Your business needn’t be large to take advantage of technological solutions. Small businesses can benefit from intelligent software to help manage day-to-day operations and long-term planning. In this article, we’ll explore the most powerful and cost-effective technologies that are a great fit for small businesses.
Invoicing and budget management
Managing your company’s finances can be complicated, particularly if you’re starting from scratch. Take the sting out of number-crunching by using specialised software. This needn’t be expensive; there are powerful options online with a minimal monthly fee, and you can usually secure a free trial to ensure that it’s the right solution for your business.
Financial management systems will help you to visualise outgoings, sales, and profit margins in real time. Many will also draw up invoice templates, and provide the tools for accurate tax reporting. An essential solution for all businesses, no matter their size.
Enterprise Resource Planning
It’s crucial to know whether your company can deliver on all of its objectives. Your business resources, including staff, supplies, production capacity, and cash reserves, all have an impact on your ability to meet demand.
Enterprise Resource Planning software is a comprehensive tool that allows you to continually review your business capabilities. In real time, you’ll be able to assess whether adjustments are required, which helps to ensure that customers are satisfied and your reputation goes from strength to strength.
It’s good to talk! Whether you’re meeting with a client, holding a call with your management team, or reaching out to a supplier, online teleconferencing creates an air of positive collaboration, even if you’re thousands of miles apart! Whilst it may seem like the preserve of large corporations, small businesses can benefit from using teleconferencing software.
Setting up an online meeting demonstrates your company’s professionalism, and there are useful tools contained within teleconferencing software, such as video calling, recording facilities, whiteboards, chat boxes, polls, and document repositories, that allow you to drive collaboration and accurately capture the ideas raised during the meeting.
Training delivery and management
Investing in your staff is an essential element of running a business. They are your greatest asset, so it’s important to ensure that their continuing education is properly planned, delivered, and documented. A learning management system (or LMS) will help you to do this. You will be able to schedule training, sync it with your employees’ respective calendars, create a link to live or recorded training, capture completion and assessment, and review transcripts during periodic reviews. An LMS is useful to the employee, too; allowing them to manage training requirements within their schedule, and if you have an open catalogue, to select courses that are beneficial to their development.
If you have a tight budget, or simply wish to try out the most cost-effective solutions, open-source software can be a worthwhile alternative to applications with one-off, annual, or monthly fees. Written documents, presentations, spreadsheets, databases, images, videos, and interactive content can all be created using free software, using filenames that are compatible with paid applications.