If you are a business owner, then sooner or later you will definitely face one major challenge. One day you may simply realize that you don’t know how to handle all processes and pay enough attention to each of them, how to optimize routine tasks of your employees and at the same time keep the company getting better and bigger. It can be very hard to attract new clients and improve the quality of provided goods or services, if you try to concentrate on dozens of minor tasks at the same time.
Even nowadays many companies keep using either Excel spreadsheet or some basic online solutions for tracking all tasks. This is a huge mistake, as multitasking always creates chaos. As a wise business owner you should benefit from the total digitalisation and implement more reliable, time-saving and smart solutions. It is better to invest in the development of new, more complex tools then to keep wasting your time and budget. It can be said without a doubt, that there is no better way to put business processes in order than to use some holistic system able to easily manage them all.
To improve a business, it is necessary to automate some routine tasks of your employees and pay more attention to creative side. And that is exactly what business management tools allow to do. With their help you can achieve a high level of workflow efficiency, control time, finance and human resources.
Choose the right software for your business
If you are still not aware about all benefits of business management tools, then let’s take a closer look at them together and find out how to successfully implement software helper into your business environment.
In general, business management software is a separate program or a set of various programs (tools) aimed at supporting, automating and improving all essential business processes. It can perform different activities, f.e. collect data, generate reports, find and fix errors, complete certain routine tasks, check and update necessary information, etc.
When it comes to your business, you can either find and use ready-made solutions or consider developing your own tool aimed to meet your particular business needs. However, before utilizing any tool, it is important to estimate the size of your business and identify what segments and processes of it are in need of thorough management. All business management tools can be divided into several large groups depending on business size and the main purpose they serve.
Management tools that will fit your business needs
When starting your business or extending existing one you probably have thought more about your unique idea and counted all possible financial risks. However, the most important part of any business is organization of all inside processes. To deliver good results, everything should be well coordinated and function so precise like clockwork. And that is exactly why you need business management tools. If you are a business owner, then you can make good use of the following programs:
- ERP (enterprise resource planning). It is a complex software that integrates many operations in one holistic database, app and user interface. It helps handling product planning, control its development and even marketing and sales. ERP can be a useful tool for small businesses as well as for the large ones as its main goal is to set one repository for all data that is used by different departments within your company and in this way improve data flow.
- CRM (customer relationship management). Basically CRM allows to add and manage contacts, generate reports, add reminders and schedule some events in calendar, share files, email clients, and track interactions. It provides automation that is extremely important if you work with a huge client flow. Building your own CRM adds way more opportunities to your business. You can modify many options, add some custom ones and even make a whole new app using existing CRM as a base.
- Company chat apps. You may be wondering why a company may need this tool if there are so many other ways to establish high level of communication between employees (f.e. there are separate apps for chatting, sending voice messages and making video calls). But the thing is that only chat apps allow your team not only organize communication, but also keep some work archive in one place, where every employee can access it. You can also create threaded conversations, use chatbots, make quick calls, create groups, etc. All mentioned options make cooperation between employees from different departments easier.
- Project management tools. The times when you had to create numerous task lists, then lose some information and prolong project making are far behind. Now with all necessary project management tools every business can efficiently allocate time, assign tasks and monitor their progression and completion.
- Finance management tools. Although good old Microsoft Excel can be relied on, it will not help with all financial matters important for business. All business owners need to control numerous finance related things like taxes, money flow, salaries, investments, etc. In is inefficient to have a separate tool for each of these operations, it is way better to have your own finance management system and database.
- HR (human resource) management tools. When business starts growing and the number of employees gets bigger it is essential to have a centralized database that will let you handle recruitment, employees attendance, vacations and work time, perform their progress checking. Good HR system should be able to generate reports, have built-in analytical tools, allow creating advanced employee profiles and perform document management.
- CMS (content management systems). Almost every business nowadays has its website and hires content managers to create high-quality texts. However, websites are not only about texts, they require coding and also creation of informative and well-structured blog. CMS solutions reduce time spent on creating, editing and moving your webpages and allows employees to devote more time to texts and their quality.
- Social media management tools. Social media platforms became major marketing helpers for all businesses. It is possible to gain brand recognition through them, attract new potential customers and interact with them to discover their needs and preferences. Such huge scope of work requires social media management tools to schedule content posting, monitor user activity, check and reply to user comments, etc.
