Business management software is critical to running a small to medium-sized business (SMB) effectively. A good business management program can increase efficiency, reduce costs and positively impact the bottom line.
What is business management software
Business management software, also sometimes called enterprise resource planning (ERP), can include accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), payroll, inventory, asset management, job costing, point of sale and other options for quickly recording, processing, accessing and sharing business information.
The trick to finding the best business management software for your SMB is to make sure that the package you choose has all the features you need now and may need in the future, and, importantly, that they all work together.
How to select a program
The first step in finding a business management software solution is to determine which functions you need. The best approach is to identify the types of activities you want your software to do for you now, and those you might need in the future. Then select a program based on all of your current and future needs. A modular program that you can add features to as your business grows, like MYOB Exo for example, is an ideal solution for many growing businesses.
Accounting & Payroll
Nearly every company needs an accounting package to track income and expenses, and to provide the information needed to file taxes. If you have employees, you will also need a payroll function. Many businesses will start off with what is primarily an accounting package and add on modules from there as they become necessary.
Inventory Management Software
If your business includes inventory, you will need an inventory control program or module. This will help you determine what you have in stock – helping you keep on top of client orders and ordering from suppliers most efficiently. Poor inventory control can jeopardize your cash flow and ultimately, your reputation and your business. If your business involves serving customers at a retail location, you will need a point of sale, or POS, module that will speak to your inventory management module in real-time.
Job Costing & Quotes
If you have a business that involves job pricing and estimates, such as a construction or contracting business, a job or project costing module will help. Look for a program that will allow you to customise fields and backend functions for the particular types of jobs or projects you need to estimate.
Customer Relationship Management
A customer relationship management, or CRM, module is critical for companies that have a sales force and/or more than a few customers. This program helps you keep track of all of your customer contacts, and where they are in the sales cycle. Even better, if there is a mobile CRM component, as this will allow salespeople on the road to keep track of leads and sales on the go, among many other benefits!
Look for simplicity
Look for a program that is designed for small to medium-sized businesses. Some companies will take large ERP programs and try to scale them down for small businesses. These programs often include a level of complexity that require more IT support than a small business should or would require. Choose a program that fits your business as it is now, with some room for growth.
Be sure that the solution you select is integrated, with all of the modules using the same interface. This will reduce the training time required to get your staff up and running with the software, and will allow employees to use the different features or modules. In a small business, with employees doing multiple jobs, you’ll want to minimize training time and maximize efficiency.
Remember, the idea behind business management software is that it should make it easier to run your business, not harder. It should increase your efficiency, not take time away from other functions like sales and production. Choosing the correct program, that has the features your business needs and integrates effectively, will benefit your business and improve your bottom line.
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