Small businesses need to try to save on costs wherever they can, including when choosing software to use. Luckily, there are plenty of good quality, free software options to choose from. Here are six types of free software that your small business can use.
1. Sales Management Software
Sales management software is essential to any small business. With it, your small business can personalize each sales presentation to each individual customer and keep information on those presentations and related sales organized. This software can assist small businesses in competing with larger competitors by making it easier to research prospective customers, improve sales techniques and training and prepare for presentations. You can use this software to build stronger relationships with your customers.
2. Accounting Software
One of the most important software solutions a small business needs, accounting software enables you to keep track of all your company's finances, from sales revenue to budget. While no software solution is one-size-fits-all, it is especially important that you match your accounting software to your specific needs. You must factor the size of your company, your budget and the experience levels of your employees into your decision. Most accounting software is relatively simple to learn to use, so you should be able to test a few different options before making a final decision.
3. Customer Relationship Management Software
Another vital tool for your small business is customer relationship management (CRM) software. This type of software enables you to keep track of customer information and data so you can use it to maintain and improve your relationship with individual customers and your customer base at large. By doing so, you can figure out the best ways in which to allocate resources like budget, sales representatives and marketing campaigns. This feature of CRMs allows you to streamline the customer-facing aspects of your business and keep data streams and analyses organized.
4. Time Tracking Software
Time tracking can greatly assist you in running a small business. While not every business uses it to calculate employee paychecks, there are plenty of other uses for time tracking software. Depending on your needs, there are different software solutions that specialize in different collection and analysis tasks. Some time trackers are simple and allow you to make sure that your employees and contractors are clocking in and out on time. Most software solutions have options for employees to mark when they're taking paid time off and sick days. More sophisticated time tracking software allows you to assign tasks and projects to various employees, who can then log the time they spend on their projects and tasks. This is an effective way to determine the budgetary and scheduling needs of various projects.
5. Email Management Software
Email is possibly the most common communication for businesses today, both internally and externally. While setting up a personal email account is usually free, corporate email software usually has more features than personal email accounts, but there are still some free software options available for small businesses to use. These free solutions allow you to schedule and develop email marketing campaigns, design emails and embed forms, among other features. Many email management software solutions have upgrades available if you need more specific or advanced functions, though these upgrades are usually not free like the basic packages.
6. Enterprise Resource Planning Software
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a wide-ranging tool that enables your small business to centralize the management of data collection, inventory, scheduling and production. This software is incredibly efficient and streamlined, allowing small businesses to scale their enterprises more effectively. The main benefit of ERP software is that it includes many of the other necessary software tools on one platform, making it easier for employees to be trained and to be able to access and use the tools than if they had to operate several different software solutions.
Good, user-friendly free software options can help you save operating costs and put that money toward other aspects of your business without sacrificing quality and efficiency.