Starting a business is an uphill battle from day one. But even if your budget is tight and manpower is limited, you don’t have to feel like you have to do it all alone. Thankfully, there are many innovations to help small business owners manage and grow their businesses.
If you’re not sure where to start, check our shortlisted five types of tools for every small business in 2022.
Essential Tools That Every Small Business Should Use in 2022
So, what exactly does your small business need to thrive?
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
This business tool enables you to consolidate, track, and organize your customer information and interactions in one hub. A CRM stores pertinent consumer data, such as purchasing or user behavior, transaction history, and notes on sales transactions — all of which can be leveraged to improve your service and enhance customer experience.
Using CRM software can benefit small businesses through:
- Enhanced customer service.
- Improved customer relationship and retention.
- Higher rate of pursued leads.
- Boosted sales.
- Increased business productivity.
- Customer data analytics and segmentation.
- Efficient data storage.
- Automated report generation.
- Organized and consistent internal and external communications.
The rising demand for better customer service plus engaged and personalized consumer experiences is evidenced by the growth of the CRM software industry, as it’s expected to grow by 14.27% between 2020 to 2027.
2. Project Management (PM) Tool
Based on a 2020 survey, 25% of participating organizations did not have the right tools to effectively collaborate, and 36% said that the task of manually collecting and organizing project status information can take up to five hours. For a small business, five hours is a lot of wasted time that’s better invested in revenue-generating efforts.
Make it easy for your team (and yourself!) to stay organized and on top of tasks with the help of project management software. This type of tool allows you to plan various business projects or tasks, manage your team’s workflow, share and collaborate on files, and more.
There are many types of online project management tools available. Some have free features but most come at a cost, especially if you have several people on your team or require high-level functionality. They may also differ in terms of project management style, such as Kanban, Gantt, Agile, etc. If you haven’t implemented a project management system before, feel free to test a few free trials before committing to a paid subscription.
The benefits of using a project management tool include:
- Improved internal communication and collaboration.
- Simplified and standardized processes.
- Better management and allocation of resources.
- Centralized and organized work data.
- Enhanced remote working dynamics.
- Better risk assessment and mitigation.
3. Content Management System (CMS)
A CMS is a type of software that empowers small businesses to create and manage websites without technical coding skills. Most types of CMS software allow users to create, edit, and publish content, customize the look and feel of their site, and tailor the functionality via downloaded or purchased site templates and extensions.
These are some advantages of using a CMS as a small business:
- Build a website without in-depth technical or coding skills, including implementing SEO features and extensions and security protocols.
- Easily collaborate with your team, and assign user roles and permissions.
- Leverage templates to quickly design your website while still ensuring you have a user-friendly interface.
- Modify your website on the go, as most CMS software can be accessed on any internet-connected device and have intuitive dashboards.
4. Social Media Management (SMM) Software
These days, social media is the king of advertising channels. Your intended audiences are already there and engaged, the platforms offer a diverse range of ad formats (most of which are more affordable than a TV ad) and the campaign results are typically accessible in real-time or shortly after your ad runs. But with so many social media platforms, it can get overwhelming for a business owner.
This is where a social media management tool comes in. Most SMM tools aggregate your various social media accounts, enabling you to develop an effective social media strategy and plan a cohesive content calendar. It streamlines your community management efforts into one channel, making it easier and more cost-efficient to engage with your followers and be consistently active online.
SMM tools typically also have analytics and report generation, and allow for third-party software integration so you can deep-dive into your data to better understand your followers and potential customers.
5. Point-of-Sale (POS) System
Don’t ruin a smooth transaction by fumbling at the finish line! Point-of-sale (or POS) is where your customer pays for the product or service — where you officially make your sale. In a physical store, this is where your cashier is, but for online or hybrid businesses, this is the checkout process.
A POS system is typically a combination of hardware and software that work together to automate and streamline payment processing and inventory management. A point-of-sale system stores a database of the products offered by the business (a.k.a your inventory) and automatically adjusts the information after every transaction. On the surface level, it allows you to track your stock levels in real-time. But if you study the data, you may pinpoint your best- and worst-selling products to better inform your procurement strategy.
POS systems for small businesses should be scalable with third-party integrations, data and analytics, report generation, and employee management functionality. If fitted with the right features to help your business grow, a POS system can be a powerhouse business partner — a far cry from the cash registers of the past.
Grow your business with a powerful point-of-sale system that keeps the checkout process simple for customers but insightful for your business! Get a free quote from True POS today.