In today's day and age, computers have penetrated every aspect of daily life. Computers are essential for Small and Medium Enterprises to remain relevant in the modern competitive environment. Computer-based applications can improve productivity, replace paper and automate common jobs. There are software packages to assist in every aspect of running a business such as accounting, communication and management. Let's go over some of the most important ones.
1. Accounting Software
Managing finances and accounting is an integral part of running any business. Taking care of payrolls, tracking sales and profits are all very important jobs that must be handled with care. Luckily, there are several software options to help you track and automate such tasks. Some of them can be used from within your web browser itself.
These applications are capable of automatically creating invoices and generating formal business correspondence. They have advanced features as well such as recording costs, sales and profits. You can use them to track the performance of your business and identify trends and patterns. Analysis becomes simple and intuitive through the easy to comprehend graphs and charts these solutions are capable of plotting.
There are several different accounting software solutions you can choose from. Quickbooks is one of the most popular and widely supported. They focus saving your time by automating your requirements as much as possible. They have excellent customer support too. Other great picks are FreshBooks and Zoho. FreshBooks is great for its mobile apps which allow you to track your business on the go while Zoho prioritizes ease of use.
2. Office Software
Office software are the most widely used applications in business environments. Their versatility and functionality make paper-based documentation look antiquated. Creating slideshows for presentations, spreadsheets for inventories, formal letters and communications are all tasks which gain vast improvements in productivity from office suites. In some cases, it may be impossible to do without.
Microsoft's office suite still remains the class leader in this field. Microsoft has new pricing models in the form of Office 365. With Office 365, you don't have to pay a large sum to get the software upfront. Instead, it's a yearly subscription based model where you pay a lower charge each year you plan on using it and always get the most up to date software. You can look into Apple's iWork suite if most of the computers being used in your business environment run macOS.
Considering the extensive use that they'll see, paid suites are definitely worth the investment. However, if your business is on a tight budget, there are also free office solutions which can work just as well to take care of your needs. The most well-known examples are OpenOffice.org and Libre Office.
3. Project Management Software
As a small business owner, it can be difficult to manage and lead a project. Keeping track of a team's progress and each members contribution requires constant communication. The challenge is multiplied if you're tasked to handle several projects at the same time. Keeping up can be hectic.
This is where project management software come in. These are designed to open up channels of communication between teammates and keep them on the same page. They making sharing information and progress as easy as posting on social media. Project management software are quite effective in boosting productivity by connecting you with your employees and connecting your employees to each other for effective transmission of information.
There are many project management software to choose from, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Basecamp, Trello, Asana are some of the most extensively used options and offer features such as card-based user interfaces and access from mobile devices.