Running a business in today’s world can seem to some like an endless battle of things to do. Within small businesses, you don’t have the luxury of specialist departments to support you. It is just you, or a small team, and the tools that you use.

Doing everything on your own is daunting. It is worth seeking every bit of help you can get, and the good news is, it’s all out there just waiting to make life a little easier; to save you precious time, resources and money.

If you can identify those areas where a little extra help could make all the difference…

Here are some of the most common:

Finance software

A common issue for small to medium enterprise is the occasional need for specialised financial know-how. There are accounting software packages out there, such as Quickbooks or Xero that can solve that problem. They allow you to customise invoices, track payments, manage tax and run payroll through a simple interface.

Users can also file VAT directly to HMRC in the UK, saving on average around 8 hours per month and a lot of stress.

Customer Relationship Management

CRM software can handle sales and marketing with a level of efficiency that a small business might struggle to match otherwise. The automation that CRM brings to the table can help a business manage interaction with customers and potential customers, plan and manage marketing, and make the most sales opportunities.

CRM can give businesses a new level of automation and a real advantage over their competitors.

The Admin staples

Whether it’s a document, email, spreadsheet, or calendar, there are many different providers such as Microsoft, Google and Apple all have a suite of apps to help with daily administration.  It is all down to individual preference.

Microsoft Office and Google are packed full of potential for every business, which takes the time to really get the most out of it.

Social media

An engaging, authoritative presence on sites such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram can do so much to earn authority and drive people to a company’s site or services, yet how many neglect it when things get busy elsewhere?

Automation is one possible answer. Social media management tools such as Social Bee, ContentCal, and PromoRepublic let users plan content and publish it at a time of their choosing.

Blogs

A website can benefit massively from a blog; it can be a place to showcase new products and services, to identify an audience’s problems and provide solutions. Blogs are also the perfect tool to drive people to your e-commerce pages and help you climb the search engine rankings.

Many SME’s rely on freelance writers and virtual assistants to keep their websites full of engaging and meaningful content then utilise the services of tools such as Missinglettr to create up to a year’s worth of social posts from a single blog piece.

An easy and effective way to direct traffic to your site while you might be busy doing other things.

Planning software

Workflow, efficiency and the ability to create professional-looking proposals in collaboration with your team are all factors that make for a healthy business. Planning tools such as Monday.com and Plutio empower you to do that with a powerful, easy to understand, all in one solution that can integrate with a range of other business tools.

They are used by some of the biggest companies in the world, in some of the most competitive industries; maybe they can offer something to your business.

Instant chat

We are now all familiar with tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts and Zoom; these tools have gone from occasional use to vital business tools in under a year. It is also worth considering that tools such as WhatsApp have an engaged user base in the region of 1.5 billion users; that is quite a bit of potential for any business.

Websites and Graphic design

Every business with an online presence relies on its website’s quality to match the quality of their products and services. Still, it is it necessary to invest (often heavily) in a specialist web designer?

Certainly, companies with online tools to allow users to build their own claim not. Sites such as Wix, and WordPress give users all the templates, tools, and simple interfaces they need to create eye-catching, quality hosted websites for a much more modest annual investment.

They also offer the option of working with their own teams to build better sites and make the most of the SEO tools on offer.

If you are thinking about tools to improve your business or if you want to learn more about the right tools for you, why not book a slot for a free discussion with me here.

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