Running a small business and keeping everything functioning at its peak isn’t easy. Unlike larger companies with multiple departments, it’s up to you and maybe a couple of team members to handle sales, marketing, inventory, accounting, and everything else.
Here are three helpful tools to streamline operations and perpetuate growth.
1. Cloud storage apps
Keeping track of data and having quick access to it when needed is essential for staying afloat. In the past, traditional software like Microsoft Word and Excel were the primary means of storing data.
Now, cloud apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Evernote offer much more and can be used by small businesses in most industries. They works by creating and storing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, images, videos, and other media on your account.
Rather than having to use a specific computer to store and retrieve data, you can work on any PC or mobile device in the world with an Internet connection. If you have other employees or virtual assistants, you may conveniently share information with them and collaborate on projects even if several team members are in different countries.
2. Business intelligence
To truly make progress, generate more leads, and keep customers coming back, it’s necessary to understand consumer patterns. Business intelligence is a comprehensive form of analytics that extracts raw information and synthesizes it into easy-to-understand reports.
You can use it to determine which marketing channels are bringing in the most leads, overall customer demographic, which products are selling the best, etc., to make educated decisions for the future. Since business intelligence relies upon concrete data, decisions can be made on primarily objective grounds, and not mere speculation.
3. Warehouse management software
If your small business has a substantial amount of inventory, it’s important to have an efficient system in place to keep track of it. From the point of distribution until it’s stocked on shelves or sent directly to consumers, you need to know all the logistics.
Utilizing an intuitive warehouse system to keep you updated with real-time information ensures that you’re always getting the products you need on time. You can quickly locate certain products with ease and find any pertinent information.
Some systems will even notify you automatically when a product hits a certain level so it can be reordered before it’s too late.