Whether you’re a startup or a small business, chances are, you’re operating on a smaller scale than most other companies within your field. Until you grow your product and service, you can’t afford a full-time staff to handle every aspect of management for you. And, since you probably wear many hats yourself, you can’t handle every aspect of it either.
This is where progressive, budget-friendly online software solutions can be a major life-saver. There’s a software for almost every aspect of business management, from payroll to scheduling. The key is to find the software that works best within each niche for your needs in terms of affordability and functionality.
Payroll is perhaps the single most essential aspect of your small business management. Let’s face it, it’s hard to motivate your employees without it! While most larger business settle on software like QuickBooks, a smaller, newer service like Gusto holds a special place in the heart of small business people.
For starters, its user-friendly interface makes it appealing to payroll managers and administrators who are still not fully experienced in the process. Which means, if you’re a business owner who is taking payroll into their own hands, you don’t have to worry about a huge learning curve.
Furthermore, it provides easy integration of your benefits administration, allowing you to transfer management of existing benefits providers to Gusto, eliminating the need of an additional platform for this purpose.
Gusto offers different packages depending on your small business’ needs, with its most affordable package for small teams with simple needs starting at $39/mo and $6/mo per person in addition to that.
Even small teams need an effective way to project manage that involves something a little more sophisticated than a whiteboard in the conference room. That’s where a project management tool like Trello comes in.
It helps small businesses stay on top of tasks and deadlines. You can create different boards for every project or client, and assign tasks/cards within each board to keep everything organized. Team members can also comment on each card, keeping discussion and brainstorming neatly segmented.
For the most part, Trello is free. However, there are add-ons that cost money, though it’s still a rather nominal fee. For example, if you’d like to make the project management environment a little more fun and interactive, you can purchase Power-Ups. These Power-Ups act as little widgets that streamline your processes even further, and can include custom fields, calendars, and more. One Power-Up per board is allowed in the free version.
With Trello Business Class, however, you can get unlimited Power-Ups, larger file attachments, and more automation capabilities for just $9.99/mo.
It may seem like faxing is a thing of the past, and it sort of is, but only because many businesses are still using traditional faxing. As of late, online, cloud-based faxing services are making waves – and for a variety of reasons.
Firstly, faxing still provides the most secure way to share documents and data, particularly where legality is concerned. It also provides electronic signature capabilities so that you can sign faxes from your phone or computer.
Faxage is one of the more affordable online faxing services on the market at just $3.49/mo for their Lite plan. For professional use, it’s still only $7.95/mo. They offer unlimited online fax storage, which provides better organization than traditional paper faxes that can get lost or misplaced.
Keeping your emails in check can be a feat, and email marketing software can often be expensive – and usually a little too complex for the needs of a small business or startup. Using an app like Boomerang will help your employees keep their emails organized, while still integrating seamlessly with Gmail.
Boomerang has four tiers, with the most basic subscription being free. Higher-tiered subscriptions add on additional features like recurring messages, CRM integration, and annotation. In general, their service allows you to schedule-send, check email stats, keep track of when messages are opened, and receive reminders for unopened emails.
If you don’t need a full-blown email marketing tool, it’s perfect for keeping up with clients and staying on top of important correspondence.
Every business, big or small, needs a website in the Internet Age. No longer do websites have to be a complicated hubbub of HTML and style sheets, however. Drag-and-drop web builders like Wix are starting to offer even advanced features for as low as $13/mo. To remove Wix ads, connect a custom domain, and get Analytics data, you may have to pay a little more, but it’s worth it.
There are even built in SEO functionalities to make your pages more visible in Google. The best part is it comes with tons of free, pre-made templates that even the least creative-minded individual can put to good use.
The ease of use and aesthetically pleasing interface make Wix just a notch higher than its web service counterparts like WordPress and Squarespace.
Workforce management and payroll management don’t always go hand-in-hand. Say goodbye to the timesheets of yesteryear. Desktime lets you keep track of your employees’ clock ins, clock outs, absences, and overall productivity in one simple dashboard.
The overall cost depends on how many users you have, but it usually varies between $5 and $7 for small businesses. Its built-in automatic time tracker starts the clock as soon as the employee turns the computer on and stop the clock when they turn it off. It also lets you keep track of what programs and applications they use.
This app is particular valuable for businesses that have employees working remotely. It’s not all work and no play, however. You can also set it up for break reminders so that your employees don’t burn out.
Overall, implementing the aforementioned applications in your business model could cost you as little as $100 per month – that’s a lot less than what it would cost to hire a professional that oversees each of these tasks.
As your business grows, you may need to scale up these efforts, but these software solutions are ideal for business owners who are just starting out. They keep costs low, improve productivity, and allow business owners to dedicate no more than a couple hours a week to administrative tasks that might otherwise bog them down.