When embarking on a business venture, it is crucial to outline the necessary steps and procedures to be followed. These steps are there to help the business owner keep track of the business' progress and establish a pathway that goes beyond the company's short-term goals.
A critical step in this process is establishing what tools will be needed and how they will be used. The tools chosen should match the size of the business and be of a standard that aligns with the skill level of the users. Most tools in a company should aim to enhance usability and make sure that efficiency is maintained. This is standard in all businesses regardless of trade or industry, and some tools develop into monoliths in the tech space. An excellent example of this is Microsoft Office and how it has transcended regional, linguistic, and even political barriers due to the product's overall performance and adaptability.
Why are small business tools and software necessary?
Current small business tools and software help small businesses operate more efficiently. Technology nowadays enables real-time deployment and delivery of information to give small businesses secure, reliable, and immediate access to company data and information whenever and wherever it is needed.
However, if a small business wants to scale, optimising and prioritising teamwork is essential. Small business software and tools can overcome basic tasks from tracking employee productivity and performance, people and money management, and streamlining communication and collaboration.
What are the benefits of small business tools?
Running a small business is a team effort. Aligning team goals with business goals will help the company prioritise its short and long-term needs before making a significant decision.
As virtual workplaces and remote work continue to evolve, small business tools have the power to enhance the entire organisation to achieve results faster. The systems and tools can keep work organised, teams in sync, and businesses thriving. Some of the best benefits of using online tools include:
Communication software and tools, such as business phone systems, empower teamwork and boost productivity. Teams that practice good communication habits foster contagious chemistry that can impact culture, collaboration, and productivity. Good communication also:
- Incentivises meaningful conversations
- Ignites thoughtful dialogue
- Encourages deeper engagement
- Drives cohesive decision-making
Collaboration software and tools affect every aspect of the business. This is particularly true for small businesses with remote teams. Modern collaboration software allows teams to work smarter together regardless of where they are. These tools also help:
- Create a shareable network knowledge
- Cross-functional ideas exchange
- The ecosystem of shared resources
- Team alignment and problem-solving
Productivity tools help teams work smarter, not harder. These tools can also have an invaluable impact on the business's overall performance by encouraging momentum and minimising procrastination. These tools also help:
- Create custom digital workflows
- Automate recurring processes
- Optimise teamwork and performance
- Divide and conquer projects and tasks
The right software can make a good marketer great; they need powerful tools that provide detailed insights about customers. This knowledge can help produce qualified sales leads. The user can also:
- Automate scheduling
- Build a website
- Organizes tasks and to-dos
Accounting software tools assist in keeping track of the money coming in and going out of the business; they are simple to use and provide a high standard of accuracy. With these tools, one can:
- Track revenue and expenses
- Handle taxes and payroll
- Generate custom reports
- Analyse and forecast finances
This software helps keep track of employee satisfaction and engagement and maintains quality control. The business can:
- Hire, onboard, and groom top talent
- Establish accountability and align goals
- Prioritise support and streamline feedback
- Build employee confidence and team morale
Top five tools for a small business or startup
Here are the most versatile and popular tools that are on the market right now. These tools are exciting because they focus on helping small businesses and startups organise themselves with relative ease.
Listed below are some important categories of tools for small businesses across most industries:
1. Business phone systems
One of the most essential tools to have in a business is a business phone system. This tool is vital as it becomes the gateway between the business and the outside world. A sound phone system should handle local and international calls, multiple simultaneous call use, and any additional pressure required by the business. CircleLoop is a VoIP phone system and it helps the team redefine sales and service efficiency, this type of tool has hundreds of potential integrations that allow for ease of use and help keep all the communications centralised.
2. Search engine analytics
With this tool, users can view the countries their site has been seen in, the percentage differences in traffic, and critical numbers, sorted by day, week, month, and year. Some may offer marked graphs and charts to help even the least tech-savvy individual to feel confident with understanding the information. The most prominent of these tools is Google Analytics.
3. Cloud storage
Utilising cloud saving capability, users can save all of their images, documents, and video clips onto their Dropbox account, which can be accessed from anywhere. The business can easily share files with other users. One of the least noticed benefits of this file storage is that it allows users to maintain organisation for their files. It is possible to create personalised folders and save documents accordingly. DropBox is the highly preferred cloud storage tool currently on the market.
4. Social media scheduling
A group of hard-working typically creates startups and motivated individuals, each working on several projects. A scheduling tool can be considered an employee enhancer as it cuts back on mundane work. It is primarily used for social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. One can attach images and videos to posts; items can be scheduled to numerous outlets at one time. Hootsuite, for example, allows users to create all of their information ahead of time and then stagger it by date and time.
5. Team management
As any new business grows, so will its workforce, this can sometimes lead to complications in workflow and communication. A good way of sidestepping this problem is by adopting a team management tool. These types of tools are good at keeping the team organised and focused on the task at hand. Deadlines, briefs, and even meetings can be scheduled in advance, keeping everyone on the team accountable and fully aware of their responsibilities. A tool like Asana has all of these capabilities and is also very easy to use.
Getting started with CircleLoop for small businesses
Suppose you are a new business owner and have the entrepreneurial drive to turn your idea into a startup. At CircleLoop, we have produced The Startup Series to help new business owners navigate the new startup journey. It includes expert advice from our business members, and we give shout-outs to companies and agencies we have used to make our lives easier. We want to share our knowledge and experiences with you when it comes to starting and scaling up.
High productivity with call analytics for small businesses
With call analytics and reporting onboard, the business' team leaders and supervisors can monitor their teams' performance. CircleLoop's call analytics offer small businesses the chance to have a comprehensive overview of their team's workflow, results, and performance. These analytics also work well with our integrations.
Improve accountability and training with phone recording systems for small businesses
Additionally, CircleLoop offers simple to use cloud call recording for small businesses. This means the company will be able to record any of the calls made or received through the app and listen back to them. Call recordings can be excellent for training purposes and ensuring that calls meet the quality standards of the business. Voicemail transcriptions that get automatically logged to the contacts and calls are also on offer.
Putting together a new successful business can be very difficult and can often overwhelm the owner and team; this is why it is imperative to have a set of tools that best fit the team and the business's long-term goals. This decision can make or break productivity and potentially move the business forward, allowing room for growth, research, and development.