Business Management Tools to Help Your Business Run More Efficiently

In today’s harsh economic environment thousands of businesses go bankrupt every year.  The ones that survive are those that manage to curtail expenses while keeping customer service at excellent levels.

Fortunately, it is possible to reduce costs and manage a business more efficiently with the help of the latest business management tools. 

Accounting Software

Of course there are very expensive accounting packages out there, but there are also quite a few inexpensive or even free packages.  An example is Microsoft Office Accounting Express, which can be used to create quotes, issue invoices, organize a company’s customer lists, track expenses and manage a company’s employees and vendors.

Another is GnuCash; an open source (i.e. free) accounting package that can track mutual fund portfolios and stocks, manage vendors and customers, issue invoices and manage budgets.

Project Management

A software package such as Apptivo, which is free of charge, makes it a delight to manage projects, time sheets, customers and an inventory.  Using a business management tool like this will not only streamline any project a company is working on, it will also save thousands of dollars in the long run.  Apps on Cloud is similar software with the added benefit that it provides online customer support, and the ability to stay in contact with the project team via documents stored in the cloud.

Business Forms

Every business owner will know how time consuming and expensive it could become to create appropriate forms for all business activities and have them printed.  With a service such as FreeBusinessForms, it is possible to get instant access to free forms and business letters, including invoice, receipts, contracts, debt collection letters and even legal forms.

Business Calculators

Most people nowadays are familiar with spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel.  Most of them also know that drawing up a complicated cash flow projection or calculating the possible returns on investments given different scenarios could be time consuming – and getting an expert to do this will cost a lot of money. This is where free or cheap business calculators are invaluable.  A service such as BPlans offers a variety of business calculators, including cash flow projections, return on investment and break even analysis.

Time Management

Gone are the days when the busy executive had to run around with a notebook in his pocket, frantically trying to schedule and reschedule appointments.  With today’s time management software it is possible to keep track of tasks and appointments not only for individuals but for whole groups of people working together.  A cloud-based service such as Google’s calendar makes it possible to share the calendar among an entire group of people.  For those who need more, a package such as Zoho even provides facilities for online conferencing.

Online Support

Having an online support button on the website will not only impress clients, it will also save lots of time in terms of unnecessary correspondence.  There are numerous free and low-cost online support packages available in the marketplace.

Using an Umbrella Company

Instead of hiring full-time employees to deal with daily administration work, including payroll, invoices and taxation management, many businesses now save money by making use of the services of an umbrella company to handle such matters on their behalf.

Whatever your business and your budget, the correct tools are available to make it the best it can be.  The rest is up to you. 🙂

What tools do you use to help your business run more efficiently?

 

13 comments

  1. All of my ventures are small, one-man shows at this point. I definitely make use of free forms for rental agreements and leases. Knock on wood, I haven’t had any issues with them yet, and they certainly save a lot of time.

    • Laurie says:

      The free forms websites are hugely valuable, aren’t they? Hiring a lawyer to draft everything would be out of reach for most sole proprietorships, I would imagine.

  2. Matt Becker says:

    Some cool resources here. I’ll have to look into some accounting software if I ever get some side income coming in. I currently use google for a lot. I use Remember the Milk for to-do lists. Haven’t really run a business at this point so haven’t looked into the other things, but I definitely appreciate the information.

  3. I don’t really have a business yet, but I will definitely utilize as many of these as possible when I do own one. It is so important to make good use of your time as a business owner, so anything that helps with this would be really beneficial.

  4. I use whatever tool I can find that will make my life easier. Right now, I do everything with free tools, mostly google products, but if I ever need more options, then I won’t hesitate to upgrade.

  5. Pauline says:

    For a long time I tried running my business on the cheap, doing it myself, not buying softwares, etc… truth is, the time saved is worth a lot because you can use it to earn more! there is a fine line with spending too much but you do need the basics.

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