Having the right software can make the difference between success and failure in the modern corporate environment, especially for a fledgling business.
But with hundreds of business tools, apps and software solutions out there that all promise so much, the challenge can sometimes be identifying the ones that genuinely add value and deliver a tangible return on investment.
Here are five business tools that every business needs in its software armoury.
Cloud storage is nothing new, and has negated the need for convoluted, time-consuming and unreliable data backup processes. But Dropbox is an all-in-one solution that brings more than just secure storage to the table. It allows you to access all your business documents from anywhere and via any device – even your smartphone.
It also lets you share files with other users without having to email them as attachments, which is particularly handy for those huge files containing multiple images that would otherwise be grinding your email system to a halt.
We might be going increasingly paper free, but some businesses still use fax machines, particularly for sensitive documents that need physical signatures. Buying a fax machine that you only use occasionally is a waste of money, space and resources, but this clever piece of software has the answer.
The app, which can be found at https://www.faxburner.com/, essentially turns your smartphone into a fax machine. It allocates a number, on which you can both send and receive faxes, direct to your Android or IOs device. Best of all, for one-off use with a disposable number, it is absolutely free, while for less than $10 a month, users can have a permanent, dedicated number to share with customers.
In the modern gig economy, there are more people sending invoices than ever, and Invoice2Go is the most popular app to help them do so. For businesses just starting out, who are reluctant to invest in a fully fledged accounting system, it is the ideal solution for keeping on top of the finances and managing that all-important cash flow.
The marketing landscape has changed dramatically in the technological age, and social selling is now a hugely important aspect. Studies have found that almost three quarters of salespeople who use social media within their selling outperform those who do not. Leadfeeder cuts through the swathe of information in Google Analytics to deliver concrete and actionable information about who is interested in your products and services. It is a great tool for focusing in that social marketing effort to where it will have the most effect.
When it comes to creating marketing materials, most new businesses are torn between doing it in-house or outsourcing to experts. The latter can be costly, but those of us with limited artistic flair worry that what we create will look unprofessional and damage the business from the outset. Canva provides an ideal solution – it is the app used by professionals, but is simple enough for anyone to master, and will help you create graphics, posters and flyers to be proud of.