6 Tools You Need as a Small Business Owner
As a small business owner, you’ve got your work cut out for you, doing everything from HR training to sales. Here are 6 tech tools to make your life easier.
As a small business owner, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Besides doing things like sales, customer service and then the actual work itself, there are also all those admin tasks – like invoicing, recording expenses or keeping track of workflow. While they may seem like a chore, these tasks are crucial for your business to run efficiently. Luckily, there are now plenty of small business apps and tools on the market to help make your life easier. Most tools are cheap (if not free), and all you usually need is a laptop or smartphone and an Internet connection. Here are six small business tools to consider:
1. Accounting: Xero
Simple, easy to use, and entirely web-based, Xero is the ultimate small business accounting tool. “Xero has been an instrumental part of how we run a lean business,” says Grant Fleming, the CEO of email and SMS marketing platform Leadify. Xero lets you send quotes and invoices quickly, while also helping you keep track of your business’s cash flow, spending and payments.
2. Expense management: Expensify
Got a drawer full of expense receipts you’re ignoring as tax season approaches? Expensify makes it easier to get on top of all that paper. This user-friendly expense-tracking app helps you to record, consolidate and review your business’s everyday costs in one place – and it also integrates seamlessly with small business accounting packages like Xero.
3. Human resources and payroll: SimplePay
Human resources and payroll can be tricky to navigate at the best of times, especially if your business is getting started. SimplePay is a really savvy HR app that monitors attendance and leave, as well as pension contributions and medical aid. It also keeps tabs on loans and other debts your staff are responsible for. “It’s intuitive, cost-effective and has really simplified the management of our HR activities,” says Grant.
4. Workflow: Asana
With a lack of sophisticated infrastructure, running a small business smoothly has lots to do with efficient teamwork. Asana is a workflow tool that helps you do just that: using a nifty browser-based interface, you can share projects with colleagues, assign tasks and make notes. With Asana, emails and endless status meetings are a thing of the past, as you can manage all this online, in one place. “I simply can’t live without Asana to manage our workflow – especially as my business partner and I live in different cities,” says Belinda Mountain, co-owner of content agency Black Mountain.
5. Collaboration: Slack
Slack is like WhatsApp for businesses – on steroids. The tool lets you create multiple chat groups with relevant colleagues, and slot these into channels that are either public or private. You can also send direct messages to specific people, as you would with WhatsApp. Slack is available on both mobile and desktop, which as a small business tool is useful if you want to drag and drop files straight into your conversations.
6. Time tracking: Harvest
Harvest is best known for its super-simple approach to timesheets, making it ideal for small businesses. The tool also extracts other project-specific information, including expenses and hours. “Harvest ensures we know exactly how much time we spend on every project,” says Belinda. “This helps us to charge accurately for projects, which is fundamental to our business’s success.”
While these apps will enable you to run your business more efficiently, they won’t be much help if the health and well-being of your employees isn’t your first priority. Is your team properly protected against life’s unavoidable mishaps? With Simply Insurance, this is as easy to implement as the apps described above. For more information, contact us today about our life, occupational disability and funeral cover.
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