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5 Types of Tools Every Online Business Should be Using in 2017

5 Types of Tools Every Online Business Should be Using in 2017

Today’s business owners have access to powerful tools that entrepreneurs of the past could have only dreamed about. But there’s a difference between having access to a tool and actually using that tool. If you don’t know what you need, then you’re missing out on a chance to thrive.

Here are five categories of tools to get you started:

1. CRM Software

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. “As its name suggests, CRM software was originally designed to help businesses build and maintain relationships with new and existing customers,” explains Sara Angeles of Business News Daily. “Today, however, CRM software has evolved from a simple contact management system into a robust tool that lets you manage sales, marketing, point-of-sale (POS), accounting, vendor and other types of operational data, all in one easily accessible solution.”

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From a cost-effective standpoint, CRM software is one of the soundest investments you’ll ever make. Most platforms are all-encompassing tools that can streamline a number of complicated tasks and help businesses better engage customers at each stage of the conversion funnel.

2. Social Media Automation Tools

You know social media is important, but you don’t want to spend hours of time on it each and every day. This is why adopting the right suite of social media automation tools can help you in a very practical way.

The great thing about social media automation tools is that many are free. The problem is that there’s also a lot of fragmentation. It’s often necessary to piece together three or four different tools in order to automate all of the pressing tasks you’re faced with. Choose wisely and you should be able to put together a good solution.

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3. Inventory Tracking Software

Do you have inefficient business operations and an overall lack of productivity? For businesses that move lots of product and possess hundreds or thousands of unique SKUs (stock keeping units) in their warehouses, inventory tracking software can be a game changer.

“Items collecting dust on a shelf or no stock at all does your business little good,” industry expert Paul Trujillo reminds businesses. “Too much inventory is a waste of money and too little is a missed opportunity. Inventory tracking software helps gather as much information as possible so you are tuned into your inventory needs and can meet customer demand in a timely manner.”

4. Payroll Software

In the early stages of a business, payroll may not be a complicated matter. But as your company grows, things get a bit more complicated. Instead of hiring a full-time payroll manager, opting for payroll software can be a cost-effective choice.

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With payroll software, you can streamline payroll processing, file and pay payroll taxes, report new hires to the government, manage paid time off, simplify taxes, develop reports, and more. It’s really a no-brainer.

5. Accounting Software

Nobody likes to think about accounting. The idea of crunching numbers and making sure everything lines up is enough to ignite anxiety in the most even-keeled business owner. Thankfully, the right accounting software can solve this point of friction.

According to Angeles, choosing the right small business accounting software comes down to three questions: How much are you willing to pay? Why do you need accounting software? Which features does your business require? Answer these questions and you should be able to narrow your options down to a few reputable vendors.

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Equip Your Business for Success

A hunter is only as good as his weapons, an artist only as good as her brushes, and a business owner only as successful as his software. In 2017, every modern business needs to be equipped with contemporary tools that make it easier to remain productive in a competitive marketplace.

Start with these five and see where they take you.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Anna Johansson

Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance

Productivity is the ability to perform tasks efficiently and in a timely manner. In today’s busy and competitive business world, productivity is paramount for any business, organization or corporation.

Productivity is more than just performing tasks successfully. It is about investing and allocating resources, so the company or business can perform to meet its core goals.

As part of 2019, it is important to commit to new goals. When shopping around for new productivity software keep in mind the following things: cost, reliability, cross-platform compatibility, on the go, technical support, etc.

In the subsequent sections, we will examine the most recommended productivity software in the marketplace. In addition, we will look at what makes them tick and what separates them from the rest of the pack.

Projects and Tasks Management

1. Monday dot com

    Monday dot com was founded to create a team management solution so people connect to workplace processes across any industry. The productivity tool is used in more than 140 countries.

    The user interface is intuitive and impressive. It makes collaboration productive and fun because of its simplicity.

    The tool is deemed to have one of the best user experiences across the mobile and online project and task management platform.

    The product includes usability, customization, admin control, group management and control, private or public control, in-group messaging and more.

    Check out the software here!

