Running a small business is difficult even for people who have been around the block a couple of times and who have number of successful businesses under their belt, let alone for someone who is fresh to the SMB game.
The good news is that SMB owners have it somewhat easier these days thanks to the advancement in business tech that have taken place over the last couple of decades. For every aspect of running a small business these days, there is a fantastic tool to help the SMB owner handle this task more easily and concentrate on the more important things than day-to-day operation.
Accounting – QuickBooks Online
The vast majority of people who start a small business know little to nothing about bookkeeping and finances. In fact, in most cases, the first problems arise due to their poor grasp of even the basic SMB finances. With a niece piece of accounting software, it is now easier than ever to run your books.
The best accounting software choice for small businesses has to be QuickBooks Online, for a number of reasons. First of all, it has all the features you will need – tracking of income and expenses, financial reporting, automatic backups of data, tax preparation and even filing. Moreover, it is a very adaptable piece of software that will be able to grow as your SMB grows.
Other choices to check out – FreshBooks, Xero, Zoho Books.
Recruiting – Workable
Hiring the right people is a must for any small business and doing it wrong can cause a whole lot of headache even for the best thought-out SMB. You can always try to do it the old-fashioned way and hope someone reads your job ad somewhere. You can also hire the services of a professional recruitment agency, but that will cost you a lot. Or, you can check out the recruitment software by the name Workable.
Workable helps you post job ads where people will read them, it helps you accept applications and it keeps all of your data in one place. Moreover, it can help you with interviews and once you choose the people you wish to hire, Workable will even help you onboard them the right way.
Other choices to check out – BambooHR, Recruiterbox, Osclass.
Project Management – Active Collab
A very large number of small businesses revolve around projects that certain teams work on and that make up the majority of the company’s day-to-day functioning. This is especially true for the more modern types of SMB such as development companies and other types of business that deliver the results of certain projects to their clients.
There is definitely no shortage of project management tools out there, but we’d have to go with Active Collab. It is an amazing upgrade over Basecamp, which has for years been the leading piece of software in the field. With Active Collab, you get unlimited projects, time tracking, even estimates and budgeting on top of the common project management stuff. For people who run agile development companies, it also provides with the right features to run such a business.
Other choices to check out – Basecamp, Trello, Clarizen.
Customer Success – Amity
Over the last couple of years, we have seen the emergence of customer success as one of the most important metrics in the world of business. It entails tracking certain customer data, analyzing it and then recommending the right action to the business owners and their employees. This way, they can do all the right things for their customers, make them successful and therefore satisfied. It is mostly tailored to B2B companies whose customers also provide services.
Amity is the customer success tool that we’d have to go with and there are a few reasons for this. For one, it is a proactive tool which suggests actions before the need arises for them, not merely reacting to data. It is also great integrating with other business tools that you use.
Other choices to check out – Bluenose, Totango, Gainsight.
Social Media – HootSuite
There is really no need to explain why small companies need to do their social media properly, right? The amount of exposure that they can get for free and the amazing customer service practices they can engage in online speak for themselves.
When it comes to social media tools, there is only one true leader on the market – HootSuite. It is used by four-fifths of all Fortune 1000 companies and the best thing is that it scales down to SMBs perfectly. It is user-friendly, takes care of all your social media outlets and, what is best, it integrates smoothly with innumerable other software that you might be using.
Other choices to check out – HubSpot, Buffer, SocialPilot.
Email Marketing – MailChimp
Email marketing is making somewhat of a comeback, especially in public, so to say. Namely, for a few years, everyone was knocking it, saying how social media and other “flashier” types of online marketing are replacing it. In the end, however, the simple fact is that email marketing works and it will work even better for if you choose MailChimp.
Among its features, you will find such as auto-responders, bounce tracking, click-through tracking, event-triggered emails, mailing list management and even multivariate testing. As you can see, it is much more than a simple tool for automating your email marketing. It is a monster of a tool.
Other choices to check out – Benchmark, GetResponse, SendinBlue.