How to Choose Proper Software for Small Businesses?
December 3, 2016
4 minutes read
There are different factors in ensuring that we choose the right kind of software. Here are things that we should consider:
- Accounting: When choosing accounting software, it is important that we choose solutions that are easy to use and fully features. The software should also be able to offer multi-user environment. We should also make sure that it is easy to import data from external database and non-accounting software. A proper accounting software should be easy to use for newbies. Many owners of home business may have limited or no knowledge in accounting. It means that they need to have simplified accounting solution that is based on common sense and easy to understand concepts. Report templates should be customizable and users are able to generate them at any time to get real-time information. More advanced accounting solutions may include inventory features, because products stored by the company may change rapidly. Products that are stored by the company are essentially assets and once sold, some values should be adjusted in accounting reports.
- Inventory Management Solutions: These solutions can be simple or complex. There should be good customer services and it should be easy to generate stock reports automatically. Although concepts of inventory are often quite simple and straightforward for small businesses, some fully-featured software solutions can make them more complicated, due to the inclusion of unnecessary factors.
- E-commerce Solutions: Many companies are no longer be able to survive without strong online presence. Many of their products and services are sold online. For customers’ point of view, e-commerce software may appear like a normal website. However, under the hood, there are plenty of features and e-commerce solutions are essentially a complete software that runs on a server. The simplest e-commerce solution includes a catalog, shopping cart and payment processing pages. There are dozens of other features that could be included to improve the online shopping experience. The market leader in e-commerce solution is Magento, which is completely free. It is highly scalable even for large online sellers and has built-in SEO features. OsCommerce is another free solution with simplified product management and excellent front-end features. Zen Cart is a simpler solution and it’s essentially an add-one integration to existing website.
- Social Media Management: Many businesses can benefit from strong social media presence. Social media allows us to deliver real-time responses and we will be able to get involved in direct social conversation with customers. Social media is an essential sales driver and it’s appropriate for companies that don’t have enough resources to engage with many customers in real-time processes. Hootsuite is a common tool for this purpose and it can be used by companies to manage their social media presence. It should be quite easy to search by list and set up columns. It also includes analytics for our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Posts and tweets can be scheduled easily. Small businesses that use email for marketing and customer relation purposes, should choose VerticalResponse. It integrates social media and email very well. The simple interface and concept is appropriate for non-techie business owners.
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