It’s that time again. Everyone is making resolutions to be more fit, be more successful, and lead an overall happier life. Why not take those same ol’ resolutions that you re-use every year and really use them to your advantage? It’s time we started making New Year’s resolutions not only for ourselves, but for our businesses.
Every small business is always looking for bigger and better ways to conduct business in order to compete with the larger organizations out there. For all the small businesses out there, here is a list of New Year’s resolutions you can adopt for 2013, along with some business software tools that can get you to where you want your business to be.
1. Learn something new.
At the beginning of every year, you should take time to look at where your small business needs improvement. Do you need help with Accounting? Project Management? Human Resources? Security? If you find an area that needs improvement, try using a an online database to help you achieve your goals this year. Research the business software options that are out there and adopt new software (or a few new software options) to improve your overall efficiency. Some great business software options that will help your small business become more efficient are:
– Quickbooks Premier Edition 2013: This version of the business software is highlighted by a revamp of the desktop program’s user interface. The software has a powerful blend of features that will assist you with your accounting needs.
– Intuit Online Payroll Plus: This option will become one of your new go-to resources. It is the most advanced, affordable online payroll website out there. With its record-keeping processing and reporting tools, you will be able to easily administrate all your payroll responsibilities.
– OfficeTime: OfficeTime is the business software that is known as a small business owner’s best friend. It is a simple program which helps small business owners keep track of billable hours and other expenses, as well as generating invoices for their work. OfficeTime tracks how much time you spend on various projects and tasks while you’re working so you can maximize the productivity of your small business.
2. Learn how to delegate effectively.
Adopting business software to effectively run your projects is a wonderful way to approach project management in a small business. There are so many software options to choose from for project management. I have outlined a couple of the most beneficial for small businesses below:
– Basecamp: This option is a free online tool that helps small businesses stay organized. With simple, fast, and scalable services available, you will be able to customize this business software to meet your small business needs.
– Workfront: AtTask is business software that comes with customizable dashboards for all team members involved in a project, from employees to managers to CEOs. The program manages the organization of all objectives, schedules, resources, and business data for those involved. AtTask is available online so everyone can access the software from anywhere internet is available. This program also allows project managers to post lists of tasks that have yet to be delegated and members have the option to accept these tasks as their workloads warrant.
3. Take your business software applications on the go.
Making your small business mobile will increase your flexibility as well as your employees. There are many business software applications out there that are focused on helping small businesses, including several free options for at least a basic version in areas such as Sales Management, HR, Communication, IT, etc. Examples include:
– iSwipe: This program is mobile payment software that allows users to process major credit card payments on a mobile phone.
– Dropbox: File sharing and management can be a burden for businesses of any size. Dropbox is business software that allows users to sync files between computers and upload photos from a mobile phone.
– Timeworks: This business software allows users to keep track of billable hours and materials spent on projects. It also creates reports and helps you send invoices to clients.
4. Improve your social media management.
Social media management may not seem important to every small business, but it should be a priority. Business is continuing to evolve and move online. You need to make the move to connect with your clients through social media to make sure you are consistently catching their attention. Managing several social media outlets may seem overwhelming, but there are several business software options that will help you oversee your social media campaigns effectively. Examples include:
– HootSuite: HootSuit is business software with a social media dashboard where you can manage multiple networks and profiles. The program will also measure your campaign results if you are using Facebook Pages, Twitter, Google+ Pages or LinkedIn. This is free business software or, if you prefer the professional version, can be purchased for $10 per month.
– Buffer: This program makes it easy to share any page you’re reading with your followers. It allows you to shares posts throughout the day and even schedule posts for specific times during the day. The program works with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and is free for the basic version or $10 per month for the upgrade.
– Sprout Social: Sprout Social is centered on helping small businesses find new customers and grow their social media presence. It can monitor clients’ social media profiles and integrates with Google Analytics. Starting at $39 per month, this program is the best program to help small businesses get connected with their clients through social media outlets.
5. Invest in a new customer touch point.
Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, mobile coupons, etc. These are all great ways to establish new connections with your customers. The best way to know which route to pursue is to ask your customers how they would like to connect with you. Utilize this information to meet their needs and you will be surprised at how quickly your small business will begin to grow.