4 Types of Software Every Startup Should Take Into Account
An adequate tool can simplify any job. Since most startup owners are overwhelmed by the number of responsibilities on their plate, they might want to consider picking the right tools to alleviate this workload.
By design, business tools are made to:
- Increase productivity
- Provide competitive advantage
- Reduce waste of time
- Boost revenue
- Increase transparency
Now, choosing the right tools heavily depends on your industry, business model, and even personal preferences. Here are the top four software types that we believe every startup should take into account.
1. Accounting software
The majority of startups are handling their expenses through online payments. So, picking an accounting software and integrating it with all these payment services seems simple enough. Still, this is just the tip of the iceberg of all the perks you get from using accounting software.
Billing and invoicing
Keeping all the invoices is important for legal purposes, tax purposes, and even inventory matters. By using accounting software, this process is made automatic. Most payment services have their own quick invoice templates, saving you a tremendous amount of work.
Keeping track of all your expenses is difficult, even for an individual or a small household. However, this is a huge challenge when it comes to business, especially when multiple parties have access to corporate funds. Fortunately, accounting software can help increase transparency.
This brings us to the most important reason small businesses use accounting platforms and hire accounting services – tax compliance. Keeping track of local tax regulations can be complex. You’ll deal with more than one tax rate if working across states (or even internationally). Fortunately, accounting software can help clear these things out.
2. CRM software
Customer relationship management is vital for anyone in the retail or service industry. You are responsible for shaping your business around your customers’ needs; to do this, you need to understand them. This task is a lot easier with a CRM platform.
Usually, customers get in touch with several different departments in your industry. The key thing is that you make an impression of a unified team. Your sales, marketing, and customer service must work together. In fact, with chatbots becoming a bigger and bigger factor in customer support, IT needs to be included, as well.
Data sharing and syncing
When reached out to by a customer, you need to have all the data of their previous interactions with your brand on demand. Your customer service needs it to provide adequate support and earn you a PR win. Your sales team needs this data for their post-sale follow-ups, upselling, and cross-selling. Lastly, your marketing needs it to present you in the best light. All of this is easily accessible via a CRM.
There are a lot of tasks that are repetitive but consume a lot of time. This means hours of labor that you’ll have to pay for, which will take your staff away from more creative tasks. With a good CRM platform, you can automate many of these tasks without compromising the quality of service.
3. Document management system
Keeping track of all your data and compliances is arduous work. Finding the exact thing you’re looking for, even with structured data, can sometimes be tricky. With the right document management system, this problem can become a thing of the past.
Abandoning paper-based document management and switching entirely to a document management system is incredibly cost-effective. It’s not just the money you save by not buying paper/printing. About 7.5% of all documents are lost, while 3% more get misfiled. While it’s easy to see this as an isolated problem, the truth is that it’s incredibly costly.
Making new materials by combining PDF files
Making your resources and materials can help you make manuals, facilitate onboarding, and keep all your legal paperwork in one place. For instance, instead of having documents in several different files (even folders), you can combine PDF files to create more comprehensive materials.
Retrieving lost files is a lot easier when they’re in a digital format. A good document management system always has a disaster recovery feature, meaning nothing is ever truly lost. The security of these platforms is often ironclad.
4. Communication tools
The main reason remote work and hybrid workplaces are possible in 2023 is the incredible improvement in communication tools. Traditional or remote, without communication tools, a modern workplace would be impossible to imagine.
The key to collaborating on a project is sharing information and content quickly and effectively. The truth is that sharing content via a collaboration platform or an IM tool now takes less time than downloading it on a USB drive and carrying it across the office floor. In other words, everything is simpler, faster, and more convenient.
Separation of private and professional
Another thing you need to understand is that people use social media platforms for both work and social interactions. It’s easy to get distracted by other chats if you communicate with your supervisor via Instagram. However, things tend to be more efficient and professional with a specialized platform like Slack.
Saving on meeting time and travel expenses
According to some estimates, an average office worker wastes about 31 hours every month on unnecessary meetings. Zoom meetings tend to be a bit more time-efficient. Moreover, a communication tool can save a fortune on travel expenses if you have multiple parties working in multiple locations.
Improving your digital arsenal is the key to improving your corporate efficiency
Since the dawn of time, humans have used tools to save time, gain more functionality, and improve their productivity. Digital tools, on top of all these perks, have an easily measurable ROI. In other words, you get all these incredible benefits and get to see exactly how much you’ve benefited (saved). Remember that picking these tools is not all there is to it; you also need to use them the right way.