Starting a new business is difficult, but very manageable through innovative software solutions that save time and money. Using the applications below will help small business owners overcome problems related to limited time, budgets, and manpower.

Cloud-Based Solutions

Business owners who are always on the go or on the road need online solutions to access data and store documents. Online storage solutions, such as DropBox through Google, allows business owners to easily centralize and synchronize data. Users can save all everything from images to documents to video clips that are automatically backed up. In order to reduce telecommunications costs, video chat, and voice call service programs are revolutionizing long distance business relationships. They offer inexpensive phone, instant messaging. and group video conferencing services. Some of the most popular tools include Skype, ooVoo, and Google Voice. VoIP solutions are an excellent way to reduce long-distance phone bills.

Entrepreneurs must often wear many hats and perform many duties. Online contractor and freelance platforms, such as Guru and Odesk allow business owners to outsource specific projects or jobs to employees around the world. This includes finance, multimedia, sales, marketing, legal, translation, and content writing. Business owners can easily post tasks, perform virtual interviews and find qualified candidates. When it comes to maintaining a positive business image, social platforms like LinkedIn allow small business to search for talent, network with potential business partners, and perform B2B transactions.

HR Software

HR software programs are helpful for small to medium-sized businesses. Not only do they help companies access and track employee information, they also help with hiring and training responsibilities. For example, HR software for a small business allows business owners to streamline the recruitment process through providing access to legal documents and valuable hiring data. Being able to provide advanced notice to supervisors will allow them to prepare to welcome new hires into their positions. HR software programs can connect to the job recruitment website and automatically screen out unqualified applicants.

Related to this, HR software indirectly increases employee engagement and motivation. This is because business owners are able to monitor and analyze ongoing issues, such as higher turnover and absenteeism rates. HR software is regularly used to promote staff career development by gathering data regarding experience, productivity, and feedback. This information can be used to develop training plans with staff for their long-term goals. HR software can be used for performance measurements, so business owners can provide objectively fair reviews.

Business Intelligence Software

Business intelligence apps and programs centralize data together and help business owners focus on objectives and opportunities. Modern business intelligence tools are designed for those who aren’t tech-savvy, so they can easily be used by anyone. Most of these programs are cloud-based solutions that are scalable, cost effective and easy to implement. Business intelligence software solutions are popular because they allow business owners to efficiently track sales, marketing, and productivity data.

Management can compare and contrast relationships between data variables in order to understand how specific factors affect performance. These programs can connect data from a variety of sources, such as Facebook activity stats, sales data from Salesforce, online data from Google Analytics, and customer data from customer relationship management (CRM) programs. These programs usually offer customizable reports and dashboards, so different departments are free to research relevant data. To illustrate, Google Analytics provides detailed reports regarding online audiences, advertising, behaviors, and conversion. However, this information is best synchronized with traditional marketing data in order understand the big picture and strategically plan for the future.

In addition to the programs mentioned above, there are free, open-source office productivity suites, such as OpenOffice, and task management suites, such as Trello and Asana.