Setting up a business and making it a success involves a lot of hurdles and hoops and any professional who have ever worked for or have been an entrepreneur knows it very well. The primary challenges of a business arises when a person starts to ramp up the marketing and managing tasks, or expand the workforce with minimal resources.
Tools for Small Businesses
While setting up a business when your time and money both are limited, you have to utilize the best of what you have. With the right tools in hand can help you do just that by maximizing your time without breaking the bank. But which small business tools are right for your organization? When we asked a handful of successful entrepreneur for some of their top picks in several categories, including marketing, HR, project management, they suggested few productive tools and below we have listed down those suggestions.
The very first step of the growth of your business is to let your target customers and clients know your existence and how you can help them in solving their problems. This is the core concept behind marketing. Though traditionally there we lesser modes of communication, but with the explosion of content marketing the number of channels and media you can use to communicate your message have come up. Among the mailers, newsletters and social media posts, it is quite difficult to keep track of what you are trying to say and where you are trying to do it so. But it is hard only till you have the proper tools for marketing and promoting your business.
With the help of marketing tools you can automate the process of publishing your messages online along with keeping all your channels and modes of communication in sync. There are also some marketing tools that also provide insights into how these messages perform, so you can tailor your content more and more to your target audience. Best of all, you don’t have to be a marketing expert with years of experience to use these tools. With the rise of content marketing as a key for ROI, the number of channels and media you can use to communicate that message has exploded.
As a matter of fact unless you measure your marketing results you will not be able to decide whether your marketing efforts are working or not up to the mark. Here analytic tools can help you. Analytic tools will help you measure all your marketing efforts across all of your marketing channels. These tools can gather, organize, and display all your data so you can spend more time in making a more informed, strategic decisions. Without such type of analytics support, it can be highly impossible to find and dissect all the metrics out there for digital content. Let’s say you have a website and you’re doing some kind of content marketing, then tools like Google Analytics and Search Console are must-have tools for your small business. While there can be a bit of a learning curve for both of these tools, they will surely help you to set the right foundation for both your online marketing and your strategy for business analytics.
Maintaining the accounts and finances is another aspect of making a business a success. Once you are a manager or entrepreneur you need to keep track of the key numbers like revenue and business expenses and other vital things that are necessary to building a successful organization. But there is a lot that goes into running a business, and manually tracking all those figures invites human error which can potentially costly mistakes taking a lot of time and effort.
However small business owners do not have an accounting background, hence taking on the responsibility of tracking finances can be quite a challenging task. After all, you have opened a business because you have a passion for that and not for logging an inventory. Accounting tools for small businesses can not only save a lot of time but also help you in maintaining more accurate records.
Human resources is another aspect of an organization that requires a great deal of tracking and organizing. With employee records, paid time off, benefits packages, and more, there is a lot to manage within the HR department. Doing everything manually can be a huge time sink, and it may cost you in other, less visible ways like poor employee experience or compliance violations.
HR software can help you streamline the most time-consuming processes of human resources, freeing up your time for big-picture efforts like building a great company culture.
Project Management Tools
To-do lists are useful, but they can only stretch so far before you find yourself overwhelmed by the number of things that need to get done. Growing a small business is no small job, and it takes your whole team working together to achieve success. However, there are a lot of moving parts even on the smallest teams. Keeping track of who’s doing what and when they’re doing it is tricky without the right small business tools to help.
Project management software can help you keep everyone on task and on schedule, even as your team expands and your bandwidth increases. The best tools can help you set up workflows for each project and foster collaboration between your team members. This will keep bottlenecks to a minimum and keep your organization moving full speed ahead.
What Tools Should You Use for Your Small Business?
While these recommendations are a good place to start, only you can determine which business tools are right for your specific organization. You probably have a long list of problems in your company you’d like to solve, be it running payroll or assigning projects. You will also probably never get rid of that list altogether. Part of growing as a business is discovering new challenges.
So how can you decide which tool is right to solve your top problems today and support your progress in the future?
Determine current challenges and which activities would solve those challenges.
- Determine challenges that your org will likely face within the next five years and which activities would solve those challenges.
- Identify all of the stakeholders who need to weigh in on this decision.
- Figure out their main concerns for a potential solution.
- Research potential tools and compile a list.
- Identify which features would support those activities you listed before that would solve your challenges, both current and future.
- Identify which features would address the concerns of each stakeholder.
- Determine if each potential tool has the features necessary to solve your challenges and address stakeholder concerns.
Try getting started with one of the recommended tools here or find your own that supports your organization in precisely the way you need. Either way, with the right tools and the right strategy, you can grow your business even on a small budget and with limited time resources. Ready. Set. Grow.