How to find the best business management software for small businesses

to do list sticky post it notes
(what most desks look like without a business management software)

Business management software for small businesses

Many small business owners run their businesses mostly with pen and paper, along with the occasional excel spreadsheet, word document, Google doc, or Dropbox folder. If this sounds like you, you may be in for a bit of a shock once your business starts rapidly growing.  You’ll soon realize that this strategy, which worked fine when you were small, just isn’t going to cut it anymore. That’s most likely why you ended up here searching for how to find the best business management software for small businesses.

 

Problems with these methods:

  1. No history of any phone calls, notes, previously completed meetings or tasks, anything! Once you have over 50 customers, it will be impossible to remember everything about everyone. Good luck trying to keep track of everything in your head or notepads.
  2. That email you meant to reply to? It’s fallen to the second page of your inbox, and is now lost forever. Every once in a while you may get excited because you remembered and found the email, but deep down you know there are others that are probably slipping through the cracks.
  3. Are all of your employees on the same page? If not, your business may soon face some growing pains.
  4. Even if you’re using multiple programs or methods to manage your business, these often don’t connect and sync, meaning some of your data may be duplicated, end up missing, out of date, or even corrupted.
  5. Multiple programs, servers, and computers means that your solution is expensive, not secure, and prone to problems, viruses, or crashes, leading to lost productivity and hundreds of dollars on a computer guy.
  6. The business is completely reliant on you and what’s in your head, meaning you can’t take a day off or go on vacation.

 

Common reasons and myths why people don’t use a business management software:

  1. It takes too long to set up.
  2. I don’t have the time.
  3. It will take more time then how I’m doing things today.
  4. Everything is working fine now (notice the word “fine”, you will never hear someone say “my notepad and pen method is working amazing, I have never been more productive!”)
  5. It’s not safe from hackers!
  6. The more expensive the software, the more complicated and cumbersome it becomes.
  7. I don’t know how to use computers.

These myths are keeping you and your business from growing.  If you’re starting to have growing pains and know you need a better way to become more organized, you may want to keep reading.

 

(is this what your office or home looks like?

 

What you should be looking for in a business management software:

  1. Ease of use, no setup time.
  2. Ability to train current and future employees easily.
  3. Affordable for your business today, but has the ability to grow and scale with you.
  4. Access your data from anywhere online using a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
  5. Reputable company that will be here to stay forever (you don’t want your data to disappear one day).
  6. Ability to export anything you like to Excel so you can always switch companies should you find a better alternative.
  7. A software that will save you more time then it will take so you can focus on marketing (and your family and friends, of course).
  8. Features you may consider looking for:
    1. Contact management / CRM (see What is CRM?)
    2. Project management
    3. Time tracking
    4. Billing & invoicing
    5. Expense tracking
    6. Accounting
    7. Online payments

By now, you’ve probably realized that investing in any business management software is in your best interest.  So what’s the next step? Gather up all those notepads so you can import your data into the software of your choice!

(this is what your desk COULD look like, seriously)

 

Preparing to use a business management software:

  1. Create a list of all of your customers (or even leads who have not purchased from you yet) in Excel with the following columns:
    1. First Name
    2. Last Name
    3. Email
    4. Phone
    5. Notes
    6. Anything else you want to keep track of.
  2. Choose one of the business management programs available online.

 

Here are some tips for when you start using your business management software:

  1. Group your contacts into these 4 categories, lists, or tags (or whatever the program calls it):
    1. Leads (these are people who you have to contact that you have NOT spoken to yet)
    2. Following Up (these are people who you need to continue talking to)
    3. Paid Customer (these are people who have purchased from you already)
    4. Disqualified (these are people who are no longer interested)
  2. Create task reminders to follow up with every contact
  3. Write detailed notes about every call and interaction

 

If you’re successfully utilizing your new business management software, you’ll know it almost immediately.  You will finally feel in control. You can grow and delegate tasks to another person. You can work from anywhere in the world. You can take a vacation and manage your business laying on a beach. You’ll have more freedom, piece of mind, and most importantly – success.

(yes, this really could be you)

 

Good luck on your journey! Comment below on how you do things today, any issues you’re having, and what you’re ultimately looking for.

P.S. Check out some case studies and interviews of people who took the plunge or try a free trial today.

 

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