Ready-made or custom solutions: what is better for your business?
Now that you understand the importance of business optimization solutions, you may be wondering if you should use prepackaged software or develop your own one. Both types have their pros and cons, so let’s take a quick look at them and help you make a choice.
Ready-made solutions offer a certain set of options that can be used by you. You cannot customize such software but it is possible to tune some settings within it. Although prepackaged apps offer the best options checked on practice by numerous users, they can be unsuitable for your particular needs. Your business may require some other special features that you cannot implement in these apps or you may need to remove some unnecessary options, which is also impossible. From a financial point of view, you should remember that ready-made solutions usually require a subscription with monthly payment. Some upgrades or software maintenance may cost you extra money.
Speaking about ready-made apps, it is necessary to mention SAAS (software as a service) which is very popular because it runs on the Internet and is quite affordable. Although it offers many resources, it is cost-effective, and its launch cycle is faster, there are some drawbacks you should consider. SAAS may require more than one cloud; re-development is always expensive; if some features are changed, your business may be influenced.
Custom software offers highly personalized approach and unique set of options that you can choose according to your business needs. Such solutions will not be overloaded with unnecessary features or settings, they can be seamlessly installed and used on your machine and what is more important their functionality can be improved and expanded if your company gets bigger. And what is more important – you receive lifelong support with your developed software. Although the price of custom software development may seem high, you should understand that you pay for your solution once and then it pays off quite fast. So it is reasonable to invest your money and time in creating your own business management tool.
Benefits of enterprise software development
Probably the main and most important advantage of all business management tools is that they help to optimize all processes within the company and prevent chaos of any kind from appearing. But if we dig a little bit deeper, we can name the following reasons why you should definitely consider using management tools or developing your own ones:
- Business visibility. If many separate programs and tools are used to manage processes, then it is way harder to track and control everything. You may be losing your productivity and precious time. It is easier to discover real performance of your business if all necessary data is gathered in one system or a tool.
- Financial economy. All separate apps or platforms that you use may require payment for a subscription plan or for access to certain options. In fact maintenance of one holistic tool will be much cheaper and let you invest the cost you spared in some other business needs.
- Better customer service. Complex tools like CRMs let you collect and process all necessary data about your clients: their previous orders, preferences, feedbacks, contact information, etc. Having all this data at your disposal you can analyze it and therefore improve some customer-related aspects of your business.
- Scalability. The main advantage of all complex business management solutions is that you can make them more functional, add some new necessary options when your business grows and requires new approaches. No other separate solutions can offer you such adjustability and сonsideration of all your business needs.
How tools resolve business problems
As a business owner you probably had to cope with many issues in the working process, so it will be easier for us to exemplify how management software can help you get rid of many problems.
#1 Streamline sales work. F.e. you have a company that actively sales services or goods. Every day your employees have to insert and process huge number of leads’ queries. If you do not have complex CRM, then you cannot collect exact information about your leads number, data about them and their requests, you cannot group your leads or estimate possible financial benefits of a future deal. If you implement CRM, then all information can be gathered, sorted and conveniently displayed in a form of charts, graphs or reports with numbers. This simplifies work of your sales managers and saves them some time that can be spent on searching for new leads.
#2 Perform easy accounting. Accounting software can be a real time saver if you need to manage your finance but do not want to lose time doing repetitive things. F.e. you needed to enter transactions data manually each time you paid taxes or salary to your employees. Why keep doing it this way? The finance management software can analyze your previous transactions, categorize them and then insert new data automatically. In case of a mistake, you correct it manually and spend less effort and time on this whole activity.
#3 Improve performance. If you are running a company that is responsible for handling large projects and providing services to numerous clients, then PM tools are a necessity for you. They allow to connect all team members and let them be aware of all processes, track working hours, check out on what stage the project is. In this way you can estimate the work of your company in general and improve some important aspects to get more clients and increase your profit. PM tools remove working hassle and allow your employees to concentrate on the tasks they have that leads to higher performance.
Utilizing business management tools is the best way to keep all processes within your company under control. Why waste time on monitoring the data stored in numerous different tools, if you can have one program for all your specific needs? It is always better to have efficient approach to business and integrate smart solutions to optimize and improve it.
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