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Small Business Software to Improve Productivity

Email Marketing Software

Email 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 & Groupware

Collaboration 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 Software

Whether 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 Software

Taxes 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.
 
Comments
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

hostgator

I have used Hostgator web hosting for last 2 years, the service is great and I've never had any problems.

Oct 26, 2011
by Anonymous

Productivity tools

I use Google Docs for easy online sharing.