Advertising
Advertising

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.”

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Anna Johansson

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

hourglass as time is wasting 15 Ways You Are Wasting Time During the Day (And How to Stop) 20 Best Productivity Apps for Mac You Should Have in 2019 10 Uplifting Positive Affirmation Apps That Help You Re-Center on the Go When You Have These Recipes, You No Longer Need to Suppress Your Appetite for Dessert. itchy skin 4 Natural Ways to Soothe Your Itchy Skin

Trending in App

1 Introducing 13 Useful Free Apps For you To Install Today 2 7 Essential Tools Every Serious Startup Needs 3 Four Things to do with Google that most People Don’t Know 4 13 Secret Google Functions That Can Instantly Make Your Life Happier And Easier 5 Appraisal of the iPhone Family Tracker app

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

Advertising

In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

Advertising

Advertising

Read Next