A small business depends on employee productivity as much as anything else. Even small drops in overall efficiency can lead to delays and other issues, snowballing out of control and causing major problems in the long run.
Some of the key things playing a prominent role in employee productivity include:
- A friendly and healthy work environment
- Training opportunities
- Enough vacation days
- Career opportunities
While these elements are crucial, one should also not underestimate the right software. Employees need access to the latest technology. At the end of the day, working with outdated tools or missing one that makes the work that much smoother can be demotivating.
With that said, let’s take a look at some software types that small businesses should invest in not just to accommodate the employees but also to prevent potential troubles within the organization.
Not trusting employees sends the wrong message, but every smart business owner should do what is right. According to Information Week, 3 out of 4 insider cyber attacks are caused by disgruntled employees.
Those with the inside information are more familiar with the ins and outs of the company and how it operates. Working there for a while also leaves the impression that an employee is loyal, so they are less likely to become a suspect.
There are dedicated tools to streamline case management and to be used organization-wide, especially if one wishes to monitor transactions to flag threats in real-time before they manifest.
A company can also reduce internal crime by limiting access. Exclusive passwords and two-factor authentication implementations should come in handy.
The purpose behind time tracking software is twofold. The first advantage is to give employees a means to evaluate their productivity. They can share time with colleagues and compare the results. If someone is clearly struggling, they can seek advice to catch up with their peers.
It is also much easier to sit down and focus on the work when there is a timer running.
The business itself has an opportunity to ensure that its employees are focusing on work and finishing tasks on time. Time-tracking tools show factual data. Those who try to avoid their duties by coming up with excuses will not be able to do that when time tracking is involved.
Those who work in-house might not be too fussed about communication tools. It is easy to talk to coworkers in person when you work for a small business that is more intimate.
On the other hand, outsourcing specific tasks is prominent these days because it helps save money and access a wider talent pool. Not to mention that some employees might want a hybrid work model, where they spend some days working from home.
Communication solutions are imperative in such cases. If you want to maintain a productive work environment and include remote workers, emails will not cut it.
No, an organization needs to invest in simple communication platforms like Slack so that people can exchange messages instantly and have voice chats when necessary. For video calls, Zoom and other similar software will do the job as well. It does not take too long to figure out how to use such tools; they will prove valuable.
Accounting software is another example of business software that should be integral to the organization. Ensuring that the company’s financial records are in check is a crucial part of running a business. A software solution that automates the process makes it much easier to:
- Manage payment transactions
- Ensure payroll is taken care of
- Navigate complexities of tax requirements
Some accounting software solutions are relatively expensive, but finding cheaper alternatives that make sense for your budget should not be too hard. Besides, there is no need to look for a tool with an all-in-one available. Multiple tools that offer specific features can be combined and used together.
These days, it is hard to imagine keeping track of the inventory manually, even if a business is small. A more modern approach is to get inventory management software to keep your digital finger on the business’ pulse.
It becomes much easier to track what is coming in and going out. An inventory management system also usually includes details about obsolete inventory, so you get flagged about a potential problem and get to work on solving it.
Customer Relationship Management
An old-school business owner might be reluctant to bother with customer relationship management software. Some believe that using such software eliminates the personal touch. Instead of building genuine customer relationships via interactions, CRM software automates certain elements, such as data collection.
If growth is one of the main priorities for a small business, then CRM software is more or less inevitable. In fact, the trend shows that running such a tool is much more efficient since the trends and customer data change rapidly, and failing to adapt to these changes leads to losses. Identification and a better understanding of customers and how they change are too useful to ignore.
On-demand website builders are quite useful for smaller businesses that wish to avoid investing in a dedicated IT department. Of course, it comes with certain drawbacks. Using a template-like website leaves you with fewer customization options. On the other hand, if the needs are small and the goal is to create a simple website that will be used for business, then the website-building software should be more than enough.
To sum everything up, small businesses aim to remain productive and find new solutions to problems that are already present or might manifest in the future.
Accommodating employees with the necessary software is one of the foundations that should set a great precedent and show that you care not just about your current workers but those who might want to join in the future, particularly if the business grows.
The list mentioned in this article should work as a solid recommendation. And going beyond, it comes down to whatever an organization needs and believes is worth investing in.