When running a small business, technology is at the centre of everything you do. Small business software improves efficiency, accuracy, and removes the need for manual tasks that prevent you from growing your business. The types of software you need will vary from business to business, but the common theme is efficiency.
When budgets are tight, it’s tempting to shy away from software for small businesses because of the cost. It seems cheaper to do everything manually, but the reality is, the extra time spent on manual tasks also has a financial implication. As a business owner, you should spend time on the things that grow your business, such as strategy, marketing and providing exceptional service.
With that in mind, here are the top 6 pieces of business software to make your life easier, and your business more profitable.
Point of Sale (POS) software is crucial for any business, but is especially crucial in a retail or hospitality environment. However, you should look for solutions that are just as beneficial for online or phone transactions. With great POS software, you can connect the front-of-house with back-of-house seamlessly, make transactions easy, and monitor sales throughout the day.
The best POS solution on the market is Square POS, because it’s packed with features while still being simple to set up and use. Where many POS systems are clunky and complex to operate, Square makes it simple to sell wherever your customers are. Perhaps best of all, you don’t need any expensive software to get up and running. Square POS works on smartphones and tablets, meaning you can accept transactions no matter where you are.
There are several key features that make Square POS the perfect solution for all types of business:
- Powerful, free sales analytics
- Easy to add locations, devices, team members and more
- Integrates with third-party software like MYOB and Xero
- Accept payments remotely or over the phone
- Add a synced online store without the need for coding
- No long term contracts or account fees
- Payment encryption and loads of security features
- Customise items at point of sale
The list is endless, and did we mention it’s incredibly easy to use? Square POS is the ultimate small business management software, with the ability to add other features with ease.
There are a couple of big players when it comes to accounting software, so we’ll discuss them both here. While there are plenty of others out there, the most comprehensive small business software solutions are Xero and MYOB. Keeping track of your accounts is essential, but it’s something a lot of small businesses don’t invest time and money into. When it comes to tax time, you’ll be glad you’ve used one of these tools to track your finances through the year.
Xero is cloud-based, and specifically aimed at small businesses. What does that mean? Well, mostly, it means Xero tries to pack all of the necessary features in, without making it too complicated to use. Some accounting programs out there are a nightmare to wrap your head around, so if you’re a small business owner and not an accountant, Xero is a simple option.
With Xero, you can track sales, monitor cash flow, and keep on top of your accounts all year round, but especially at tax time. Key features include:
- Easy to use
- Starter plan available – cost-effective or small businesses
- Real-time cash flow monitoring
- Generate reports any time of month
- Send invoices
- Accept online payments
- Use multiple currencies
- Strong security protocols
- Automated invoice reminders
- Unlimited tech support
For something you can set up and start using quickly and easily, Xero is the perfect choice for you.
MYOB is another big player in the accounting software world, and like Xero, it also works online. It’s an Australian company, which is great because any updates to tax and accounting legislation are automatically picked up. Having said that, it’s a little more complex than Xero, but with complexity comes greater control and flexibility, which is why so many accountants use it themselves.
Key features include:
- Quotes, invoicing and statements
- Accept payment online
- Track and pay expenses
- SuperStream compliant
- Inventory management
- Calculate and track GST
- Multiple plans to suit your business
So, if you want something a little more in-depth for your accounting software, MYOB is the one for you.
So much of today’s business takes place online. eCommerce was huge before the Covid-19 pandemic, but since then it has boomed even further. Many businesses operate purely online, while others use it as another way to reach customers, outside of their brick-and-mortar retail environment. But of course, to do eCommerce well, you need great software.
If you’re looking for the ultimate eCommerce software, look no further than Square Online. There are other ways to create an online retail store, however Square Online offers flexibility, scalability and business connectivity across all types of businesses, including retail, hospitality and so much more.
Like all Square products, Square Online is easy to set up, making it an attractive proposition for business owners who are time-poor. Essentially, it allows you to set up your website as an eCommerce store and integrate it with other business systems. Connect to Square POS, and instantly import your item catalog and track sales.
Key features include:
- Plans start at $0 per month with a 2.2% transaction fee
- Easy to set up
- Facebook and Instagram integration
- Accept all payment types
- Sync with Square POS for item integration
- Inbuilt SEO tools to reach more customers
- Local delivery options
- Curbside pickup
- Sales coupons
- SSL security
Square Online works great as a standalone eCommerce solution, but is even better when paired with other Square products to create a fully integrated sales and small business management network.
Project management software
Workplaces have changed dramatically since early 2020, with more people working from home or remotely. This has created a need for smart, intuitive and effective project management software. Even if you’re starting a new business, you need reliable software to keep track of all your tasks and projects.
One of the world’s most popular project management tools is Trello. This handy tool lets you create different projects, and add easy-to-use cards for each task within a project. These cards have all the relevant information, including attachments, links, due dates and comments. Best of all, the cards can be assigned to people as needed, and moved to different stages of the project when completed.
There are plenty of key features to enjoy:
- Drag and drop editing
- Labelling, tags and comments
- File attachment
- Detailed card system
- Progress meter checklist
- Individual/group task assignment
- Automated email notification
- Deadline alerts
- Mobile friendly
So, whether you run your business alone, work with contractors, or have a small team on your side, Trello keeps everything in check. You won’t need to miss a due date ever again, and your projects won’t slip through the cracks. Best of all, Trello has a free version that would suit most small businesses.
As a small business, accounting and invoice management can be a nightmare. You might have a sophisticated accounting package, but they’re usually not great for providing quick and easy invoice solutions for your customers. Luckily, there’s an alternative.
With Square Invoices, it’s easier than ever to send estimates and invoices, and get paid fast. Unlike expensive accounting software, Square Invoices is free to use, and you only pay a transaction fee when you accept a digital payment. With easy invoice tracking and the ability to get paid online, Square Invoices is a free, modern solution to a common small business problem.
Key features include:
- Customers can pay online with one click
- Other payment options such as phone or in-person
- Save cards for auto-billing
- Powerful reporting tools
- Track unpaid invoices easily
- Automate unpaid invoice reminders
- No monthly fees or setup costs
- Integrates easily with other Square software
For dynamic small businesses, Square Invoices is an affordable way to invoice professionally, collect valuable reporting data and get paid fast.