Small businesses today are still the driving force in the economy.  Whether you are a small trade contractor, a local restaurant or an online store, there are a few things every small business needs.  We determined five must haves for today’s small business.

Online Presence

Long gone are the days that you can get away without being online.  Every small business must have a website and online presence.  Consumers find businesses through online searches.  Rarely do they use the yellow pages anymore and if they do they are usually use the online yellow pages.  There is a reason Google is now a verb.  If you own a business you have to have a website, a Facebook page, a blog, and be listed on as many directories sites as you possibly can.  Make it easy for people to find you. Have a map on your website and contact page.  Make sure your contact information is listed on every page.

Good Communication

Knowing that your customer base is probably online, it is important to have good communication with your customers.  Make sure you have a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) plan.  There is software that can be integrated with your social networking sites as well as your website and leads.  CRM software helps you collect, sort and store information about your customers. With that you must have a marketing plan to stay in contact with your customers.  Businesses also must have good communication within your staff. If you have field employees make sure they stay connected with mobile phones and laptops connected to the office database to keep things running efficiently.

Digital Marketing Plan

While we know your customers are online, they are most likely also carrying a smart phone.  Having a digital marketing plan is another way of making it easier for the tech savvy customer to find you and use your services.  The new must have for small businesses is a full blown digital marketing plan complete with smart phone apps, bar codes on all the merchandise, and mobile punch cards to streamline loyalty marketing programs.

Google Docs

Google Docs is a free office management program to organize businesses.  It is a web-based service where multiple people can collaborate on a document or presentation.  Google Docs is becoming a must have for small businesses who want to streamline team projects and keep all the reports in one tidy place.

Accounting Software

Accounting software is a definite must have for small businesses.  It is important to keep proper records and reports.  While setting up an accounting system on your own can be time consuming, accounting software simplifies the process.  Accounting software makes it easy.  It may even replace your full-time accountant or eliminate the need for a third-party accounting firm, which will save you money and make your company more efficient.