Small Business Software to Improve Productivity
Accounting & Financial SoftwareTracking 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 SoftwareCustomer 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 SoftwareWith 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.
Email Marketing SoftwareEmail Marketing is a great method to stay connected to your customers and provide inside information to your followers. The size of a your mailing list is a good indicator of how well you are reaching potential customers; the more prospects you stay in contact with the more potential you have for profit. It's easier to maintain a customer than to attract a new customer.
1. Email Marketing Director - $495
This product is pricey but you won't find anything better than it. With its astoundingly easy to use interface and streamlined processes, Email Marketing Director will help you execute effective email marketing campaigns.
2. Group Mail - $139.95
Group Mail is a great program that offers a plethora of options to create an effective email campaign. It's considerably more affordable than Email Marketing Director, but lacks capability in contact management and tracking features.
3. AWeber - $19 /mo
AWeber is great for list building, auto responders, and stat tracking. They provide high quality customer service and offer a full month free so you can test drive the software before making your decision.
Collaboration & GroupwareCollaboration software helps improve productivity by allowing employees to share ideas and information. Although it's not necessary for all businesses, it can improve efficiency and promote teamwork. Employees can share messages, files, data, documents, and even voice recordings. Promote a sense of community by managing group activities.
1. IBM Lotus - $119
IBM Lotus Software delivers robust collaboration software that empowers people to connect, collaborate, and innovate while optimizing the way they work. Lotus will help you drive better business outcomes through smarter collaboration.
2. GoToMeeting - $49 /mo
Allows you to host online meetings with up to 15 people. Business trips can get expensive, but GoToMeeting allows you to attend meetings from the comfort of your home. They provide a few other services as well. GoToWebinar allows you to host presentations for a large group of people over your computer, and GoToTraining allows you to conduct live training without having to meet face-to-face.
Data Backup SoftwareWhether you have an office or work from home, backing up your important documents is a smart move. Don't get caught with your pants down when your hard drive crashes, make sure you have copies of all the documents you will need in the future. This is one of the single most important things you could do for your business.
1. Nova Backup - $49.95
Not only does Nova Backup have a beautiful interface, but it includes features for full and partial backups all done with the click of a button. It includes all of the features you would expect from a data backup service, and allows you to backup individual files and folders, files-in-use, your entire system, network location, address books, favorites, registry keys and individual emails.
2. PC Backup Pro 11 - $49.99
One click backup allows you to store your files quickly. Offers a wide range of features including full image and Operating System settings backup. A flexible scheduler allows you to automate scheduled backups so you can keep your files updated regularly.
Online Tax SoftwareTaxes are another time consuming process that can be difficult if done the old-fashioned way. Maximize your tax return and put your mind at ease with a high quality tax preparation program.
1. Turbo Tax Deluxe - $49.95
Turbo Tax Deluxe will efficiently take care of all your federal filing needs. It's the easiest program to use and has a very straightforward layout. The software comes with a bunch of great help features to ensure your returns are accurate.
2. H&R Block At Home - $49.95
H&R block is a leader in the tax filing industry and they now offer a wide range of tax options. It's features include personalized tax guidance, national average comparisons, audit support, and up to 5 federal e-files. H&R Blocks software is novice friendly and with the refunds you will receive the software pays for itself.
Graphic Design Software
You may want to be capable of
creating your own logos, banners, and other visual designs. Graphic
design programs enable you to design your own brochures, flyers, and
1. Photoshop - $699
Image editing and composition. Manipulate images and create your own designs.
2. CorelDRAW - $499
Illustration, layout, tracing, photo editing and Web graphics, all in one
3. Adobe Creative Suite - starting from $1,699
Includes Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign all in one bundle.
Website CreationCreating a website is a process that has a long-term learning curve. As a small business owner you might not have enough time to teach yourself, but still want to design your own website. These programs automate the process for you, making website creation a simple task.
1. Intuit Website Creator - $59.88
Offers the most templates out of all the website creation programs. Quickly create your website using thousands of template and stock photos, and build customized 5-page sites using drag and drop tools and step by step assistance. A great choice for creating a customized website for your small business.
2. Web Easy Professional - $49.95
Create your webpage within hours. Whether you're a web design pro or it's your first time, Web Easy Professional makes the process easy.
3. Xara Web Designer - $49.99
Xara offers the most freedom when it comes to page layout. Provides options for publishing, creating animation, graphic and document design and image editing.
Web Hosting SolutionsYou need a web hosting provider in order to host your website onto the internet. These are the 5 best web hosts around, they offer a variety of packages to fit your needs.
4. Blue Host
5. Super Green Hosting
Automation of time-consuming tasks will allow you to focus on what really matters for your business, maintaining your vision and achieving goals. The less time spent on these tasks, the more time you will free up for productive activities, maybe even for some extra sleep each night! So don't drive yourself crazy with busy work, do your homework and find out which programs are right for your needs. You may find that streamlining your processes was the smartest choice you ever made for your business.