3 Essential Piece of Software All Small Businesses Need


If you’re a startup, the types of tools you use can make a huge difference to your ability to manage your team, data, and eventually your competitiveness in your niche. Using the right tools will allow you to improve collaboration and accountability within your operation, manage interactions between various teams and your client base, and allow you to do some advanced analysis on your processes, among other things. But the issue for many is knowing which tools should be part of their stack. Here are some of the most important tools small business should consider adding to theirs.

A Good CRM

A good CRM is essential if you have to process a lot of customer interaction and want to be able to not only keep track of them, but use them for analysis. And if you can name an established company, we can assure you that they’re using a CRM.

PieSync recently did a rundown of some of the best tech stacks in the industry, and almost all of them add either a CRM, or a CRM extension as part of their stack. They also recommend Hubspot as one of the best tools for 2020. Not only that, but their sync tool allows people to sync Hubspot with various other apps like MailChimp or CloudTalk, for instance, and easily exchange contacts and information between the two of them.

Accounting and Bookkeeping Tool

It’s also very important that you stay on top of your books, and there aren’t too many tools that are easier to use while offering such a wide variety of features as QuickBooks. QuickBooks has been a market leader for small businesses for a while, and it’s not hard to see why.

First of all, they have a template for virtually any type of report you might need. Do you need a time tracking report? Check. What about invoicing or inventory? QuickBooks has you covered. Not only that, but the tool will allow you to manage tax forms, issues, and returns fast and easily. It will also allow you to manage more advanced functions like payroll, though at a premium.

Productivity Management Software

You also need software to help your team run more efficiently, improve communication, and keep track of process for analysis and improvement.

If you’re thinking of going agile and allowing your employees to work from where they are, then you have to consider using some sort of Kanban tool. Kanban is a system that uses a series of flashcards moving through a timeline to show the state of a particular project and allow stakeholders and managers to keep an eye on processes and their progress. Some examples of popular project management tools that use Kanban include Trello and Kanbanize.

You and your team can only be as good as the tools you’re using. If you want to be competitive, and also be able to monitor your business’s progress and performance, you should focus on using the right set of tools and using them to their full potential.

Tips for Closing More Deals with Your CRM Software


As a passionate entrepreneur, you are highly dedicated to your new company’s success. You may have already purchased customer relationship management (CRM) software and you are excited to use the system to help manage your customer data, clients and contacts, and automate sales. Now that you have it up and running, you are probably wondering how you can use this innovative software to close more deals.

Fortunately, using CRM software to close more deals is quite doable — check out the following ideas:

1. Stay Up-to-Date on the Updates

Like other types of software, CRM will be updated from time to time. As an example, Infor CRM was recently updated to version 8.3.10 and you’ll find articles explaining the difference between 8.3.09 and the new files, as well as how these new changes will help entrepreneurs to maximize their success using this software. In order to help ensure that you get the most out of your CRM software, you might consider investing in CRM consulting; this way you can use your CRM to its full advantage without having to be an expert in all areas pertaining to the software.

2. Reduce the Amount of Time You Spend Entering Data

One of the coolest things about CRM software is automated data entry. Instead of manually reporting every potential customer lead that you obtained at a trade show, a networking event, or a webinar,

CRM software has list importing tools that can automatically keep tabs on this data. As a result, you and your sales team will have more time to follow up with leads on your own, and you can work directly with customers to make more sales.

3. CRM Software Knows What Your Buyers Need

Thanks to your CRM software, you can see when a customer is most likely to buy something from your company, as well as the most effective ways to engage them. When CRM is used along with a marketing automation platform, the data that is collected prior to a sale can help you learn how to more effectively close a deal. For example, the metrics will show you what info a potential customer has downloaded, what types of selling tactics have worked with them in the past, and how they learned about your company.

4. Keep Potential Customers Engaged

Another key way to use CRM software to close more deals is by knowing how to engage your leads. Instead of a traditional spreadsheet, you can launch and monitor your various marketing campaigns with the CRM software and easily identify and keep track of potential customers who are showing interest in what you have to sell. By focusing on these hot prospects and pitching your products and services to them you are more likely to increase sales rather than always looking for new leads.

5. Determine How Long it Takes for a Prospect to Become a Customer

Another effective way to use your CRM software to close more deals is by determining how long it typically takes for a potential customer to become a paying client. Using this info, you can then time your email campaign more effectively. For example, if you see that leads become customers after a week, you and your sales team will follow up on an email with a phone call after about seven days.

You have invested in the technology, now it’s time to use it. By staying on top of the various CRM updates as much as possible, letting it do the data entry work, and learning how to take the information it is collecting, you will be closing more deals in no time.

Why Startups Still Need Excel In 2017


Just because Excel has been around for 30 years doesn’t mean it’s redundant in the ‘age of information’. Excel is still very much needed by businesses of all kinds, including startups. Here’s why:

Finances And Accounting

Excel is one of the simplest and best things you can use for finances and account in 2017. It can be used for outlining financial results, clarifying and setting budgets, forecasts, plans to make big business decisions, and so much more. While it’s always wise to have an accountant on hand, excel can help you to keep track.

Marketing And Product Management

Excel is also useful for marketing and product management. You can use it to list customer sales targets, manage your sales force, and help to plan based on past results. It’s never been easier to manage your strategies and products.

You Can Do Pretty Much Anything With A Spread Sheet

Let’s face it; anybody who has ever worked in an office knows you can do pretty much anything with a spreadsheet. It has a number of diverse uses, and can be used for hours each day in just about any office. Excel will never go anywhere and is still a primary tool that should be used to keep offices in check in 2017.

Excel should be one of the basic things that an office worker uses in their daily tasks. To help you on your journey to becoming an Excel buff, here are 7 essential tricks that every office worker should know:

credit to STL excel tricks