    2. Asana

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      The mantra behind Asana’s product is to enable teams from across different organizations to work together effortlessly.

      The software comes with lots of customizations. When you create a project as a user, you can choose between a traditional task view and the kanban-style board view. The dashboard allows you to see the progress on a project, and it includes an excellent advanced set of search tools.

      Also, Asana’s Android and iOS apps do retain the web interface’s clean look and feel.

      Check out the software here!

      3. Trello

        Trello was founded in the summer of 2010 and two years later the platform added 500,000 members. Anyone within sales, marketing, HR and operations can collaborate successfully with this product.

        Moreover, the tool has over 100 plus integrations with Google Drive, Slack, Jira and others. The product works flawlessly across various platforms.

        Some of the well-known features includes is speed, easy-to-use, and set up. The interface includes due dates, assignments, file storage, checklists and more.

        Check out the software here!

        4. Jira

          The Jira software is flexible and heralded as the next-generation project.

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          The software allows teams to design and adapt the software to an organization’s needs. This includes having visibility into long term goals, project roadmaps, status of work, real-time release information and more. In addition, the interface is customizable.

          The Atlassian Cloud does not support multiple separate domains, subdomains or domain aliases in Google Apps.

          Check out the software here!

          5. Evernote Business

            Evernote was founded in 2008 and reached 11 million users by 2011. The company was founded on the premise that their product should address the ever-increasing volume and speed of information.

            The product helps bring together groups of teams because of versatility and functionality. It creates documents, collaboration on projects, store information all a single location.

            Moreover, you can find information quickly and includes effective search capabilities and integrations with existing tools you may already use.

            Check out the software here!

            Communication

            6. Slack

              Slack was founded in 2013 and the tool is heralded as a collaboration hub. Slack is where productivity happens. When you start a new project, hire new staff, deploy a code, review a sales contract, finalize on a budget, Slack covers all of these. Some of the major highlights include highly customizable notifications and seamless integrations with other collaboration and office tools. The free version of the software comes loaded with features, but does not archive old message. So, you have to review what are the best options for your organization or business.

              Check out the software here!

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              7. Spike

                Newcomer Spike makes emails more conversational by helping teams maintain productivity, communication, and collaboration. All of these are achieved from within their inbox.

                Spike works on top of any existing email (O365, G suite, and IMAP) turning it into a real-time messenger and making your communication much more functional and efficient.

                Spike’s features include built-in groups and channels, voice and video calls, email encryption, instant access to all your files, and much more.

                Check out the software here!

                Creation

                8. Office 365

                  Microsoft’s Office 365 could not be excluded from the conversation and especially as it pertains to productivity software.

                  Of course we are all familiar with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. But there is more capabilities that come with it.

                  You have business-class email, online storage space, and teamwork solutions. These services can be accessed from just about anywhere.

                  Within this suite is Microsoft Sway, which is a presentation software and a step above PowerPoint.

                  Check out the software here!

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                  9. Grammarly

                    Grammarly helps to cut down time on editing. Professionals in several industries like law, healthcare, academia, marketing, engineering and journalism use it to provide instant feedback on the accuracy of writing in English.

                    Once you install the extension from Google Chrome, you can get corrections when you are drafting an email, using social media and other apps.

                    Grammarly is AI powered and it’s a wonderful tool to have to check spelling and grammar before a presentation.

                    Check out the software here!

                    Team Analytics

                    10. ActivTrak

                      ActivTrak is a business intelligence tool that allows you to access team behavior analytics. In other words, it is data-driven.

                      The pros include two-factor authentication with active directory integration. You can also automate your alerts and it has an intuitive interface with easy-to-use admin controls.

                      Furthermore, it comes with Google sign-in, iOS app, productivity track, and more. The bottomline is the product offers employee productivity metrics along with team behavior analytics.

                      Check out the software here!

                      The Bottom Line

                      Depending on the size, budget, resources, and immediate needs of your company, not all productivity software will exactly solve your problem. You will have to contact any of the providers above and probe extensively to find the right product that is made for your business.

                      More Productivity Tools

                      Featured photo credit: Domenico Loia via unsplash.com

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