Running a small business is serious business. You need the right tool for each job if you’re going to be efficient and effective in the way you carry out your operations. A lot of little things go into the efficient operation of a small business, no matter what industry it is in. Fortunately, small-business owners and managers have the advantage of living in the glory days of technology, where software for every business need exists.
You still need to wear a lot of hats as the business owner, but different types of business software can help you do the job. Look at the possibilities in this business software applications list.
Types of Accounting Software
QuickBooks is a comprehensive accounting software suite with all the modules you need to carry out the accounting functions of your small business. It is familiar and a staple in many small businesses. The catch is that QuickBooks must be purchased and installed on your office network.
Xero is also a complete and robust software suite for all your business accounting needs. The major difference between it and QuickBooks is that everything is hosted in the cloud, which means you don’t have to download or install anything on your office computers, and you can access it from any location with an internet connection.
FreshBooks accounting software is comprehensive and is designed primarily for small businesses in the service industry.
Wave has the unique advantage that it is entirely free. It offers lots of functionality, including invoicing, bookkeeping, payroll and much more.
Website Building Software
WordPress powers more than half the world’s websites, so it is a proven option for those who want to build a robust and adaptable website that can be improved with time. You can choose from thousands of themes, both free and premium, that give your website a unique and professional look.
Squarespace is a comprehensive web-building tool that enables you to create stunning websites with professional themes.
Shopify is built to cater specifically to e-commerce businesses that want to build a complete online store. With this service, you build your entire store on the Shopify platform and handle everything from marketing and payment options to shipping on the platform.
Payment Transaction Software
When it comes to online payments, PayPal is the largest platform in the world. With it, you accept payments made through the PayPal and credit card payments for your online store. The payment platform handles everything from security and processing to compatibility issues.
Install a checkout plug-in on your online store with Stripe so that you can take advantage of the various payment forms the platform supports.
Types of Marketing Software
HubSpot is a full-fledged marketing suite that offers all kinds of packages, including customer relationship management (CRM), sales, and much more to help you build a robust marketing platform for your customers.
InfusionSoft is automation software that handles both your sales and marketing as well as various CRM tasks including lead gathering and conversions.
Marketo is an all-inclusive marketing package that handles and automates just about everything, from the management of leads to email marketing.
Email Marketing Software
Design unique email marketing campaigns and automate them with AWeber. It includes integration with sites such as WordPress for even more versatility.
MailChimp is an email marketing campaign creation and automation service you use to customize your campaigns and integrate them with Shopify and other e-commerce platforms.
With Constant Contact’s drag-and-drop model, you use templates in conjunction with automation and real-time reporting to create effective email marketing campaigns.
Social Media Marketing Software
Stay on top of everything going on at Twitter with TweetDeck. Use it to create hashtags and searches and also to get alerts when new content is generated on the site.
Buffer is a creation and scheduling tool used to create engaging content that is then posted on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media marketing tool for listening in on what’s hot and what’s not on social media and creating and scheduling your content for posting on all social media sites. It includes reporting functionality for analyzing your social presence on the fly.
Advertising Campaign Software
Use OutBrain to reach more people through pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on some of the largest sites on the internet, including CNN and Forbes.
Create search marketing campaigns for text-based searches with AdWords. You are in full control of the ad expense because the marketing campaign is dependent on your budget. You can pick keywords that you want to bid on and decide on the precise targeting parameters for your ads.
Use Bing Ads to create search marketing campaigns for the Bing search engine’s results pages, which gives you high value for your money.
SEO and Content Marketing Software
Moz is a powerful tool that navigates the world of online paid advertising and search marketing simply and effectively.
Contently helps you with your content marketing by generating and executing content on your behalf through the help of freelancers.
SumoMe provides powerful web analytics that help you to optimize your landing pages, boost your social shares, and build email lists for your email marketing campaigns.
Customer Service Software
SalesForce has plenty of functionality, including automation and productivity features, to help your customer service team ace it at making your customers feel valued.
Zendesk is a comprehensive tool that gives you a powerful help desk solution that not only allows you to provide better customer service to your customers but also delivers data on customer engagement that you can use to improve your customer service.
Communication and Messaging Software
Skype is a video and audio calling tool as well as a messaging platform. Your team can use it to keep in touch with one another and your customers through many channels, including VoIP, landline and mobile calls.
Slack focuses on team communication and collaboration by forming specific channels that cater to particular departments and projects.
Project Management Software
Basecamp is a powerful productivity app that allows the entire team to collaborate on a project with extra functionality such as file and document sharing, to-do lists and messaging.
Trello is another productivity app that goes above and beyond what is expected. With this tool, you can create team boards with lists and cards based on team projects or individual projects, give each a deadline, and cross them off as they are completed.
Productivity and Notekeeping Apps
Evernote makes it possible to remember everything you need to do in one digital notebook. If you love taking paper notes, then you’ll love Evernote.
Use Boomerang to take full control of your inbox so that the most important messages are always easily accessible when you need them.
Document Management Software
Document management software is among the most common computer programs used in offices, and you can do it all in one place with Google Drive. Create and store all types of documents, including slide presentations, spreadsheets, and word documents in the cloud where you can access them from just about anywhere.
Microsoft’s full office suite provides a way to create, edit and store in the cloud any Microsoft format document, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Then, you can access it from any of up to five devices.
DropBox gives you the opportunity to collaborate on files, share them, store them, and back them up in the cloud. The files are all automatically synced across all your devices.