I was talking to a managing director recently, and he articulated something I hear frequently:
When you run a small business, you spend so much time in the business you don’t have enough time to focus on the business.
Do you know that feeling? You’re constantly firefighting, so you’re not as proactive as you’d like to be?
Well, we live in an age where there’s an app for everything, from ordering takeaway to hailing a taxi. Which means there’s cost-effective technology out there to help business owners feel more in control of cash flow, profitability and forecasting.
We’ve reviewed several and chosen the 3 we think make the biggest difference.
Xero is an all-in-one small business accounting package that covers invoicing, inventory, payroll, purchase orders, quotes, expenses and more.
The fact you can manage all this in one place – and easily – saves time and money. For example, to track expenses, you simply take a photo of the receipt on your phone and upload it via the app, where you allocate it to the relevant category (in other words – more accurate VAT returns and expense reports).
You can connect Xero to your bank account to reconcile. And you can easily compile invoices and fulfil orders while having full visibility of stock.
You also get a user-friendly dashboard, and it’s easy to drill into specifics and generate reports. Plus, you can give your accountant or bookkeeper access, so everyone is working off the same information in real time.
2. Capsule CRM
Capsule calls itself the easy online customer relationship management software (CRM) for doing business, helping you build stronger customer relationships, make more sales and save time.
It’s useful because it gives everyone in your team one place to look at all contacts, leads, customers and vendors. This streamlines sales and customer service because you can easily see what contact the person has had with the company.
Capsule is a practical solution that sits between spreadsheets and emails, on the one hand (which are cumbersome and decentralised), and expensive tools like Salesforce, on the other hand. Small businesses often don’t need the functionality that big CRMs offer, and Capsule gives exactly the right features at an affordable price.
Chargify is for you if your business sells subscriptions or does lots of recurring billing. In one portal, it centralises all your different subscription types and makes sure the right bills go out to the right customers at the right time.
You can also manage scenarios like offers and coupons and integrate sign-up with your website, which means time-consuming on-boarding processes happen automatically.
Simple IT will reduce stress and increase control
These 3 apps are simple but powerful, and cover key areas that commonly cause stress for owners and managers.
And when you’ve gained control of these details and are confident you have visibility over the business, you’re in a strong position to focus on sales and growth.
- There’s simple, cost-effective IT that helps business owners feel more in control of cash flow, profitability and forecasting
- An all-in-one accounting system like Xero will give you complete visibility of everything from inventory to expenses to payroll – from one dashboard
- Gain more control over your customers and sales pipeline with a customer relationship management tool like Capsule
- If your business sells subscriptions, has frequent offers or manages recurring payments, consider Chargify