When did you last do an audit of how well you are using technology in your business? If there is one certainty, it is that there is a piece of software out there that you could be using to improve your business and save yourself time and money.
In this article, we overview the 4 key areas where you could and should be using software programmes. You can use the article as a checklist for your own internal audit.
1. Financial management tools
Accounting software is pretty much essential these days. It will integrate with your bank accounts and keep your books accurate and up to date. It will enable instantaneous management accounts and cash flow planning as well as invoicing. Accounting software also integrates with the tax authorities ensuring that you are fully transparent and compliant.
Payroll is integrated in most of the big accountancy packages, but depending on the nature of your business it could be worth looking at bespoke payroll software.
Credit management is another area where specialist credit management software may be worth considering. If your company is suffering from late or non-payments then this type of software could be well worth the investment.
You could also consider finance software for: online payment; asset management.
2. Project management
Project management software helps you to track key tasks and progress within teams. Project management tools generally involve a Gannt chart or pipeline type format where the tasks are broken down and move along a timeline. There is the option to colour code, tag and label as well as assign tasks and attach documents. Project management software enables you to overview and review progress all in one place.
Time tracking software. Depending on your needs this can include simple time and usage analysis, plus expense management, mileage tracking or employee monitoring.
CRM or customer relationship management software is an extended customer database. It can be incredibly sophisticated and integrate with your email communications, your sales pipeline, relationship and task management. CRM will often include a marketing dashboard with email templates and a range of automated responses and analytics.
Social media management software takes the pain and potential distraction out of managing your company’s social media accounts. These packages enable you to automate much of your social media content, alongside live responses, and to monitor keywords and phrases.
Email marketing software is a powerful way of building a customer database. Using an email marketing package, customers sign-up for your company newsletter or offers, via your website or instore. The software can enable you to segment and profile customers, keep in touch and build loyalty.
You could also consider marketing software for: event management; website development; website analytics; and eCommerce.
Collaboration software has become even more important in these pandemic times. When everyone is working remotely from home, ways of maintaining relationships as well as keeping in touch and communicating about tasks are vital. Companies use a variety of methods, from open video links, to messaging apps through to full-feature collaboration platforms like Slack.
Online meetings. This type of software truly came into its own during the pandemic, saving us all an immense amount of time and carbon footprints!
All software is even more effective when it integrates. So check whether your CRM can integrate with your accounting package, and so on.
This is a preliminary checklist for the type of software used by most types of businesses. In addition, there are likely to be specialist packages for your particular industry, which will be well worth considering.