It’s hard to keep up with all the changes in technology these days, but regardless of what kind of company you run, digital transformation is the new ground floor of remaining efficient and competitive. If you’ve just started a new business or are looking to upgrade your current software options, you’re probably wondering which ones are going to be the best investments.
There are several key types of software that any business can benefit from today.
1. IP management software
Intellectual property (IP) management keeps your brand safe by defending it with appropriate trademarks, patents, and copyrights. It also allows you to license your intellectual property for other businesses’ use. This proprietary protection can potentially create another source of revenue for your business or protect your existing income streams, such as from a unique product invention.
IP management software from providers like Dennemeyer simplifies the process considerably if you decide protecting and licensing your IP is a worthwhile investment. Because IP management includes many necessary document filings, suitable software should accurately keep track of these records, allow appropriate customization of the required forms, and give you control over which employees can access any particular document.
Furthermore, good IP management software should be intuitive and easy to use, with in-depth analytics, cost estimations, and summary-level views so that you can monitor your IP at a glance.
2. Accounting software
Accounting software is essential for businesses at any scale. You’ll have to manually handle taxes, payroll, and bookkeeping without it. These tasks require meticulous attention to detail to ensure no mistakes pass, which is why the software comes so highly recommended.
3. File backup and recovery
File backup is another uncommonly considered business need. If you’ve ever lost data in the event of a personal computer’s hard drive failure, you know just how devastating it can be. When your business is on the line, however, file backup is all the more necessary.
Simply having cloud backup is not enough to ensure that your data will be safe in an unexpected loss. Businesses should invest in Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) as their cloud backup solution to store data and functionality safely. You should also test your disaster recovery plan regularly and long before a predicted disaster approaches.
As with accounting, you want to make sure you keep accurate tabs on your business’s analytics because numbers can be unforgiving. What you need to analyze depends on what will be most beneficial for your growth plans. Still, at the very least, you can benefit from data about your client satisfaction and conversion funnel.
Some key features to look for in analytics software are cost (many platforms offer free trials or versions) and ease of use.
5. Website content management
Keeping a website up-to-date and avoiding broken links and outdated information can be challenging. Websites require a great deal of design and programming knowledge as well as time and attention to be successful.
That’s why a Content Management System (CMS) is a popular choice for managing your website. These systems eliminate or at least reduce the barriers to entry involved in getting a website up and running and help you manage your content once it’s on your website.
6. Project management
Project management helps keep your business organized and efficient. It can be beneficial to have software capabilities that match how you think about tasks–in other words, it can feel like having extra hours in the day.
There are many available options for project management software, even those that are especially well-suited for small businesses. If you are a visual person, on the other hand, you might search for the best Kanban board software.
7. Social media management
A robust social media presence is becoming increasingly crucial to a business’s success. Your posts can help define your brand’s voice, engage with customers, and advertise. Because there are so many social media avenues and each has its ideal posting schedules, social media management software can be a lifesaver.
8. Appointment scheduling
Your business may also need to schedule appointments or meetings. This juggling is no small task if your company has a complicated calendar. Some solid candidates for appointment scheduling software are Acuity, Calendly, and Square Appointments.
9. Collaboration tools
Collaboration tools can mean a wide variety of software. Whether you simply need a way to communicate with your team or you want to work together in a virtual whiteboard environment, there are an almost overwhelming number of options available to you.
10. Customer relationship management
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a subset of analytics tool specifically for managing customer data.
Whereas you might use something like Tableau to track your business’s overall performance, a CRM such as Bigin or Salesforce or Freshsales centralizes all your customer data so that your marketing and sales employees have easy access.
You may not have realized some of these software tools are not only available but come highly recommended for your business. The automation of tedious business tasks has strong potential, and it’s difficult to have too much or too specialized software. With some of these tools in your back pocket, you and your employees should find life easier and have time to focus on more important matters.