Every business owner knows that the business is only doing as well as the grasp that they and other managers have on it. Which translates to how many different tasks they can juggle in any given moment. Technology has been rising to the occasion, and now there are plenty of tools out there that will help both managers and employees function more efficiently. While keeping track of all the millions of small and big things they need to handle, of course.
Here are five essential types of software that no small to medium business can do without.
- Project Management Software
A whitepaper by Pegasystems Inc. has revealed that, on average, employees switch between 35 applications more than 1 000 times a day. A big chunk of these apps is critical to getting the work done in today’s world. But how many of them waste everyone’s time instead?
Project management software gets things back on track. It condenses a lot of the tools people are already using down into one place. That not only saves the time of employees (and thus the business), but it also stores essential information on one easy to reach platform.
Tools like Trello and LiquidPlanner (among many others) make team planning, project coordination, and prioritizing much simpler. Some project management tools also incorporate project analytics and budget planning. That further reduces the need for many software tools and eliminates confusion.
- Collaboration Tools
Project management software and collaboration tools often overlap, but the two are separate things. They do go well together. Thus, to get things done, managers and their teams often use these tools side by side.
Slack and HeySpace are popular examples of collaboration tools. They provide a place where everyone in the team or department (or even the whole company) can share crucial info and talk to each other. Think of them as powerful instant messaging tools for businesses.
Teams can use collaboration tools to create groups, share files and ideas, set notifications for events or completed tasks, and enable private messaging. Some also offer extra neat features. Those can include anything from video calls to third-party tool integration. Slack, for example, integrates Trello, Google Calendar, DevOps, and more.
Every business has digital assets that a hacker might profit from. Client information, banking details, business ideas — you name it. There’s too much at stake to not invest in digital security measures. Cybersecurity has become an important aspect for every business, no matter its size or industry.
When it comes to cybersecurity, there’s a lot to do and stay aware of. And cybersecurity practices must involve everyone in the business. Every employee, no matter their job description, has a digital device that hackers can exploit. Those with access to business-critical information are the most vulnerable. They need to use secure devices and have sufficient knowledge of safe online conduct.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, some important security essentials include:
- a strong anti-virus program,
- a firewall,
- email encryption,
- password managers,
- Intrusion detection tools.
Businesses should also not only look into getting a VPN for Mac and Windows, but for mobile as well. People use their phones at (and for) work. Thus, they could compromise the whole business if left vulnerable.
Out of all the employees in a business, marketers usually use the most tools and apps to get their work done. With CRM software, they get to bring all of that back to one central place for accessible overview and task delegation. It provides those working in marketing and sales with a way to engage their work in a meaningful way is invaluable to any business.
A typical CRM software provides lead generation tools, deal tracking, reporting, web forms, email templates and management, and advertising tools. Some great CRM options include Hubspot CRM and Apptivo CRM.
HR Management Tools
HR management tools are especially useful for smaller businesses who don’t have a dedicated HR person or team. It helps with hiring, tracking employee complaints, managing timesheets, or payroll. After all, there’s a lot to keep track of. And plenty of digital options are available out there. Business owners can fulfil their HR needs without a hitch. To read more about HR management software, check out tools like Sage and Deputy.
Technology helps businesses a lot, but its success is still up to those who use the software. The apps and tools mentioned here will make life a lot easier for everyone working in a company. But you will make the most of them only if you know how to use them properly. So don’t forget to take that into account.