If you’re gearing up to get a business started in 2023, then congratulations on making the leap from dream to reality! Not everyone manages to do that, so you should be commended for following through on your ambition. However, you should bear in mind that small businesses face myriad challenges.
Around 20% of small businesses actually fail within their first year of operation, so to avoid that, you’re going to need every edge you can get. Here are 10 tools your business is going to need in 2023.
1. Financial Management Software
Every business needs to make sure it’s taking care of its accounting, and that’s where financial management software comes in. You’ll need it to ensure that staff are being paid correctly, that invoices are being properly logged, and that all of your expenses are accounted for. If you’ve pumped some of your personal loans into your business and want to keep track of repayments, financial management software can help you do that as well.
Essential apps: Pulse, CashAnalytics
2. Project Management Software
How are you going to keep track of everything your business is doing? Without project management software, you’re going to struggle. The best project management apps out there will keep all of your projects in an easy-to-see location, showing you at a glance what they’re about and what the progress on them looks like. You can use project management apps to assign projects to employees and check up on how they’re doing, too.
Essential apps: Asana, Trello
3. Invoice Software
When you’ve finished with a client and you’re looking to bill them for your services, it’s time to generate an invoice. How will you do that, though? An official-looking invoice is what separates real businesses from also-rans, so you need good invoice software. You can use it to delineate everything you’re billing a client for, as well as to dictate payment terms and to tell clients where to send the money when they’re ready. Chasing invoices isn’t fun, so don’t make it more painful than it needs to be.
Essential apps: Invoiced (web), Zoho
4. Cloud Storage
It’s never a good idea to keep all of your business files and documents in a single place. That’s where cloud storage comes in. It can help you to store everything you need on a central server so that you and your staff can access whatever you need. Most cloud storage services will give you a generous allotment of space initially, but you might need to pay a little extra if you want to go above and beyond, so be prepared to spend some more money if necessary.
Essential apps: Google Drive, OneDrive
5. Customer Relationship Management Software
Customer relationship management software, or CRM software, does exactly what it says on the tin. It helps you to keep track of what you’re doing with your customers at any given time. This includes maintaining customer records, sending out emails, and more. The importance of great customer management should be obvious; without customers, your business is nothing, so making sure that you’re taking care of them as best you can is paramount.
Essential apps: Pipedrive, Copper
6. Intra-Team Communication Software
When your team needs to talk to one another, what will you use? If you don’t have a central office location, you need to make sure that there’s a way for your team to keep up with one another and check on important tasks. Luckily, there’s a host of software out there to help you achieve this. The best communication software for workplaces lets your team chat with one another across various rooms and messaging areas, helping them to stay connected.
Essential apps: Slack, Microsoft Teams
7. Calendar Software
By using calendar software, you can synchronise and optimise your team’s workflow so that you always know what people are doing and when they’re doing it. You can schedule meetings across the workforce, appoint deadlines for work (separate to your project management software, if necessary), and set up regular, scheduled appointments or events for your workforce. If you don’t have a calendar app, your business can feel chaotic.
Essential apps: Google Calendar, Teamup
8. HR Software
What keeps a business ticking along? If you answered “people”, then you’re absolutely correct, and that’s why you need great HR software. Your HR department (which may, depending on the size of your business, just be you) needs to know about any issues that workers may have, as well as what they’re being paid when they’re taking time off, and when any upcoming reviews might need to be scheduled. You can’t be expected to take care of all that responsibility yourself, after all!
9. Social Media Automation Software
If you’re a customer-facing business – or if there’s any dimension of your business that requires PR, which pretty much leaves no exceptions – then social media automation is paramount. It’s difficult to remember exactly when you need to post on social media to publicise your business or just to keep engagement up, so using automation tools will help you to set it and forget it, so to speak. You can schedule posts, create complicated calendars, and more.
Essential apps: HootSuite, Sprout Social
10. Contract Management Software
This is one element of your business that you may not have thought about before. You’re probably going to be giving potential employees a lot of contracts to sign, and you may even need to sign a fair few yourself. That’s why you need to seek out good contract management software, which will help to automate the process so you’re free to get on with what’s important. This software helps you draft documents, sign them, and manage them once they’re complete.
Essential apps: HelloSign, DocuSign