Small and medium enterprises should be using tools to grow from strength to strength. That’s because – when used to their full potential – these tools can save time and money, leaving those two valuable resources available for other things the business needs. Here are a handful of essential tools you should consider if you want to grow your SME.
QuickBooks Accounting Software
First things first – if you’re not keeping an eye on your cash flow, your SME is likely to fail, even if you have active customers. So, you need to invest in a tool that will help you to track your income and outgoings, your profits and losses, as well as your accounts payable and payroll responsibilities.
QuickBooks Business Checks
Similarly, QuickBooks offers other tools that SMEs should be using. Security is an incredibly relevant issue for small businesses right now, with cloud security risks, complicated regulation and compliance, and hackers posing some of the biggest threats. However, the security of ‘old-school’ elements of running a business – like using business checks – is an important thing to consider too.
Teamwork is a tool you should be using if your SME is hiring more staff or taking on more projects. It’s a platform that allows you to plan out your tasks for the month, assign them to individuals, track the status of tasks and projects (including the time logged against each subtask), as well as chat to one another so that everyone is kept in the loop at all times. There are a number of different options and pricing plans, so take a look and see if it’s something that might benefit your SME.
Hubspot Customer Relationship Manager
As your SME continues to grow, you’re going to need an effective way of handling the relationships you make with your clients and customers. So, consider using something like Hubspot’s customer relationship manager. It allows you to create contacts and centralize all their details in one place, record conversations, and updates, sync their profiles with email addresses (so that you’re not switching between tabs), as well as create email templates. It’s an excellent sales pipeline tool too, and you can even align your marketing and sales work with your CRM so that your contacts, dashboards, reports, and pipelines are all in the same place.
Another useful tool for your business is Google Analytics. This is especially true if you’re running an e-commerce business where traffic, heat maps, and referral sources are particularly important, but even if you’re not selling online, knowing what’s happening with your website can be very useful. For instance, it will show you who’s visiting your website (such as the demographic split, their age, and their location), as well as the pages they’re spending the most time on.
MailChimp is a marketing tool you should be using to encourage customers to buy your products or services. You can use it to design email templates and automate their distribution, meaning you’ll be sending customers to your website, social media channels or even phone line. Manage campaigns and see what’s working and choose the pricing plan that suits the stage your SME is at.
What tools would you recommend? Are there any you’ve found to be particularly useful in running your business?