Small Business Software Tools: Computer Programs that Can Help with Efficiency and Effectiveness
Small businesses range in size from one single entrepreneur to a company with 250 employees. Regardless of the size of a small company, most everyone relies on computers and software to help manage.
Recently PCWorld magazine listed the 20 best business software and web tools to help with running a business. Six of the must-haves are detailed below.
Top Three Business Software Tools
One piece of software that every small business needs to implement is an office suite. Microsoft Office has been the best seller for years. While it can be purchased in different configurations, every small business needs to have a word processor, spreadsheet, email software, calendaring and a database.
Next in order of importance is accounting software. QuickBooks Pro has been helping small businesses manage finance recordkeeping for well over a decade. It is an accounting program that puts the whole process in a flowchart or diagram format or allows the user to work through the menu system. The program also lets the user work from common sense terms or with accounting terminology.
Database software is also necessary to run a business effectively. Database programs provide the ability to build mailing lists, inventory, and other lists. Microsoft Office does have Microsoft Access as the database but an alternative is FileMaker Pro which is widely used.
Three Additional Business Softwares
Client or customer relationship management (CRM) software is widely used by sales forces from every type of business. CRM programs help even the one-man or woman shop manage every aspect of the sales process from cold calling to closing.
Remote access for those times when traveling and finding the need to have access to the computer back at the office is becoming more vital. There are several varieties these days. SoonR is a program that enables remote access via a mobile telephone. GoToMyPC is one product that allows a user work on their office PC from home or when traveling.
Blogging is almost a must-do for most businesses. While there are many blog sites on the net that allows members to pick a layout or style and start blogging immediately, there are those companies that have made a long-term commitment to blogging that want to design their own blog layout. WordPress is free and installs easily and quickly and does offer a free hosting service.
Other Software Products that Can Help Run a Business
There a literally hundreds of software products available including simulation programs, gaming programs and many others. The need-to-haves are detailed above. Nice-to-haves include collaboration software, ecommerce products, instant messaging, and email marketing programs.
A general rule of thumb to guide software purchases is to try before you buy. Make sure the product fits the need and that the interface is comfortable to work with.