Small Business Software to Improve Productivity

Running a business is time consuming. Since time = money, the less time you spend on busy work, the more time you will have for more important aspects of your business. By utilizing the right software programs you can effectively cut costs, increase productivity, and run a smoother operation. As an entrepreneur I understand that you are working on a budget. Pricing, as well as efficiency, is taken into consideration. The more extensive software programs are generally more expensive and can offer your business a wide variety of options. But there are plenty of less expensive programs that can be just as effective. I have no financial stake involved in these suggestions, and I'm not trying to sell you on anything. I'm just providing an opinion of what I think works well. If a certain software program has increased productivity for your business, I'd like to hear about it.

Accounting & Financial Software

Tracking your finances is a task of enormous importance for every business owner. Accounting is one of those things you don't want to leave up to chance, and in most cases hiring a professional is a smart move. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't understand where your money is being spent, and there are some great programs available that can help you track where your spending is going, which will allow you to make necessary changes. The following three programs also include payroll solutions.

1. Sage 50 Complete Accounting - Around $300
Peachtree is a top competitor and offers functionality along with powerful inventory and item management. They offer 4 different programs starting at $300. With robust payroll solutions, Peachtree is an excellent choice for all your accounting needs.

2. Intuit QuickBooks - Around $200
Intuit Inc, the maker of TurboTax and Quicken, is a market leader in Small Business Software. Instantly create invoices, track sales & expenses, and keep your data backed-up and secure - automatically. For only $12.95 a month, QuickBooks is a solid addition to your accounting team.

Document Creation and Management Software

1. Microsoft Office 2010 - $499.99
MS Office is by far the most reliable and effective product for document creation. It includes Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and SharePoint, among many others. The new 2010 edition is the smoothest Office release to date, and with mobile capabilities you can take your Office everywhere. (Available here for less.)

Record Management Software

1. Document Locator
The records management software from Document Locator automates records management policies and procedures. Define and build procedures that bring consistent business practices, secure information, and utilize an audit-traceable log of activity. Contact Document locator at (800) 298-1172 to get a quote.

2. Record Management Software
RMS automates every aspect of your operating with it's state of the art record management software. They offer both a desktop program as well as a web based program that allow you to access files with ease. Contact Record Management Software, Inc at (800) 432-8160 to get a quote.

Technical Support & Customer Service  Software

Customer service software programs allow you to automate and track your communications with customers. They provide your customers with a variety of methods of contacting you, which not only makes your business look more professional, but makes contact more convenient for prospective buyers and receiving feedback.

1.  LiveHelpNow - $21 /mo
LiveHelpNow is one of the most competitive products when it comes to customer service. This live chat support software covers all the bases, and streamlines all technical support which will greatly increase productivity as well as customer satisfaction.

2. Velaro - $52.95 /mo
Velaro offers an outstanding small business package as well as even more powerful options. Provides excellent Customer Relationship Management and a plethora of tools to streamline customer support. Provides monthly reports for visitor reporting, page navigation, and keyword analysis. An excellent program for maintaining customer relationships.

3. WebsiteAlive - $69.95 /mo
WebsiteAlive is a completely web-based program that can be accessed from any computer, even your mobile phone. There are no software installations, and you can manage your customer relationships from virtually anywhere.

Computer Security Software

With all the information on your computer it's important to make sure you're keeping it safe . You wouldn't leave your business documents laying around in a public place, so don't leave them available to people on the internet either. There are so many choices when it comes to PC security, these are the most reliable programs that provide the highest level of protection.

1. Webroot Internet Security Essentials - $59.95
Provides full internet security so you can browse the net care free. Webroot is a leader in anti-spyware, which can cause a bunch of issues on your computer.  Scans all ingoing and outgoing email.

2. Kaspersky - $79.95
Kaspersky has a user-friendly interface and robust virus protection, which makes this a good choice. While Kaspersky boasts excellent anti-virus protection, their anti-spyware protection isn't as powerful as Webroot.

Oct 5, 2010
by Anonymous

Needs better definition of "small business"

Steve: What is a "small business"? Small businesses can range from single-person, home-office setups to mom-and-pop manufacturing or sales operations (candy maker, gift baskets) to 30-person repair or delivery services (plumbers, florists). The software that's listed doesn't consistently fit any of these categories, and in some cases would be a poor fit for larger small businesses.

There's also an entire category that's missing here: data backup. If a hard drive dies and takes the company ledger or customer database with it, the small business closes its doors tomorrow. I'd put a backup service at the top of the list and certainly ahead of record management.

Business owners can always DIY and put together a customized solution that fits the business. That takes time and energy away from what the business owner does best, which is probably not business system installation and maintenance. It would be better to ask other business owners for recommendations for someone local who helps set up all the moving pieces.

Oct 20, 2010
by Spencer Lanoue

RE: Needs better definition of "small business"

If you would read on to the 2nd and 3rd pages you would see that I do suggest data backup products, as well as many others.  

- Spencer Lanoue

Oct 20, 2010
by Anonymous


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Oct 26, 2011
by Anonymous

Productivity tools

I use Google Docs for easy online sharing.