No matter what business you run, it’s practically impossible to keep it offline these days. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to expand, you’ll want to pay attention to what software and online services are best for you and your business. Here is a list of 5 amazing software options you’ll want to look into first, focusing on the essential areas of accounting, sales, office tasks, file syncing, and social networking.
Essential to the success of any business is keeping the accounts in order. After all, how can you make a profit if you’re not sure where your money is coming from or going? Intuit’s Accounting software has been the industry standard in financial management for nearly four decades, and for good reason. QuickBooks is easy enough for nonprofessionals, and it’s the perfect tool for getting all your documents and receipts out of that desk drawer and safely backed up to your computer. Everything your business will have to do money-wise, such as writing a check or billing clients, can be done in just a few clicks of the mouse.
Customer Relationship Management is of prime concern even for the smallest of businesses. You want to make sure your sales process is neat and tidy, and you need to keep track of leads and not allow communications to fall through the cracks, delaying your responsiveness to clients. Salesforce.com does all of that for you. Though there is a bit of a learning curve, so you’ll want to set aside some time to learn the ropes, that’s only because Salesforce.com is a vast and powerful tool for managing sales and customers.
When it comes to document, database, or presentation needs in the office, there is no office suite that is so standard and universally accepted as Microsoft Office. Very few people don’t already know how to use the majority of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint features, making the daily tasks of your business as easy as possible. It’s true that Microsoft Office can be pricey, and there are free or cheap alternatives like OpenOffice.org, but nearly all business software experts will agree that Microsoft Office is well worth the price tag.
Remote Access is a very rare feature when it comes to modern office needs. If you do need to access a computer remotely, there are ways to set that up with Windows’ standard features and settings, avoiding a new software completely. Often enough, though, what you need to access on another computer will be the files saved there.
An online file syncing and backup service, like Dropbox, can take care of that for you. Every file you save on Dropbox will be automatically synced online and with any other computer in your personal Dropbox network. Dropbox has both free and paid features, as well as more space than you’ll know what to do with.
All in all, you want your business to succeed in this fast-paced, feature-rich world, in which everything is digital, online, and lightning fast. These five software options will give you a solid start and keep your startup out of the dark ages, giving it the support it needs to grow and prosper.