horizontal, upward, and the downward hierarchy of an organization is essential to maintain operations stability. Since 2020 has resulted in most organizations implementing working from home, effective communication is even more necessary in the current circumstances. Instead of spending an exuberant amount on company phone bills, a small business can invest in a team communication software where regular meetings can be held across various members, the entire organization, or team leaders using only their devices and a good internet connection.
5. HR Management Software
Using software to streamline the process of recruitment, job appraisal, salary calculation, and payment as well as addressing employee grievances is an essential requirement to deal with the growing business. You may find it easy to manage your staff now, but it will become challenging to keep track of your employees when your business grows. Hence, it is best to pick a flexible HR Management software that can handle the staffing requirements as your business grows from the start to save time adjusting later on or spending time on manual work that can be avoided in the present.
6. Website Building Software
Building, hosting, and maintaining a website would generally require an in-house developer, which is an expensive investment for a small business initially. Instead of hiring a full-time developer, they can employ a website building software that will customize the structure, pages, aesthetics, and content of your business while providing a platform to host your domain and regular site maintenance. Such software has a yearly subscription with attractive packages of analytic tools as well.
How Can One Benefit By Using Small Business Software?
There are several benefits that a small business software brings through their automation solutions, as given below:
Small business software helps you adapt to the market demand by providing a certain level of flexibility to deal with a business’s growth with natural agility. For instance, changes in the market demands during the “high demand season” would need a business owner to hire sets of extra hands to deal with the sudden surge in order volumes. Instead, this change could be perceived as a natural shift that is expected by the software that can handle the bulk orders and sending out all inventory to the respective customers on time while also keeping a check on the stock to avoid running low on items high in demand- all while saving you the cost of expensive seasonal labor.
2. Minimize Room For Human Error
Since the small business software is being run on pre-decided parameters and a system created by expert developers, it reduces the room for human error in calculations or missing deadlines for essential transactions, activities, and filings. Once set to fit your requirement, the software will do its job while requiring limited input from the human staff, especially in matters such as human resources, accounting, and inventory management.
3. Maximize Audience and ROI
Small business software can help an organization boost its marketing and reach to maximize its ROI. Small businesses are often confined to a specific zone of the audience. To achieve a more significant number of potential audiences, remote business marketing software comes with analytic tools that one can use to study their environment, customers, and competitors to reach more people. When done right, this will result in maximizing conversion rates and ROI.
4. Reduces Staffing Requirements and Costs
A small business software can replace several of your staff required to do the same task and ancillary functions. It also frees up your existing staff from committing precious time to performing redundant and mundane tasks where their skill could be used at places that need immediate attention. As a result, it saves immense costs as paying installment or subscription fees for one software package covers all the mechanic work. At the same time, your human resources now contribute to productive work and bring your tangible business growth.
5. Better Remote Team Communications
Communication between remote teams and individual workers could be complicated if not streamlined due to differing schedules and time zones. A project management software that doubles as a team communication tool ensures that all your organization members are brought to one platform to work together. This increases the fluidity of operations, accountability, team spirit, and bonding between members, thereby helping you make the best of a remote working environment, as long as your employees have a device and internet connection.
6. Employee Satisfaction
Using a human resources solution software will help you address the staff’s requests and grievances in a timely fashion. It has also been observed that the team does better when they have been provided the correct set of tools (software) to make their work simpler to track and coordinate with other members of the organization. Employee satisfaction is about their causes being endorsed and the experience they have while working for your organization. Productivity while receiving cooperation and the opportunity to grow in all dimensions makes a satisfied employee, which can be provided by using an excellent human resource package.
7. Consistency in Customer Service
Customer service is one aspect of your business that will be at the forefront no matter what goods or services you provide in any economic sector. Using small business software for customer service will help you to deliver time-bound, prompt, and efficient help to your client base by streamlining the process.
As seen above, several aspects of a small business require the help of software to make the operations work smoothly. Since growth demands the business owners to step out of their comfort zones, using such software frees up space for productive work that contributes towards such expansion while bringing in more opportunities to maximize their profits. Investing in small business software doesn’t just simplify the current workings of an organization but also sets them up to transition smoothly into their inevitable growth with expertise. Choosing software that your business requires the most, depending upon the nature of the industry you operate in, is a substantial investment. Deskera brings you the best packages of small business software to fulfill your business’ changing dynamics.